By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
Be it Ek Do Teen, Dhak Dhak Karne Laga, Dola Re Dola, Chane Ke Khet, Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai, Hawa Hawai, Tamma Tamma, Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast, Mera Piya Ghar Aaya, Mere Haathon Mein Nau Nau Choodiyan Hain, Maar Dala, Nimbooda or Yeh Ishq Hai, there's a long list of dance numbers that have defined our childhood and made everyone groove on its tunes. The hook steps were enough to keep us hooked to the song and every party is incomplete without showing off our moves on any of these songs. And the credit for making our childhood memorable with her contribution to dance goes to National award-winning, veteran choreographer, Saroj Khan. (Also Read: When Kareena Kapoor Khan Recalled Getting Scolded From 'Master Ji', Saroj Khan At 1 AM, Video Inside)
In her career span of over four decades, Saroj Khan's contribution to the Hindi film industry is unparalleled. It was on July 3, 2020, that Saroj ji had taken her last breath but her steps will be forever with us to follow. Since Saroj ji's demise, the film and television fraternity have been mourning the loss on social media and are reminiscing their memories with her. Some are pouring condolences on social media, some have recollected the memories they had with the late choreographer.
Born on November 22, 1948, in Bombay State, Nirmala Nagpal a.k.a., Saroj Khan had begun her career as a child artist at the age of 3 and later as a background dancer in the late 1950s. According to an India Forums report, Saroj ji had revealed how her parents had to move to India from Pakistan after the partition. She had said, "My parents moved to India from Pakistan after partition. My father, Kishanchand Sadhu Singh was a Punjabi, while my mother, Noni, a Sindhi. My father had a flourishing business in Pakistan but he had to leave everything behind when he came to India. I was born in India. Even as a two-year-old child, I loved to dance. Since we were in dire straits, my parents put me in films. I was three when I got my first break in Nazrana. I played the little Shyama, sitting on the moon and singing a song."
Saroj Khan's parents had changed her name from Nirmala Nagpal because he didn't want his orthodox family to know that his daughter works in the film industry. Saroj ji had elaborated, "My original name was Nirmala. My father changed my name to Saroj when he put me in the movies, so that his orthodox family would not know the truth about his little daughter working in films, which was not considered very respectable in those days. From a child-artiste, I became a group dancer and then graduated to being an assistant dance master and finally dance master." (Also Read: Life Of Saroj Khan: Married Her 41-Year-Old Guru-Dance Director B. Sohanlal When She Was 13-Year-Old)
How she married her already married dance guru, B. Sohanlal at the age of 13 and her reaction on getting to know about his marital status when she had given birth to their first child, Saroj Khan had recalled, "To date, I haven't taken any formal training in dance. I learned my dance from the well-known dance master B Sohanlal. He taught me the basics of Kathak, Kathakali, Manipuri, Bharata Natyam et al. I was barely 13, a schoolgirl, when I married master Sohanlal. He was 43 at that time. I did not know what marriage meant at that time. He just put a black thread around my neck one day and I thought I was married. He didn't tell me that he was already married with four kids. I learned about his first wife only when I gave birth to my first child, my son Raju Khan, in 1963. I was 14 then, too young to comprehend or handle the complicated situation." (Also Read: Saroj Khan's daughter Breaks Down Into Tears Outside Malad Cemetery After Mother's Death [Video])
Saroj Khan had kept her personal life private and had let her work speak for her!