indian cinema heritage foundation

Kali Ghata (1951)

  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Length170.68 meters
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberU-1160/51-MUM
  • Certificate Date10/04/1951
  • Shooting LocationBombay Films Laboratories Ltd, Bombay

This hauntingly poignant story of KALI GHATA springs out of dreams. Psychologists have written a wagonload of learned treaties, telling us how sometimes an event in life is a projection into space of a dream that has passed through the subconscious mind-a popularly accepted truth which has been embodied in the shrewd saying "Coming events casts their shadows before".

It will not matter whether or no you believe in transmigration of the soul or what philosophers and poets have said about dreams and how they sometimes come too true. There are, said the immortal Bard of Avon, more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. And this tory of KALI GHATA is one of them.

Lala Sheo Narain's extensive acres and wealth and business made him a household word in the town and vicinity. He had a very devoted, loving wife and two good grown-ups sons-yes, both of them were good; although the old ailing father made much of his eldest son, Jagat Narain, who managed efficiently his father's entire business, and thought Ram Narain, the younger son, born of his second wife, a god for nothing fellow. Not so the noble lady, Jagat's mother, who loved both equally fondly. Ram was happy in a mother so good and kind and hardly ever missed his own, who had died in giving birth to him-a sad fact which made the old, ailing father hate Ram the more because, as he often unkindly said, "Ram has killed his own mother".

Of Ram's many friends, Jhunjhun, his ayah's son, all along attached to the family, was the most loved one. He was an inseparable companion. Ram often said to them: "You are my friend, philosopher and guide." Jovial Jhunjhun was certainly all three. And Ram was a kindred soul.

At Mishra's betrothal party Ram meets Chand Kapoor, who at once feels drawn toward him. Chand is a glamorous girl with witchery in her eyes. And this acquaintance soon develops into friendship. Chand often visits Ram's house and, as it happens, gets to know his elder brother, Jagat, too.

But Ram, who lived in a sort of trance and sought constantly something he knew not what, in spite of his best efforts, could not take any girl seriously-not even Chand. Chand thus feels jilted by Ram, whose heart belongs to the girl of his dreams. Besides, girls like Chand know which way their bread is buttered. They quickly find out who is likely to keep his wife in better clothes. Jagat had inherited the entire estate of his father and signed big chques: while Ram did not get much out of his father's wealth. Chand calculates and quickly gives up Ram in favour of Jagat, whom she now hangs upon and pretends to be deeply in love with. Jagat, not suspecting that there was any intimacy between Ram and Chand, reciprocates the sentiment; and they are soon united in wedlock.

Chand's jilting him in return so brazenly breaks Ram's heart. He shifts from Sukhdham, the big residential edifice, to a distant parental house in the city called Chhotikothi and spends his days there in sad seclusion; his inseparable and sincere friend in sunshine and shade, Jhunjhun, following him like a faithful dog and solacing his master's bruised heart as best as he could with his fun and laughter.

Married to Jagat and suddenly becoming the mistress of a big household with wealth and luxury at her command, Chand discover s her mistake. She discovers now that, though she had known many men, Ram was the only one she ever truly loved. She married Jagat and only loved Ram. She tells Ram so. But it is too late now. Chand loses her sense of propriety, which threatens to ruin the very fabric of the beautiful relationship of Ram and Jagat, the two loving step-brothers. And so Ram, disgusted and broken-hearted, leaves the house and the town for an unknown destination.

Ram and Jhunjhun wander aimlessly from place to place in different parts of the country. At an obscure wayside station they meet a French Professor with is lovely young daughter, Sonia. They meet in strange circumstances and quickly part. Professor Gordian is an archeologist and is visiting India in quest of ancient monuments, relics and folk-songs.

The world, after all, is not a very wide place. All the four meet again at the famous Ellora caves. Here Ram at once falls in deep love with Sonia. She has ben, he realizes, the girl of his dreams-the girl probably who was his loving partner in a former life. Who knows? There are certain mysteries in life which nobody can solve. They are the eternal riddles which it is not given to mortals to peep through.

Now the story reaches a point where strange events crowd, almost like destiny. Chand gets an inkling where Ram is living. She suggests to Jagat that they should go together and bring Ram back; but as Jagat is unable to leave the station because of some important case in the High Court, he naively lets his wife go to Ram with Manager Verma.

Jagat promises to join Chand later if Ram does not return with her.

So, here in the jungles of Assam, where dwelt Ram and Sonia in utter ecstasy of their spiritual romance, comes Chand, shattering the very edifice of their strange love. Old Professor Gordian's heart stops to beat and he dies. The French girl Sonia wonders at her destiny. With her father she had tramped many times from country to country all over the world. And now, as if preordained, she had to meet this Indian, Ram, in the ancient and monumental caves of Ellora. Ram said that she was the girl of his dreams. She had a vague feeling too that she had met Ram before, she could not recollect where. But now, father gone and Chand come to take Ram away, Sonia finds her world of new-found happiness suddenly vanishing into thin air.

Verma, the manager, who had escorted Chand to this place, notices Chand's designs on Ram and, like a faithful servant of the family, writes to Jagat, imploring him to come, and come before it is too late.

Jagat comes and finds himself along with Ram, Sonia and Chand on the top of a volcano, a live volcano. And then, as was probably preordained again, the volcano erupts !
And what happens next? But there hangs the tale. So why not possess your souls in patience a little longer and see the working out of the fates on the screen - as Kishore Sahu, the master story-teller, tells the story.

(From the official press booklets)