Bollywood's multi-faceted talent Neeraj Vora, known for his humorous and happy streak on and off the screen, passed away in Mumbai on December 14, months after being comatose.
Vora's younger brother Uttank Vora told IANS that he died at 4am at an Andheri hospital. Vora was 54.
From the hospital, his body was taken to the house of producer Firoz Nadiadwala, who had been looking after him for over a year, and later to the electric crematorium in Santa Cruz. For months altogether, a room in Nadiadwala's home Barkat was converted into a fully functional ICU for Vora.
Nadiadwala mourned his demise saying, "I've lost the battle to save my brother and friend from the clutches of death. His health had improved so much, but it deteriorated suddenly last Friday, December 8. He had to be shifted to hospital. But it was of no use. We lost him."
Vora's last rites saw Nadiadwala, Rohit Shetty, Abhishek Bachchan, Paresh Rawal, Sushant Singh Rajput, Deepak Tijori, Ashoke Pandit, Sunil Pal, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Meet Bros, Abbas-Mastan, Rajpal Yadav, Darshan Jariwala and other celebrities paying their last respects.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the demise of the Gujarat-born actor, whom he described as "an energetic and creative personality."
Saddened by the demise of Neeraj Vora. An energetic and creative personality, he will be remembered for his films and warm nature. My thoughts are with his family and admirers in this sad hour.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 14, 2017
"He will be remembered for his films and warm nature," Modi tweeted.
The film fraternity expressed grief over Vora's death and said he was one of the best humorists that Indian cinema had. Actor Akshay Kumar, who worked with him in Awara Paagal Deewana, Deewane Huye Paagal, Ajnabee, Hera Pheri and Phir Hera Pheri, said he ventured into the comedy genre because of Vora.
One of the main reasons behind my foray into comedy, saddened to hear about the demise of #NeerajVora a multi-talented man, writer, director, actor...a mini industry by himself, learnt so much from him. RIP— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) December 14, 2017
"One of the main reasons behind my foray into comedy. Saddened to hear about the demise of Neeraj Vora a multi-talented man, writer, director, actor. A mini industry by himself - learnt so much from him. RIP," tweeted the Welcome actor.
Aamir Khan, who played the lead in Rangeela said, "Neeraj was a close friend, a collaborator and a vibrant force of life. His tragic illness and then demise is a loss not only to those close to him but also to the creative world. His sense of humour will be missed sorely. Laughter travelled with him."
Veteran actor Anupam Kher wrote, "Neeraj was one of the most pleasant persons I knew in our film industry - always smiling and extremely knowledgeable about theatre and cinema. Deeply saddened by his demise. We have lost a happy and a very talented man."
#NeerajVora was one of the most pleasant persons I knew in our film industry. Always smiling. Extremely knowledgeable about theatre and Cinema. Deeply saddened by his demise. We have lost a happy and a very talented man. May God rest his soul in peace.🙏 pic.twitter.com/yuncBhCNvg— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) December 14, 2017
Filmmaker Rahul Dholakia described him as "one of India's finest humorist screenwriter," while actor Parvin Dabas said he was "one of the most brilliant comic minds in Hindi cinema".
#neerajvora one of India's finest humorist screenwriter is no more. he was a friend, relative and also the writer of my first KHDBB- R.I.P.— rahul dholakia (@rahuldholakia) December 14, 2017
Kaante writer Milap Zaveri said, "You will surely make the heavens laugh."
Vora came to be known in the film industry for the way he tackled humour through his acting, writing and directorial projects. He was also closely associated with theatre. In fact, Golmaal: Fun Unlimited, which started the hit comedy franchise, was based on the Gujarati play Aflatoon by Mihir Bhuta and Vora. They had adapted it from Harsh Shivsharan's original Marathi play Ghar-Ghar.
Vora also had an acting stint on television with shows like Circus and Naya Nukkad, while on the film front, he made the audience laugh with roles in Daud: Fun on the Run, Hello Brother, Bol Bachchan and Welcome Back.
As a writer, he worked on films like Rangeela, Josh, Badshah, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Awara Paagal Deewana, Ajnabee, Hera Pheri and Phir Hera Pheri.
His directorial projects include Khiladi 420 and Phir Hera Pheri. He was to direct Hera Pheri 3, but uncertainty loomed large over the project after he suffered a stroke in October 2016.
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