The world woke up to the devastating news of the death of Bollywood ace choreographer Saroj Khan passed away due to cardiac arrest on Friday (July 3). She was 71. The National Award winning choreographer was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra, and over the past few weeks, she had been experiencing multiple health issues. She was diabetic and had complained of breathing problems last month. She passed away due to cardiac arrest at 1.30 am early on July 3, 2020. Saroj Khan is survived by her husband B. Sohanlal, son Hamid Khan and daughters Hina Khan and Sukyna Khan.
Khan’s youngest child Sukaina Khan mourned the loss of her mother by remembering the best moments with her. She also opened up about how Saroj ji would always do everything for her family. Sukaina Khan said, “My mother was my hero. She was the greatest influence in my life. She was both a mother and father to me. She was very lenient but at the same time, wanted my etiquette to be perfect. She loved me being around her since I’m the youngest. My mum was my fighter. From the age of 13 to 71, she has done everything to fend for us and give us a full life. She has never complained and was the man of the house.”
Speaking about the bond she shared with her late mother, she said, “Every woman would agree with me that raising children alone is a very difficult job. And when you have a few other family members depending on you, it becomes all the more difficult. She never had a frown on her face. She was always like, ‘Main hoon na. Ho jayega’. She never had a no for any problem and didn’t disappoint anyone saying, ‘Main nahi kar sakti’. My mother has always backed us up”.
Sukaina said that Saroj complained of breathlessness on June 20. She was tested negative for COVID-19. She was put on oxygen. “But suddenly two to three days ago, she suddenly had a huge spike in her diabetes, which went up to 600-650 on the scale. Last night, we were called when she was sleeping and at 1.52 am today, she had a cardiac arrest. We tried reviving her till 2 o’clock but she didn’t respond (sic)”.
Saroj Khan’s funeral was held at Malad Marve Kabrastan. The last rites were performed at Malad burial ground. Few members of her family were allowed at the burial owing to social distancing norms. Later, her family announced on social media that as of now, they won’t be organising a prayer meet for the legend due to the current COVID-19 situation in the city.
Bollywood celebrities took to social media to mourn the tragic loss of their ‘masterji’ as she was fondly called. From her favourite student, Madhuri Dixit Nene, to Shilpa Shetty Kundra and other stars offered their condolences to the family.
Saroj Khan won the National Award thrice in her lifetime. In 2003, she received the honour for the song ‘Dola re dola’ in Devdas, picturised on Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. In 2006, she was a recipient of the award for all the songs she choreographed in the Tamil film, Sringaram. In 2008, she won the award for the song ‘Yeh ishq haaye’ filmed on Kareena Kapoor Khan in Jab We Met.
Saroj Khan started out in the early seventies, but she became a household name in the mid to late eighties, first directing some memorable dances for Sridevi and then Madhuri Dixit, the reigning superstars of the era. Khan started out choreographing with the 1974 film, Geeta Mera Naam.
Khan’s recent works include choreographing Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika in 2019 and Tanu Weds Manu Returns in 2015. Her last major assignment was directing Madhuri’s moves in last year’s release, Kalank.