Koi door se aawaaz de..

Geeta Dutt

Geeta Dutt : 23rd November 1930 – 20th July 1972

Chale Aa Rahein Hain Lutaane Ko Jaan
Kaise Kaise Hamare Bhi Hain Mehrbaan …

{Geeta Dutt…Film:Ladaaki (1950s, unreleased), Music: Vinod}

As the above lovely song plays in the background it also revives so many beautiful memories of songs that over the years have been an inseparable part of my life. These were friends in my joys, sharing every moment of my happiness, and also my inspiring force during spells of distress, confusion, and loneliness. No wonder music is one of the most beloved human experiences containing all the emotions and sentiments of life. It is the precious gift of God that sustains, shelters, heals and elevates the soul.

20th July, 2013 marks the 41st death anniversary of one of the most beloved singers of Indian cinema, Geeta Dutt, who left us prematurely at the age of 42 in the year 1972 after suffering liver failure. She possessed an elegantly attractive appearance and kept a humble profile throughout her life. A versatile songstress, she was much more than a gifted artiste to whom music was as natural as breathing. The sweetness and agility of her voice, and her captivating musical interpretations were extraordinary.

It was velvety, rich, varied and soulful; it had clarity and depth and it was unfailingly pure. In her relatively short but a very eventful career she had experienced nearly every facet of life: the crisis ridden humble childhood grappling with migration, resettlement, and destitution; the perpetual spirit to see things through and rise to any challenge; the chance discovery of her prodigious skill and initial grooming by musicians; the abrupt rise to professional fame; a troublesome love-marriage with a maverick filmmaker; the tragic struggle for survival, and a persistent willpower to combat adversity till her unfortunate demise.

Although her personal life has been much explored, sensationalized, discussed, debated and argued I somehow feel her melodious and meritorious singing contribution has failed to stimulate the same thoughtful responsiveness. This may be because when she left the scene she was partly forgotten by the film world and her leaving was not much noticed in the cine world and it didn’t disturb the ever changing music scenario. Occasional feature on this wonderful artist via Radio, TV and literature was inadequate, conflicting and confusing; the focus swiftly shifting on to her personal life.

A peek into her career will indicate her phenomenal contribution to the Indian music and the inconceivable void that her premature demise has left. From 1945 to 1972 she had recorded approximately 1500 plus songs under different categories working under various composers in languages like Hindi, Bangla, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Nepali, Bhojpuri etc. This is a huge body of work and a keen exploration into her songs will reveal a remarkably wide range.

She had the natural ability to express a myriad of emotions adapting to the mood of the song delving deep into depth of lyrics, displaying maturity beyond her years. One feels an amazing enchantment upon tuning into her flawless, delectable and infallibly seductive voice. It felt as if she had the emotional connect with the character emoting those lines on-screen. She made up for her lack of classical training with near-precise breath control and an outstanding ability to adjust the pitch appropriately while singing. Blessed with a distinct voice, immense stamina, and unique ability to perceive subtle changes between moods and emotions she would leave a special mark on her songs performing with artistic sensitivity. Tuning into her light/semi-classical, western influenced, and folk & traditional songs one would witness great variety and a distinct flavor in each song, something with catches the attention of the listener. She was spontaneous with clean intonation and a tremendous sense of rhythm, and a decent vocal range. One may seldom find her screaming/going loud in her songs.

One interesting aspect of her songs was that they always sound fresh and non-repetitive even though most film/song situations were same. So where she had sung extremely pathos-ridden sad songs she had given us lively sad numbers in medium to fast rhythm. Similarly she had given us variety of musical entertainment in her romantic numbers, western styled club songs, lullabies, devotional songs, sensuous and teasing numbers etc. In western based melodies and club songs she was (and is) unparalleled. Her vibrant and seductive voice texture was just perfect for such songs which had the power to enthrall listeners. Club songs lost its melody and became loud once she left the scene.

A majority of her songs with some very talented but unremembered composers has failed to reach the average listener. She had recorded some of her best songs for these brilliant yet rarely discussed composers viz Chitragupt, Master Ghulam Haider, Hansraj Behl, Avinash Vyas, Bulo C Rani, Gyan Dutt, S.N. Tripathi, N.Dutta, Husnlal Bhagatram, Vasant Desai, Snehal Bhatkar, Vinod Eric Roberts, Khwaja Khurshid Anwar etc. They not only gave her memorable melodies but also shaped her singing style.

