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Birth anniversary tribute : Tere Mere Geet

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

** This tribute was posted on the Facebook group Tere Mere Geet on 23rd November 2015. ***

Geeta Dutt

Geeta Dutt was blessed with a rich voice that was like an interacting instrument that at once mesmerized her listeners. She had such magic in her voice that charmed her listeners like a snake is charmed to the music of a been. She rendered songs from her heart making them so endearingly heart rendering. The adjective “Queen of Bhaav Gaayaki” perfectly fits her voice. When she sang “Thandi Hawaa Kaali Ghata” you can feel the cool breeze of an overcast day. When she sang “Koi Door Se Awaaz De” you can sense the feelings of a hauntingly disturbed soul celebrating the resplendence of life on one side and yet lamenting setbacks on the other. As critic Subhash K. Jha puts it aptly “Geeta Dutt’s voice conveys the sweetness of honey and the pain of the bee sting.”

Geeta Dutt was born into a rich zamindaar’s family as Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri in Faridpur, East Bengal in the year 1930 on 23rd November. When Geeta was 12 years old, the family decided to move from their home in Faridpur District in East Bengal to Bombay (now Mumbai). Even though she was growing up in rich surroundings, when moved to Bombay, her family had to start all over again. They took up a modest apartment in Dadar area.

In the ensuring months one day when she was singing a song in her flat, music director Pandit Hanuman Prasad heard her voice. He persuaded her parents to have her try to sing in movies. He took Geeta under his wings and trained her in singing and later launched her into singing in the films. In the year 1946, she got the first break when she got an opportunity to sing in the film “Bhakta Prahlad” for which Hanuman Prasad was the music director. She was given only two lines to sing in the movie in a few songs for this film. She was barely sixteen year old at this time. But those two lines caught the attention of everyone in the recording studio. We have also discovered her two songs from the film Aadhaar (1945) composed by Pandit S N Tripathi. It is difficult to say whether Bhakta Pralhad or Aadhaar songs were recorded first. Her voice in these songs is so fresh, sweet and uninhibited, though not yet fully trained.

That singing of two lines in “Bhakt Prahlad” did a lot of good for Geeta. She kept herself busy singing in several movies that year (1946). She sang her first song with Mohammad Rafi and Binapani Mukherjee for the film Manasarovar (1946). The composer is Pandit S N Tripathi and the lyrics by Sarawati kumar “Deepak”. This is a captivating and inspiring song filled with praise for the country.
Geeta Dutt

Her biggest breakthrough was yet to come and fortunately for Geeta and music lovers it didn’t take long. Composer S.D. Burman heard Geeta’s voice and immediately decided to have her sing in “Do Bhai”. Geeta had this unconventional way of singing. The time was when most singing styles had origins of ghazals. Geeta, who had this innate talent, with no formal training in singing of the type of songs that were in vogue at that time, introduced her own brand of appealingly fresh and free flowing style of singing. Her singing was based on instincts and spontaneity, guts and feelings, and love and pensiveness that resulted in breathing life and emotion into each song she sang. She got her big break with “Do Bhai”. The producers of the film were not willing to give the main heroine (Kamini Kaushal) songs to a relatively newcomer and insisted on using some established singers. S D Burman was persistent and ensured the producers about his young prodigy. When the song “Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya” was recorded, every one in the recording room was mesmerized. They knew that a bright star was born!

The music of the film Do Bhai (1947) in which she sang as many as six songs was a major hit. In particular, her song “Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya” became an overnight sensation. Her voice was so fresh, unique and ethereal it appeared to have breathed life into those songs. With the stardom achieved from the success of “Do Bhai”, Geeta Roy became extremely busy. Almost as if by magic, an obscure singer not known to many people across the country became a celebrity and a household word overnight. Her success story continued in the year 1948.

With two great years in succession, Geeta became the undisputed number one female playback singer in the nation in 1949. She was virtually unchallenged at this juncture in her career. The hitherto established singers like Rajkumari and Shamshad Begum were relegated to lower spots. She sang close to fifty songs in the year 1947 and then went on to sing a hundred songs each in the years 1948 and 1949. In these three years, she sang for every prominent music composer on the music scene. She was already singing film and non-film songs in her mother tongue Bangla as well.

Listen to the song “Naache ghoda, naache ghoda” from the magnum opus film Chandralekha (1948). All the other songs of this film were sung by Uma Devi (Tuntun) ji. The producer S S Vasan added this song at the last minute in the film. Great song by lyricist Bharat Vyas and lovely singing by young Geeta Roy who was just 18 year old. MD is S. Rajeshwar Rao who gave music to the original Tamil and the Hindi version as well. Nargis’s mother produced the film “Darogaji” (1949) starring her daughter and veteran actor Jairaj. Composer Bulo C Rani made a sort of record for composing all the 12 songs of this film in the voice of young Geeta Roy.
Geeta Dutt

She again sang as many as 12 songs for Ranjit Movietone’s “Jogan” (1950) starring Nargis and Dilip Kumar for composer Bulo C Rani. It was said that if Meerabai would have taken a new life, she would have sung in the voice of Geeta. Her bhajans are the most famous ones from this film.

Around this time, she also began singing for Gujrati films and became the topmost female playback singer in Gujrati film music. A girl who did not know any language other than her mother tongue Bangla, this was a great achievement. The year 1950 found Geeta Roy in a tough spot. The undisputed reigning singing sensation and queen she was for the past three years (1947 to 1949), she suddenly found herself relegated to the second position. It was the onslaught of Lata Mangeshkar wave that took the Hindi film music by storm. Still Geeta continued to sing in Hindi and Gujrati films and sang close to a hundred songs again in this year.

She sang for several films, which were Hindi remakes of hit films from the south India. Notable films are Mangala (1950), Sansar (1951), Mr Sampat (1952), Patal Bhairavi (1952), Ladki (1953) etc. The year 1951 was a very eventful year in Geeta’s life. While singing for the film “Baazi” (1951) she met the first time director Guru Dutt. When S.D. Burman had her sing the songs of “Baazi”, sort of a complete metamorphism happened. S D Burman explored the sensuality in her voice to the hilt and composed a Ghazal in western style, which took the nation by a storm. With the thundering success of the songs (Tadbeer se bigadi hui taqdeer bana le, Suno gazar kya gaaye etc) and its music, the movie “Baazi” changed Geeta’s life forever. Geeta Roy found herself extremely busy in 1952. She had assignment after assignment that kept her singing career in a high gear. She delivered hit after hit that year. Amidst all this, she found time to continue her romantic relationship with upcoming director Guru Dutt.

In the film Baazi, she sang a dance based song “Dekh ke akeli mohe” . Music was composed by S D Burman and lyrics are by Sahir Ludhiyanvi. Incidently, the tune of the song is inspired by a superhit “Garba” song “Taaliyon naa taale” sung by Geeta herself for composer and lyricist Avinash Vyas in the year 1949.

