The year 2020 may have kickstarted on a sad note, but who knew that it would continue to be the same for a long time. This year, for the entertainment industry, has been quite a dispirited one. We lost many gems and the industry had not gotten over the sorrow of one demise that yet another news struck their hearts. The entertainment industry woke up to a sad and shocking news today. The tragic demise of ace Bollywood choreographer- Saroj Khan has sent shockwaves across the country.
Veteran Bollywood choreographer passed away on Friday, 3 July, after a cardiac arrest, as per an ANI report. Known for her famous dance routines in memorable films like Beta (‘Dhak Dhak Karne Laga’) and Tezaab (‘Ek Do Teen‘), Saroj Khan a.k.a. ‘Masterji’ was reportedly admitted to the hospital on 20th June after she complained of breathing difficulties.
Born as Nirmala Nagpal, Saroj Khan began her career by playing the young ‘Shyama’ onscreen in ‘Nazarana‘. She soon became a background dancer under the mentorship of dance director B. Sohanlal. After assisting as a dance choreographer for a few years, her first independent work came in ‘Geeta Mera Naam’ (1974).
In a career spanning forty years, she choreographed nearly 2000 songs. Her popular films include Baazigar, Mohra, Darr, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Taal, Veer-Zaara, Pardes, Soldier, Don, Saawariya, Lagaan, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Manikarnika among many more. She has also won awards for her exceptional choreographies in movies like- Devdas, Jab We Met, Guru, Khalnayak, Chaalbaaz and others. Masterji has also judged dance reality shows like Nach Baliye, Ustaadon Ka Ustaad, Boogie Woogie, and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. Her last work was the song “Tabaah Ho Gaye” from Kalank (2019) which was filmed on Madhuri Dixit.
As Bollywood stars woke up to the news of Saroj Khan passing away, many of them took to Twitter and Instagram to pay a tribute to their beloved ‘Masterji’.
Madhuri Dixit, India’s ‘Dhak Dhak’ girl, whose many songs were choreographed by Saroj Ji, took to Twitter to condole her demise. She said that she is ‘devastated’ to hear the news. Calling Saroj Ji, a friend, and a guru, Madhuri Dixit said that the world has lost an ‘amazingly talented person’.
Bollywood director Farah Khan, who happens to be a choreographer herself, sent out a tweet thanking Saroj Ji for being an inspiration to her. ‘Thank you for the songs,’ wrote Farah.
Dancer and choreographer Remo D’Souza called Saroj Khan’s demise a ‘big loss to the dance fraternity’.
Actress Sunny Leone recalled an encounter with Saroj Khan when the veteran choreographer tried to teach Sunny some basics of Indian folk dance. ‘God Bless your soul and may you rest in peace,’ wrote Sunny.
Actor Riteish Deshmukh said that Saroj Ji had single-handedly changed the landscape of how songs were shot. ‘This loss is immeasurable for the industry & film lovers,’ wrote Deshmukh
Several other B-Town celebs paid their heartfelt condolences to Saroj Khan’s friends and family.
Remembering Saroj Khan, Amitabh Bachchan wrote: “On a chance meeting many many years ago she paid me my best compliment.”
Kareena Kapoor Khan also wrote a heartfelt note on how ‘Masterji’ taught her to enjoy dancing and smile.
She may have gone away from our sight, but will never lose the precious place in our hearts. We pray for the strength of her family and may she Rest in peace.