Mumbai: Legendary Hindi cinema choreographer Saroj Khan died at the age of 71 due to cardiac arrest Friday.
She was not keeping well for some time. She was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra last Saturday after complaining of breathing issues. She had tested negative for COVID-19.
Saroj stepped into the industry at the age of three as a child artist. She learnt dancing while working under film choreographer B. Sohanlal. Later, she herself shifted to choreography, first as an assistant choreographer and later getting her break as an independent choreographer, with Geeta Mera Naam (1974).
However, her path was not easy at all. Let’s revisit her journey.
Saroj was born 22 November 1948 in Mumbai. Few people know that Saroj’s real name is Nirmala Nagpal. Saroj’s father’s name is Kishanchand Sadhu Singh and mother’s name is Noni Saddhu Singh. Saroj’s family migrated to India from Pakistan after partition.
Saroj started working in films as a child artist at the tender age of three. Her first film was Nazarana in which she played the role of a girl named Shyama.
The songs Hawa Hawai in Mr India (1987), Nagina (1986) and Chandni (1989), Ek Do Teen in Tezaab (1988), Tamma Tamma Loge in Thanedaar (1990) and Dhak Dhak Karne Laga in Beta Saroj was counted among Hindi film industry’s biggest choreographers.
Saroj worked with every big Hindi film actresses. In fact, Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi considered her as their dance guru. Saroj choreographed over 2000 songs.
She married B. Sohanlal at the age of 13 and accepted Islam. Sohanlal was 43 years old and Saroj was 13. Sohanlal was already married with four children which she did not know at the time of marriage.
Saroj has three children son Hamid Khan and daughters Hina and Sukyna Khan.
Saroj raised her children as a single mother. She was the recipient of the National Film Awards for Best Choreography with three wins.