Geeta Dutt

Clearly late forties and early fifties were her best years as a playback singer supreme. During these years, she still maintained the status as an influential vocalist of Hindi film world because she kept singing song after song delighting millions of moviegoers throughout India. The young and famous Geeta Roy and the struggling director Guru Dutt tied knots on May 26, 1953.

Not many know the fact that Geeta Roy sang dozens of songs for popular actresses like Nargis, Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nutan, Vyajayantimala, Nutan, Nalini Jaywant, Durga Khote etc. Listen to this charming number “Chaand hain wohi” sung by her filmed on Meena Kumari for the film Parineeta (1953). This song was included in the film when it was released in the theaters, but was deleted from the film for unknown reasons. This is what our friend and a great music lover “Vipin ji” has to say about this song, rather a divine experience:

“There were in reality two enchantresses in this movie: Geeta Dutt and Meena Kumari. The sweetness of Geeta’s song and the beauty and realism of Meena’s acting struck me as tailor-made for each other. One let honey flow through her voice, the other through her facial expressions.”

With the wedding and the new responsibilities of a new household Geeta found herself with not much time to sing in as many songs this year as before. In 1954, Geeta sang even fewer songs than the year before. Her double duties as a wife and as a singer were demanding. Amidst all of this she found herself expecting her first child. Some of the most beautiful romantic songs Geeta sang were during these days and they were spilled and richly splashed with her youthfully exuberant voice. On one side she sings “Babu Ji Dheere Chalna” and the next moment she scolds her lover by singing “Jaa Jaa Bewafaa”. Next she entices her lover with the song “Hoon Abhi Main Jawaan”. When he is crossed with her she begs by singing “Yeh Lo Main Haari Piya”. This whole gamut of romantic spectrum emotional rainbow was never repeated with such vibrant verve of vocals and velvety velocity of spells of splendor by anyone else before or after Geeta.

Being wed for two years and raising a son who already was a year old, Geetaji found little more time in the year 1955 to participate in singing. Her husband Guru Dutt made “Mr. & Mrs. ‘55” during 1955. It had Madhubala and Guru Dutt in the leads and was directed by Guru Dutt himself. Its music once again was composed by O.P. Nayyar. By this time, the Geeta-OP tandem were in sync as the pair delivered hit after hit. “Mr. & Mrs. ‘55” was no different. This had nine songs and Geeta sang six of them.

Year 1956 was another eventful year in Geeta’s life. She gave birth to her second son, Arun, on July 10. With her first son growing up, with the arrival of newly born, and her husband Guru Dutt busy with the production of “C.I.D.” and laying groundwork for his groundbreaking “Pyaasa”, she still managed to find time to sing.

In “Toofan Aur Diya” released in the year 1956, she sang three songs for Vasant Desai (two solos and a duet). One of the outstanding song from this was the solo Geetaji sang “Meri Aan Bhagwan”and the fruit-vegetable vendor song “Aaya re bhajiwala”. Geeta was back singing for Burmanda in two movies in 1957. These were “Nau Do Gyarah” (two solos and a duet) and “Pyaasa” (three solos and a duet). Guru Dutt’s “Pyaasa” was a landmark in Indian movie history. It was voted as one of the top 100 movies in the world by the Time magazine.

In spite of many personal problems she was having, Geeta, a phenomenon she was, still found time to keep her singing career intact as late as 1958 and 1959.
Singing was her love. She wasn’t going to give it up without a fight. In her husband’s “Kaagaz Ke Phool” Geeta sang the song of her life. “Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam”.

Happiness of a blessed married life lasted only briefly for Geeta Dutt. She had differences with her husband and went through very troubled times. Her marital problems were taking a heavy toll on Geeta by the early sixties. It appeared on the surface that this may slow down her singing assignments, but she still managed to sing in the movies.

Geeta Dutt
Her work with SD Burman, O P Nayyar and Hemant Kumar is well known. Not many know that she sang close to four hundred songs for stalwart composers Chitragupt , Bulo C Rani, Hansraj Behl, Avinash Vyas (Hindi and Gujrati). In all she sang for more than 150 composers.

In 1961, in spite of all the problems they were having Geeta and her husband, Guru Dutt, were still living together. There was still something left between the two. These brief moments of harmony were giving her enough strength to continue with her passion, singing. She sang three lovely club songs the film Passport (1961) composed by Kalyanji-Anandji.

Year 1962 was another eventful year in Geeta’s life. The proof that there was love still existed between Geeta and Guru Dutt, their third child, a daughter named Nina, was born in August. This however did not solve their problems. The impending gloom and doom was fast nearing. The decadence was now completely set in by 1963. Geetaji’s fortunes were on the fast decline. She was withdrawing herself from everything.

The year 1964 was a devastatingly eventful year in Geeta’s life. On October 10, Guru Dutt died of an overdose of sleeping pills. He was only 37. By early 1965 Geeta recovered from the mental breakdown she suffered after her husband’s unexpected death. Shattered and devastated, she was slowly trying to put her life together again.

She continued to struggle and support herself through stage shows etc and also acted in a Bengali film in the year 1967. The film was Badhu Baran (1967) in which she acted with Pradeep Kumar and Rakhi.

In 1970 Geeta sang in only one movie, a solo in Ratandeep Hemraj’s “Insaan Aur Insaan”. Geeta sang in three movies in 1971. These were Kanu Roy’s “Anubhav” (three solos), a duet in Salil Chowdhury’s “Raat Ki Uljhan”, and a triplet in Shankar & Jaikishan’s “Jwala”.

A note about the songs of “Anubhav”. Geetaji sang these so beautifully with plenty of melody that surprised even her worst critics. She once again proved to the music world that she still has it in her. Everybody thought she will now bounce back because they represented some of her finest work. But life takes many unexpected and tyrannical turns. It is so hard to believe that these songs would also be almost her swan songs. Talking about melody, take for example, the song “Koi Chhup Ke Se Aake” from “Anubhav”. Here is one music lover wrote about this song (the quote is not exact but is reworded). “… The soft, romantic type of songs like these flowered in Geetaji’s melodious and expressive voice… Geetaji’s singing in “Anubhav” demonstrates how much she still had to offer even at the fag end of her life. In this song, she is soft, teasing, whimsical, romantic all at once and the ever so slight tinge of pathos in her voice highlights the enigma that was Geeta Dutt…”.

1972 was an eventful year in Geeta’s life and in the history of Hindi film world. She sang in only one movie that year, Subir Sen’s “Midnight”. These were a solo and a duet. But on July 20, 1972, she passed away as a result of continuing and declining bad health. She was just 41 year old.

