Chutney artiste dies at 24
After nearly four months of ailing, 24-year-old chutney singer Rajin Dhanraj passed away at his home around 12.45 am yesterday. The Go Nah\ singer was hospitalised on September 2 after a suspected case of pulmonary aspiration resulted in brain hypoxia. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, and was being fed intravenously until last Friday.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Dhanraj's brother, Ancil, told the T&T Guardian his family was still at a lost over what really caused the chutney star's death. “From the time of his hospitalisation, the doctors could not really tell us what was wrong with him,” Ancil Dhanraj said. “He underwent 63 tests, inclusive of MRIs, CT scans, ultra-sounds and more, but none could ever reveal what was really wrong with him.”
He said although the doctors suspected the brain hypoxia may have caused some brain injury, hence Rajin's inability to communicate or respond to family, none of the tests revealed the cause of the ailment. “My brother had a meal of crab and dumplings for dinner the night this occurred. It was suspected his food did not digest properly and caused him to aspirate. That's all we know… that's all we've been told,” said Dhanraj.
He said on the advice of the doctors, consultants and the neurotherapist working with his brother at the hospital, his family took his brother home last Friday for Christmas Day. “We spent almost $40,000 to prepare his room for him with all the machines and medical devices he needed. He even had 24 hours nursing care, but despite this he took a turn for the worse,” Dhanraj said. The elder brother said around 11 pm on Sunday, Rajin began hyperventilating and by 12.45 am he had passed on.
“It all happened so fast, and right now our family don't even know how to move on from this,” Dhanraj said. “We just left forensics as an autopsy was ordered to see what caused his death, not even the pathologist knows what took him from us. He said some tests show that he may have developed pneumonia, but this is not official and further tests have to be done.” He added that Rajin, the youngest of three boys, was the family's light and now that he is gone it will take a lifetime to let go.
“I do not know how we are going to move on without out him. He used to take the bucket, build a rhythm and sing for the family for any birthday celebration. Rajin, whose 18-day-old son died in June from similar complications, Ancil said, rose to fame when he won Synergy's TV Chutney Star in 2008. In May, he also placed second in the National Chutney Monarch final. Rajin was also the owner of a clothing and jewelry store in Chaguanas.
Rajin was active as a performer on the campaign trail for both the United National Congress in 2010 and the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) this year. His funeral will take place tomorrow, beginning at his home at Williams Avenue, Welcome Road, Cunupia, from 8 am, before his body is taken to the Caroni cremation site where it will be cremated according to Hindu rites.
Yesterday, fellow artistes, including Ravi B, of Karma, and representative for Dil-E-Nadan and JMC 3veni, Fareid Emameli, said the chutney fraternity had lost someone who really made a difference in chutney music.