ETimes spoke to music director Sulaiman Merchant an hour ago and the musician, who was a friend of the couple and was at their bungalow RaMa last evening, revealed, “Raj was feeling uneasy in the evening”.
And then? “Well, he took an antacid tablet. Time rolled by into the night, and around 4 am, Raj felt more uneasy. He told Mandira that he was getting a heart attack. Mandira acted swiftly and called Ashish Chaudhary, who rushed to their place. Mandira and Ashish put him in the car but he was losing consciousness. I think they drove off, taking him to the Lilavati Hospital if I’m not wrong. But in the next 5-10 minutes, they realised that he had no pulse. Before they reached the doctor, it was too late.”
Sulaiman informed that Raj had suffered a heart attack once before too. “I think he was 30-32 then. But they took a lot of care after that attack, and he’d kept fine since then.”
Sulaiman went on to talk about his beloved departed friend. “I have lost a friend of 25 years. I knew him since the days he was assisting Mukul Anand on ‘Dus’. I had gone to his house once during the pandemic, many months back. Salim and I gave music to his first film ‘Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi’. I was frequently in touch with him. When we were going to start our album ‘Bhoomi 2020’, he offered us his bungalow in Madh island, which he rents out for shootings. Eventually, we didn’t shoot there,” Sulaiman relayed, adding, “It doesn’t get more shocking than this”.