The voice that thrilled and filled with joy for millions of music lovers was gone forever. Here she was whose voice stopped aging as proven from the songs of “Anubhav”, sang only the previous year, finally succumbed to ill health. The voice that had the youthful joie de vivre was completely quelled. The ease and spontaneity that were the hallmarks of Geeta’s singing could never sing another song. The voice that defied convention with its enthralling tonal quality, that was sumptuous in expression, that was enticing with melody, that was sweet like honey, that had soothing mellifluous quality, that was enchantingly dulcet, and that explored a gamut of emotions from subtle enticement to wistful longing was extinguished forever.

The frenetic cadence of modern life that Geeta ji captured through her ceaseless spontaneity ceased to exist in 1972. But Geeta ji in a short and glorious span of only few years left us with a rich legacy of thousands of songs into which she breathed life with her unique ethereal voice that have stood the test of time and continue to enthrall generations after generations of fine music lovers all over the world.

Birth anniversary tribute : Geet Sangeet

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

** This tribute was posted on the Facebook group Geet Sangeet – Music beyond the boundaries on 23rd November 2015. ***

Today is 23rd November and it would have been her 85th birthday if Geeta Dutt ji were with us. Even though it has been over 40 years since she has left us for heavenly abode, she is always alive in the hearts of music lovers. Geeta ji was blessed with a rich voice that was like an interacting instrument that at once mesmerized her listeners. She had such magic in her voice that charmed her listeners like a snake is charmed to the music of a been. She rendered songs from her heart making them so endearingly heart rendering, thus making her the true queen of “Bhaav Gaayaki” (soulful singing). When she sang “Thandi Hawaa Kaali Ghata” you can feel the cool breeze of an overcast day. When she sang “Koi Door Se Awaaz De” you can sense the feelings of a hauntingly disturbed soul celebrating the resplendence of life on one side and yet lamenting setbacks on the other. As famous Hindi film music critic Subhash K. Jha puts it aptly “Geta Dutt’s voice conveys the sweetness of honey and the pain of the bee sting.”
Geeta Dutt

She was born into a rich zamindaar’s family as Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri in Faridpur, East Bengal in the year 1930. In 1942, her parents shifted to a Dadar apartment in Bombay (now Mumbai) when she was twelve. Over there in their modest flat at Dadar, composer/music director Hanuman Prasad, overheard her singing and agreed to take her under his wings to provide her training with nuances of singing. Soon after this, it is said that he launched her in a chorus song in the movie “Bhakta Prahlad (1946)”, where she had only a couple of lines to sing. She sang as many as four songs for this film. Over the years, we have discovered at least two of her songs recorded in the year 1945 under the baton of Pandit S N Tripathi ji for the film Adhaar (1945).
S.D. Burman heard Geeta ji’s voice and immediately decided to have her sing in “Do Bhai (1947)”. Geeta ji had this unconventional way of singing. The time was when most singing styles had origins of ghazals. Geeta ji who had this innate talent, with no formal training in singing of the type of songs that were in vogue at that time, introduced her own brand of appealingly fresh and free flowing style of singing. Her singing was based on instincts and spontaneity, guts and feelings, and love and pensiveness that resulted in breathing life and emotion into each song she sang. The songs of Do Bhai, especially Mera sundar sapna beet gaya and Yaad karoge yaad karoge became very popular. Young Geeta Roy became an overnight sensation in the Hindi film music world. Her voice was so fresh, unique and ethereal it appeared to have breathed life into those songs. With the stardom achieved from the success of “Do Bhai”, Geetaji became extremely busy. Almost as if by magic, an obscure singer not known to many people across the country became a celebrity and a household name overnight.
Late forties and early fifties were her best years as a playback singer supreme. During these years, she still maintained the status as an influential vocalist of Hindi film world because she kept singing song after song delighting millions of moviegoers throughout India.

Geeta Dutt

From this stage, Geeta ji went on to sing some memorable, melodious and soulful songs. She modulated her voice to suit a wide range of songs like romantic, comic, sad, devotional, club, dance, philosophical and patriotic to name a few genres. Some of her more famous songs are composed by the Trimurti of S D Burman, O P Nayyar and Hemant Kumar. Some of the stalwart composers she sang for are: Chitragupt, Hansraj Behl, Avinash Vyas, Bulo C Rani, Pandit S N Tripathi, Gyan Dutt, Husnlal-Bhagatram, C Ramchandra, Anil Biswas, Roshan, Madan Mohan, Vasant Desai, N Dutta, Shankar-Jaikishen, Ram Ganguly, Mukul Roy, Master Ghulam Haider, Pankaj Mullick, Khemchand Prakash, Khwaja Khurshid Anwar, Khayyam, Pandit S D Batish, Salil Choudhury, Snehal Bhatkar, Kalyanji-Anandji, Ghulam Mohd, S Mohinder, Sajjad Husain, Sardar Malik etc.
During her career she sang for over 150 composers and sang over 1500 songs in Hindi, Bengali, Gujrati, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Nepali, Maithili etc. Majority of her songs are from films yet her non-film output, though less in number is equally great in quality.
Geeta Lata Meena

On July 20, 1972, Geetaji passed away as a result of continuing and declining bad health. She was just 41 year old. The voice that thrilled and filled with joy for millions of music lovers was gone forever. Here she was whose voice stopped aging as proven from the songs of “Anubhav”, sang only the previous year, finally succumbed to ill health.
The voice that had the youthful joie de vivre was completely quelled. The ease and spontaneity that were the hallmarks of Geetaji’s singing could never sing another song. The voice that defied convention with its enthralling tonal quality, that was sumptuous in expression, that was enticing with melody, that was sweet like honey, that had soothing mellifluous quality, that was enchantingly dulcet, and that explored a gamut of emotions from subtle enticement to wistful longing was extinguished forever.
She might not be here with us but will always be alive through her enchanting voice. The frenetic cadence of modern life that Geeta ji captured through her ceaseless spontaneity ceased to exist in 1972, but in a short and glorious span of only few years she left us with a rich legacy of thousands of songs into which she breathed life with her unique ethereal voice that have stood the test of time and continue to enthrall generations after generations of fine music lovers all over the world.

Rare gems tribute – Vol. 4

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Geeta Dutt

We keep searching for rare and lesser heard gems of Geeta ji and on the eve of her 85th Birth anniversary we are pleased to share some rare gems. We will be posting five songs per each post. All of these have been collected from various sources over several years of painstaking efforts. We are grateful to our dear friend Aditya Pant for sharing these extremely rare songs with us. This is the fourth part in this series.

1) Geeta Dutt, Parshuram – Jai ho vijay ho – Meri Bhabhi (1948), MD – R A Paingankar , Lyrics – Gulshan Jalalabadi.
This is another rare song from her early films, Meri Bhabhi (1948).

