Not that Madhuri and Aishwarya were at loggerheads, in fact they had the warmest of equations. “Not once did they disagree with each other, but yes, it did take 16 days to complete the Dola Re shoot,” says Saroj Khan‘s brother Suresh. Not that the film’s director, the perfectionist Sanjay Leela Bhansali had any issues either. “Sanjayji had left it completely to my sister. He had impeccable trust in her,” Suresh further said.
So why did it take long? Explained Suresh, “Well, we are talking about India’s two great dancers- Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai. So at times, Aishwarya got it right and Madhuri had done one step in a different way- and vice versa. My sister would not swallow that. In fact, I was on the set that time and told her ‘chal jayega, nahin dikhega’ (It’s okay, let it go). She turned back and told me, ‘agar mujhe dikh raha hai, toh kisi aur ko kyun nahin dikh sakta hai?’ (If I can see it, how are you sure that nobody else would see it?’). And it was not easy to get Madhuri and Aishwarya in sync, not to forget that it was Saroj Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali who had to be convinced.”
But throughout the shoot, we knew that we were heading for a song that will never be forgotten in the history of cinema. We always kept in mind that it was a matter of time when it would get perfect and so, the positivity made things easy. The end product, of course, left us awestruck.”
Madhuri turned 54, today. Concluding with the equation that Sarojji shared with Madhuri, Suresh said, “My sister would modify the step for every other heroine if they couldn’t get it right, but she never changed it for Madhuri. She always knew Madhuri could do it beautifully, sooner or later. She had a very special relationship with Madhuri; both were like mother-daughter duo who would always be in agreement with each other.”
Saroj Khan won her eighth Best Choreographer Award for Dola Re at Filmfare.