Veteran composer Vanraj Bhatia, who gave the music of India Ek Khoj and Tamas, passed away.
National Award-winning music composer Padmashree Vanraj Bhatia died in his house in Mumbai on the morning of 7 May. He was 93 years old.
Due to increasing age, his condition had started deteriorating for the last few months. Did not even get up from his bed for weeks. Vanraj was unmarried and lived alone. He was looked after by a house helper.
Since the news of Vanraj Bhatia’s death on social media, mourning has taken place in the film world.
Many artists like Prasoon Joshi, Hansal Mehta, Farhan Akhtar are expressing their condolences by tweeting. Union Minister Smriti Irani also tweeted expressing her grief.
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
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
Vanraj Bhatia Was fond of music since childhood
Born in Mumbai on 31 May 1927, Vanraj Bhatia was interested in music since childhood. He started studying classical music at an early age.
One day, as a teenager, Vanraj heard the piano concert of Russian composer Chikowski. Listening to the tunes of Chiakowski, Vanraj also had a deep tendency towards Western classical music.
She also started learning piano. For the next four years, along with studying, he also kept learning piano.
After doing MA, Vanraj went to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. Here were people like his classmates William Alvin, Alan Bush. Who went on to become a very big name in the world of music itself.
Vanraj spent a few years in Paris after completing his music education here. In the year 59, Vanraj returned to India and started searching for work here.
Vanraj’s career started with making jingles for the advertisement of Shakti Silk Sarees.
Vanraj was the first person who composed music for the advertisement. In the future, Bhatia composed more than 7000 jingles by mixing big brands like Liril, Dulux.
Along with composing tunes for advertisements, Vanraj also worked in charge of the Western Music Department of Delhi University.
Movies, TV and Advertising
Vanaraj Bhatia’s film Safar debuted in 1974 with Shyam Benegal. Benegal gave the responsibility of the music of his debut film ‘Ankur’ to Vanraj Bhatia.
The music of ‘Ankur‘ became quite successful. From here, their pair was made by Vanraj, who composed music for almost every film including Shyam Benegal’s ‘Trikala‘, ‘Manthan‘ released in the future.
Vanraj did memorable work with filmmakers like Kundan Shah, Aparna Sen, Prakash Jha, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, who were making films out of the box during the changing times of cinema.
Sangraj of commercials and films also worked on TV as a top class. Who can forget the great title track of ‘Bharat Ek Khaoj‘ Apart from this magnificent work, his work was also well-liked in many shows like ‘Wagle Ki Duniya‘, ‘Banegi Apni Baat’.
Vanraj Ji composed background scores in films like the flat mainstream Shah Rukh Khan, Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor’s ‘Miracle’, ‘Son’, ‘Deadly’. He gave music for the last time in the 2008 Rajkumar Santoshi film ‘Halla Bol’.
Vanraj was awarded the National Award for Govind Nahalani’s telefilm ‘Tamas‘. In 2012, he was also honored with the Padma Shri by the Government of India.