2) Geeta Dutt – Jai jagdish hare – Dashavtar (1951), MD – Avinash Vyas, Lyrics – Saraswati Kumar Deepak.

Lyricist Saraswati Kumar Deepak took the religious song Jai Jagdish Hare and gave it the form of Dash avtaars (ten re-incarnations of God Vishnu). This is a very lovely song.

3) Geeta Dutt – Kise apne gham ki – Deewan Ji (1950) , MD – S Banerjee, Lyricist – Not known

A rare song from an obscure film.

4) Geeta Dutt, Mohd Rafi – Jeevan kya hain – Danapani (1953), MD – Mohan Junior, Lyrics- Kaif Irfani.

Another rare duet with Rafi sahab. We are not sure if the MD Mohan Junior is the famous composer Madan Mohan sahab himself.

5) Geeta Dutt, Mohd Rafi, Paro – Kabhi yeh saath na chhoote – Kisi Ki Yaad (1950), MD – Hansraj Behl, Lyrics – Moti B.A.

An extremely rare trio of Geeta Dutt, Mohd Rafi and Paro. Excellent composition by Hansraj Behl ji

Rare gems tribute – Vol. 2

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Geeta Dutt

We keep searching for rare and lesser heard gems of Geeta ji and on the eve of her 85th Birth anniversary we are pleased to share some rare gems. We will be posting five songs per each post. All of these have been collected from various sources over several years of painstaking efforts. We are grateful to our dear friend Aditya Pant for sharing these extremely rare songs with us. This is the second part in this series.

1) Geeta Dutt , Mohd Rafi, Manna Dey , Nirmala Devi – Jinhe rukh se parda – Haqdaar (1964), MD – Bulo C Rani, Lyrics – Prem Varbartani.

This is a Qawwali styled song sung by Geeta Dutt , Mohd Rafi, Manna Dey , Nirmala Devi and chorus. This is possibly last song Geeta ji sang for Bulo C Rani sahab. Also this could be the only song when she sang with Nirmala Devi ji (mother of actor Govinda).

2) Geeta Dutt, Manna Dey – Bholanaath re naiya – Shri Ganesh Janma (1951) , MD – Khemchand Prakash, Manna Dey, Lyrics – Pandit Bharat Vyas.

This is a lovely devotional song based on the traditional tune. MD Khemchand Prakash ji passed away during making of the film, hence Manna Dey ji completed the music.

3) Geeta Dutt – Chupke chupke teer chale – Hamari Duniya (1952), MD – Shyam Babu Pathak, Lyrics : Indivar.
This is a very rare song and unfortunately we are still not able to get it in very good audio quality.

4) Geeta Dutt, G M Durrani, Meena Kapoor – Daiya re daiya – Ghayal (1951) , MD – Gyan Dutt, Lyrics: Sarswati Kumar Deepak .

The film Ghayal (1951) had this rare trio song by Geeta ji, her friend Meena Kapoor ji and G M Durrani sahab.

5) Geeta Dutt – Dekho ji dil na todo – Captain Kishore (1957), MD – Chitragupt, Lyrics – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan.
We have been looking for better audio quality of this very melodious comic romantic song. This has some hissing noise but is still better than the audios we had in the past.

Rare gems tribute – Vol. 1

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Geeta Dutt

We keep searching for rare and lesser heard gems of Geeta ji and on the eve of her 85th Birth anniversary we are pleased to share some rare gems. We will be posting five songs per each post. All of these have been collected from various sources over several years of painstaking efforts. We are grateful to our dear friend Aditya Pant for sharing these extremely rare songs with us.

1) Geeta Dutt and Agha – Aag se na khelo – Guru Ghantal (1956) , MD – Lachhi Ram, Lyrics – Sarshar Sailani.
Enjoy this rare comic number where the actor Agha also sings with Geeta ji.

2) Geeta Dutt – Dard kyun uthataa hain dil mein – Birha Ki Raat (1950), MD – Husnlal Bhagatram, Lyrics – Sarshar Sailani.
This is a rare sad song from the film Birha Ki Raat (1950) starring Dev Anand and Nargis.

3) Geeta Dutt – Aaayi bahaar bhar lo – Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan (1957), MD – Hemant Kumar, Lyrics – S H Bihari.
We had been looking for this dance number from the Ajit and Nalini Jaywant starrer film Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan. It is a lovely dance number with chorus.

4) Geeta Dutt and chorus – Ab toh darshan do – Mere Bhagwan (1947), MD – Sajjad Hussain, Lyrics : Shevan Rizvi.
This song is mainly sung by the chorus singers and Geeta ji sings just one line in this song. Listen to her sweet and young voice at 2:09 minutes in this song. The film stars Madhubala and singing star Surendra.

5) Geeta Dutt – Bhabhi o bhabhi – Gunsundari (1948), MD – Avinash Vyas, Lyrics – Pandit Indra.

Gunsundari (1948) was a social drama based on the famous maha-granth Saraswatichandra. It was a musical super-hit. Avinash Vyas ji composed music and wrote lyrics for this original Gujrati film. Young Geeta Roy sang “have thoDaa thoDaa thaav varaNaagii, o bhaabhii tame” (oh sister-in-law please become a little fashionable) became huge hit. The film was also made (probably dubbed) in Hindi but here Avinash Vyas had to share the credits with Bulo C Rani. Almost every Hindi song was made using the tune of the original Gujrati song. Geeta sang this song Bhabhi O Bhabhi Badlo Thoda Thoda Rang – (copy of Have thoda thoda thaav) was only credited to Avinash Vyas.

Jaimala program : Now in Better Audio

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Jaimala

*** Exclusive: Geeta Dutt presenting Jaimala program in her own voice ***

Jaimala is a program that has been aired on the Vividh Bharti station of All India Radio since it’s early days. It is a one hour program that exclusively plays requests from soldiers posted at the front. Once a week they have a special where a celebrity associated with the film world plays his/her own selection. Over the years a number of prominent personalities have hosted this program and these programs are a fascinating archive of their thoughts, ideas and musical selection.

Playback singer Geeta Dutt (nee Roy) presented this program in the year 1969, just three years before her untimely death on 20th July 1972.

Earlier we presented the text of this program and the songs played in this post. Now we are presenting the complete audio of this program where one can listen to the speaking voice of Geeta Dutt. Please bear with the little disturbance in the audio recording.

Mere pyare fauji bhaiyon, aaj aapse baaten karte huye mujhe bahut prasannata ho rahi hai. Pehla geet phool maine mahaan kalakar K L Saigal ke awaaz mein chuna hai.

