When Saroj Khan talked about her family in Pakistan

Khan's father had a flourishing business in Karachi and her family were living in the city prior to the partition

Entertainment Desk July 04, 2020
Ace Bollywood chorerographer Saroj Khan. PHOTO: PEOPLE

Ace Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan passed away after a cardiac arrest in early hours of Friday morning. She was 71. The renown Bollywood choreographer, who was known for her craft, had worked on over 2000 songs in the industry. Many A-listers -including the likes of Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan - paid homage to the 'master ji'.

But did you know? Saroj also had ties in Pakistan. In an earlier interview as quoted by Hindustan Times, she talked about her personal life and her ties with Pakistan.

Talking about her family, Saroj Khan 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.”

Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan. PHOTO: THE INDIAN EXPRESS

Born Nirmala Nagpal, her name was changed to Saroj when she started working in films at the age of 3. “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,” Saroj had shared.

She was just 14 years old when she had a relationship with her guru, who was three decades older and already married. She told Rediff in a 2012 interview, “At the age of 14, I had a relationship with Sohan Lal, who was 43 then. I had two children with him, Raju Khan, who is a choreographer, and Cuckoo Khan, who died last February of liver complications. Since Lal was not ready to give my kids his name, I married a Pathan and had one child by him.”

Saroj single-handedly raised her two children after separating from Sohanlal, before falling in love and marrying businessman Sardar Roshan Khan a few years later.

One of the most prolific choreographers of the Hindi film industry, Khan, fondly called Masterji in Bollywood, had called the shots in over 2000 songs spanning over three and a half decades. Although Khan started out in the early seventies, she really became a household name in the mid to late eighties, first directing dances for Sridevi, and then Madhuri Dixit.

Saroj, who shot to fame with the success of Tezaab in 1988, choreographed several iconic songs including Na Jaane Kahaan Se from Chaalbaaz (1989), Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast from Mohra (1994), Chane Ke Khet Mein from Anjaam (1994) and Yeh Ishq Haaye from Jab We Met (2008). She was laid to rest at a cemetery in the Malad area of Mumbai on Friday morning.

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