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Mumbai: Saroj Khan received her third National Award as choreographer for the tune “Yeh ishq haye” in Imtiaz Alis 2007 movie, “Jab We Met”, which was picturised on Kareena Kapoor. Ali recollects how Khans choreographing the tune occurred by sheer coincidence, and likewise how they might collaborate once more in his 2009 movie “Love Aaj Kal”.

“Getting Saroj Khan to choreograph “Yeh ishq haye” for “Jab We Met” was purely coincidental. We had been already capturing in Manali. We had been talking to choreographers in Mumbai to return and be a part of the unit, after which it simply occurred that she was there in Manali. She was capturing for one other movie,” mentioned Imitiaz Ali.

“I thought it would be the best thing in the world if she agreed to do my film. So I met her at the hotel. Her work was over for the other film. There were seven to 10 days in between, so I asked her if she could stay back for those seven or 10 days. She agreed, and then she shot our song. In those seven to 10 days, she worked relentlessly. We had around 70 dancers from different places in Himachal Pradesh. She would rehearse continuously with them.”

“She was really a pleasure to work with. After the shooting of the song was over, I requested her if she could dance to the whole song — the parts that Kareena (Kapoor) had done in the song. She danced for all of us — there were 200 to 300 people, and she danced for all of us! That was the most thrilling thing I will remember about her.

As for her working style, she was very clear about the procedure. She never seemed to be in a rush, she was very calm. I remember her words, she said, ‘You can reject my ideas as many times as you want. Iss dukan mein saman bohot hai (there are lots of products in this shop), so if you don’t like something, fikar matt karna (don’t worry), I’ll do something else’. She was very simple, easy and methodical to work with. I really liked her,” he added.

Imtiaz additional mentioned: “Directors and choreographers are usually at loggerheads because of the different ways they want to shoot a song, but she was very easy. I thoroughly enjoyed her company. After winning the National Award, she called me. She behaved like a teenager – she giggled away! She said ‘I’ve got a National Award’ with so much excitement.”

“We worked together again in “Love Aaj Kal”. There was one Indian tune, a Saroj Khan sort of tune. Working together with her for the second time, the consolation stage was the identical as a result of, for a skilled, the consolation zone at all times stays the identical. It was very good to have her on set as a result of she knew what a director’s issues can be. She had a good sense of humour. We used to name her Masterji. We had regard and heat for one another.

I might have liked to a different movie together with her, but it surely by no means occurred,” he added.

“I might have connected with her in the passing. But I remember her more for the experience of working with her, and that phone call she made after winning the award.

Her dance, the way she danced, was so beautiful. That is how I will remember her,” concluded Imtiaz Ali.