Amitabh Bachchan remembers Saroj Khan and the one rupee coin she gave as 'shagun'

Published: Jul 03, 2020, 11:38 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Legendary choreographer Saroj Khan passed away on July 3 in Mumbai. Amitabh Bachchan remembered her in a heartfelt post shared on Instagram.

Amitabh Bachchan shared this photo on Instagram
Amitabh Bachchan shared this photo on Instagram

Ace choreographer Saroj Khan left her family, friends and fans heartbroken when she breathed her last on July 3 in Mumbai. The legendary dancer passed away at the age of 71 after a cardiac arrest. Saroj Khan's last rites were performed at the Malad burial ground. Few members of her family were allowed at the burial owing to social distancing norms during the coronavirus outbreak.

Amitabh Bachchan took to Instagram to share a sweet photo of himself with Saroj Khan, and shared a few memories with the choreographer in the caption. He wrote, "She was a sprightly young enthusiastic dance assistant to one of the major dance directors of the time... of the time when I was just beginning... of the film 'Bandhe Haath' with the heartthrob of millions Mumtaz... with the director OP Ralhan... Mumtaz's grace and acceptance to agree to work with this newbie... she a stratospheric Star, me a nobody..." Read the full post below:

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

You rest .. you rest well .. you rise .. you realise the hours .. you seek the elixir .. you devour .. you get to connect .. … and .. .. you be informed in this communicative world .. Saroj Khan has died .. .. and an entire history of time races before you in the cerebrum .. She was a sprightly young enthusiastic dance assistant to one of the major dance directors of the time .. of the time when I was just beginning .. of the film ‘Bandhe Haath’ with the heart throb of millions Mumtaz .. with the director OP Ralhan .. Mumtaz’s grace and acceptance to agree to work with this newbe .. she a stratospheric Star , me a nobody .. .. and Saroj ji in the crowd of dancers in a song .. her subtle grace when she moved .. at one point I saw her , quite alarmingly , finding the foetus had shifted in her stomach and she simply unabashedly pushed it into place , and carried on .. dancing .. .. and then over the years .. she excelled and attained the podium title of Dance Director .. or as the language changed , the Choreographer of film .. her moves becoming famous for each artist she worked with .. and when she would see an artist give a good shot under her care .. she would call her or him aside .. and .. .. give a rupee coin .. as a gesture .. as a pat on the back .. a ‘shagun’ .. .. many many years later .. during the song sequence of a film I was doing .. I became the recipient of that coin .. an immense achievement .. Saroj ji .. you gave us and the industry , rhythm, style, grace of movement and the art of converting the lyrics in a song to a meaning in dance .. .. on a chance meeting many many years ago she paid me my best compliment .. she was living in Dubai then from marriage and when DON was released she said “ I saw the film and then after, I would go to the theatre where it was released, at the time when your song ‘khaike paan.. was on , see it and come out .. I used to do it regularly every day .. I would tell the usher to let me in just to see the song and leave .. that is how much I enjoyed your dance moves ..” !! coming from her was the ultimate .. .. a legacy has passed away .. 🙏

A post shared by Amitabh Bachchan (@amitabhbachchan) onJul 2, 2020 at 10:41pm PDT

Recalling how Saroj Khan would give a good dancer a one rupee coin as 'shagun', Big B fondly remembered how he was the recipient of this coin once. 

Saroj Khan was admitted in Bandra for breathing issues, and following her hospitalisation, a mandatory COVID-19 test was done, which turned out to be negative. With Saroj Khan gone, Bollywood has lost a true gem. 

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  • 1/17

    Born on November 22, 1948, Saroj Khan's birth name was Nirmala Nagpal. She started out in films at the age of three as a child actor before a stint as a backup dancer in the fifties. (All pictures/Saroj Khan's official Instagram account)

  • 2/17

    One of the most prolific choreographers of the Hindi film industry, Saroj Khan was fondly called Masterji in Bollywood. The ace choreographer had called the shots in over 2,000 songs spanning over three and a half decades.

  • 3/17

    As a choreographer, Saroj Khan started her journey in the film industry in the early seventies. But she became a household name and gained immense popularity in the mid to late eighties, first directing dances for Sridevi, and then Madhuri Dixit.

    In picture: On Madhuri Dixit's birthday, Saroj Khan posted this picture of her teaching 'Choli Ke Piche Kya Hai' dance steps to the actress. "Happy birthday M.D, my inspiration. You are my love for dancing. God give you a long long long life, his blessing should always be on you, God give you good health and keep you wealthy. God bless your children and Dr. Nene. Lots of love, Master Ji," she wrote in the caption.

  • 4/17

    Saroj Khan started out choreographing with the 1974 film, Geeta Mera Naam. She directed songs for the Tamil film Thai Veedu in 1983, and also worked in Subhash Ghai's superhit Hero the same year.

  • 5/17

    However, it was the 1986 film Nagina that made Saroj Khan a household name. Sridevi's iconic dance 'Main naagin tu sapera' in that film continues to be a popular number even today.

  • 6/17

    Saroj Khan's choreography for Sridevi the next year in Mr India, particularly the song Hawaa Hawaii then scaled popularity.

  • 7/17

    Saroj Khan won the National Award thrice in her lifetime. In 2003, she received the honour for the song 'Dola re dola' in Devdas, picturised on Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan.

  • 8/17

    In 2006, Saroj Khan was a recipient of the award for all the songs she choreographed in the Tamil film, Sringaram.

  • 9/17

    In 2008, she won the award for the song 'Yeh Ishq Haaye' filmed on Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met.

  • 10/17

    Lately, Saroj Khan had been selective with signing new projects. Her recent works include choreographing Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika and Madhuri Dixit in Kalank last year.

  • 11/17

    Over the past few weeks, Saroj Khan, who was diabetic, had complained of breathing problems, following which she was admitted to Mumbai's Guru Nanak Hospital. Since last month, she had been experiencing multiple health issues, though she had tested negative for COVID-19.

    In picture: Saroj Khan had shared this picture of Rekha and wrote in the caption, "#majorthrowback to Rekha ji's World Tour Show '99 with my daughter @sukainanagpal"

  • 12/17

    After a cardiac arrest on Thursday night, Saroj Khan passed away. She is survived by her husband, son and two daughters.

  • 13/17

    A look at some candid pictures of Saroj Khan, during her younger days:

    Saroj Khan with Sanjay Dutt

  • 14/17

    Saroj Khan with Ranbir Kapoor on the sets of Saawariya, which marked the actor's debut in Bollywood.

  • 15/17

    Saroj Khan with Aishwarya Rai in the 90s

  • 16/17

    Saroj Khan with megastar Amitabh Bachchan

  • 17/17

    Saroj Khan with Preity Zinta

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