Famous Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan died in Mumbai due to cardiac arrest on 3 July. She had been unwell for the last few days. She had been admitted to a hospital in Bandra.
Saroj Khan’s health deteriorated late in the night and she died on Friday at 1:52 AM. She had earlier tested negative for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). She had severe diabetes and related illnesses.
Saroj Khan, 71, had been admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital on 20 June when she complained of breathlessness. A source associated with her family claimed that her health was improving, albeit gradually. He had hoped she would be discharged soon. But suddenly her health deteriorated late at night, he said, and she could not be saved.
In a long career spanning four decades, Saroj Khan has the credit of choreographing to the tune of over 2,000 songs. She had received the National Award thrice due to her choreography. She had received the National Award for choreography for the song “Dola re dola” from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas.
Saroj Khan had received the National Award also for the memorable item song “Ek do teen” from the Anil Kapoor-Madhuri Dixit-starrer Tezaab and the song “Yeh Ishq…” from the 2007 film Jab We Met. She last choreographed the song “Tabaah ho gaye” in the film Kalank (2019) of Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. Madhuri Dixit featured in this song.
Saroj Khan, née Nirmala Nagpal
Born Nirmala Nagpal, the talented dancer of the future migrated with her parents to India after the partition. She started her career as a child artist at the age of three with the film Nazarana as child Shyama. She later became a background or troupe dancer in the late 1950s.
Saroj Khan learnt dancing while working under film choreographer B Sohanlal whom she later married at the tender age of 13. Later, she herself turned a choreographer, first as an assistant and later getting her break with Geeta Mera Naam (1974).
Still, Saroj Khan had to wait many years to receive acclaim, which came with her work with Sridevi; “Hawa Hawai” in Mr India (1987), Nagina (1986) and Chandni (1989).
Her fame increased when she became Madhuri Dixit’s favourite after the hit “Ek do teen” in Tezaab (1988), “Tamma tamma loge” in Thanedaar (1990) and “Dhak dhak karne laga” in Beta (1992).
Saroj Khan is survived by her husband Sohanlal, son Hamid Khan and daughters Hina Khan and Sukyna Khan. She had to convert to Islam so that Sohanlal, who was already married with four children at the time of their wedding, could accept her as his second wife without divorcing the first.