In his first film, Meri Jung, Jaaved Jaaferi collaborated with Saroj Khan. She later joined Jaaved and his brother Naved on Boogie Woogie as a special guest and judge.
Saroj Khan, the world’s best choreographer, has been gone for a year. Even though Bollywood song and dance are no longer what it was when Khan, affectionately known as Masterji, was molding the likes of Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, and Aishwarya Rai to add newer dimensions to their on-screen performances, her incomparable contribution to the industry has inspired generations and continues to do so.
On the first anniversary of Khan’s passing, we speak with Jaaved and Naved Jaaferi, a dance pair who had worked with Khan since the 1980s.
They have happy recollections of her and teachings that have remained with them, from Jaaved’s first hit song Bol Baby Bol in Meri Jung (1985) to partner with them on dance reality program Boogie Woogie.
“I recall working with her on my first picture, 7 Saal Baad, which was made in 1984 but released after Meri Jung. Saroj ji had heard of me because I was a well-known Mumbai dancer. ‘Abhi tu dikha mere ko tu kya karta hai!’ she said. (Show me how you move.) I tried my best and stated that this is the type of thing we could do. ‘Watch this man perform,’ she remarked to all 30-40 of her dancers while we were shooting in Mehboob studios.
Khan later choreographed his superhit tunes Bol Baby Bol and Jawani Zindabad, which both featured his style — breakdance and freestyle — rather than hers.