Thanks to the selfless efforts of the rare collectors, researchers and her devout fans many of her unheard melodies are being made accessible to the music lovers via various web and musical forums and social networking sites. It would be a wonderful tribute to her and these forgotten composers if music companies come up with compilations on her rare and lesser heard recordings.

Exploring her previously unheard melodies has been a wonderful and satisfying experience for me which helped put things into right perspective. It was a pleasant surprise to discover so many cheerful, fun-filled and lively songs at the initial part of her career i.e late 1940s. It has truly busted several myths like before mid-1950s she was chiefly considered safest choice for extremely sad songs and devotional singing. It was pleasing to discover that she was amongst the top choices of composers since the initiation of her career and by early 1950s she was already well established and immensely popular singer with an enormous variety in her work. During such exploration I discovered some of the most beautiful and previously unheard songs sung by this greatly gifted singer. I am mentioning a few of them as under:


1. Tumhe Sajan Manaye Tum Rooth Jaana …. Milan 1946, Music: Anil Biswas
{Extremely sweet song with reflects her young, pure and unadulterated voice with negligible instrumental intervention}

2. Ho …Nayeen Baharein Aayeen Tum Hee Na Aaye …. Raasta 1947, Music: Zafar Khursheed
{A lively and cheerful rendition sung by for a character waiting in anticipation of her beloved. Her youthful and vivacious charm is mesmerizing}

3. Main Hoon Phoolon Ki Rani …Pehli Pehchaan 1947, Music: Bulo C Rani
{A sprightly rendition of this delicate composition by the singer wherein she glides though the mukhda and antara, each one composed in a different rhythm, with effortless ease.

4. O Raja Re Mujhe Apni Bana Le Re …Leela 1947, Music: C. Ramachandra
{A fun-filled and jovial solo radiating once more the youthful charm of the singer’s wholesome voice. I really loved the way she uses the teasing tone to entreat her beloved}

5. Mujhe Bawari Bawari Log Kahein Main Geet Piya Ke Gaati Hoon … Film: Mere Bhagwan (1947), Music: Sajjad Hussain
{While the innocence in voice is but natural at such a young age what is simply unbelievable is the ease with which she puts passion and devotion into demanding compositions. Her singing truly touches the soul}

6. Aaja…Aaja Re Pardesi Ho Baalama Ghata Chhayi Hai … Movie: Padmini 1948, Music: Master Ghulam Haider
{An exquisite singing exhibiting such a mastery of rhythm with an overflow of passion in this beautiful song of longing. The hardest of hearts would melt hearing the grief-ridden “aajaa..” in the beginning and end}

7. Sun Sun Ri Bulbul Deewani ….Film: Jeene Do 1948, Music: Nashaad
{Sweet and lively song of love, secrets and promises}

8. Rhum Jhum Matwale Baadal Aa Gaye …Film: Suhaag Raat 1948, Music: Snehal Bhatkar
{A mesmerizing folk inspired duet with Rajkumari wherein both singers captivates the listeners with their vocal charm}

9. Bulbul Ko Mila Phool Toh Nadi Ko Kinara … Film: Meri Kahaani 1948, Music: K.Datta
{A lively melodious duet with Surendra Nath about love in a simple yet an arresting composition}

10. Yeh Kaun Mere Ghar Aaye …Film: Zevrat 1949, Music: Hansraj Behl
{A lively solo sung upon arrival of the beloved}


1. Kaisi Murali Bajaayi Shyam Ne …Film: Nishana 1950, Music: Khwaja Khursheed Anwar
{A sweet, passionate and mature rendition of an alluring bhajan like composition with melodious flute accompanying pleasant vocal all through the song}

2. Dil Ka Pehle Pehl Chhot Khana..Haaye…Bhula Nahi Mujhko Yaad Hai Film: Pyar Ki Baatein 1951, Music: Bulo.C.Rani
{She had sung some of her most beautiful songs under Bulo C Rani and combination creates magic once more in this sweet song. The spontaneous “haaye” is extremely pleasing to the ears}

3. Thee Aur Mulaqat Who Ab Aur Mulaqat Hai …Ho Re ….Film: Nirmal 1952, Music: Bulo C Rani
{An enticingly appealing composition … the fillers like “Ho Re” and “Aa Ja..” creates the magical effect}

4. Kisi Ke Pyar Ko Hans Hans Ke Thukrana Nahi Accha… Film: Nishan Danka 1952, Music: Basant Prakash
{Soft and slow melody which adds to the variety in her sad numbers}

5. Dekh Duniya Kahegi Tujhe Bewafa … Film: Haar Jeet 1954, Music: Pandit S D Batish
{A lively western styled composition that opens on a poignant and pleading yell at the beloved who is about to leave. The singer shifts into a cheerful but persuasive note to prevent her beloved from leaving.}

