The Lovely Qawwalis of Geeta ji On Her Birth Anniversary

Geeta ji was one of a kind is clear to her fans. When one sees the sheer variety of songs She was able to do in her nearly 25 year old career, portions of which saw her getting songs quite sparsely, one cannot help rave about her versatility and of course, her ethereal voice.

Geeta ji had been born today (23rd November) in 1930 and would have turned 93 today. This is a special anniversary post of her songs on an extremely less discussed genre in which too Geeta ji has sung.

Many times, It is seen that many listeners are not even aware of the songs She may have done in a genre. Qawwalis have been recorded for literally decades now. Females singing Qawwalis had started in a significant way after the famous female only superhit Qawwali in Zeenat (1945). Later, many other female singers have sung songs.

Recently, a well known film historian had made a statement online that Geeta ji had not sung any qawwalis. This is of course far from the truth and we realised, if knowledgeable people are unaware, this must also be unknown to many others. Therefore Dr Mahesh Sagar and I, Gajendra Khanna of the Geeta Dutt website team decided to do a special Mythbuster post on her Birth Anniversary show casing her Qawwali songs. We hope you will enjoy this post and the lovely Qawwalis Geeta ji has sung in.

Qawwali #1- Lacchi (1949 ) – Sharab-e-Ishq Jaati Hai Pilayi , Pi Nahin Jaati ( with Lata ) … later reused in Dost (1954)

The very first time, Geeta ji sang a Qawwali was a very interesting case. Composer Hansraj Behl was working on the music of a Punjabi movie Lachhi being produced by Kuldeep Pictures Bombay. The producers were Lekhraj Bhakhri and Kuldip Sehgal.  It was being directed by Rajendra Sharma and starred Wasti, Manorma, Randhi, Majnu, Cukoo and Om Prakash. A qawwali ‘Sharaab-e-Ishq Jaati Hai Pilaayi’ sung by Geeta Roy and Lata Mangeshkar and chorus to be picturised in a theatre was then proposed for this movie which released on 8th April 1949. Its lyrics were written by Varma Malik. Interestingly, this song which was an Urdu Song in a Punjabi film was reused in the 1954 release Dost as well.  Both the movies are not available but thankfully the audio is available.

Here is the Song from our co-admin Parag Sankla’s YouTube Channel for your listening pleasure:-

Qawwali #2- Hamara Ghar (1950) – Lakdi Jal … Dekho Toh Dil Hi Dil Mein – ( With Shamshad Begum and Shanti Sharma)

The next composer to get Geeta ji to participate in a Qawwali was Chitragupt with whom Geeta ji has sung the maximum number of songs. This was made under the banner of Hindustan Chitra, Bombay directed by famous director Nanabhai Bhatt He was a prolific director since the early 40s though today He is more known as patriarch of the Bhatt family. His sons Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt and Robin Bhatt are well known in the industry. There are other members of the family also associated with the film industry like Mahesh’s daughters Pooja Bhatt and today’s top actress Alia Bhatt. This movie for which Geeta ji sang a qawwali was titled Hamara Ghar (1950) and It’s star cast comprised of Durga Khote, Umakant, Veera, Agha, MMeena Kumari, Geeta Bose, David, Jankidas, Ramesh Gupta and Yashodhra Katju. This Qawwali had been written by Anjum and featured a trio, of ace singer Shamshad Begum, Shanti Sharma joining Geeta ji in the singing. Interestingly, the initial line sung by Shamshad Begum is inspired by the Kabir Doha with Geeta ji then joining. Anjum wrote just one more song ‘Chandni Chhitki Hui Hai, Muskuraati Raat Hai’ for the film which is also a lovely Geeta-Rafi duet.

Here is the qawwali for your listening pleasure:-

Qawwali #3- Rajput (1951) – Chupne Ke Liye Hai … Do Roz Ka Jalwa Hai ( with Hamida Bano)

Geeta ji got the next opportunity to participate in a qawwali with another legendary singer of the 40s, Hamida Bano for the Suraiya, Jairaj, Kuldeep, Randheer and Sapru starrer Raajput (1951) made by Jubilee Pictures. The film had the Husanlal-Bhagatram jodi giving just one song while all the remaining were composed by Hansraj Behl including this qawwali being discussed. It had been written by Rajendra Krishan who had been brought in to write just this qawwali for this movie. Both the singers have done a lovely rendition which is quite enjoyable.

