Veteran Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan died on Friday, her daughter Sukaina Khan confirmed IndianExpress. She was 71.
Known for her blockbuster tie-up with actors like Madhuri Dixit and the late Sridevi, Saroj Khan has choreographed nearly 2000 songs for Bollywood, including iconic dance numbers ‘Main naagin tu sappera’ (‘Nagina’) and ‘Hawaa hawaai’ (‘Mr. India’) that shot her to fame.
According to reports, the actor was admitted to Mumbai’s Guru Nanak Hospital after the dancer complained of breathing issues. She passed away today from cardiac arrest. Khan’s last rites will be performed at Mumbai’s Malvani in Malad today.
Khan is survived by three children – Hamid Khan, Hina Khan, and Sukanya Khan. Born Nirmala Nagpal, Saroj launched her career with an onscreen role in the film Nazrana. She married choregrapher B Sohanlal when she was 13 and at the age of 14, she had her first child. Sohanlal has married with 4 children already.
Khan’s last major project was the period drama ‘Kalank’ and prior to that she directed the Kangana Ranaut starer ‘Manikarnika’ in 2019 and ‘Tannu weds Mannu Returns’ in 2015.
Khan’s last post on Instagram was about Sushant Singh Rajput. “I had never worked with you @sushantsinghrajput but we have met many times. What went wrong in your LIFE? I’m shocked that you took such a drastic step in your LIFE,” she wrote on an Instagram post. “You could have spoken to an Elder which could have helped YOU and would have kept us Happy looking at YOU.”
Condolences poured in from the film fraternity
“I’m devastated & at an utter loss of words today! Saroj ji was part of my journey since the beginning,” actor Madhuri Dixit wrote on Instagram. “She taught me a lot, not just about dance but so much more. There’s a rush of memories in my head thinking of this big personal loss. My heartfelt condolences to the family.”
“You rest .. you rest well .. you rise .. you realize the hours .. you seek the elixir .. you devour .. you get to connect ..,” Amitabh Bachchan wrote. “She was a sprightly young enthusiastic dance assistant to one of the major dance directors of the time […].”
“Rest in peace Sarojji.. u were an inspiration to many, myself included. Thank you for the songs,” Farah Khan wrote on Twitter.
(Cover image courtesy of Saroj Khan via Instagram)