Making people laugh is one of the toughest things to do. On top of that, doing it without making cruel mockery of other people’s appearance or beliefs or with clean and grounded content is a completely different ballgame altogether. One of the main reasons for Bollywood’s debacle is the lack of good dialogue and script writers. Acclaimed Bollywood actor Pankaj Tripathi also highlighted this dire situation.
Dejected at the poor content in Hindi cinema, Pankaj Tripathi stated that Hindi mein jis kism ka kai baar mainstream cinema mein kaam hota hai, content pe, writing pe, mujhe hamesha chinta hoti hai.
But things were completely different in the early 2000s. Writer Neeraj Vora and his ilk were delivering epic film after epic film on the shoulders of their uncontrollable laughter ride. This article highlights the chronicles of Neeraj Vora’s cinematic work and how he swiftly drifted apart from the entertainment industry, leaving a great void that the industry is still finding hard to fill.
Born on January 22, 1963, in Bhuj, Gujarat, Neeraj Vora grew up in Santacruz, a suburb in Mumbai. Even though he belonged to an artistic family, he was forbidden from watching or listening to Bollywood films and music. His father, Pandit Vinayak Rai Nanalal Vohra, was a classical musician and a proponent of Tar-Shehnai. Inclined towards classical music, his father barred the family from watching Bollywood content.
But his mother, Pramila Ben, was fond of Hindi cinema. She would sneakily take young Neeraj to watch Bollywood films. This had great influence on Neeraj, and he was inclined towards the entertainment industry at a very young age.
Vora’s father was widely acclaimed in the Gujarati industry. Many stalwarts of the Gujarati drama industry used to visit him personally. Through this, Neeraj Vora gained secret access to writing for Gujarati theatre as early as age six. When the plays written by Neeraj Vora started becoming popular at the age of 13, his father encouraged him to enter the film industry.
Meanwhile, Vora was studying at the MM Pupils School in Khar, Mumbai. Young students inclined towards the entertainment industry like Falguni Pathank, Kinjal Bakshi, and Tina Munim were also enrolled in the same school. They were learning classical music from his father. However, Neeraj would secretly teach his schoolmates how to play Bollywood songs on the harmonium. This earned him wide popularity among his schoolmates.
Later, Neeraj started participating in plays in college. Initially, he did films like “Holi,” which introduced many upcoming actors, including Aamir Khan and Ashutosh Gowariker, to the cinema world.
From versatile writer, actor to Championing the Comedy sphere
In 1993, Neeraj Vora made his writing debut with the film “Pehla Nasha,” under the direction of Ashutosh Gowariker. He gained wide recognition in 1995 when he wrote the dialogues for “Baazi” and “Rangeela,” both of which enjoyed great success at the box office.
Till 1999, Neeraj was trying his hand at creating different types of stories, but the unprecedented success of his comic scripts in films like Badshah and Hera Pheri completely changed his mind. That year, he wrote the script for “Badshah” and also acted in the film.
With the success of “Hera Pheri,” he concentrated his attention on sharpening his writing in the comedy sphere. His unforgettable dialogues proved to be a fortune-maker for actors such as Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, and Ajay Devgan, as well as comedians such as Johnny Lever, Rajpal Yadav, and Sanjay Mishra.
He directed many successful Bollywood blockbusters. A few prominent films are Khiladi 420 (2000), Hera Pheri (2000), Phir Hera Pheri (2006), Hello Brother (1998), Khatta Meetha (2010), Hungama (2003), and Garam Masala (2005), among others.
With ‘Halchal,’ ‘Garam Masala,’ ‘Deewane Huye Paagal,’ and ‘Chupke Chupke,’ Neeraj carved a unique place for himself in the Bollywood fraternity. In 2006, he received the pinnacle of success with three consecutive hit films: ‘Phir Hera Pheri,’ ‘Golmaal: The Adventure Continues,’ and ‘Bhagam Bhaag.’
Vora’s exceptional dialogues work as an automated meme-making machine
Throughout his career, Neeraj Vora delivered countless memorable dialogues that remain fresh in the minds of cinephiles and the general public. His dialogues are still bringing smiles and uncontrollable laughter in the form of the viral memes of these days.
For example his dialogues – “Paisa hi paisa hoga”, “Yeh Koi Tarika Hai Bhik Mangne Ka”, “Party badal liya saala”, “Daru nahi re baba! dawai hai”, “Accha hai main andha hu”, “mast plan hai”, “Woh Main Mast Tel Mein Fry Karke, Woh Main Kha Gaya” are some of the most circulating memes that completely owes their credit to the genius of Neeraj Vora.
Unfortunately, the man who made everyone laugh had to go through a lot of difficulties that completely disillusioned him with the industry.
Some claim that Neeraj Vora didn’t get more opportunities in Bollywood because he didn’t like the growing negativity and disdain for artists in Bollywood. Evidently, he once became a victim of this, as an infuriated Govinda allegedly slapped him on the set of “Run Bhola Run.” This negatively affected him, as after that alleged incident, he remained hardly active in Bollywood.
In 2016, he wanted to make a comeback with “Hera Pheri 3.” Unfortunately, he went into a coma after suffering a tragic heart attack followed by a brain stroke. He passed away on December 14, 2017, after being in a vegetative state for more than 13 months.
Since his absence from Bollywood, the industry has not been able to fill in his mighty shoes. This is badly reflected in their poor performance on account of a lack of good dialogue and script writers. Neeraj Vora delivered Bollywood success at a time when memes were a thing at all; had he gained access to this powerful tool, he would have gotten Bollywood out of its current slumber.
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