News & Interviews

Firoz Nadiadwala Plays Comatose Filmmaker Neeraj Vora Saviour & Messiah!

Firoz Nadiadwala, Neeraj Vora,

Brushes It Off As  Ordinary Humanism

For all the flak and adverse press the producer  Firoz Nadiadwala has received over the years here is an absolute and unquestionable antidote. For the past one year he has been looking after all the medical expenses  of comatose filmmaker Neeraj Vora who fell ill and was given up for almost-dead by the doctors until Firoz stepped in.

Since that fateful day Neeraj Vora occupies a special room in Firoze’s bungalow where  the ailing writer-director is attended by a fleet  of medical experts, nurses, dieticians and well-wishers.

Reluctant to talk about his astonishingly noble deed Firoz says, “It will be one  year on 19 October since  I got Neeraj to my home inMumbai 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 does have a brother. But he is financially incapable  of  shouldering the responsibility. I’ve knownNeeraj for 12 years. We’ve worked together in several films and we’ve shared a close bonding. How could I leave  him  there to die?How would I’ve lived with myself if I had been so callous?”
Firoze still recalls that fateful  day when he decided to step in and save his friend’s life. “As I said the doctors at AIMS 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’d 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 to earth  to do HIS will.”

Neeraj has been slowly recovering  under Firoz’s care. “I’ve set aside a room in my house for him. That’s been his home  for  the past year.The room has pictures of his parents. His father used to play an instrument  called the Veena. We have that music playing in his room. We have the Hanuman Chalisa recited for him…All that is familiar toNeeraj is there for him .Plus there are four attendants—two each for the day and night shifts—to look after him round the clock, adietician, neuro-surgeons, a cook who lives closeby and cooks all the special food that Neeraj has to be fed through his stomach(he can’t eat through his mouth yet)….Under all this care, Neeraj is slowly recovering. Inshallah,  one day soon he will be fully recovered.We also have a  Criticare hospital  right next to my home for emergencies.”

Firoz wants  to  thank all those who have been inquiring  about and visiting Neeraj. “Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ashutosh Gowarikerand Neeraj’s friend Mandeep Desai  have all been constant visitors  during the past one year. Aamir and Akshay come regularly and place their hands on Neeraj’s head. Everyone’s prayer has worked.Neeraj is recovering. I want  to thank all of them.”

Firoz feels no sense of greatness in doing what very few would do. “Arrey, what else could I have done? Left him to die? This is the only option I had. I’ve not done anything great. Anyone in my place would have done the same. You think not? Then I don’t know. It seems the right thing to do for me.”

As   for his reputation for bounced cheques and other trespasses Firoz says, “People have spoken about a few lakhs that I owed them. No one has spoken about the crores that are owed to me.  People  forget that money is  of no use when your luck runs  out. I want my fraternity to help build a fund for  technicians and artistes who are in distress.”

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