Shahrukh Khan’s first director Raj Kanwar dies, Bollywood plunges in grief

Only days after the irreparable loss of evergreen actor Dev Anand, Bollywood has lost yet another gem in prominent film maker Raj Kanwar who passed away this Friday owing to kidney failure. Kanwar was battling kidney failure for quite some time and had flown in to Singapore to get his organs transplanted. But, as fate would have it, death struck unannounced even before he could be operated upon.

The man who gave us Shahrukh Khan in ‘Deewana’ was only 53 and his untimely death has definitely left the entire Bollywood fraternity in a grave state of deep mourning. Last rites: Kanwar’s body will be brought to India (from Singapore) today (Saturday) and he will be cremated on Sunday at noon. The last rites shall be performed by his sons Karan, 20, and Abhay, 16. His wife Anita is left in a shell-shocked state of bereavement. Bollywood sojourn: Raj Kanwar assisted Rajkumar Santoshi for sometime before making a splash with the super hit film ‘Deewana’ that also marked the beginning of Shahrukh Khan’s B-town career. Other famous actors who were launched by Kanwar are Amrita Rao, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta and Aryan Babbar. His latest flick was 2010’s Sadiyaan that starred Luv Sinha, Shatrughan’s son. Curse of 53: Kanwar may not be too old at 53 as he leaves the mundane world. But there seems to be a curse lurking in the family. 5 years ago, Kanwar’s elder brother K Pappu had died and he, too, was aged 53 at the time of his demise. Interestingly, he, too, had died of kidney problems. Call it a curse or hex or, simply, an irony played out by fate! Shahrukh laments: SRK sums up the pensive mood impeccably with his condolences, “Launched by Kanwar in Deewana My friend Raj Kanwarji passed away. The impermanence of life, makes one feel so helpless. May his soul rest in peace. Aisi Deewangi…miss u sir.”