Missing Saroj Khan…bollywood’s divas mourn

I worked with her early in our careers in Sweekar Kiya Maine and Lorie and she was infinitely kind and encouraging, said Shabana Azmi

Photo by Yogen Shah/India Today Group/Getty Images
Photo by Yogen Shah/India Today Group/Getty Images
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Subhash K Jha

Shabana Azmi: “It’s a great loss to the Hindi film song. Her repertoire from Kaate nahi kat-te to dhak dhak karne laga, ek do teen chaar paanch .. to Dola re dola is incredible. Grace, mobile quicksilver change of expressions were her hallmark exemplified best by Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit. I worked with her early in our careers in Sweekar Kiya Maine and Lorie and she was infinitely kind and encouraging. She lives on in her work. RIP Saroj-ji.”

Bipasha Basu: “Saroj Khan will be legendary forever in Indian film industry. I did my first song with her in my first film Ajnabee with her. Me being a non-dancer and getting to work with her was super-exciting and nerve-wracking for me. But she made me perform. Post that I worked with her many a times. She used to call me Sophia Loren. Our movies and our songs and all of us will miss her tremendously.”

Aditi Rao Hydari: “I’m really sad I’m not in Mumbai and couldn’t see her at the hospital before it was too late. She was truly a legend and has left us such a huge legacy. She was one of the first people who told me I should come to Mumbai and become an actor. I always wanted to but didn’t know how it could be possible. When she said it I thought maybe I could. She called me three times after that. Once for the Nuit Blanche festival in Paris. More recently for a Kathak Style piece in a Marathi film. We had only 6 hours to shoot and she taught me the piece herself. And once when her daughter was in hospital she wanted me to be with her so I went. If she wanted me to do something I did it - For her. She was too senior and I was too new But I really really respected her. Every pore of her body danced. And when she showed me a dance step I’d forget to learn I just watch her, and I was dancing again.”

Dia Mirza: “She was someone whose iconic songs I grew up dancing to. When I finally got to work with her in the song Bahon mein nahi rehna from Koi Mere Dil Mein Hai I discovered what an extraordinary life she had had. Her dedication to her work, her magical eyes, her kindness, the fluidity of her craft. She was so affectionate and patient with me. Learnt a lot from her. I met her last when she came for a night to shoot for Thappad. I don’t know why but she always gave me a lot of love. And I loved her back. I will remember her for the biggest warmest hugs, the kindest words.”

Asha Parekh: “A very hard working woman and very gutsy, she was a true choreographer. Her work with Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit is unsurpassable. As a trained dancer I can see the fluidity of the movements, the grace of the steps. Unfortunately Saroj Khan redefined choreography at a time when I had almost retired from acting.”

Rati Agnihotri: “I got to work with Saroj ji in Dil Tujhko Diya. A huge loss .She was our best choreographer .She was not only the best in her field but an absolute delight to be choreographed by. An amazing lady of grit. Sarojji I will miss you. My respect for you eternal.”

Siyami Kher: “Deeply saddened by this news. Saroj ji was the epitome of grace. She paved the way for how choreography should be done. I always wished I could have worked with her. This is a huge loss for our industry.”

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Published: 4 Jul 2020, 10:03 AM
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