By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:
One of the finest choreographers of all time, Saroj Khan needs no introduction. Even to this very day, the choreographies she had done in her illustrious career are an example for so many aspiring choreographers and dancers in the country. Besides being an exceptionally trained choreographer, Saroj Khan was respected by almost all the A-listed celebrities in the film industry.
However, there was a time when the iconic actress, Rekha had a massive fight with ace choreographer, Saroj Khan. Yes! You read it, Rekha and Saroj had an argument that kept echoing in the corridors of Bollywood for some years. So without further ado, let’s get straight into it.
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It was in 1990 when K.R. Reddy had assembled the cast of Rekha, Rishi Kapoor, Jeetendra, Danny Denzongpa for the film, Sheshnaag. The director had also brought the ace choreographer, Saroj Khan into the film to choreograph the song, O Mere Dushman, which had gone on to become one of the biggest hits of that year. However, not everyone is aware of the conflict between Rekha and Saroj Khan that had left the former in tears. Yes! You read it right. Saroj Khan and Rekha indulged in a war of words over their different perspectives about certain steps in the song’s choreography. The conflict between the two famous celebrities in the entertainment industry was such huge that it left Rekha in tears.
After the incident was leaked in the media, several news portals started publishing bits and pieces of the fight between Rekha and Saroj Khan on the sets of Sheshnaag. After so many years of controversy, an entertainment company, Lehren had published a video in which Saroj Khan could be seen spilling the details about her fight with Rekha. When the choreographer was asked about what Rekha had done that had angered her, Saroj shared that she had not turned up for the rehearsals. She had said:
"The controversy was made out in a way, but there was no misunderstanding between us. So, I asked her, ‘Rekha ji, I feel you have some problem with me, you’re allergic to me, I call you for rehearsal, you didn’t come, and now you’ve come for shooting but you’re saying you’re not well. So, you either get the dance master changed, tell the producer that you don’t want to work with me, kuch toh gadbad hai (something’s up), you don’t want to work with me."
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Further in the interview, Saroj Khan had admitted that after she had scolded Rekha, it had left the actress in tears. When the choreographer was asked to reveal the focal point of their argument, Saroj Khan admitted that every actor has their favourite choreographers with whom they are comfortable. She further admitted that Rekha was not comfortable with Saroj Khan’s method and teachings, which was the main reason she wasn’t showing enough interest and dedication while working with her. Saroj Khan explained:
"She(Rekha) suddenly turned her face and I saw she had tears in her eyes. So, I told her that I had not said anything wrong to her but ‘I feel you should shoot today’, and she said, ‘Main karoongi shooting, zaroor karungi, and walked away to get ready'. Rekha has got her favourite Kamal, why should I mind it? All the dance directors should not mind it. We have our own students, we have our own understanding, some like my movements, some don’t."
Despite all the differences that Rekha and Saroj Khan had during the filming of O Mere Dushman, the choreography of the song is still regarded as one of the finest choreographies in Indian cinema, with Rekha giving a generational performance making it iconic for ages.
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