Actor-director Neeraj Vohra passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 54 – he was in a coma for almost one year. While the Hera Pheri director was fighting the illness on the bed, it was his close friend Firoz Nadiadwala who was engaged in a different battle. The producer had been looking after Vora for over a year, also taking care of his medical expenses. Even though Nadiadwala was reluctant to speak about his contribution, he revealed that he brought Vora home from AIIMS in Delhi on October 19 last year where the doctors had declared he would be dead in a few hours.
Nadiadwala said that he has known Vora for 12 years and had done a lot of films with him so he couldn’t have let the actor-director die. “Quite frankly, I don’t know what powers made me do what I did. I couldn’t leave him to die. He had nobody to look after him. Neeraj did have a brother. But he was financially incapable of shouldering the responsibility,” he said while adding, “As I said, the doctors at AIIMS had given up on him. I don’t know what got into me. I immediately hired an air ambulance to bring Neeraj from Delhi to Mumbai.”
Describing the case, Nadiadwala said that his heart was in his mouth. “If Neeraj had passed away during that journey from Delhi to Mumbai, or even after landing, I would have been in serious legal and moral trouble,” he added.
As it turned out, Neeraj was brought to Mumbai successfully where he lived at Nadiadwala’s house in a special room where he was attended to by a fleet of medical experts, nurses, dieticians and well-wishers. “I had set aside a room in my house for him. That was his home for the past one year. The room has pictures of his parents. His father, a classical musician, used to play Veena. We had that music playing in his room,” the producer added.
Nadiadwala left no stone unturned to keep his friend alive. In this room, Hanuman Chalisa was recited for Neeraj and there were four attendants – two each for the day and night shifts – to look after him round the clock. “A dietician, neuro-surgeons, a cook who lives close by and cooks all the special food that Neeraj has to be fed through his stomach,” Nadiadwala added.