Baby Kamala Dancing in Ram Rajya and Kismet (1943)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I couldn't believe my eyes tonight when I came across Baby Kamala (later known as Kumari Kamala, Kamala Lakshman, and then Kamala) dancing in the 1943 Hindi films Ram Rajya and Kismet!  I had read about her dancing as a child in these films (and others) but assumed they weren't available.  Much to my surprise, I discovered that Induna carried them!  I'm so excited I had to post these right away!  I wonder what other gems of her childhood dances are out there on VCD.

Ram Rajya (1943) - "O Rani Maharani Itna To Kaho Vichaar" - This song is completely delightful!  Kamala looks too adorable for words, and the song is extremely charming. I find myself irritated by the other dancer with the frizzy hair; she's just taking up space where Kamala could be dancing!  Various online sources state this film was released in 1939 and 1943 depending on where you look, but I became convinced it is 1943 based upon information on a website dedicated to the film's director/producer Vijay Bhatt and an article at The Hindu about Baby Kamala written by oldies expert Randor Guy.  I'm going to assume that sources like the NEA are misinformed when they state the film released in 1939.  And to make things difficult, there was also a different Ram Rajya released in 1967. So with a 1943 release date, that would mean Baby Kamala was nine!  Such talent!  I could watch this video over... and over... and over...  UPDATE 1/8: I am changing the release date to 1939 due to a comment on the YouTube video and Kamala confirming herself at the NEA Heritage Awards Concert that she danced in Ram Rajya in 1939 at the age of 5!  UPDATE 12/4/11 - I am changing the date back to 1943 per the comments!



Kismet (1943) - This is a relatively short dance number featuring Kamala, though at first I wasn't convinced it was her since she looks so much different (and younger) than the clip above.  Maybe she had a growth spurt between the two?  Such talent.

5 comments

5 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting these!

    I've been looking all over for the Baby Kamala dance in Kismet. I knew for a while that this was a breakthrough dance for Baby Kamala, then I became even more curious about it when Dustedoff talked about it in her review six months ago:

    http://dustedoff.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/kismet-1943/

    But the other dance is even better. She was quite a prodigy!

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  2. Thank you for the comment Richard- I've been tied up for a few days and haven't been able to reply. I knew that you would love these as much as I have! I was over the moon when I found them (what's more funny is that I had forgotten why I had ordered Ram Rajya and thought it was the later one with Padmini- imagine my surprise!). I came across that nice review on Dustedoff too when I was searching for info on Kismet- interestingly enough, the preview shot for the video that YouTube chose almost exactly matches the screencap on Dustedoff's review!

    And thank you very much for your recent post linking to my review- I hope it helps more people be able to see these fantastic dances of Kamala!

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  3. The film was certainly released in 1943. As proof I offer a page from Dec 1943 issue of filmindia. It says it is in 16th week in Bombay.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2693656343255&set=a.2109417657653.129773.1311955231&type=1&theater

    Ms Kamla is mis-remembering.

    ReplyDelete
  4. BTW does any one remember this from Golden Voyage of Sinbad 1973

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irjamWMuJaU&feature=related

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  5. Surjit Singh - Thank you for the link to that scan - finally some documentary proof about the date! I think given that all the scholarly sources (your image, Randor Guy, the Vijay Bhatt website) confirm the 1943 date and that all the personal sources (Kamala herself and the NEA page, and the YouTube commenter) confirm the 1939 date, clearly the personal sources are "misremembering" as you put it. I'll make a note to change the dates back to 1943 and put an additional explanation! Thanks for helping resolve this date quandry!

    Oh boy... that Golden Voyage of Sinbad statue "dance" (and I see there is another mermaid dance posted on YouTube) is absolutely hilarious! Stop motion technology at its kitschiest finest! I might have to include this in part 3 with credit to you- thank you for sharing and giving me a laugh. :)

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