Archive for the ‘Geeta Dutt and her singing’ Category

Teen Gaayak Aur Ek Abhineta

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Geeta ji was active in the film industry for more than 25 years. As a top playback singer in the 40s and 50s and wife of a top Film maker, It is but natural that She would rub shoulders with other singers as well as actors.

Fellow Geeta Fan, Lakshmipriya ji recently shared a picture where one can see Geeta ji with other top playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh talking to Ace Actor and Showman Raj Kapoor.

Raj Kapoor can be seen talking animatedly to them probably cracking a job to which Lata Bai and Mukesh are laughing at while Geeta ji looks on. Here is the lovely picture :-

Geeta ji with Lata Mangeshkar, Raj Kapoor and Mukesh

Seeing all of them together makes me feel that they must be together in connection with the recording of the song Hai Aag Hamaare Seene Mein for the movie Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hai. This song had as many as five singers, Mahendra Kapoor, Manna Dey as well in addition to the three seen in the pictures. Geeta ji gets very less opportunity to sing in it due to so many singers being there and It being more of a chorus song.

Here’s the song for your viewing pleasure :-

Wish Raj Kapoor had given more singing opportunities to Geeta ji in his films. Though Geeta ji has sung for many of his films made for other banners. If there is interest, in the combination, do tell us in the comments and we’ll be glad to put up a post regarding this!

Geeta ji and Madhubala : Two colourful personalities

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Geeta ji and Madhubala are two personalities who brought a lot of colour to Hindi films. One with her voice and the other with her charms. Their period was of B&W movies and both had a long partnership together. We have already talked about their partnership on the blog here.

I used to offer wonder, How it would be if Madhubala’s songs sung by Geeta ji were to be made available in colour. In today’s world a gamut of technologies are available which can help colourise videos. It’s an ongoing battle whether it should be done in the first place but unless efforts are made to progress the technology, we cannot expect to have natural looking colourised videos one day. Colour does add another dimension to what we see after all.

I was discussing this concept with Shaheed Haniff ji, a fellow Geeta fan who loves colourising artist photos who had shared a few colourised photos of Geeta ji with us in a heartfelt article here earlier.

He told me that it requires a lot of computing resources like processing power, memory etc. In fact, He told me that a few years back he had actually colourised a song clip of Aa Aa Meri Chaal Pe from K Amarnath’s Kal Hamara Hai (1959) in which Madhubala had done a double role! He told me that it took him over three months to complete the task with his simple laptop. Here are the results of his efforts for all of us to see:-

A youtube search also revealed that the ‘Gaane Naye Puraane’ channel had actually colourised the lovely Geeta-Kishore Duet, Aankhon Mein Tum from Half Ticket (1962) which had been composed by Salilda.

It is available at this link for those interested:-

During her long career Madhubala acted in only one full length colour film Jwala which also proved to be her last movie. In this movie, Geeta ji had featured in one of the songs, Haule Haule Ek Bhi Na Ghungroo Bole which was unfortunately not picturised on Madhubala. Here is the song for completeness:-

Singers: Geeta Dutt, Lata Mangeshkar & Sudha Malhotra

If you are aware of any more coloured videos of their combination do share links in the comments!

– Gajendra Khanna

Geeta Bali in Sailaab

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

Thanks to Lakshmipriya ji for this post.

Geeta Bali in Sailaab – 1956

Geeta Bali in Sailaab (1956)

Enjoy listening to Geeta ji’s rendition of Ye rut ye raat jawan for the movie.

Music by Mukul Roy, Lyrics by Shailendra

Geeta ji In Her Element At The Recordings

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

Thanks a lot to Anish Raj Pandit ji for this post on Geeta ji at various Recordings, Functions and Mehfils.

Geeta ji is one singer who could convey emotions of all kinds and switch effortlessly between them. When one hears to her songs, one can’t but help notice how She gives her all to the song. Each word She sings has her stressing at the right places and giving just the right emotions. Singer Talat Mahmood had rightly observed in an interview that Geeta ji was the best at catching the mood of the song.