Song 1: Karoon kya aas niraas bhayi (Dushman)

Arzoo sahab ka likha yeh geet tha film Dushman ka, jiske sangeetkaar the Pankaj Mullick. Main jab gaana shuru kiya, us samay ke naami gayakon mein se the Shamshad Begum, Kanan Devi, Amirbai Karnataki, Zohrabai Amabalewali, Krishna Chandra Dey, Pankaj Mullick aur K L Saigal. Saigal sahab Uttar Bhartiya hote huye bhi Bangla bahut achchhi tarah bol sakte the aur isliye Bangal mein we kaafi lokpriya the. Ab main apne zamaane ki sabse jyaada lokpriy gayika Lata Mangeshkar ka gaaya ek geet sunwane jaa rahi hoon, film ka naam hai Durgesh Nandini.

Song 2: Kahaan le chale ho bata do musafir (Durgesh Nandini)

Rajinder Krishna ka likha yeh geet tha, sangeetkaar the Hemant Kumar. Hemant dada sangeetkaar banne se bahot pehle ek gaayak the. Film Jaal mein unka gaaya huya yeh geet mujhe aksar yaad aa jaati hai.

Song 3: Yeh raat yeh chaandni phir kahaan (Jaal)

Abhi jo geet aapne suna use likha tha Sahir Ludhianvi ne aur suron se sajaya Sachin Dev Burman ne. Burman dada ka sangeetkaaron mein ek vishesh sthaan hai. Unhi ke direction mein aaj se lagbagh 21 saal pehle film Do Bhai ke liye geet gaaye the. Mera sundar sapna beet gaya, Humein chhod piya kis des gaye aur yaad karoge yaad karoge, inhee geeton se log muhe jaanne lage the. Burman daada ki bahut si dhunon par gaane ka awsar mujhe mila hain. Unhi mein se ek hai film Sujata ka yeh geet jise Majrooh Sultanpuri ne likha thaa.

Song 4: Nanhi kali sone chali hawa dheere aana (Sujata)

Ab main prastut karti hoon film Dekh Kabira Roya ka Manna Dey ka gaaya ek geet. Kisiko dekhte hi sapnon ka ek sansaar jaag uthaa. Man use pehchaanta hain, lekin aankhen us se anjaan hain. Aur hothon par aa jaata hain kaun aaya mere man ke dwaare paayal ki jhankaar liye. Rajender Krishen ki rachana ko Madan Mohan ne sangeet baddh kiya hain.

Song 5: Kaun aaya mere man ke dwaare (Dekh Kabira Roya)

Ab main apna hi gaaya film Shart ka ek geet sunwati hoon . Film Shart ke liye S H Bihari ne likha hai aur Hemant dada ne swarbaddha kiya hai. Is prem geet mein anantkaal tak apne priyatam ka saath dene ka vaada hai.

Song 6: Na yeh chaand hoga na taare rahenge (Shart)

Ab mere saamne hai film Pyaasa ka record. Aur isi ke saath yaad aa rahi hai mere jeevan ki sukh bhari dukh bhari yaaden, lekin aapko yeh sab batakar kya karoongi. Mere mann ki is samay ki haalat ka andaaza aap achchhi tarah lagaa sakte hain agar aap jaante hain ki Is film ke naayak nirmata nirdeshak the mere patidev Guru Dutt hain.

Song 7: Aaj sajan mohe ang lagaa lo janam safal ho jaaye (Pyaasa)

Mere patidev sahi arth mein kalakaar the. Woh jo kuchh bhi karte bahut mehnat aur lagan se karte. Filmon ke zariye apne vichaaron ko vyakt karte.

Song 8: Jinhe naaz hain Hind par (Pyaasa)

Yeh geet bhi film Pyaasa ka tha. Yeh dono geet Sahir ne likhe aur Burman dada ne unki dhun banaayi. Agle geet mein Aasha aur umang ki jhalak hain. Baadlon ke chhaon mein chhota sa ghar banane ke sapne. Aur lagta hain chaand sitaare sab apne hain, sirf apne. Geetkar Shailendra sangeetkar Salil Chaudhary aur Gaayak Kishore Kumar film Naukri mein

Song 9: Chhota sa ghar hogaa (Naukri)

Is kaarykram ka antim geet bhi main apne patidev ki film Saheb Biwi Aur Ghulam se chuna hain. Geetkaar Shakeel aur sangeetkaar Hemant Kumar. Ab kabhi kabhi mujhe lagta hain ki yeh geet ke bhaav paatron se bhi zyaada mere apne bhaavon ka bayaan hain.

Song 10: Na jaao saiyaan chhudake baiyaan (Saheb Biwi Aur Ghulaam)

Pyaar fauji bhaayiyon, is kaaryakram ka samay ab samapt ho rahaa hain. Main bhi aap se ijaazat chaahti hoon. Aasha hain isi tarah kabhi phir mulaakat hogi. Jai Hind.

*Update* Program on Geeta ji’s songs in Delhi – 10th October: Venue changed

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Program

A musical tribute to the versatile multi-lingual legendary singer Geeta Dutt ji through her most famous and celebrated work in Hindi Cinema. The program is on 10th October 2015 at 7 PM. Due to overwhelming response the location of event “Ek Shaam Geeta Dutt ke Naam” (on 10th oct’15) has been changed to Russian Centre of Science & Culture, which has more seating capacity. This location is about 7 minutes walking distance from Triveni and 9 minutes walking from Mandi house metro station.
Details of the venue are as follows
Russian Center of Science & Culture, 24, Firoz Shah Road, Near Mandi House, New Delhi-110001.

We have created a whats app group to send you notifications for the event, Please whats app your name at +919810152956
Please find a reference Location map enclosed

Map
Here is a video clip of Sonal singing a song.

Dr. Sonal Wadhwa did her doctorate in Music from Delhi University in 2014. She has been fortunate enough to be musically cultured under the able guidance of Padmabhushan Vidushi Shanno Khurana ji. Dr. Wadhwa soon recognised light music as her forte and have been working as an independent music professional (singer) since then. Seeing herself in deep resonance with Geeta Dutt Ji’s voice & tunes, this idea of holding an evening in remembrance of her thus took shape. She would be paying tribute to Geeta Dutt ji by singing her signature solo-songs.

Please attend the program and enjoy the melodies.

Many thanks to Sonal ji for taking the initiative for this program.

One of the most awaited videos: Chaand hain wohi – Parineeta (1953)

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Parineeta
The film Parineeta (1952) has a magical song “Chaand hain wohi” sung by Geeta ji. It was filmed on Meena Kumari ji but the song was deleted from the film and was never made available on any VCD/DVD of the film all these years. Our dear friend Kusum Saxena ji got hold of a VHS tape of this film and it had the video of this song. We had earlier hosted the video on our website here Great Discoveries Great Songs
Parineeta

Now the video has been made available on Youtube for every one to appreciate and enjoy.

