20 comments on “Finally, A Little More Info About Roshan Kumari

  1. Roshan Kumari is definitely Zohrabai’s daughter. Her mother was actually named Zohrajaan. I can also prove this as Zohrabai’s husband was a Pakhawaj player, and if you see Roshan Kumari’s dance in Sheesh Mahal (among the medley), you can see that she looks a lot like Zohrabai.

    Roshan Kumari also came in Parda (1949) in a song (which I have included in my Kalyani post) but the surprising thing was that although even Zohrabai sang in the film, it was Kalyani who sang for Roshan Kumari!

  2. So nice to see a post on Roshan Kumari! Your post reminded me that I have been meaning to watch Basant Bahar and Jhansi Ki Rani to see if she was indeed in the films as billed. I browsed through them tonight- didn’t see much in Basant Bahar. If she’s in it, she might be the woman in the left in this screencap: http://i51.tinypic.com/rqxf69.jpg If that is her, she has a tiny bit of screentime in the film.

    But much more excitingly, when I watched The Tiger and the Flame (what Jhansi Ki Rani is also known as), I am fairly positive Roshan Kumari dances in this song starting at 2:13: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfu3kg_jhansi-ki-rani-1953-dance-1_creation

    It’s very possible she could be the lead dancer in this other song as well: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfu3rs_jhansi-ki-rani-1953-dance-2_creation

    Do you think it’s her? I have the hardest time recognizing her! :)

  3. Lovely.
    All the dances including the links of Jhansi Ki Raani are fabulous.
    I especially liked the first link of Jhansi Ki rani dance which I found very fluid and graceful.
    Of course I’m taking it for granted that it *is* Roshan Kumari. :)
    The second one; I feel for certain it is. But what do I know? :)

    Zohrabai Ambalewali is a name I have heard. In fact as I was reading the ‘Guru’ article this name kept intruding into my memory, and then you mentioned it.

  4. Watching the first link of Jhansi Ki Rani again and comparing it to the first clip (from Mirza Ghalib), I think it *is* Roshan Kumari.
    The cheekbones are very characteristic.

  5. Minai, thank you very much for posting these clips! The dances from Jhansi Ki Rani are a lot of fun, and I agree with Pacifist that Roshan Kumari is most recognizable in the second one. (She does have distinctive cheekbones and, IMO, somewhat like Ragini, a distinctive nose as well. :) )

    Pacifist, Zohrabai Ambalewali is one of my favorite playback singers. I’ve posted a bunch of my favorite songs by her over the past couple of years. As a recap, here are a few links (and at least one clip, if WordPress does what it usually does :) ):

  6. Thank you Richard. It seems I’ve heard all the songs on Radio Ceylon (bless them).

    Special mention of;.
    udan khatole pe ud jaaoon…..
    It was just mentioned over at dustedoff’s blog by Johny Walker’s daughter, Tasneem Khan. The little girl in the song is Noor, her mother, and JW’s wife :)

  7. Pacifist, thank you for referring me to that interesting point in comments at Dustedoff’s that Johnny Walker’s wife Noor played the little girl in th song “Udhan Kathole Pe…” It’s funny, because this girl actually was named Noor Jehan or Nurjehan, so the actress playing Noor Jehan’s character as a child went by the same name. And by the way, the character’s name is Lata!

    I recall that the Zohrabai song from Mela that I linked to was also picturized on an actress named Nurjehan who was not Madam Noor Jehan. Could this be the same girl just a couple of years later?

    And Sophy, you are very welcome – thank you for giving me further incentive to find out more about Roshan Kumari!

  8. The girl in the Mela song was Noor Jehan Moti, she sang herself in 30s and early 40s. She also appeared with our Noor Jehan in Mirza Sahiban; Shamshad Begum sang for her!

  9. Thank you for that info! I thought that she must be a bit old to be the second Noor Jehan whom we were talking about, so there must be a third.

    I’ve been in conversations before in which people claimed that “our” Noor Jehan was either singing or acting in a movie that she couldn’t possibly have been singing or acting in (possibly because she was in another country separated by a hostile border?)… So I’ve been aware before that there were a few Noor Jehans or Nurjehans out there in the film world. But it’ll take some to sort them out and identify them all. :)

  10. Roshan Kumari’s diciple Aditi Bhagwat is a very talented, up and coming kathak artiste. Several of her performances are on YouTube.

  11. It was a treat to read your article about my guru. I am a former student of roshanji’s (didi’s). I currently reside in Canada. I suggest you make a personal visit to her at her dance studio/residence for an interview which you can include in your publications. She is based in bandra on a famous St know as water field rd. Water field road is a short artery and well known that connects hill road with linking road.
    She is a living legacy and it be an honor to sharr her presencevroad. She is a living leroad.

  12. i think roshan kumari did not appear in the hindi film basant bahar (1956) but in the bengali one (1957)—starring sabitri chatterjee (a great comedienne, playing a more serious role here) and basanta choudhury—if she’s the dancer in the segment starting at 1:14 in this clip:

    the two films have different plot lines but both are centered around music. the bengali one credits classical singers bade ghulam ali khan (i think he’s the one singing “aaye na balam” in this clip), amir khan, hirabai barodekar, a.t. kanan and manik varma–quite a list!

  13. Just wanted to chime in regarding anon’s last comment – yes, that is Roshan Kumari! I just discovered that clip a couple weeks ago and felt so silly that all this time we had all been thinking she was in the Hindi version. Thanks goodness for Angel! I was planning to publish a post this weekend about that clip and a Doordarshan doc I found her in along with her other known works. Anon – That’s very interesting that the two films have different plot lines. I had assumed the Bengali one was just a remake of the Hindi one. Lovely to see another dance of hers! :) Hope you don’t mind my comment Richard, toodles! :)

  14. Minai, your comment is quite welcome. Actually, I just commented on your Roshan Kumari post, which I saw before I saw your comment here. By the way, great post!

  15. Thank you also to the anonymous poster who corrected the error regarding Basant Bahar, and I appreciate the messages from and about a couple of her students, whose dancing I will have to check out (hoping there is enough to go by on YouTube?)… There have been many good comments in response to this post, and I have fallen behind in responding – but I am happy to see all the information here!

    Now I hope there will be at least a few more comments at Minai’s current post…

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