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Film fraternity: Only 5 people came to Saroj Khan’s funeral, 3 were her children themselves

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, therefore, she was taken to the hospital and she died of cardiac arrest at 1.52 am in Mumbai. Her last rites were performed at Malvani in Malad, Mumbai.

Sadly, only five people attended Saroj Khan’s funeral. Three of them were her children (a son and two daughters) and two were choreographers Remo D’Souza and Ahmed Khan.

Saroj 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 was sidelined for years? Yes, you read it right. Reports suggest that Saroj Khan was to Bollywood choreography what Naushad was to film music.

Saroj played a big role in shaping the destiny of two of the biggest female superstars of their times—Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit. She had trained actresses like Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan among others.

Khan is always referred to as a perfectionist in her dance moves. She revealed in an interview that she was hurt and angry about the industry. She spoke about Farah Khan in an interview, “I saw what they did on the TV show. Does this kind of behavior suit her? She is a director. I’ve never gone to her for work. Then why do I matter so much to her? Just to stay in the news? I am out of the film industry now. My focus is on teaching dancing to children. I am busy with that. Why does she feel threatened by me? Why is she feeling so frustrated? I’ve never spoken behind her back. Yet Farah and her brother continue to bitch about me.”

Many people in the industry made fun of her for being overweight. On this, she said, “Why target me? Why not Ganesh Acharya? He’s more overweight than me. And please come and see me now. I am slimmer than Farah Khan. I think Farah owes me an apology.”

Talking about the recent trends in choreography, she felt disheartened and had shared, “I feel dancing in our films is going down the drain. Earlier audiences watched film dances with their mouths open. Now saliva falls out of their mouths. Film dances are no longer art. Farah Khan and Vaibhavi Merchant adopt any movement from their assistants that catches their fancy. If an assistant choreographs a number what right does Farah Khan have to take the award?”

She had distanced herself from negative people. There was a time when the film industry was not offering her work, Saroj Khan had said, “I will keep choreographing until the end of my life. But I won’t get into a rut.”

Written by 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.

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