How I struggled to cremate my father: Bollywood sound recordist's son narrates his ordeal

Updated: May 11, 2020, 07:54 IST | Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

In a complaint to the police chief, son of Bollywood sound recordist Ramanlal Dhamdachia narrates his ordeal in taking his father's remains from Dahisar flat, seeks action against the housing society

Ramanlal Dhamdachia with Lata Mangeshkar
Ramanlal Dhamdachia with Lata Mangeshkar

The son of well-known Bollywood sound recordist Ramanlal Dhamdachia, 92, who died recently, has complained against the housing society where he lived. Canada resident Mukesh wrote an email to Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on May 7, saying the society didn't allow his relatives to enter in order to bring the body out of the flat, and instead, told Dhamdachia's caretaker to bring it to the society gate.

He has also claimed that he had asked two relatives to do a pooja at the flat on May 6, but was refused permission for the same.

Ramanlal Dhamdachia with Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor
Ramanlal Dhamdachia with Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor

Dhamdachia worked for 42 years at Famous Recording Studio and was a contemporary of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, etc. He stayed with a caretaker at Rustomjee Residency at Dahisar West.

Mukesh Dhamdachia, his son, who lives in Canada said, "On April 25 my father passed away at the Dahisar flat. I was informed by the caretaker and asked my cousin Dharmendra Topiwala to do the final rites, as I was not able to come to India due to the lockdown."

Topiwala said, "The next day at 6.00 am I went to Rustomjee Residency to take the body for final rites. But the society secretary on phone told me that everyone was sleeping and it was not the right time to talk. He also told the security guard to not let me inside. After I waited for two and half hours, society committee members told me that they would not allow me to enter due to the lockdown, and asked the caretaker to bring the body to the gate. After a heated argument the society allowed the ambulance in to take the body for the funeral."

"On May 6 I wanted to arrange a pooja at the flat for my father, but the society refused permission. Only two people would have been there with a single poojari," Mukesh said.

Another member of the society claimed a family from the building who returned from Surat recently, were also not allowed to enter it though they showed medical certificates. They were let in after many arguments and quarrels.

Society manager and spokesperson, Himmat Shah, said they didn't want to violate the lockdown. "We can't risk allowing outsiders in. There are 2,000 people living in our complex. If Dhamdachia's son wants to do any pooja or rituals at home he can do them after the lockdown. On February 16 when Dhamdachia was serious we admitted him to the hospital and society paid the R20,000 bill. Later his son transferred it to the society. All the allegations are false."

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