When Saroj Khan’s love for dance made her mother think she was crazy, take her to a doctor
Veteran choreographer and three-time National Award winner Saroj Khan, who breathed her last in the early hours of Friday, gave fans countless iconic songs. She choreographed her first song - Nigahein Milane Ko Jee Chahta Hai from Dil Hi Toh Hai - when she was just 14.
In a 2012 interview with Rediff, Saroj had revealed that she would look at her shadow and dance, which made her mother think that something was wrong with her. “I come from an orthodox family but I turned out to be a freak! I used to see my shadow and dance. My mother thought I was a retard and took me to a doctor who told her ‘she just wants to dance, so let her dance,’” she had said.
“The doctor suggested that she put me in the film industry since my family needed money. I was the oldest of four sisters and one brother. I had to take care of everyone in the house,” she had added.
Saroj started her career as a child artiste in Bollywood and joined a dance troupe at the age of 10 when the roles dried up. She started her career in choreography at the age of 13, when she became an assistant to well-known dance director B Sohanlal. Her first break as an independent choreographer came in Geetaa Mera Naam (1974). However, she only got major acclaim in the 1980s, after choreographing Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit in Mr India (1987) and Tezaab (1988), respectively.
Saroj died at the Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai after suffering a cardiac arrest. She had been in the hospital since June 20, after complaining of breathlessness. Her mandatory Covid-19 test came negative.
“She passed away due to cardiac arrest at around 2.30 am at the hospital,” Saroj’s nephew Manish Jagwani told PTI. She was buried at a cemetery in the Malad suburb of Mumbai. “We buried her at around 7 am. The prayer meeting will be held after three days,” her daughter Sukaina told PTI.
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