Geeta Dutt by Raaj Bothra

Fellow Geeta Dutt Fan, Raaj Bothra ji remembers Geeta ji on her Anniversary

When I think about Geeta Dutt I don’t bother my mind with my favourites. I think instead of few miracles which she has sung. For instance Tumi Je Aamaar ( Harano Sur ) , as if a poem is being painted on a canvas or a cascade is humming a sweet melody. Geeta Dutt is so effortless that I doubt whether she is really singing ? Then there is Kaise Koi Jiye ( Badbaan ) The agony and pain of life are asking the simplest question to you and you are left speechless.

Kaise Koi Jiye in Film Baadbaan

She never put emotions in her song , she had an uncanny knack of adapting emotions of a song. When she sings Piya Aiso Jiya Men ( Sahab Bibi aur Ghulam ) she is personifying the emotions of a typical Indian “ Suhagan” in her singing which even a seasoned actress like Meena Kumari found difficult to enact on screen.

Piya Aiso Jiya Mein picturised on Meena Kumari in Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)

In Aaj Ki Raat Piya Dil Na ( Baazi ) she is sweet , coaxing to the extreme but in Thahro Jara Si Der ( Savera ) her voice is still like a beautiful photograph.

Aaj Ki Raat Piya picturised on Kalpana Kartik in Baazi (1951)
Thehro Zara Si Der Toh – Savera (1958) in Mujra Style

When she sang Bhajans she was not a master singer but an innocent Bhakt ( Ghunghat Ke Pat from Jogan ) and when she took to singing a Cabaret ( Tomar Duti Chokhe from Sonar Harin ) she was an enchantress teasing at best.

Bhajan Ghoonghat Ke Pat Khol in Jogan (1950) where She sang for Nargis
Cabaret song Tomar Duti Chokhe from Sonarharin (1959)

She sang every genre even comedy songs. Some said that she did not sing many a Classical songs but in my view this should not be a pre-requisite for a playback singer and vice versa. Perhaps she did not get her share of Classical songs. Noorjehan also didn’t sing Classical songs but nobody can question her supremacy as a playback singer. A good playback singer should make a class of his / her songs which Geeta did perfectly. In fact she merged with her songs in such a way that sometimes it was difficult to recognise her voice. She has many duets to her credit and what else can I say when Lata Mangeshkar once admitted that she had goosebumps while singing with Geeta.
I can never forgive Guru Dutt for imposing restrictions on Geeta Dutt’s singing. He must have known that Geeta was one among those rare natural singers for whom singing was like oxygen , way of survival.He was a genius film maker but a total duffer in home affairs.
Though Waqt Ne Kiya gave new dimensions to Geeta Dutt yet there are plenty of her songs which were not noticed duly. There was much more to come from her but her untimely death was not a Hasin Sitam by Waqt it was a cruel one really.

Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam from Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

There shall never be another Geeta Dutt. There could have been so much more from her, but one must learn to be content with what is. Today’s singers can learn a lot from her singing. She was a real Master of Emotions. A thousand pranaams to her memory.

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