Vanraj Bhatia, veteran music composer and Padma Shri awardee, passes away aged 93; Farhan Akhtar, Smriti Irani offer condolences
Bhatia debuted as a music composer with Shyam Benegal's directorial debut Ankur in 1974. He collaborated with Benegal for several films including Manthan, Bhumika, Junoon, Kalyug, and Mandi.
Music composer Vanraj Bhatia passed away today, 7 May at his residence in Mumbai. The 93-year-old veteran was known for producing music for various films including Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro and Tamas. He also gave music for the hit TV series Wagle Ki Duniya.
Remembering him, Union Minister for Textiles and Women and Child Development Smriti Irani wrote on Twitter:
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 🙏
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 7, 2021
Farhan Akhtar recalled some of the brilliant musical works he created and shared:
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. — Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) May 7, 2021
Other celebrities who paid tribute to Bhatia on social media are director Hansal Mehta and singer Sona Mohapatra.
Vanraj Bhatia. A virtuoso composer, musician & a master of orchestral arrangements. Apart from his exemplary work in new age cinema, he created haunting memorable scores for TV shows like Tamas, Bharat Ek Khoj & many others including theatre. He was 94. #OmShanti #RIP
— Sona Mohapatra (@sonamohapatra) May 7, 2021
Bhatia was reportedly bedridden for the past many years and was suffering from various age-related ailments.
Bhatia never got married and used to live with his domestic help at his Napean Sea Road flat. For the past few months, he was avoiding doctor’s appointments due to COVID-19 which further deteriorated his health, reports Times of India.
Bhatia was known for his exemplary work in the western classical music space in India. He won the National Film Award for Best Music for Govind Nihalani's Tamas in 1988. For his contribution to cinema, he was awarded Padma Shri in 2012.
Born on 31 May 1927, Bhatia studied Hindustani classical music at Deodhar School of Music and later learned music composition at Royal Academy of Music, London. He debuted as a music composer with Shyam Benegal's directorial debut Ankur in 1974. He collaborated with Benegal for several films including Manthan, Bhumika, Junoon, Kalyug, and Mandi.
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