Acclaimed filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi’s demise was a shock for Indian film industry.
After suffering from chronic Kidney disease and liver failure, she left for the heavenly abode at the age of 64.
Kalpana Lajmi’s funeral: Shabana Azmi, Soni Razdan, JP Dutta and others attend the last rites of the late director
However, in a recent interview with Filmfare, the late director opened up about her illness and how Bollywood celebs helped her with the finances of her medical treatment.
She said that after her mentor and musician Bhupen Hazarika’s demise, her health started to deteriorate. As she wrote a memoir on him, she relived the trauma and she fell sick all the more.
Talking about her medical expenses, she said, “I was in bad shape. My health failed. I underwent an operation where one of my kidneys was removed.” Later, she was diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infection and was hospitalized again. It cost a huge amount to her. She said, “The doctors advised that if you want to live, you must get rid of the other kidney as well.” Explaining her medical complications she further said, “My uncle Shyam (Benegal, director) says when an organ is removed, the rest of the organs in the body cannot adjust overnight.”
Talking about how Bollywood helped her in her treatment, she said, “Soni Razdan and Alia Bhatt paid for the kidney surgery. They pay for my dialysis and the regular injections as well. It requires 10 lakhs a year to undergo dialysis. Soni, Alia and Mahesh Bhatt have stood by me. When I thanked Soni, she said, ‘Please don’t thank me. We’re part of this with you’. Soni loves me like a sister. Soni and Alia are truly blessed. But I haven’t done anything for them.”
“Aamir Khan and Salman Khan came forward with substantial amounts too. I’m grateful to Javed (Akhtar) saab and Shabana Azmi, Neena Gupta, Amit Khanna and others for their contributions,” she added.
“Raveena (Tandon) keeps calling me now and then. Others don’t call. But I don’t hold it against them. They must be facing their own issues.”
However, she wanted to get back on her feet, work and do something for the actors who helped her. She said, “What was costing Rs 60000 is now costing a lakh. I don’t want people to think that I’m only going on taking money. When I’m able to walk, I’ll make a small film. I want to be on my own feet and look after my health.”
Meanwhile, celebs have arrived at the crematorium to pay their last respects to the late filmmaker.