National Award winning music composer Vanraj Bhatia passes away; Hansal Mehta and Farhan Akhtar mourn his demise

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National Award-winning composer Vanraj Bhatia, known for composing for films like Tamas, Ankur and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, breathed his last on May 7. He was 94. The veteran musician was not keeping well for the last months. Reportedly he was avoiding seeing the doctors due to the pandemic. The veteran musician was living Alone with his domestic help at his Napean Sea Road Apartment.

Bhatia won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the television film Tamas. In 2012, he was conferred with India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri.

Mourning the demise of the legendary musician, actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar tweeted,RIP #VanrajBhatia .. apart from the many other brilliant musical works he created, I vividly remember the theme of ‘Tamas’ that started with a shriek so filled with anguish, it could send a chill up anyone’s spine and break anyone’s heart.”

RIP Maestro, ” wrote filmmaker Hansal Mehta.


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Actress turned politician Smriti Irani posted, “Shocked to learn about the passing away of Vanraj Bhatia. Wagle ki Duniya, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, he leaves behind countless memories in his scores. My condolences to his loved ones & fans. ॐ शान्ति (sic).”

Bhatia has films like 36 Chowringhee Lane, Pestonjee, Tarang, Percy, Droh Kaal, Bangarwadi, Naseem and Jaya Ganga to his credit. He gave background score to films such as Damini, Ghatak, Pardes, Chameli, Ajooba, Beta, Rules: Pyar Ka Superhit Formula.

The legendary composer also composed the opening tune of shows like Khandan, Tamas, Wagle Ki Duniya, Naqab, Lifeline and Banegi Apni Baat to name a few. He had studied western classical music at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Back in 2019, Bhatia’s financial condition had worsened. The musician had gone bankrupt. Requesting people to help the music composer, Kabir Bedi had tweeted, “I visited Vanraj Bhatia yesterday. He is as lively and spirited as ever. But, yes, ALL friends should help him at this difficult time. On his own, he has composed an opera on Girish Karnad’s play “Agni Matu Male” (The Fire and the Water). And he’s 92(sic).” Later Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) had come forward to help the composer financially.

We extend our deepest condolences to Bhatia’s family and friends.

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