It is a pity that we do not have any videos of Geeta ji doing her recordings which would have given us a bird’s eye view of all her recording efforts. Again, videos of her stage shows, TV/Radio/Media appearances would be great too. We certainly hope that such videos will turn up one day. However, fortunately for us, thanks to various fans and magazines there are quite a few photos that are available of Geeta ji at the studios where She is definitely in her element!

So fellow fans, sit on your rocking chairs and enjoy seeing Geeta ji giving her mellifluous renditions at the studios and with audiences!

Geeta ji with Composer Mohd Shafi
Geeta ji at a Recording Studio
Geeta ji at a function with her Harmonium (Baaja) which She would take to her Mehfils sometimes accompanied by her brothers on the Tabla!
With Hemant Kumar- probably early 1960s based on how Geeta looks. Most likely rehearsing one of the many beautiful Bengali songs they recorded in 60-61 – movies like Sathi Hara, Swaralipi, Madhyarater Tara and others
Geeta ji performing at Eden Gardens, Kolkata!
Doing a live performance at the at the BBC London headquarters in 1957, where Geeta and Guru had traveled for the UK premiere of their film “Pyaasa.” Geeta also have a concert at the Asian Film Institute, to great acclaim. Unfortunately BBC cleared much of its records and this recording has been lost.
A famous picture of Geeta rehearsing in the mid-1950s with composer Sachin Dev Burman.
Geeta ji With Madan Mohan and Team
At Khar Ramakrishna Mission, where Geeta would perform annually up until the late 50s.
Geeta giving a live concert with her brother on tabla – early 1950s. (You can tell this from Geeta’s hairstyle- she wore those short tight curls on either side of her forehead until about 1955/56. After this she did not curl them as much, though she retained the bangs.
Geeta performing with live orchestra in a stage show with Madan Mohan – mid 1950s.
Geeta ji Rehearsing With Hemant Kumar – mid 1950s.
During a recording session for “Aar Paar” (1954) with Mohd. Rafi and O. P. Nayyar

In a recording session with Mohd. Rafi and composer Chitragupt

Performing the Indian National anthem at Asia’s first ever International Film Festival in 1952, with Lata Mangeshkar, Anil Biswas, and C. Ramchandra.
With Salil Chowdhury and Mohd. Rafi – mid/late 1960s.
At a stage show : Geeta was known for her charismatic performances.

While we wait for such pictures and photos, I, Anish sign off leaving you with two of her rare colour photographs probably taken in her UK stage show visit with Rafi sahab.

Geeta ji and Mohd Rafi Sahab visiting a family in UK (Photo had been shared by the boy on Hamaraforums long back!)
Geeta ji looking elegant in a Saaree

Faces of Geeta ji : Chitra

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Post by Lakshmi Priya ji

Chitra in Son of Alibaba – 1955 .

Hear Geeta Dutt sing Sanam Tu Aaja composed by Sardul Kwatra and written by Prem Dhawan for this movie Son of Alibaba (1955)

Melody Kicks From Forgotten Flicks : Vol.12

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

Agra Road

1) Oh mister oh mister sunoh ek baat – Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt

2) Yeh duniya hain baabu badi beimaan – Geeta Dutt

3) Gunaahon ka chiraag – Mohd Rafi, Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Beghum

4) Ghazab huaa raam- Mohd Rafi, Geeta Dutt

5) Unse rippi tippi ho gayi – Mohd Rafi, Geeta Dutt

6) Duniya ki nazar hain buri – Mohd Rafi, Geeta Dutt

Extremely rare song found – Ho Naar Albeli – Naag Padmini (1957)

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Sanmukh Babu
Our dear friend Arvinder Sharma ji has shared this with us: Here is the missing song from the film Naag Padmini, which I heard for the first time in a train journey from Delhi to Calcutta in 1975. It was after a search and wait of 35 years that I finally got the song. My dear friend Sudhir Kapur Ji uploaded it for my sake, and I am very much thankful to him.

