TV actress Sayantani Ghosh, who was a part of two dance reality shows judged by renowned choreographer Saroj Khan remembers her.
I was part of two TV reality shows that had Sarojji on the jury. It was, in fact, an honour for me to be judged by her. One was Nachle Ve in which I was a guest, and the other was Dance Pe Chance: Tolly Vs Bolly, on a Bengali channel. It was during this show that I interacted with Sarojji a lot. Later, I was also a part of a dance theatrical that she was planning. Though that didn't happen, we had done a lot of rehearsals.
I am passionate about dance, but am not a trained dancer. So, when I did the Bengali dance reality show, I looked at it as my chance to learn something from Sarojji, and that's exactly what happened, in terms of dance forms and blessings. She was an institution in herself, her journey -- how she started so young, became a background dancer -- and then the choreographer that she was.
She would always say that when you dance, it should be something that comes from your soul. You may not be technically right, but you should connect from inside -- your face should show it. As a mark of her appreciation she would give Rs 100 or 500 notes with an autograph. I got the maximum notes on that show and I have laminated all of them.
I remember when my mother had come on the show, Sarojji asked her, 'Kya khake janam diya' and my mother had said 'Paan' because she loved it! It was funny. Sarojji had a great sense of humour. Even when she would talk about her personal life and the struggles she faced there would be humour in the way she narrated it and a smile on her face. She was a pitara of stories -- she would tell us about her big numbers with Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit, that too, in a nice, fun way. I have a lot of takeaways from her.
I knew she was unwell, and I wish I could have met her for one last time...