Choreographer Saroj Khan died of a cardiac arrest in a Mumbai hospital on Friday; she was 71. Ms Khan was taken to Guru Nanak Hospital on June 20 after complaining of breathing trouble. A test for COVID-19 gave a negative result. “She passed away due to cardiac arrest at around 2.30 am at the hospital,” Saroj Khan’s nephew Manish Jagwani told news agency PTI. Just days ago, family sources said Ms Khan was better and would be discharged soon. Saroj Khan’s funeral was held on Friday morning.
Tributes to Saroj Khan were shared by the film fraternity after her death with condolence messages from the likes of Kareena Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Akshay Kumar and others pouring in. “I’m devastated by the loss of my friend and guru, Saroj Khan,” tweeted Madhuri Dixit, star of several iconic songs choreographed by Saroj Khan.
Last week, it seemed that Saroj Khan would be home soon from hospital. “She is fine now and recovering. She had breathing issues and was taken to hospital for that. Her COVID-19 test was done which turned out negative. She doesn’t have any symptoms. She is likely to be discharged in a day or two,” a family source told PTI. Filmmakers Anubhav Sinha and Kunal Kohli also shared tweets with updates on Ms Khan’s health after speaking to the family.
After Saroj Khan’s death, Kunal Kohli tweeted about the woman he called “Masterji.”
Saroj Khan, winner of three National Awards, choreographed some of Bollywood’s most iconic dance hits – many of these starred actresses Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit. Ms Khan’s earliest routines were for Sridevi in films like Mr India, Nagina and Chandni; she choreographed the quirky moves in Hawa Hawai. Later, she worked with Madhuri Dixit on Tezaab’s Ek Do Teen, Thaanedaar’s Tamma Tamma Loge, Beta’s Dhak Dhak Karne Laga and others numbers.
Saroj Khan won National Awards for choreographing Dola Re Dola from Devdas featuring Madhuri and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, all the songs of Tamil film Sringaram, and Yeh Ishq Haaye from Kareena Kapoor’s Jab We Met. She also won Filmfare Awards for Tezaab, Sailaab, Beta, Chaalbaaz, Khalnayak, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas and Guru.
Saroj Khan is survived by her husband Sohanlal, son Raju, and daughters Hina and Sukanya. (NDTV)