Award-winning Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan dies at 72 in Mumbai

With a career spanning over forty years, she had choreographed more than 2000 songs.
Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan passed away on  Friday after suffering a cardiac arrest in Mumbai. She was admitted to the Guru Nanak Hospital on late Thursday night. 

"She passed away due to cardiac arrest at around 2.30 am at the hospital," Khan's nephew Manish Jagwani told PTI.

She was 72 years of age and had recently been discharged from the hospital. She had earlier complained of breathing difficulties and tested negative for the novel coronavirus. She is survived by her husband, son Hamid Khan and two daughters.

Filmmaker Kunal Kohli took to Twitter and expressed his sorrow over the demise of the dance maestro.

"Saroj Khan my beloved Masterji. RIP Saroj Khan From music videos to films, we had a long journey together. Now you've left me and gone. I will do and make what we spoke about one day, my promise to you," he tweeted.

He added: "Saroj Khan Masterji every song we did together whether Chui Mui Si Tum, Saanson ko saanson mein, Chand Sifarish, we argued, discussed. I'll miss her presence. Her voice on the mike. Her adaa. I would tell the actors male and female, do 50 per cent of how she does a shot and you'll be a star."

He recalled how the iconic star used to stand up for the rights of people.

"She stood up for the rights of people. Never bothered who was a star or not. She said her bit unadulterated and from the heart. Bought biryani on every song and fed the whole crew so lovingly. We gossiped. We worked. Thank you for the memories Masterji. Saroj Khan love you always," he said.

With a career spanning over forty years, she had choreographed more than 2000 songs across the board. Her last film as a choreographer was Kalank for which she won a Filmfare award for best choreography alongside Remo D'Souza. 

Saroj Khan was born as Nirmala Nagpal. She joined the Indian film industry as a child artiste, playing the younger Shyama in Nazarana. She became an assistant choreographer and her first break as an independent choreographer came with Geeta Mera Naam (1974). Her collaboration with Madhur Dixit shot her to fame in films like Tezaab and Beta and others.

She was a recipient of three National Awards for films Devdas, Jab We Met and Sringaram (Tamil). She won Filmfare Awards for movies like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Guru, Khalnayak and Chaalbaaz. 

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