The above photo is of composer Sanmukh Babu Upadhyay ji, seen for the first time. More details about the “discovery” of this song and the lyrics are available on Atul ji’s famous website Ho Naar Albeli.

Thanks a lot Sudhir Kapur ji.

The remaining songs from this film are already shared on our website Naag Padmini Songs

Heartfelt Tribute by Shri Tushar Bhatia ji

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Geeta Dutt
Dearest Geeta ji,
Happy Birthday !
“Aaj ki kaali ghata mast matwali ghata
mujhse kehti hai ki pyaasa hai koi
kon pyasa hai mujhe kya maloom”
Kaash aap dekhte ki kon kitna pyaasa hai is aawaz ke liye..!
Nothing and no one can equate what your singing and voice does !
Words are inadequate to express the magic of your mesmerizing flawless voice! The range of your expression and emotions in every genre. As a listener
there is no place for any brain-work here.
Your singing goes straight to the heart and stays there forever and ever and ever….
Thank you for everything you have sung !
‘konsa tara chand ko pyara”?

It was a joy making you albums during my HMV days that I hold close to my heart!
I’m still discovering new songs by you and wondering how many more are yet to beard, felt, and savored!
Your songs have gone beyond entertainment…
Your feelings and joys were real and therefore the expression is, even if it was crafted by a music director.. the soul of the song is intensely cared for indeed by you!
I wish I was fortunate to even get a glimpse of you singing on film or video…
Yes, I as music composer am definitely envious of O P Nayyar, S D Burman, Hemat kumar, Chitragupt ,Anil Biswas ji etc who created mesmerizing melodies that you turned into masterpieces.
All your songs with Pankaj Mullick are a joy for ever!
“kabhi inko chahen kabhi unko..”

Thank you once again!
You live forever!


We are grateful to our dear friend and mentor, composer and musician Shri Tushar Bhatia ji for this tribute to Geeta ji on her birth anniversary.

Birth anniversary tribute : Romancing the Song

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

** This tribute was posted on the Facebook group Romancing the Song on 23rd November 2015. ***

Geeta Dutt

Today is 23rd November 2015 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 her fans and music lovers. I have been listening to her songs since childhood and it has been my passion to find her rare songs, listen to her songs and share her songs through various online avenues like HamaraForums, Youtube and now Facebook. This same day in the year 2008, a team of her fans including yours truly launched the website dedicated to her.
I have tried to capture the versatility, range and the soul (bhaav) of her singing through this write-up. When I listen to Geeta Dutt’s songs, I kind of get confused. Is she the one who sang ” Main toh giridhar ke ghar jaaon” for Nargis as Jogan or the one who sang “Oh baabu oh lalaa” for the vivacious Smriti Biswas. The one who was selling fruits and vegetables in the voice of a kid in the song “Phal ki bahar hain kele anaar hain” or was she the one who was singing for lost love “Aaoge na saajan aaoge naa” for Nargis in Jaan Pehchaan.

