Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan penned an emotional Instagram note in the memory of ace choreographer Saroj Khan. He credited her with giving the film industry, “rhythm, style, grace of movement and the art of converting the lyrics in a song to meaning in dance.”
Bachchan then proceeded to recount the best compliment he ever received from the choreographer. She heaped praise on his dancing in Don song “Khaike Paan Banaras Wala”. The Sholay actor remembered her words of praise and shared what she told him, “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.” The megastar noted that at the time Saroj Khan was living in Dubai.
He also recalled her early days in the film industry. During her initial days, Saroj used to assist another dance director. When Amitabh himself was a newcomer, he was cast alongside Mumtaz, a superstar, in the film Bandhe Haath. He remembered the time when he spotted Saroj as she was “in the crowd of dancers in a song.”
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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 .. 🙏
“Her moves becoming famous for each artist she worked with and when she would see an artiste 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’,” he recollected.
The Deewar actor then shared that many years later he became a recipient of the coin and it was a big achievement for him. “Many many years later, during the song sequence of a film I was doing, I became the recipient of that coin, an immense achievement. Coming from her was the ultimate,” he wrote.
Amitabh Bachchan concluded the note with, “I shall end for the DAY now .. the mind is filled with remorse and grief.”
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