Remembering Silk Smitha’s Sadma dance on her 62nd birth anniversary: Throwback – Times of India

Silk Smitha was only 36 when she took her own life. She had a miserable, abusive childhood, none of which was shown in director Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture, which indirectly referenced the life and times of Silk Smitha, though it did feature Vidya Balan’s Ooh La La erotic exertions. The film didn’t recreate the opulent oomph of Silk Smitha in her dances, notably O babua yeh mahua in Balu Mahendra’s Sadma, where she was seen in poses of phantom-copulation with Kamal Haasan.

And to think that the dance was an afterthought! It was a commercial concession. Kamal Haasan who was completely opposed to the idea, had to go along with it. It was not part of the original script. Balu Mahendra and Kamal Haasan decided to put in an erotic dance, but in a way not done in any film before and without spending money.

Silk Smitha was roped in, although she didn’t know how to dance at all! The dance was choreographed by Prabhu Dheva’s father Sundaram Master. He just incorporated whatever she could do. Silk was a brilliant mimic and could imbibe what she learnt.

Silk Smitha hailed from a village. But she had an astounding sense of fashion. She kept reading fashion magazines all the time to acquire her sartorial excellence.

She would insist on cooking for Balu Mahendra and Kamal Haasan during the shooting of Sadma, though she was a terrible cook.


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