At the age of 13, Saroj Khan married a 41yr old man- this is a controversial journey of Saroj Khan

Legendary Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan passed away on Friday, leaving Bollywood in shock. The ace choreographer, who was 71 years old, was admitted to the Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai where she breathed her last.

According to reports, the veteran choreographer was long suffering from diabetes and other age-related health ailments. All of sudden, her health started deteriorating and hence she was taken to the hospital where she died of cardiac arrest at 1.52 am in Mumbai.

She made a distinct identity by choreographing many memorable songs in Hindi. She had choreographed more than 2,000 songs, including “Dola Re Dola” from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Devdas”, “Ek Do Teen” from Madhuri Dixit-starrer “Tezaab” and “Ye Ishq Haaye” from “Jab We Met” in 2007 throughout her career.

But do you know that Saroj Khan had married her guru, dance director, B. Sohanlal when she was just 13 years old?

Yes, you read it right. Talking about her family, Saroj Khan had revealed how her parents had to move to India from Pakistan after the partition. She had said, “My parents moved to India from Pakistan after partition. My father, Kishanchand Sadhu Singh was a Punjabi, while my mother, Noni, a Sindhi. My father had a flourishing business in Pakistan but he had to leave everything behind when he came to India. I was born in India.”

(Credits: bollywoodshaadis.com)

Saroj was born as Nirmala Nagpal to her parents Kishanchand Sadhu Singh and Noni Singh, in Bombay. But her name was changed to Saroj when she started working in films at the age of 3. “My original name was Nirmala. My father changed my name to Saroj when he put me in the movies, so that his orthodox family would not know the truth about his little daughter working in films, which was not considered very respectable in those days,” Saroj Khan had said.

Saroj was just 13 years old when she fell in love with her guru, who was 28 years older than her and already married. She told Rediff in a 2012 interview, “At the age of 14, I had a relationship with Sohan Lal, who was 43 then. I had two children with him, Raju Khan, who is a choreographer, and Cuckoo Khan, who died last February of liver complications. Since Lal was not ready to give my kids his name, I married a Pathan and had one child by him.”

Saroj divorced Sohanlal and raised her two children single-handedly. She then developed feelings for businessman Sardar Roshan Khan whom she married a few years later. Her last rites were performed at Malvani in Malad, Mumbai.

Dharam Sikarwar
Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.