- "I visited Vanraj Bhatia yesterday," tweeted Kabir Bedi
- "He is lively and spirited as ever," he added
- "But, yes, all friends should help him," Kabir Bedi also wrote
Veteran actor Kabir Bedi visited National Award-winning composer Vanraj Bhatia after Mumbai Mirror recently published a heart-wrenching interview of the 92-year-old music maestro. Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Vanraj Bhatia said he is penniless and that he no longer has any visitors at his Mumbai home, reported the publication. On Monday evening, Kabir Bedi urged the film industry to come to Vanraj Bhatia's aid in his difficult times: "I visited Vanraj Bhatia yesterday. He is 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. And he's 92." Kabir Bedi referred to Girish Karnad's Kannada play, which was translated into Hindi by Ram Gopal Bajaj as Agni Aur Barkha.
Responding to a tweet by senior journalist Madhavan Narayanan, in which he shared Mumbai Mirror's piece on Vanraj Bhatia, here's what Kabir Bedi wrote.
I visited #VanrajBhatia yesterday. He is 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! https://t.co/rFAjqKsFdL— KABIR BEDI (@iKabirBedi) September 16, 2019
Mumbai Mirror reported that Vanraj Bhatia is battling old age related ailments - severe knee pain, hearing loss and memory lapses. "I have no money, not one rupee left in my bank account," Vanraj Bhatia told Khalid Mohamed of Mumbai Mirror and added "Leave me alone. No one comes to visit me, no one. Why should they? No one has use for me any longer."
A 27-year-old domestic help is reportedly Vanraj Bhatia's only companion at his Mumbai residence, who told Mumbai Mirror that the composer hasn't consulted a doctor in the recent past as he cannot afford regular medical check-ups. Imported crockery from Vanraj Bhatia's household collection has reportedly been put up for sale for financial support. Mr Bhatia's home is reportedly maintained by individual donations or charity foundations but "at this point the amount is hardly sufficient," the help told Mumbai Mirror.
Vanraj Bhatia won the National Award in 1988 for Best Music Direction for Tamas. He was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989 and with the Padma Shri in 2012 for his contribution in the field of art and music. Vanraj Bhatia, hailed for blending western influences with eastern classical music in his compositions, collaborated with art-house filmmaker Shyam Benegal for nine films including Manthan, Bhumika, Junoon, Kalyug, Mandi, Trikaal and Suraj Ka Saatvan Ghoda. Vanraj Bhatia has also contributed to films such as Kundan Shah's Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Aparna Sen's 36 Chowringhee Lane and Prakash Jha's Hip Hip Hooray.
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