Imtiaz Ali recalls Saroj Khan ‘behaved like a teenager’ after winning the National Award for ‘Yeh Ishq Haye’

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Bollywood lost another gem as veteran choreographer Saroj Khan took her last breath today. Saroj Khan started her career in Bollywood as a child actor and then worked as a background dancer. Then, she became an independent choreographer and worked with almost all stars in the industry. She was fondly called Masterji. Her grace and sensuality made every song come alive. Also, her expressions added to her dance.

Saroj Khan bagged National Award three times. First one was for ‘Devdas’ (2003), second for ‘Sringaram’ (2007) and the third time for ‘Jab We Met’ (2009).

Saroj Khan won her third National Award for the song ‘Yeh Ishq Haye’ that was choreographed for Kareena Kapoor. Imtiaz Ali recalled how he got Saroj Khan on board to choreograph the song. As reported by IANS, Imtiaz said, “Getting Saroj Khan to choreograph ‘Yeh Ishq Haye’ for ‘Jab We Met’ was purely coincidental. We were already shooting in Manali. We were speaking to choreographers in Mumbai to come and join the unit, and then it just happened that she was there in Manali. She was shooting for another film. I thought it would be the best thing in the world if she agreed to do my film. So I met her at the hotel. Her work was over for the other film. There were seven to 10 days in between, so I asked her if she could stay back for those seven or 10 days. She agreed, and then she shot our song. In those seven to 10 days, she worked relentlessly. We had around 70 dancers from different places in Himachal Pradesh. She would rehearse continuously with them.”

Imtiaz also said that she was very simple, easy and methodical to work with and he thoroughly enjoyed her company. “After winning the National Award, she called me. She behaved like a teenager – she giggled away! She said ‘I’ve got a National Award’ with so much excitement,” said Imtiaz.

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Also Read: RIP Saroj Khan: Late choreographer’s daughter Sukaina Khan says, “She was my hero and the man of our house”