In Search Of The Real Geeta

Geeta Dutt

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” or the one who sang “Oh baabu oh lalaa”. 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”.

“Baat chalat nayi chnari rang daari” was a complaint made on classical Indian music base and (at the same time) the same voice was singing “Na yeh chaand hoga na taare rahenge” and was vouching to be together forever.

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?”. 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”.

She was questioning herself “Aye dil mujhe bataa de tu kis pe aa gaya hain?” and was teasing her friends in the song “Ankhiyan bhool gayi hain sona”. There was mischief of a 16 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”. The lady who sang “Mera sundar sapna beet gaya” was a dancing queen in the song “Merra naam chin chin chu”. About the same time she was singing romantic tune of “Kal raat piya ne baat kahin kuchh aisi, matawala bhanwara kahein kali se jaisi”

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” and on the other hand a super romantic song “Tumse hi meri zindagi meri bahaar tum” was being sung. Along with the soulful tune of “Armaan bhare dil ki lagan tere liye hain”, 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.

Along with the modern and mystical thoughts of “Mera dil jo mera hota, palakon pe pakad leti”, there were beautiful poetic thoughts of “Dharati se door gore badalon ke paar aaja, aaja basale naya sansaar”. There was a teasing “Miya mera bada beimaan, meri nikali re kismat khoti” 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 “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.

She was learning to whistle with the hero and was singing “Sun sun sun sun zalima” and also singing the folk tune of “Nadiya kinaare mora deraa mashaal jale saari ratiyaan”.

There were modern (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 non-film song)”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.

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 and also sang songs in Bhojpuri like “Jaan laike hatheli pe chal bain, zamane se naa dar bain raam”.

The loving mother was singing “Nanhee kali sone chali, hawa dheere aana” and a dancer was singing “Maane na maane maane na, tere bin mora jiya naa mane”. 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 encoraging 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 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 will 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”. For the children birthday party occassion she sang a very nice song ” Pom pom pom baja bole, dholak dhin dhin dhin, ghadi ghadi yeh khushiyaan aaye, baar baar yeh din”

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 in these songs (of Geeta Dutt) there is a warmth, a 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. The song “Naache ghoda naache ghoda kimmat iski bees hazar main bech rahin hoon beech bazaar” was made more than sixty years from now, but is still an evergreen song. When one listens to the song “Aaj ki kaali ghata” you get a feeling as if black clouds have arrived in the sky.

Two songs (“Kabutar aaja re” and “Jhanan jhanan jhanawaa more bichhua jhanan baje re”) filmed on the young and innocent girl Bhanumati are so sweet that one longs to listen them over and over again. The composition of lyricist Sahir sahab for the film Jaal (“Jor lagake haiyya, pair jamaake haiyya”) is remembered even today when people gather to do some heavy work. She gave response to “Sun sun madrasi chhori ke tere liye dil jalta” with “chal hat re panjabi chhore ke tu mera kyaa lagataa?”. Songs of variety of types, filmed on various artists, composed by a wide range of composers and penned by variety lyricists and sung with many co-singers; but Geeta had her own style and individuality. 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.

She sang bhajans of Saint Meerabai and Saint Kabeer with great feelings and devotion at the age of just 20 years and also sang a fun-filled song like “Dil ki umange hain jawan”. (In this song she has actually spoken a few words too which are a must listen!). She sang “Jawaniya nigodi yeh sataye, ghunghat mora khul khul jaaye” and then for the same film she sang “Ab kaun sunega haye re dukhe dil ki kahani”. She has sung so many songs which appeal the listener right in the first time. She sang the song “Bujho bujho aye dil walon kaun sa taraa chand ko pyara” in the same style as that of the legendary composer Pankaj Mullick.

Whether she was singing a solo song or just a few words in a song, she used to leave her impression for sure. There is a duet song “Picnic mein tik tik karati aayi maston ki toli” where Manna Dey and the chorus singers get to sing most of the part and Geeta Dutt sings just one or two lines. Listen to this one and see the sweetness in her voice. Similar is the case with the superhit song “Aye dil hain mushkil jeena yahan” 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. Geeta sings just the first 2 lines of the song which are so 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 and the all rounder Kishore Kumar!

In the late forties (and early fifties) she sang lovely songs with G M Durrani, the famous singer G M Durrani. Most of these songs are so difficult to get these days. With Ghazal king Talat Mahmood too she sang a lot of romantic and even fun-filled songs. With Talat and G M Durrani she sang a trio song “Yeh pyar ki baatein, yeh aaj ki raatien, dildar yaad rakhna” composed by Bulo C Rani. This was made for the film Baghdad. Like this one, she sang a lot of melodious song for Talat Mahmood which are known to very few music lovers today.

When she used to sing “Aag lagaana kya mushkil hain..” one gets a feeling as if her voice is made for that dancer only. She sang for a village girl with that special Geeta Dutt effect in the song “Jawab nahin gore mukhde pe teel kaale ka” (a duet with the great Mohd Rafi). She sang with Usha Mangeshkar in “Likh padh padh likh ke achha sa rajaa beta ban” under the baton of composer Chitragupta. And then for the same film she sang for Helen “Bees baras tak laakh sambhala, chala gaya par jaanewala, dil ho gaya chori haaye…”

In the year 1949 she sang a special song “Jiya ka diya piya tim tim howe” with senior singer Shamshad Beghum. In the same film she had another evergreen trio song “Umangon ke din beete jaayein”. She started singing for films in the year 1946 but in just one year with the songs of film Do Bhai she became a rage among the music lovers. For next 5 years (1947 to 1952), she was one of the most popular singer along with Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Beghum. In her career spanning 25 years, she sang an overall of approximate 1700 songs for more than 100 composers.

Music lovers will always remember the magic of the sweet voice of the Koyal Geeta Dutt who spread so much happiness and joy in their lives. We sign off with this evergreen song sung by Geeta for the film Do Bhai

Yaad Karoge, yaad karoge
ek din humko yaad karoge

Note: This article is the english translation of this original hindi article.


12 Responses to “In Search Of The Real Geeta”

  1. rashmi says:

    You authority on the legend get confused?

    sir she had sung the songs for people from all walks of life – high class, modest class or the simplest ones

    noone can say or feel this song of hers is out of date

    aren’t i right?

    yes simple person’s love or sad feelings and the modest people’s luxury too r sang by her so simply – you can’t differentiate it yet can’t miss it also – just a question of peace of mind and leisure time to feel her singing

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