Phir Hera Pheri director-actor Neeraj Vora passes away

Updated: 16 December, 2017 16:25 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Noted actor, writer and filmmaker Neeraj Vora, famous of writing the script of the 2000 film 'Hera Pheri' and directing its sequel 'Phir Hera Pheri' in 2006 (which he also wrote) passed away early Thursday morning

Noted actor, writer and filmmaker Neeraj Vora, famous of writing the script of the 2000 film 'Hera Pheri' and directing its sequel 'Phir Hera Pheri' in 2006 (which he also wrote) passed away early Thursday morning. Neeraj was in a coma after suffering a brain stroke in October 2016. He was working on the film 'Hera Pheri 3' before going into a coma. He was 54.

Neeraj Vora
Neeraj Vora

Veteran Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal condoled Neeraj Vora's passing with the following tweet, "Neeraj Vora - The writer n director of Phir Hera Pheri n many hit films is no more ...Aum Shanti . (sic)"


Producer Firoz Nadiadwala, who had been looking after the ailing Neeraj Vora for over a year, also mourned the demise of his "brother and friend".

Nadiadwala said: "He passed away at 4 a.m. on Thursday. 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 on Friday.

"He had to be shifted to hospital. But it was no use. We lost him."

For the past one year, Nadiadwala had been looking after all the medical expenses of Vora, who was comatose.

Vora occupied a special room in Nadiadwala's bungalow where the ailing writer-director was attended to by a fleet of medical experts, nurses, dieticians and well-wishers.

Reluctant to talk about his contribution, Nadiadwala said: "It was one year on October 19 since I got Neeraj to my home in Mumbai from AIIMS in Delhi where the doctors had declared he would be dead in a few hours.

"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.

"I had known Neeraj for 12 years. We have worked together in several films and we have shared a close bonding. How could I leave him there to die? How would I have lived with myself if I had been so callous?"

Recalling the fateful day when he decided to step in and save Vora's life, he said: "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.

"I have to confess my heart was in my 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.

"Luckily, God was on my side. He willed that Neeraj live and I be the tool to save his life. I sincerely believe we are all instruments of God brought on earth to do His will."

Vora was slowly recovering.

"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.

"We had Hanuman Chalisa recited for him... All that was familiar to Neeraj was there for him. Plus, 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 closeby and cooks all the special food that Neeraj has to be fed through his stomach.

"Under all this care, Neeraj was slowly recovering. And now, he is gone," Nadiadwala said.

Nadiadwala said he was sure Vora would recover. "But God's will was otherwise. We are now giving a proper send-off with pooja and rituals. The cremation is at the Santa Cruz cremation at 4 p.m. today (Thursday)," he said.

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit also among the celebs who expressed their grief on Neeraj Vora's demise. He tweeted, "Sad to know that one the finest Actor,Writer,Director,Producer & a dear friend Neeraj Vora passed away early morning at #Criticare Hospital. Juhu. The Creamation will be held at 3 pm at SantaCruz West #Mumbai. Opp Police station.#RIP (sic)."


Born in a Gujarati family, Neeraj came to be known in the film industry for the way he tackled humour through his acting, writing and directorial projects.

Neeraj Vora debuted as a director in 2000 with 'Khiladi 420.' He has also written the scripts for popular films like 'Daud' (1997), 'Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar' (2000) and has also acted in these films. Neeraj even wrote the script for Rohit Shetty's 2006 comedy blockbuster 'Golmaal' (2006).

Neeraj Vora made his acting debut in 1984 with 'Holi' which starred Bollywood star Aamir Khan and filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker. Some of the notable films in which he starred in include, 'Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman' (1992), 'Rangeela' (1995), 'Satya' (1998), 'Company' (2002), 'Bol Bachchan' (2012) and 'Welcome Back' (2015).

Neeraj Vora also ventured into Gujarati theatre. His 1992 play 'Aflatoon' was later remade by Rohit Shetty as 'Golmaal.'

His body will be taken from Firoz Nadiadwala's bungalow Barkat to Santacruz Electric Crematorium at 3pm where his last rites will be performed.
- With inputs from IANS and ANI

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First Published: 14 December, 2017 08:50 IST

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