This morning, the world woke up to another sad news. Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan passed away due to a cardiac arrest earlier on Friday, July 3. All of us have grown up dancing and aping the latkas, jhataks, nazakat, and expressions that she has gracefully portrayed on-screen through her songs. From Madhuri Dixit to Alia Bhatt and much recently Ananya Panday, masterji gave a whole new perspective to dance and choreography.
For the legendary, dance was not just a profession, it was her passion to strive for the best. She was the only choreographer that gave movements and expressions to each word of the song with perfection and brought charm, grace, poise on the big screen for over four decades.
As she bids adieu today, International Business Times, India, exclusively spoke to Bollywood celebrities and asked them to share some of the fondest memories that they had with veteran choreographer, priceless songs and moves of masterji that they grooved on and more.
Kaanta Laga fame Shefali Jariwala
I have grooved to Kaate Nahi Kat Te from Mr India. It is one of the iconic songs of masterji.
TV actor Sara Khan
I was heartbroken when I heard this news! We've lost some real gems this year. Saroj Khan ji will always stay close to my heart. She was one of a kind, and she was an artist in the truest sense. Her work will be remembered forever. I love all he songs and have grooved on most of them. May her soul rest in peace.
Actor Arjun Bijlani too is shocked by her demise and says he is glad that he could share the stage with her in this lifetime. He met the legendary choreographer while he was hosting dance reality show Dance Deewane.
Meeting her is one of the most memorable moments of my life. When she came on the show, she taught us how important it is to love the art of dance as actors and how one can be graceful. It was a fun interaction.
Extremely sad to hear about the legendary Saroj Khan ji's demise. May her soul rest in peace. The song Chane Ke Khet Mein will always be close to my heart. Her work is timeless, and she will remain an inspiration for her classic dance choreography, and nazakat for generations of actors to come.
I'm devastated to know that the legend who gave numerous dance hits in a plethora of Hindi movies is no more. Like every other girl, I too tried to match her steps by watching the actresses dance on screen. I loved her choreography in 'Dola Re Dola' 'Humko Aaj Idhar hai' and also in the recently released 'Kalank' she has been the reason behind shaping the careers of many actresses.
I'll always have that void that I couldn't work with her. I did not even get a single opportunity to meet her and to learn dance from her. But her legacy and work is something that will never let her die. We all love you Saroj ji, may you rest in peace!
Director Vivek Agnihotri
Saroj Khan's loss is personal for me. There was a song in the film Goal 'Billo Rani' that I wanted masterji to choreograph. She wanted 15 days rehearsal for the song but at that time Arshad Warsi, John Abraham, Bipasha Basu didn't have these many days to put in. However, we went ahead with the song and I am stumped with her dedication detailing. She is the only choreographer who gave each and every word in the song an expression, this was so rare and I don't see anyone match up to such detailing that she had. She was a strict guru and wouldn't like people on the sets or actors to talk while the rehearsal is going on. Being a warm and jovial person when it came to working she was like a strict grandmother. Whenever I used to touch her feet whenever I met her out of respect and gratitude. In this era of copy-paste, Saroj Khan was a legendary choreographer may her soul rest in peace.
Owing to the ongoing pandemic Saroj Khan's family has shelved the prayer meeting. Confirming the same her daughter posted on Saroj Khan's official handle that read as:
Thank you for all your messages and for keeping Mummy in your prayers. Given the current COVID-19 situation, there will be no prayer meet. Whenever the situation improves, we will meet and celebrate the life of Saroj Khan.
For the unversed, Saroj Khan was admitted at the Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra on June 20 after she complained of breathing issues. She was laid to rest at a cemetery in Malad this morning.
The three-time National Award winner was popularly known as "Masterji" by the industry folks. She has choreographed songs like "Chane ke khet mein", "Ek do teen", "Dhak dhak karne laga", "Humko Aajkal Hai", "Hawa hawai" and "Dola re dola". Her last song is "Tabah ho gaye" from "Kalank".