• Sat, Apr 20, 2024

Legendary Composer Vanraj Bhatia Passes Away At 93

May 07, 04:25pm

The acclaimed and endlessly talented musician has left a legacy spanning decades and art forms
 Photo Courtesy: Zubin Balaporia

Our country has always had a tradition of great composers, and nowhere is the recognition of this sea of talent as widespread as film and public media. Today we lost a leading light of that sphere; Vanraj Bhatia passed away at his home at the age of 93. While he had been having medical issues for a period of time, this unfortunate news gives us an opportunity to look back on an illustrious career, a generational talent and musical memories that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Through his education at The Royal Academy Of Music and the Paris Conservatory, Vanraj’s extensive knowledge of Western music traditions along with his Indian heritage gave him an artistic voice all his own. He was working for Girish Karnad’s play ‘Agni Varsha’ at the time of his passing, but his idiosyncratic approach can be seen in the worlds of advertising, cinema, television and the like. His credit list is completely impossible to list without turning any tribute into a prohibitively long read; besides the Shyam Benegal movies, the ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ opening theme (among ‘Tamas’, ‘Lifeline’ and many, many others), there are the Hindi films like ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ and ‘Pardes’ (again among others). There are the literally thousands of ad jingles he did that dominated our TVs. There is the lush, detailed and expansive approach he used when appropriate to create worlds that one didn’t have to struggle to imagine. He has left his mark on all these art forms and his music is there to be listened to, but it is the memories we made that we will most cherish.

Indus Creed’s Zubin Balaporia was close to Vanraj and attended to him in his later years. He also shot the photograph you see above; a picture Vanraj loved. He honours him thusly;

“I had the good fortune of knowing him and recording music with him for the last 35 years. His knowledge of music and composition was unparalleled. He lived his life on his own terms and his positivity and zest for life will remain unmatched. His love for good food and drink was well known and he continued to drink his regular vodkas till a week before his passing. At the end I can only say, what an amazing guy! RIP Vanraj. ”
- Zubin Balaporia


Facebook twitter Google Plus Pinterest

Leave a comment

Recommended Stories

Tansen. Teams Up With MusicByRohit And CZA For A Quietly Stirring Remake

‘broken (reimagined)’ is chicken soup for the rainy-day soul

May 04, 2021 


Rohan Chaudhary Keeps It Smooth On New Single

We’ve got another buttery pop crooner on our hands

May 03, 2021 

By Madhusudan Raman  

Israeli Songwriter Botzer And Lucky Ali Come Together On New Single

‘Amaraya’ is an earthy track off their upcoming album

Apr 30, 2021