Subhash Ghai pays tribute to Saroj Khan ji

AN ERA HAS GONE absolutely my personal loss. An integral part of our Mukta Arts family - my strong partner in grooming stars like Madhuri, Meenaxi, Manisha and Aishwarya. Master of masters Saroj Khan will live in history of choreography of Indian cinema indeed. Bye SAROJ.. RIP

- Subhash Ghai


1. What's your earliest memory of Saroj ji.

I remember the day When I was introduced to her by Aruna Irani after Karz and I asked her to do one climax song of my film Vidhata and told her if she proves to be as great choreographer as Aruna ji is claiming, I shall offer you my next full film under Mukta Arts . She scored and really impressed me during shoot of the song .. she was probably the first lady dance director I had ever met in industry in 1982.

Next thing was I invited her to teach Meenaxi Sheshadri and Jackie Shroff for my new film Hero which proved a big HIT. She was too good for any new actor to train and made them dance in front of camera. Next was I insisted Filmfare to institute an award for choreographers too. They did it and she was awarded first filmfare award in the history of cine choreographers of Indian cinema. Thereafter we both never looked back. We did all films together with full loyalty, love and faith till my last film Kanchi I made in 2015.

2. What made her choreography special, like what made her different than other choreographers?

Tough she was versatile dancer and choreographer in every genre, she was master in handling newcomers and groom them into most attractive ladies on screen. In my case whether it was Meenaxi Sheshadri, Madhuri Dixit, Manisha Koirala, Mahima, Kareena Kapoor or Isha Shravani. I experienced that she was super in grooming male actors too as Javed Jaffrey in bol baby bol in Meri Jung or Anil Kapoor in my name is lakhan or Sanjay Dutt in khalnayak hu mai.

She was most dependable choreographer in carving Indian classical dances on screen. She brought Indian grace to many female stars. She made a classic achievement in my film TAAL with Aishwarya Rai and finally presented Madhuri and Aishwarya together in Devdas in dola re dola song as her protegees.

3. The toughest song she choreographed for you?

Every song was tough for me and her and a different challenge each time but the biggest challenge was film KISNA when I picturised 'Voh kisna hai' with full group of dancers and actors in crowd. I was very worried of this brilliant song in terms of choreography but she understood me. It was only the Saroj Khan who could do it and she did it that makes me proud of a well-designed Indian chorus dance till date. She was an integral part of Mukta arts always.

In nut shell - There will be no SAROJ KHAN any more .. I feel today.