6. Thandi Hawaon Mein Taaron Ki Chhaon Mein … Film: Bahu 1955, Music: Hemant Kumar
{A sweet, happy, and melodious Romatic duet with Talat Mahmood. Her ability to effectively portray the passionate emotions of a person in love is simply amazing}

7. Jaan Gayi Hoon Pehchaan Gayi Hoon …Film:Teen Bhai 1955, Music: Arun Kumar
{A complex composition with fast and peppy rhythm in mukhada and semi-classical/ghazal styled antaras which she glides through smoothly}

8. Ye Shokh Ada Ye Mast Hawa …Movie:Son of Alibaba 1955, Music: Sardul Kwatra
{A melodious romantic duet with Shaminder}

9. Jiyara Baat Nahi Maane Kisi Ki … Film: Sailaab 1956; Music: Mukul Roy
{A sublime and lively solo depicting the restless emotions of a person in love composed by her brother}

10. Main Tere Dil Ki Duniya Mein Aake Rahungi …Film: Naya Paisa 1958, Music: S Mohinder
{A beautiful and lively solo with yodeling as filler]


1. Bheegi Bheegi Mehki Mehki Raat Hai …Do Aadmi 1960, Music: S.N. Tripathi
{A refreshing club styled song with great melody. She sounds spirited as ever even though her personal life was going through turbulent times. This speaks volumes about her exceptional vocal gift and perhaps her desire to break free from the unnerving struggles of life}

2. Yeh Chand Yeh Sitare Yun Kar Rahe Ishare …Film: Mohabbat Ki Jeet 1960, Music: Mohd Shafi
[A lively melody displaying emotions of a person falling in love}

3. Ek Dil Tha Mera Jo Tera Ho Gaya …Film:Chhupa Rustam 1965, Music: Bulo C Rani
{A song recorded perhaps post turmoil period in her life when she was trying to give her life and career a second chance. The song shows that the passion, emotions and the lively voice was still intact and it needed only love, support and encouragement to survive which the indifferent film industry perhaps couldn’t extend}

4. Aaj Ki Kaali Ghata …Film: Uski Kahani 1966, Music: Mukul Roy
{Extremely reflective and thoughtful rendition with poignant lyrics perhaps touching upon an unsteady part of her life}

5. Tumsa Meet Mila Dil Ka Phool Khila … Film: Midnight 1972, Music: Subir Sen
(A romantic duet with Talat Mahmood and perhaps the last duet of film career. Their voices had changed but not the spirit)


We are grateful to our dear friend Manoj Tripathi for this wonderful write-up as a tribute to our beloved Geeta ji.

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5 Responses to “Koi door se aawaaz de..”

  1. Aida Aarti B says:

    Very beautifully written an excellent write up to honor a great singer. Well analyzed voice quality and ability, true facts and shares of some unknow to not often heard songs with apt captions, thanks for the write up, the songs and for being a great fan.

  2. Mahesh Chattopadhyaya says:

    The first song which I listen was Geetaji’s Bengali song POOJITE MAHESHER. We had a 78 rpm record. The song which mesmorised at childhood is Getaji/s Bengali song NISHIRAAT BAANKA CHAAND AAKAASHE CHUPI CHUPI BAANSHI BAAJE BATASHE. Again at childhood the song which had a deep impression is NAHI KALI SONE CHALI HAWA DHIRE AANAA. When I grew up I started to listen more songs of Geetaji. MERASUNDAR SAPNA TOOTGAYA TO NAAJAAO SAINYA CHHURA K BAIYAN KASAM TUMHARI MAIN RO PADUNGI, In between MERANAAM CHINCHINCHU, OKHT NE KIYA KYA HASSEN SITAM etc Her immortal voice still keeps ringing in my ears

  3. Ajit Sidhu says:

    What a great write-up, by Manoj Tripathi ji. Had a quick read of the article, but have bookmarked it permanently, to read in leisure. Also very very informative. Three cheers for Manoj ji, for such a brilliant article and thanks to you, Parag ji, for publishing it here on this group.

  4. Archana Gupta says:

    Very well written tribute Manoj. Love your highlighting the lesser heard songs also – had recently explored through some of these myself as well. Its such a pleasure to “discover” new favorites…

  5. vijay p vaishampayan says:

    thank you very much for sharing this information and rare songs of geeta ji.

    i am a die hard fan of Geeta ji.

    i loved specially her duet with talat saab from Mid Night which i had never heard before.

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