One can listen to a better audio file on this link, which has been available all these years

The lyrics of this divine melody are penned by Pandit Bharat Vyas ji and is composed by Arunkumar Mukherjee sahab.

chand hai vahi sitare hai vahi gagan
phir bhi kyu udas hai udas mera man
udas mera man chand hai vahi

kaun tha mila mujhe jo mil ke kho gaya
kaun tha mila mujhe jo mil ke kho gaya
kaun mere paas aa ke dur ho gaya
phul hai vahi phul hai vahi, bahare hai vahi chaman
phir bhi kyo udas hai udas mera man
udas mera man chand hai vahi

aaj mere man ki bansuri bhi maun hai
aaj mere man ki bansuri bhi maun hai
jis ko dhundhte mere nayan vah kaun hai
rag hai vahi rag hai vahi, parag hai vahi pavan
phir bhi kyo udas hai udas mera man
udas mera man chand hai vahi

Parineeta
We are extremely grateful to Kusum ji for sharing the video on youtube.

My Rangadi by Babul : Milan Roy remembers his sister

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Geeta Dutt and Milan Roy

All these years we have been trying to get in touch with a member of Geeta ji’s family. Finally through social networking website Facebook we were able to connect with Shri Milan Roy ji, younger brother of Geeta ji. We are highly grateful to Shantu ji, Milan ji’s wife for connecting us with him.

Milan ji lives in the state of Arkansas, USA since 1961. Since it was not possible to meet with him in person, Parag Sankla from our team used video conferencing technique to speak with him. The interview has been recorded with permission from Milan ji and is being shared here.

Here are some of the questions we asked Milan ji.

1) Please tell us about your childhood or early memories of Geeta ji
2) Please tell us about the Roy family and the affection between the siblings. Please tell us more about the family group photo

Family photo

Sitting from L to R: Debendranath Roy (Father), Geeta Roy, Amiya Roy (Mother)
Standing from L to R: Roma Dutta Roy (cousin) , Mukul Roy (brother), Pabitra Roy (brother) and Milan Roy (brother)

3) We have read that Geeta ji helped you to go abroad (USA) for studies. Please tell us more about it
4) How were your initial years in the USA? How often did you get a chance to meet her during your stay in the USA. Please tell us more about the photo with you and Geeta ji together
5) Please tell us about Mukulda who composed such wonderful songs for Geeta ji
6) We have read that Geeta ji was a very jovial and kind-hearted person. Please tell us more about this aspect of her nature
7) What are some of her songs which you personally like
8) While you were in India did you get a chance to attend some recordings or rehearsals with her. Please tell us more about it
9) When you go down the memory lane what your feelings about all the wonderful memories of your Ranga di you cherish.
10) We launched the website dedicated to Geeta ji in the year 2008. This was a little tribute to the immense talent from her fans. Please share your thoughts about it

Milan ji’s responses were straight from the heart, just like Geeta ji’s singing. He talked about so many wonderful memories during this 50 minute interview. It was truly a trip down memory lane.

We hope you will enjoy seeing to this interview as much as we enjoyed speaking with him.

During the interview, Milan ji mentioned that he played a small role in the film Jaal (1952) starring Dev Anand and Geeta Bali, directed by Guru Dutt. This is the link for the small role Milan ji played in Jaal (1952) ?t=2m50s

We spoke about a particular color photograph of Geeta ji with Mohd Rafi sahab. It was taken when they were visiting London for a musical concert. The same is being shared here:

Mohd Rafi, Geeta Dutt

During the interview, Milan ji mentioned that he had gone to Madras (now Chennai) for the recording of this song sung by Geeta ji and Manna da. The song is Humne sapne dekh liye from the film Sitamgar (1958). It is a dubbed film from a south Indian film. It had music by G Ramanathan and B N Bali.

The world of Non-film music of Geeta Dutt nee Roy

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Geeta Dutt

When one thinks about non-film music creations of the artists from the mainstream film playback singers, the prominent names that come to one’s mind are the great K L Saighal, Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar etc. Some popular genres which have been sung by these singers are Ghazals and bhajans (devotional songs). In some instances, a singer began taking more non-film assignments when the film song assignments were reduced (mostly due to non-musical reasons), a notable example is Suman Kalyanpur who sang a good number of soulful songs (Bhaavgeet in Marathi) or Sulochana Kadam turning to Marathi film and non-film songs as Sulochana Chavan or Manna Dey singing a good number of non-film songs in the 70s.

Geeta Dutt nee Roy is rarely known to the music lovers for her contribution to non-film music. Neither in Bengali (her maatrubhumi) or in Hindi/Marathi (her karmabhumi) she was given ample chances to sing non-film songs. May be just a handful of us know that she has sung private songs in as varied languages as Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujrati. Though lesser in numbers compared to her contemporaries, the melody component in her songs is no less. Though she has not sung many private Ghazals, instead her major forte was devotional songs and modern songs (Aadhunik gaan in Bengali). She sang devotional songs for Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism and a few patriotic songs. From singing “naye zamaane mein hum aao naye taraane gaaye” for V Balsara to “Main toh ho gayi re teri shyaam”, her range, versatility and diversity is something that can be enjoyed and appreciated. This is an humble attempt to discuss and analyze some of her non-film songs.

Hindi songs:

Some of her most well known non-film songs are undoubtedly from Hindi, especially the song “haule haule hawaa dole” defines the epitome of her popularity in sugam sangeet. Pandit Nikhil Ghosh and Pandit Bharat Vyas created this magical song somewhere in the fifties and it captures the essence of her voice to the fullest. The reverse side of this 78 rpm record has the devotional song “jamuna ke teer kaanha aao” another well known song indicating her soulfulness, versatility and range. In addition to these two popular songs, Geeta sang close to a couple dozen more songs in Hindi based on the information we have so far. Most of the traditional non-film songs in late forties and fifties would be either bhajans or ghazals. Geeta has not sung much of pure ghazals but she has definitely sung some melodious bhajans. Listen to “Jamunaa ke teer kanhaa aao” or “Suni Kaanha teri baansuri, baansuri teri jaadu bhari”. The huge success of the bhajans of Geeta in the film Jogan (1950) might have had some influence in her singing these non-film bhajans. Both the above mentioned bhajans have deep expressions and have been soulfully rendered by Geeta.

