Amitabh Bachchan has penned a tribute to late choreographer Saroj Khan who passed away on Friday. She was 71. The actor has shared several fond memories in a long note, reminiscing the moments when he first saw her dancing while being pregnant, and when she awarded him with a coin.
Sharing the memory when he noticed Saroj for the first time, he wrote, “She was a sprightly young enthusiastic dance assistant to one of the major dance directors of the time .. of the time when I was just beginning .. of the film ‘Bandhe Haath’ with the heart throb of millions Mumtaz .. with the director OP Ralhan .. Mumtaz’s grace and acceptance to agree to work with this newbe .. she a stratospheric Star , me a nobody…and Saroj ji in the crowd of dancers in a song .. her subtle grace when she moved .. at one point I saw her , quite alarmingly , finding the foetus had shifted in her stomach and she simply unabashedly pushed it into place , and carried on .. dancing.”
He said Saroj gave the film industry — rhythm, style, grace of movement and the art of converting the lyrics in a song to a meaning in dance. He recalled how “when she would see an artist give a good shot under her care, she would call her or him aside .. and … give a rupee coin .. as a gesture .. as a pat on the back .. a ‘shagun’”. He said he became the recipient of that coin many years later which was “an immense achievement” for him.
He also shared the moment when she paid him his best compliment for his dance performance in the film, Don. Saroj had told him, “ I saw the film and then after, I would go to the theatre where it was released, at the time when your song ‘khaike paan.. was on , see it and come out .. I used to do it regularly every day .. I would tell the usher to let me in just to see the song and leave .. that is how much I enjoyed your dance moves ..”
Sharing grief on her passing away, he wrote, “And the show moves on .. in remembrance of those that have left us during this time of the times .. day by day they go away .. leaving us all with the happy memories of their presence .. of their immense contribution .. of their life long creativity, captured and documented on celluloid for posterity. I shall end for the DAY now .. the mind is filled with remorse and grief.”