Here it is for your listening pleasure:-

Qawwali # 4- Laalach (1960) – Suno Mere Sarkar … Shanichar Se Itwaar Accha Rahega

The qawwalis we have explored till now are ones sung by Geeta ji before her marriage when She was known as Geeta Roy. She sang another qawwali, this time a solo, for the Social film named ‘Laalach’ which had been made by Sagar Film Company and released in 1960. It starred Kaamraan, Indira, Sheela Kashmiri, Majnu, Arvind Kumar, Wazeer Mohammad Khan, Heera Sawan, Shakeela Bano Bhopali among others. This qawwali Suno Mere Sarkar had been written by Khawar Zaman and composed by a lesser known composer S Kishan. It is a qawwali which also has a Punjabi rhythm to it too somewhere.  I find the lyrics quite interesting with lover longing for the Sunday to come so that time can be spent with the lover. Yakeenan, Shaniwar Se Itwaar Achcha Rahega!!

Here is the cute and rare qawwali for your listening pleasure:-  

Qawwali #5- Room No 17 (1961)- Nazar Nazar Se Nikli Girate  Aa Rahe Hain Woh ( With S Balbir)

During her career, Geeta ji has sung with almost all the playback singers active in the industry in the 1950s. S Balbir was one of the singers of the period with whom Geeta ji has sung quite a few songs. Both have sung an excellent qawwali together. They did such awesome singing in it and we would be glad to introduce this rare qawwali to you. This qawwali She has sung for was for J D Picture’s release Room No 17 which came out in 1961. The Geet Kosh does not mention details of singers other than Geeta ji but It is clear to us that S Balbir is singing with her for this qawwali. Bulo C Rani, another composer, who gave dozens of songs to Geeta ji was at the helm for this Qawwali. Geet Kosh does not mention the exact lyrics credits for the qawwali but this is written by Anwar Farrukhabadi. This song is a long song that had come out on both sides of a 78 rpm. We don’t mind, long songs of Geeta ji at all. The title is ‘Nazar Nazar Se Bijliyaan Giraate Aa Rahe Hain Woh, To Dil Ko Thaam Lo Ki Muskura Rahe Hain Woh’.

Enjoy this lovely, enjoyable Qawwali here:-

Qawwali # 6- Awara Abdulla (1963)- Hum Hain Awara Toh Kya Hai ( With Mohd Rafi)

N Datta is another composer who has given lovely songs to Geeta ji. In fact, his Punjabi film debut Baalo in 1951 and his Hindi Film Debut Milaap in 1955 had Geeta ji singing some lovely songs. His movie Awara Abdullah, made under the Hanna films banner in 1963 had Geeta ji singing a lovely Qawwali written by Asad Bhopali along with ace singer Mohammad Rafi with whom She has sung the maximum duets (150+). So, it is not a surprise that one of those is a Qawwali. It is a rare treat for us fans. While the 78 rpm record featured this adorable qawwali on both the sides, in the film this Qawwali was extended even more timing out to be nearly 9 minutes! Both ace singers have sung the qawwali very lovingly and will certainly be enjoyed by fans of both of them.

Enjoy it here:-

Qawwali #7- Haqdaar (1964)- agar hum tumhe… jinhe rukh se parda – (with Mohd Rafi , Manna Dey , Nirmala Devi)

The only other Qawwali we know of Geeta ji participating in was for Haqdaar (1964), once again singing for composer Bulo C Rani. In this Qawwali written by Prem Varbartani. Geeta ji was joined by three other legendary singers, Mohd Rafi Sahab, Manna Dey and Nirmala Devi with Chorus. Like the previous song, this qawwali also was double sided on the 78 rpm record and longer in the film, where it was over 9 minutes long! We are really thankful to fellow Geeta fan, Aditya Pant for sharing this extended version for your listening.

Here it is for your enjoyment:-

We hope you have enjoyed this post featuring Geeta ji’s Qawwalis. We hope some more will turn up later out of the blue, like some times Zafar Shah and other great collectors surprise us with unknown Geeta songs. We will be glad to update this post then. Do inform us if you find more. Also, do please share it with other fellow Geeta fans.


Admin and Maintainer Gajendra Khanna’s Note: If you too would like to share your articles and experiences for the blog, please get in touch with me at anmolfankaar [AT] gmail [DOT] [COM]. Thanks.

2 Responses to “The Lovely Qawwalis of Geeta ji On Her Birth Anniversary”

  1. Sajjad Hussain says:

    Excellent thanks 👍

  2. Gajendra Khanna says:

    Glad you liked them. You’re most welcome Sajjad ji.

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