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Last Updated 11.08.2020 | 6:27 PM IST
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“It’s like losing my mother,” Ahmed Khan remembers Saroj Khan

Bollywood News

Ahmed Khan can’t believe Saroj Khan is gone! “I got to know of her death at midnight. I rushed to the kabristan (graveyard) in the morning. I have just returned, numbed. It has still not sunk in. I knew she was keeping ill health. I wanted to visit her in the hospital but couldn’t because of the Kovid lockdown. Now I’ll never see her,” says Ahmed sorrowfully.

"It's like losing my mother," Ahmed Khan remembers Saroj Khan

Saroj Khan was like a mother to Ahmed. “Everything I know about choreography, I learnt from her. At the age of 12, I was watching her do the choreography of ‘Kaate Nahin Kat-Te’ in Mr India. I was a child actor in that film. Though I was too young to understand what was going on, I could feel the uniqueness of the body language, the urgency of the movements. I knew then and there that I wanted to be a choreographer.”

At 16, Ahmed began assisting Saroj Khan. “I was a child bewildered and lost. She mothered me. She nurtured my talent. I was just like her own son (choreographer Raju Khan). Whatever I know about choreography I learnt from Sarojji. She gave choreography in Indian cinema a name, face and place. All of us (choreographers) owe our careers to her.”

Ahmed got a chance to repay some of Saroj Khan’s debt two years ago. “In Baaghi 2, I got a chance to do my homage to Sarojji’s iconic ‘Ek Do Teen Chaar’ from Tezaab I was so nervous. I thought she would be angry. But she was not upset. I went to her house with a cheque, a token gesture of appreciation (the ‘token amount’, I am told, was 20 lakhs). I knelt before her and gave her the cheque in her hand. I cannot tell you the emotions I felt at that moment. Sarojji was my guru and a mother-figure. There were other great choreographers before her. But what she did to Bollywood choreography was historic.”

Also Read: “I will never forget choreographing Madhuri Dixit with Sarojji”, says Remo D’Souza


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