Finally! Kalpana (1948) is VIEWABLE ONLINE!

Sunday, February 3, 2013
FINALLY! Whilst leisurely strolling Google tonight for any news on Uday Shankar's 1948 dance film Kalpana, I was ASTONISHED to find that the online video archive folks have UPLOADED THE ENTIRE FILM ONLINE, and it has been up since November!  Where have I been?  Has no one else noticed this? Am I the last person to know?  Is this breaking news?  Why isn't this more widely known!  Holy hamster fluffles! I had to share this on my blog immediately!  Finally!  Finally us peons get to see this film! YAY!!!!  Patience has finally payed off!

I am so excited I am at a loss for words.  I will be posting again later this week after watching and digesting this fantastic piece of Indian cinematic history. :)

Here is the link to the video at (sometimes I've had trouble getting their direct links to load; alternatively you can go to, enter "Kalpana" in the search box, and double click on the film name result).  Tips: You have to double click on the video image (or mouse-over it and hit the play button in the lower left-hand corner) to get it to play.  The main video is in the center of the screen.  On the left side is a smaller version you can mouse over to scroll through screengrabs.  On the lower right-hand side of the main video box there is a little gear button; click on it to change the resolution or download it.  Note that the downloaded file is a .torrent file, so you have to use a torrent program to fully download the actual video file....which is what I am currently doing!  HAPPY VIEWING!


  1. That was exactly how my post read until I decided to make it slightly more useful! OH-EM-GEEEE!!!

  2. Who will bell the cat? I have to watch it with somebody who knows Hindi or wait for one with subtitles.

  3. Minai,
    Thanks. I followed your first link. Being technologically challenged, I did not know what to do and probably clicked a few times and then it came. I did not follow the general theme of Uday Shankarr's vision of India and how dances fit into it. But I loved the dances., their charm, grace and movement. It seems that I can do some of those dances myself and started taking a few steps. Uday Shankar's upper body movements seem good but footwork is wanting. But this kind of individual skills did not seem to matter. I will probably watch it a few more times with a little help from friends to understand the dialogues. I did not even go out for a smoke during the whole film. I love it.

  4. Thank you very much for the link.
    What a fantastic choreography by Uday Shankar.
    An entirely different kind of choreography which I haven't seen before in any films.Really a great film of 1944 (1948).
    And PADMINI- what a beautiful girl !!!!!!!!!

  5. May be, it will be useful to have Mohan Khokar's biography to compare some of the incidents of the film and Uday Shankar's life. It seems to be the very first dance around four minutes may be inspired by Mata Din whose dances first fascinated Uday Shankar when he was a kid.

  6. gaddeswarup, if you look to your left on this link -, you'll find a rough transcript that runs along the length of the video - maybe this text will help you till you find a subtitled version of the film!

  7. gaddeswarup - I loved the dances too, which surprised me especially since I usually don't like the watered down exoticised "waving around the hands/arms" type dances, but in Kalpana the dances are engaging for the most part. I'm currently refreshing my research on things written
    about Uday Shankar and Kalpana; I'll have to look into your Mata Din reference.

    ragothaman - Holy hamster fluffles! ;)

    nivedita - Hello! Indeed!! Such exciting news. :)

    Muhsin - I agree that the choreography is fascinating. You must be better at recognizing Padmini than I am. Lalitha I could spot but Padmini is so young in the film I can barely recognize her!

    Ranjana - Hello! Knowing of your associations with makes your comment all the more special. PAD.MA ROCKS!! Thank you for the tip; however, I'm not able to see a transcript for the video on either Firefox or Chrome. Generally the "transcript" or "annotation" shows on the box on the right, not the left, right? All I see there is "no transcripts." I wonder if I'm missing something or need to click on something special. Do advise if you have a moment- thank you for your comment! I did notice that this link gives general information about the film (and it would be awesome to get a hint of where the video came from!). I hope word spreads far and wide of the GLORIOUS upload!

  8. Going to should let you click at different points on the timeline. You can use the square bracket keys to go back and forth through the text. Another option is to click on the tiny wheel above the area where transcripts are and select 'Show Annotations -> All'. Let me know if this helps you see the text!

  9. Minai,
    Mohan Khakar book has a photo of Mata Din in a dancing pose. Apparently he was Chamar who used to dance during village festivals, he was the one who started off Uday Shankar's dancing. But he had problems with school and discipline and a kind teacher started him on painting. I think this role was played by Govindarajula Subbarao in the film. I also remember reading that after Uday Shankar acquired some name, he and Ravi Shankar went to see Mata Din and Uday fell at his feet. It is possible that the name Mats Din is spelled differently in different places. Anyway, when I was watching the movie, I thought I saw the same pose I saw in the book. When I searched again, the closest I found was early in the film.

  10. Ranjana - Thank you very much for the tips! Using that link and clicking on the tiny wheel above the transcripts revealed the transcripts for me. So far there is only a description about the Labor and Machinery dance and then a few English translations from what appears to be a small segment of the film. I look forward to seeing what other transcripts/annotations will be available on the video in the future! So exciting :)

    gaddeswarup Thank you for the information; I'll be looking into this further.

  11. By the way, How should one address you? Minai or MinaiMinai? Does it mean some thing?

  12. Hi minai ,
    you can watch Padmini and Lalitha in different scenes, They are present in many scenes with many dances. They also have dialogues in malayalam language in this hindi film.
    you can watch a conversation between lalitha and padmini in malayalam at approx 56:54 min

  13. gaddeswarup - You can call me Minai or my real name Cassidy, doesn't matter to me. :) Minai is a carryover from when I used to post on the Bollywhat forum, and I liked the sound of it twice at the time. Per my about me page, "Minai" comes from "Minai-ware," a kind of Islamic ceramics/art style.

    muhsin - The only way I can spot Padmini is to look for Lalitha since Padmini always seems to be next to her throughout the film. :) I did not know they were speaking in Malayalam at that point! Very interesting, thanks for the info.

  14. Minai,
    You might have mentioned this already but I just came across it
    It also discusses Uday Shankar's contributions to music and his efforts to construct himself as a modern Indian artist.

    1. gaddeswarup - thanks! I have not seen that article before. That Cornell Ecommons site looks great! I'm always on the lookout for university digital repositories which sometimes house research that can't be found through search engines or library databases.


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