Saroj Khan had said she was getting no work, Salman Khan promised to work with her
Saroj Khan, who died on Friday after suffering a cardiac arrest, choreographed her first song - Nigahein Milane Ko Jee Chahta Hai from Dil Hi Toh Hai (1963) - when she was just 14. Over the decades, she established herself as one of the leading choreographers in the film industry, with three National Awards and several other accolades to her credit.
On Friday morning, Saroj breathed her last, at the age of 71. “She passed away due to cardiac arrest at around 2.30 am at the hospital,” her nephew Manish Jagwani told PTI.
In an interview with Mid-Day last year, Saroj revealed that the film offers had dried up. When actor Salman Khan heard of her plight, he promised to sign her for one of his films.
“When we met, Salman asked me what I was doing nowadays. So I told him honestly that I don’t have any work [film offers], and that I am teaching Indian classical dance to young actresses. Upon hearing that, he said, ‘Now, you will work with me’. I know he is a man of his word, so he will keep his promise,” she had said.
In an interview with Rediff a few years ago, Saroj credited the 1988 film Tezaab with catapulting her into the big league. “I became so popular that actresses started fighting over me. Now, the time has come when they don’t want me. I have very sharp movements in my dancing which actresses nowadays find it hard to do,” she had said.
Saroj had also said that while no leading lady openly indicated their reluctance to work with her, the drying up offers seemed to confirm it. “I feel actresses now don’t like to work with me; they have never said it. I started getting less work,” she had said.
The last song choreographed by Saroj was Tabaah Ho Gaye from last year’s Kalank, picturised on Madhuri Dixit. The two of them collaborated for a number of iconic songs in the past, including Ek Do Teen from Tezaab (1988), Dhak Dhak Karne Laga from Beta (1992), Chane Ke Khet Mein from Anjaam (1994) and Dola Re Dola from Devdas (2002).
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