Geeta Dutt

The semi-classical “Baat chalat nayi chnari rang daari” from Ladki was a “natkhat” complaint made to God Krishna and (at the same time) the same voice was singing “Na yeh chaand hoga na taare rahenge” in Shart and was vouching to be together forever. Undoubtedly the sincerity and depth in her voice is instrumental in keeping her memories alive till date and for years to come.
Through the tune of “Koi door se awaaz de chale aao” one could hear the pathos of lady longing for her lover and she was also questioning, “Chanda chandani mein jab chamke, kya ho aa mile joh koi chham se, poonchhate ho kya humse?” through a club song filmed on her namesake Geeta Bali. The charming Rehana, on the rhythm of train music was singing in Geeta Dutt’s voice “Dhak dhak karati chali, hum sab se kehati chali jeevan ki rel re, muhabbat ka naam hain dilonkaa mel re” in Dev Anand starrer Dilruba.
She was Shyama who was questioning herself “Aye dil mujhe bataa de tu kis pe aa gaya hain?” and was teasing her friend in the song “Ankhiyan bhool gayi hain sona”. There was mischief and innocence of a sixteen year old girl in the song “Chanda khele ankh michauli badali se nadi kinaare, dulhan khele phagan holi” and there was an experienced senior’s advice in the song “Tora manawa kyoun ghabarayein re” from Saadhna. The lady who sang “Mera sundar sapna beet gaya” was also the dancing queen in the song “Merra naam chin chin chu, raat chaandni main aur tu, hallo mister how do you do”. She was singing romantic and sensuous tune of “Kal raat piya ne baat kahin kuchh aisi, matawala bhanwara kahein kali se jaisi” for Abhimaan.
Talking of duets, on one hand there was a practical complaint of “Kal saajana milnaa yahan, hain tamaam kaam dhaam re, aaj naa aaj naa” with Mohd Rafi and on the other hand a super romantic song “Tumse hi meri zindagi meri bahaar tum” was being sung with Mukesh. Along with the soulful tune of “Armaan bhare dil ki lagan tere liye hain” with Talat, she was pleading not to come in her thoughts through the song “Khayalon mein kisike isi tarahein aaya nahin karate”. A true blue romantic song “Raat hain armaan bhari aur kya suhani raat hain, aaj bichhade dil mile hain tera mera saath hain” had a companion in the song “Aan milo aan milo shyam sanware, Brij mein akeli raadhe khoyi khoyi phire” which was drenched in the love of Lord Krishna and his lover Radha. These songs came from different composers, different lyricists, different co-singers and a wide range of artists on whom these songs were filmed, but the magic of her voice was truly alive through all these songs.
Geeta Dutt

Along with the modern and mystical thoughts of “Mera dil jo mera hota, palakon pe pakad leti” – Anubhav, there were beautiful poetic thoughts of “Dharati se door gore badalon ke paar aaja, aaja basale naya sansaar” a sweet duet with Asha filmed on kids. There was perfect teasing in “Miya mera bada beimaan, meri nikali re kismat khoti” with Balbir and there was sublime happiness in “Mujhko tum joh mile, yeh jahan mil gaya”. There was this sensuous song “Mose chanchal jawani sambhali nahin jaayein” for a young girl and there was a song for the mother who was blessing her child with “Mere munne re, seedhi raah pe chalna, jug jug tak phoolna phalna”. She was asking her lover “Raja mohe le chal tu dilli ki sair ko” and then there was another naughty lover complaining in the song “Luckhnow chalo ab raani, bambai ka bigadaa paani”. She was dancing with her friends in “Chalo paniya bharanko patali kamariyape chhalake gagariyaa ho” and going to the river to fetch water, and there was sadness in “Baabul ka more aangan chhuta, chhuti re mori sakhiyaan” when the heroine was going to her husband’s place after the marriage.
Geeta Dutt
There were modern and contemporary feelings in the (non-film) song “Gaaye gaaye gaaye, hum naye taraane gaayein” and also had the sweetness of Radha’s call to Lord Krishna in (another non-film song) “Jamuna ke teer kanhaa aao, ro ro pukaare raadha”. In another song, her most popular non-film number ”Haule haule, haayein dole..” there was magic of Bengal and in “Ud pud jaaniya” there was earthly feelings of the land of Punjab. She was singing “Aamar shonar bangla desh” in Bengali in a Hindi film song (“Uttar mein hain khada himalay” from Pyar ki Pyaas) and was singing a Hindi song “Tere liye aaya hain leke koi dil” in a Bengali film for Helen.
On the rhythm of “Taalion naa taale” (in Gujrati) she was making one perform the traditional Garba dance and was praying Lord Ganesha with “Ganapati bapaa moraya, pudhalya warshi laukar yaa” in Marathi. She sang songs for a Nepali film made by Mala Sinha in the year 1966 and also sang songs in Bhojpuri like “Jaan laike hatheli pe chal bain, zamane se naa dar bain raam” with Manna Dey. The loving mother of three was singing “Nanhee kali sone chali, hawa dheere aana” and was also singing “Maane na maane maane na, tere bin mora jiya naa mane” for the courtesan. Goddess Parvati was singing in her voice “Gun gun gun Gun gun gun Gun gun gun gunjan karata bhanvra, tum kaun sandesaa laaye” and she was singing for a club dancer “Ek naya tarana ek naya phasana ek nayee kahanee hu main, ek rang rangeeli ek chhail chhabilee madmast jawani hoon main”. She had become a peahen and was singing “Aaja chhaye kaare badara” and was also encouraging us by singing “Aaj nahin toh kal, bikharenge yeh baadal, oh raat ke bhoole hue musafir subah hui ghar chal ab ghar chal re”

