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Bollywood’s ‘beloved masterji’ Saroj Khan passes away

Mumbai: Celebrated Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan passed away after a cardiac arrest early on Friday. She was 71.

Khan was diabetic and had complained of breathing problems last month, following which she was admitted to Mumbai’s Guru Nanak Hospital.

Over the past few weeks, she had been experiencing multiple health issues, though she had tested negative for Covid-19. She breathed her last at around 1.30 a.m., family sources said.

The last rites were performed at Malad burial ground. Few members of her family were allowed at the burial owing to social distancing norms.

Khan won the National Award thrice in her lifetime. In 2003, she received the honour for the song “Dola re dola” in “Devdas”, picturized on Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan. In 2006, she was a recipient of the award for all the songs she choreographed in the Tamil film, “Sringaram”. In 2008, she won the award for the song “Yeh ishq haaye” filmed on Kareena Kapoor in “Jab We Met”.

One of the most prolific choreographers of the Hindi film industry, Khan, fondly called ‘Masterji’ in Bollywood, had called the shots in over 2,000 songs spanning over four decades.

It was the 1986 film, “Nagina” that made her a household name. Sridevi’s iconic dance “Main naagin tu sapera” in that film continues to be a popular number even today.

Her choreography for Sridevi the next year in “Mr India”, particularly the song “Hawaa hawaai” then scaled popularity.

Her last major assignment has been directing Madhuri’s moves in last year’s release, “Kalank”.

Khan, born in 1948, started out in films at the age of three as a child artiste before a stint as a back-up dancer in the fifties.

She is survived by her husband, son and two daughters.

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