IMDB will tell you Saroj Khan has been a part of 308 films and over 2,000 songs. What it, perhaps, doesn’t reveal is her role as an unbroken link in Hindi cinema’s evolution for 50 long years.
From Kalpana in 1960 to Kalank in 2019, the story of Saroj Khan’s journey in cinema is, perhaps, the story of the Hindi film industry itself.
Ek, Do, Teen, Dil Dhak Dhak Karne Laga, Choli ke Peeche kya hai, Hawa Hawaai, Tanha Tanha, Nimbooda Nimbooda, Ye Ishq Haaye, are just a handful of examples when songs have been remembered as much for their choreography as for their lyrics or music.
Saroj Khan made a name for herself in more ways than one in an often ruthless industry. Film maker Kunal Kohli, who worked with her in film like Hum Tum and Fanaa , recalls how she may have been Saroj Khan to the world but the industry addressed her by a different name – Masterji.
“Humaare pyaare masterji” carried the weight of respect which took Saroj Khan decades to garner because when she started off, the ‘Masterjis’ in the industry were all men.
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