Some of these songs (like Mere Sapnon Ke Raja and Yeh Reet Kahan Seekhi Mohan) are recorded in the mid/late forties and feature very young and sweet voice of hers. These two songs are composed by “Sursagar” Jagnmoy Mitra and have distinct flavor of the vintage era. In the early fifties, composer Gyan Dutt recorded the most beloved patriotic song “Vande maataram” and the famous bhajan “Raghupati raaghav raaja ram” in the voices of Geeta, G M Durrani and Pramodini Patkar/Desai. This team of composer-singers was working for the soundtrack of the film Dilruba (1950) and it was quite logical that they stayed together for this non-film compilation as well. For years, we were searching for the recording of these songs and found them a couple years ago at RMIM meet. She also sang some deeply devotional songs like “Rang daaro ji” and “Suni kaanha teri baansuri” probably sometime in the fifties. (Since we are not able to find record labels of most of her non-film songs, hence the period of recording is just a guess based on her voice and other factors). With maestro musician V Balsara, she created two magical songs : Yeh hawa yeh fiza yeh bahaarein and Gaaye gaaye gaaye, naye zamaane mein hum aao naye taraane gaaye. The honey-filled voice of Geeta creates a magic in both of these songs. Like his many other songs, these two gems composed by Balsara were influenced by western music and has great notes of piano, the instrument in which Balsara is considered an icon. Again these two are known to relatively fewer listeners.

The charm in these songs is the way she creates her magic, be it a bhajan, modern song or a love song. Composer G N Joshi (more about him in the section below as well) and Geeta teamed to create another melodious pair of songs : Sakhi sapne ki baat bataoon and Baaji bairan baasuriya. The former is a personal favorite with an authentic (but saatwik) Shringaar rasa showcase. In the song “kooke ambuvaa pe koyaliya” she sings Phaagan to another level of perfection. Geeta and her real life friend, Meena Kapoor, sang the song “Ja Ri Ladli” together but it’s audio is not available till date. The song “Chanda Hanse Hans Rahi Chandni” sung with Talat Mahmood also is elusive till date. Some other solo songs like “Daras Dev Na Prabhu ji” and “Premi Haar Hi Mein Hai Jeet” have met with the same fate.

With the ill-fate of personal problems she was going through, the singing assignments dried up in the mid-sixties. This was the time when she released an EP of Hindi Bhajans, composed by Shyam Sharma. All the four songs were filled with Krishna Bhakti and did receive a good reception. “Sunee kaanha teri baansuri, baansuri teri jaadu bhari” is the personal pick of this album for me. These were most likely the last non-film Hindi songs Geeta recorded.

For composer Shyam Babu Pathak (with whom she had a great association in the late forties and early fifties), she sang two Jain stavans : Bolo he Nemnath and Vandana karo jain veer ki. Again, not many have heard these melodious devotional songs.

Some analysts have mentioned as Geeta having recorded a large number of non-film Hindi songs in the 40s and 50s. Knowing of her popularity in those days, it seems very much possible. Like HFGK (Hindi film Geet Kosh), there is no Geet Kosh of non-film songs, hence this information needs to be validated. Within the gamut of the known and available Hindi songs of her, one can easily say that she did prove her title of “Queen of Bhaav Gaayki” in the limited opportunities she received.

Marathi songs :

Even though she spent close to thirty years (out of total 42 years) of her life in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, the number of total Marathi songs she has sung ( as known so far) can be counted on the fingers of one hand. It is very obvious that the Marathi (film and non-film) composers were heavily biased against her for whatever reasons. All these years, only two non-film songs : Jaa sang Laxmana and Mukyaa manaache bol were known to most. This was a 78 rpm record released sometime in the fifties, both composed by G N Joshi and penned by Kavi Vasant Bapat. Geeta Dutt may not have a perfect Marathi accent (although she gets the retroflex sounds beautifully!) but she brings to the songs great ease of rendition and a rare depth of feeling – both hallmarks of her singing in any case. In my opinion, “jaa saa.ng lakshmnaNaa saa.ng raamaraajaalaa” is one of Geeta’s greatest songs in any language. Very recently, with help from SIRC (Society of Indian Record Collectors), we found another pair of her non-film songs, both composed by Nishikant Bharti. The songs are “Jai maartand jai malhaar” and “Ambabai cha jogwa“. The first song is about Malhari Martand( Khandoba) which is a form of Lord Shiva and is the ‘daivat’ of the Dhangar sect of Mahasrashtra..Waghya( male) and Murli ( female)are the devotees of Khandoba. The second song is about Goddess Ambabai (one of the several forms of Jaganmaata/Adi Shakti). The lady singing is Jogan and asking for alms in the name of the Goddess. The Devi jaagran concept is similar to Mataji jagran. The jogan is describing her attire and the whip she hits on her own body. Also talking about how powerful the Goddess from Tuljapur (holy place in Maharashtra). Once again, the Queen of Bhaav Gaayaki is at her best singing these devotional songs, sung in rustic and earthy style with the chorus. Again, just like Hindi songs, it might be possible that Geeta has sung some more songs in Marathi, but without authenticated information, her known output in Marathi is just these four songs.

Bengali songs:

Since I am not a native speaker of Bengali, I would prefer to quote about her Bengali songs from one of the articles from our website. Though I personally enjoy all of her songs, her Bengali songs have a special place in my heart. Here is what our dear friend Sujayita had to say about Geeta’s Bengali non-film songs: Geeta has a significant repertoire of non-film songs in Bangla, many of which were with composers Kanu Ghosh and Sudhin Dasgupta . We will look at these so-called adhunik songs now, taking up each composer in turn. Geeta Dutt’s most songs in Bangla are with Kanu Ghosh, about a dozen in total. She explored a variety of themes and styles in the songs that she recorded with him. Padma aamaar kohe kende kende was penned by Kanu Ghosh himself and has a folk-based melody; the river Padma laments the loss of her old familiars, the fishermen, the shepherd boys, the village women who used to live by her side. The song is reminiscent of the river songs popular all over Bengal. Tomaay dekhechhi tandrabiheen raater taaraay is a romantic song taht starts out with long drawn-out notes followed by a sudden unexpected picking up of pace; the overall effect is a very pleasant listening experience. Aakashjure shopnomaya is a fast-paced number and almost reminiscent of Salil Chowdhury in its treatment. Tomaar aashaay path cheye go is a quiet one and speaks of a devotion and submission which Geeta Dutt manages to put across very convincingly. She sings ‘je kokhono haaraay ni mon, bujhbe naa toe shey/ keno aamaar e din gonaa, tumi aamaar ke’(Those who have never lost their hearts would never know why I count the days as they go by and who you are to me) with a sadness and conviction that is very poignant. On the other hand, kobe kon taara jwala raater chhayaay, another romantic piece, because of the westernized score and Geeta Dutt’s treatment of it, sounds absolutely different and fresh. She infuses ogo aamaar moner chiro aanmona with playfulness and energy that makes this piece a great listening experience. On the other hand, kathaa aachhey aaj tumi aashbey, even though a song of hope and anticipation, manages to sound sad and insecure; in fact, it is this exploration and contrast between the theme and execution of the songs in question that makes these songs more interesting to listen to. The most famous song that Geeta Dutt sang for Kanu Ghosh has to be oi shur bharaa dur nilimaay, a melodious and happy celebration of love. Her stress on the starting ‘oi’ for the first sentence is a treat to listen to. aayre chhutey kaastey haate is a fast-paced song about reaping the golden grain, a song of farmers and their life, their devotion to the land and the joy that they take in the waving fields of paddy. Salil Chaudhury penned two songs which were scored by Kanu Ghosh and sung by Geeta Dutt. Jaak naa muchhe jaak has conventional lyrics about memories and nostalgia but the more interesting of the two is shonaay dheke ongo which shows Salil’s ironic pen. It is a comment on the ephemeral nature of wealth and materialism. With a play on words, Salil says how it is more important to listen to good words than wear gold on the ear, both words being shonaa in Bengali.

