Bosco on Saroj Khan’s death: We were going to team up for my debut directorial, it will now have a tribute to her from me
Choreographer Bosco Leslie Martis shares fond memories of working with the late choreographer Saroj Khan, and why he thinks Bollywood would be ‘adhoora’ without her being around. Also reveals that they missed out on working together on his debut film as a director.
Choreographer Bosco Leslie Martis would rather “celebrate Saroj Khan, than mourn her demise”. Khan, 72, referred to as Bollywood’s ‘Masterji’, died of cardiac arrest on Friday at a Mumbai hospital. While the news of Khan’s death has been devastating for him, Martis wants to let Khan’s memories shine on in his heart. “Saroj ji is a legend and will always remain so,” he says.
Bosco remembers how meeting Khan for the first time on sets of Anurag Kashyap’s Paanch (2003), changed their (choreographer Caesar Gonsalves and his) lives forever. “It was our second film and Master ji, who was shooting next door, dropped in to meet us. She wanted to see who are Bosco and Caesar. We touched her feet and her blessings did wonders for us,” he adds.
Whenever Bollywood songs are mentioned, Khan’s is the first name that comes to Bosco’s mind. “She had that grace. Every song she did with Madhuri (Dixit-Nene) or Sridevi ji or Meenaakshi (Sheshadri) ji or Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan) are all beautiful and iconic. Her combination with filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali was terrific. I had the privilege to work with her on the show Chak Dhoom Dhoom, where she was the super judge and that experience can’t be described in words. She was like the guiding force, a very heart warming personality,” he shares.
One of Bosco’s most memorable moment in life is when the National Award winning choreographer loved his work and gave him a token of Rs 100, something that she would give to someone every time they would excel.
“That’s one of my prized possessions. I still have the video of her saying so many things about me and giving me that money. I can never forget that day,” he gets emotional.
Bosco further goes on to add, “She was the showman in every sense of the term. She would break a song and internalise the whole meaning and would understand all he nuisances before choreographing it… She would express every word, every mood beautifully, and could do it in five different ways.”
Calling her the master of the art form, he adds how Khan would not just use her body, but also her face while dancing. “She was the queen of that, something nobody in the industry could ever master. She made actors dance with their face. That is the toughest, but she could easily do that,” tells us Bosco, whose favourite songs of Khan are Humko Aajkal Hain Intezaar (Sailaab; 1990) and Dola Re Dola (Devdas; 2002).
Bosco and Khan were in touch over messages, and would always wish each other on special days. When they met sometime back, Bosco was planning to make his Bollywood directorial debut, and the late choreographer had expressed her desire to collaborate with him.
“She had said ‘when you do a film, you have to remember me’, and I was like ‘Masterji it would be a pleasure and privilege to work with you’. We had a brief discussion about it and were looking forward to working on it,” recalls Bosco, whose film is a dance horror comedy. He has written it as well.
The shoot was supposed to start in March this year, but the Covid-19 pandemic happened. “I wish we had started working on it then she could have been a part of it. In my film I will have her presence, it will be a tribute to her from my side… She is the queen of Bollywood and now it will be adhoora… I guess she is in a happier place now,” he concludes.
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