Bollywood’s iconic choreographer Saroj Khan is remembered for her expressive personality, swift dance moves and memorable song sequences. She bid adieu to the world on July 3, but she has left behind decades of stellar work for her fans to remember her by. In an exclusive interaction with ETimes, Saroj Khan’s youngest daughter Sukaina opened up about the ace choreographer and shared, “My mother was a very passionate parent. She loved all her children equally. We had to have our etiquettes right, she always wanted table manners, sitting together, sit straight, use your spoon and fork. She was like that. She loved us immensely. I am the youngest daughter and she never forced me to go into the film industry. She actually did not force any of her three kids, but obviously my brother loved the profession as much as she did. So he became a choreographer and my sister was a dress designer and I was the only one who was left.”
Saroj Khan’s last song was ‘Tabah Ho Gaye’, featuring her favourite protégé Madhuri Dixit. Speaking about Saroj Khan doing fewer films, Sukaina added, “ She was getting offers to work, but at the same time, because of her age and health she wanted to take a back seat. But still she was doing a couple of jobs. She had actresses learning with her, including Alizeh, Ananya, Sara, Saiee – all these girls were training under her. So she considered herself very lucky and connected to Bollywood equally. She went into TV very soon. And I think Bollywood started accepting the fact that she liked TV more than Bollywood, whereas Bollywood was in her blood. She couldn’t leave Bollywood at all.”
Never feeling alienated from the industry, Sukaina added that a whole lot of Bollywood celebrities kept calling her mother. “Everybody was in touch. Madhuri ma’am, Subhash ji, Jackie ji, Govinda sir, everybody kept calling her up and called me too. They would ask me about her health and how she was doing. When they heard the news, they were all shell shocked like we were. We didn’t expect something like this coming our way.” Beyond the industry, Saroj Khan often connected with fans through social media. Sukaina revealed, “She enjoyed social media a lot. She used to keep looking at everybody’s posts and would say, “I think today, even I would like to post something”. So she used to pick up a video and say just upload it for me. The last post I remember was for Sushant. She told me, please write down a post, I want to talk about that boy.”
Sharing one lesson she has learnt from her mother, Sukaina stated that family mattered a lot for Saroj Khan. “I learned one thing that family is the most important thing in life. I think that is the best value she gave all of us and went. Without family, nothing is possible. She was three years old when she started working because they were poor. And at 10, she lost her father. She started looking after the house, like a man, four sisters, one brother, and a widow mother. She got them married, settled. Then came children, for all three of us, she made sure we were settled in our life, we were happy. Whatever ups and downs came in our life, she was there like a rock with us. She never ever said a no, I have never heard my mother say no. It was always, “Yes, it can be done. Yes, it will happen”.
Saroj Khan’s family decided to postpone the prayer meet, after the present health scare ends. “Prayer meet I want to do after the Coronavirus is a little lesser and everybody can come. Yesterday I got around 800 calls, people who have gone to her grave have come back and told me. So, I want to have a prayer meet where everybody can come and pay their condolence, pray for her safe journey. I don’t want people to mourn about it, I want people to celebrate her life,” concluded Sukaina. Source