Geeta Dutt’s songs with Sudhin Dasgupta are all immensely popular and the melodic content is experimental in nature. Otho otho Maa Gouri treats a subject very close to the hearts of all Bengalis, that of the daughter (Gouri/Durga) going back to her husband’s home. The theme is the subject of innumerable folk songs and in this song too, the anxiety of Menaka is conveyed. ekTu chaoaa aar ekTu paaoaa is a haunting melody and Geeta puts across a feeling of nostalgia and sadness without any effort.The rest of the songs have an overwhelming focus on nature and draw similes based on nature. In kajol kajol kumkum, autumn is being described but the melody line of the song is definitely unconventional. Jhiri jhiri chaitali baataashe is a lovely romantic number, rhythmic and modern in feel. Krishnachura aagun tumi is a paean to spring using the Krishnachura flower as a representative. Phooler boney laaglo je dol again describes her joy and draws a parallel with a garden and its beauties.

With Binod Chatterjee, she recorded four songs, of which hridoy aamaar kichhu jodi boley is a lovely piece of melody, not too distinguished by lyrics, but carried through because of the strength of the tune. Shudhu ekbaar boley boley is meant to be a song of sadness and separation, but the melody is strangely upbeat, so it is up to the listener to decide whether they like it or not. She sings of the sorrows and sad memories of love in jaanite cheyechho tumi and on a similar vein, in maatir bhubone jodi she gives voice to the desire to come back to the earth and give back and receive the love that she was forbidden this time, to sing the songs that she couldn’t sing this time around. This song, with minimal accompaniment, is quite arresting in spite of its simplicity.

Geeta Dutt had sung a few Hindi songs for her brother Mukul Roy and she also sang four songs for him in Bangla. In ek khaani dustar lojja, she gives voice to the embarrassment that the young girl feels when she suddenly realizes that she is a grown woman and feels the first stirrings of love. Sachi mata go draws on the life of Vishnupriya, the wife of Chaitanyadeva of Nadia. She tells Chaitanya’s mother Sachi how she has been separated from her husband in all the four mythological yugas having reincarnated as Satyanarayani, Seeta, Radha and Vishnupriya. ekTi kamal phootechhilo is a song of loss of love. Bhober kheyaa ebaar baaoaa is based on kirtans and conveys her joys at finally having done with the burdens of her life and how she is looking forward to shedding the pains of this life and moving on. This is a meaningfully and beautifully done song.

With Anal Chattopadhyay she had recorded two songs, very different from each other. Krishnanagar theke aami Krishna khujey enechhi is a fast-paced song, referring to the earthen dolls that are the specialty of Krishnanagar in Nadia district of West Bengal. The song describes the beauty of the Krishna idol that has been brought from Krishnanagar and how it is very close to the heart of the singer. The other song is kato gaan haaraalaam, a sweet and lovely song of love and separation, very lovingly emoted.There are two more songs that Geeta Dutt sang in Bangla, composed by Nirmal Chakraborty. Ei toe holo parichay is a simplistic tune while bhulite je paarinaa at a slower pace, is reminiscent of songs from old Bengali films. Sudhirlal Chakraborty’s rajani pohaalo sakhi, penned by Pabitra Mitra has the singer pining for Krishna as a lover and describes the pain and anxiety of separation from him. This song has an old-world charm and quite likeable.

Geeta Dutt’s Bengali non-film output is not very massive, but again, it is characterized by variety and amazingly versatility of treatment.

Gujrati songs:

In the late forties and fifties, Mumbai was the place for Gujrati film makers. With her wonderful association with Avinash Vyas, the doyen of Gujrati film music, Geeta sang close to a hundred songs in Gujrati, even more than her mother tongue Bengali. Based on our information, many of these songs are from films. She sang two lovely Krishna Bhakti songs “Kaanuda taari moraliye maaru man mohyu” and “Haali haali gowalani aaj Gokulye rang ramawaa”, penned and composed by Ramesh Gupta. Her diction and pronunciation in Gujrati may not be perfect from purist’s viewpoint, but instantly strikes a chord with the listener’s heart. We recently found (again thanks to SIRC), two bhajans for Maataji sung by her – Amba maa na naurataa and Maataji no tenu aavyu. The dedication and devotion in her heart easily comes out through her voice. Among the other (known) non-film songs by her are : Mane ker kaato vaagyo, Maaru mann eklu naache re , Albelo rasiyo phaagan aayo, Panhihaari ho panhihaari ho, Pardeshi Pankhine Sange Jeevan Halyu Jay, Phoolda Lyo Koi Phoolda Lyo, Tare Re Sathwaro Hari Ramno.

Punjabi songs:

With help from SIRC, we discovered the two Punjabi Shabads (Sikh Devotional songs) Geeta sang for composer S Mohinder after taking permission from Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). The word “shabad” literally means “word”. As such it represents the verbal description of the nature of God. This is generally from the Guru Granth Sahib which is the holy book of the Sikhs. The shabad is also referred to as “Gurbani” which literally means “Message of the Teacher”. Geeta Dutt has sung the following shabads: Kaahe re ban khojan jaai and Ram siun kar preet re man kar.
Since I am not a native Gujrati or Punjabi speaker, I would love some one to add more details about these songs.

In all, the total number (known so far) of non-film songs sung by Geeta in all the languages (Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujrati and Punjabi) is close to a hundred. Looking at her career of 1945-1972, this is relatively small number. Since Geeta always believed in quality, rather than quantity, why don’t we do the same and enjoy her limited but vastly rich melodious non-film song output.

Acknowledgements:
1. Abhay Phadnis – Marathi songs
2. Chetan Vinchhi – Gujrati songs
3. Sujayita Roy and Sounak Gupta – Bengali songs
4. Various contributors on Hamara Forums, Facebook and our website http://www.geetadutt.com/

I am thankful to Shri Ripudaman Magon ji who took an initiative on this and persuaded me to write this special article on Geeta ji’s non-film songs. This was first published on Facebook in the “Swar Sutra” group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/SwarSutra/