She was making you dance on a highly westernized waltz tune like “Mujhe huzoor tumse pyar hain, tumhi pe zindagi nissar hain” and was melody at her best in the Indian classical based “Mere nainon mein preet mere hothon pe geet mere sapnon mein tum hi samaaye”. She used to sing songs of such different genres and of vast range that the listener would be amazed. She sang “Kabhi akad kar baat na karna humse are mawali” and then with the same composer singer she sang “Jai jagdeesh hare” and made it an immortal song. With the legendary Mohd Rafi she has sung such sweet and melodious songs that they are very enjoyable and memorable. For the film Musafirkhana she sang, “Achha ji maaf kar do, thodaa insaaf kar do” and then with him sang soft and dreamy duet like “Chupke se mile pyaase pyaase”.
Geeta Dutt
Whether she was singing a solo song or just a few words in a song, she used to leave her impression for sure. Almost every one knows the super-hit song “Aye dil hain mushkil jeena yahan” from CID, which she sang with the great singer Mohd Rafi. She sings just a few lines at the end of the song. The way she sings “Dadagiri nahin chalne ki yahan” truly makes this song memorable. Another example is a lullaby song “Aa jaa ri nindiyaa” which she sings with Parul Ghosh for the film Nai Maa(1946). Geeta sings just the first 2 lines of the song, which are very sweet and melodious.
Whether she was singing with a singer senior to her (Mukesh, Shamshad Beghum or Zohrajaan Ambalawali for example) or with new singers (Asha Bhonsle, Mubarak Beghum, Suman Kalyanpur, Mahendra Kapoor or singer actress Nutan for example) she was just herself. Neither did she try to dominate any one not did she get bogged down by a senior singer/got impressed by some one losing her own identity. She also sang songs with actors like Sundar, Bharat Bhushan, Pran, Nutan, Ashok Kumar, Surendra Nath and of course the all rounder Kishore Kumar!
Geeta Dutt

She started singing for films in the year 1945 but with the songs of film Do Bhai she became a rage among the music lovers in a very short time. For next 5 years (1947 to 1952), she was one of the most popular singers along with Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Beghum. In her career spanning 25 years, she sang an overall of approximate 1500 songs for more than 150 composers in Hindi, Bengali, Gujrati, Marathi, Punjabi, Maithili, and Bhojpuri etc.

It has been more than 35 years since Geeta has left us. Actually by mid fifties itself she was slowly moving away from the film world due to some reason or other. In today’s world, when people may not like to listen to even recently made songs, why some one would like to give a hearing to songs which were probably made even before they (the listeners) were born. The simple fact is that Geeta’s songs have warmth, sweetness and a personality, which has sung every song in her own style. Be it the heroine, side heroine, vamp, club-dancer or a beggar on the street, she sang songs for each of these characters in different moods and styles. Geeta had her own style and individuality and is evident in her singing. Some one said that her voice had sweetness of honey and sting of a bee. Some one said she was Thandi hawa and Kaali ghata rolled into one. Some one said she used sing from the heart not from her throat.
Music lovers will always remember the magic of the sweet voice of the Koyal Geeta Dutt nee Roy who has spread so much happiness and joy in their lives.

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.