Discovering Geeta Dutt..

Geeta Dutt

If there is any female playback singer other than Lata Mangeshkar that I am a big fan of, it has to be Geeta Dutt. I must admit that I have only discovered her fairly recently. I mean I always enjoyed listening to her popular numbers like Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo (Howrah Bridge) or Babuji Dheere Chalna (Aar Paar) or the all-time classic like Waqt Ne Kiya (Kaghaz Ke Phool), but in my mind the image of Geeta Dutt largely remained that of a singer who excelled in only one kind of genre – the club song – with a few sprinklings of pathos-ridden songs here and there.

And, boy was I wrong! As I listened to more and more of her songs, I realized that her repertoire is so wide that it is difficult to slot her into a particular genre. That’s what I mean, when I use the word ‘discover’ in her context.

I am presenting below some songs that I have discovered only in the last 4-5 years, but which have left an impression on me for varied reasons. They are relatively less talked about or even heard, cover different genres and styles and are beyond her usual hits i.e. those from Guru Dutt films or those composed by S. D Burman, O. P Nayyar and Hemant Kumar.

Barkha Ki Raat Mein He Ho Ha (Sardar, 1955, Jagmohan ‘Sursagar’, Udhav Kumar)

What an infectious song! The joi de vivre captured in this composition comes alive in Geeta Dutt’s voice. I can never get enough of this song. If I play it once, it ends up being played several times in a loop.

O Raja Re Mujhe Apni Bana Le (Leela, 1947, C. Ramchandra, Qamar Jalalabadi)

This is one of the few solos that C. Ramchandra composed for Geeta Dutt. What a delightful song! Hear the way she renders the words “O Raja Re” – pleading and seducing at the same time!

Mujhe Huzoor Tum Se Pyar Hai (Son of India, 1962, Naushad, Shakeel Badayuni)
Naushad hardly ever used Geeta Dutt’s voice, and this is the only full-fledged song he gave to her (the earlier song she sang in Dillagi can best be classified as a song-let). Geeta Dutt’s rendition oozes romance with just a modicum of seduction sprinkled in.

Here is the film version of this song

And here is the full audio of the same song

Dil Lagana Tu Kya Jaane (Commander, 1959, Chitragupta, Sarshar Sailani)

Chitragupta was one composer who exploited Geeta Dutt’s expertise in various genres to the fullest, giving her all variety of songs though the 50s. This club-style composition from Commander has Geeta Dutt written all over it.

Sun Le Zameen Aasman Ke Khuda (Nek Khatoon, 1959, Jimmy, ?)

Complaints to God are usually composed in a maudlin, mostly melodramatic fashion. That’s what makes this song different. I would love to see the situation of this song as this is composed like a dance song. Geeta Dutt does complete justice to the contrast in subject and form.

Dilbar Se Pyar Chhupane Mein (Inquilab, 1956, Hansraj Bahl, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan)
In this song, Geeta Dutt sings for two on-screen characters. Filmed as an exchange between two friends, this song has a certain cuteness that is difficult to resist.

Thi Aur Mulaqat Wo (Nirmal, 1952, Bulo C. Rani, Moti B. A)

Bulo C. Rani is another composer whose collaboration with Geeta Dutt was nothing short of magical. Nirmal is his lesser known film with some lovely Geeta Dutt songs. The high point of this romantic song from Nirmal is when Geeta Dutt renders the second stanza. The variations in the word ‘jhulaoon’ are simply a class apart.

Ankhiyon Se Need Chura Re (Bhool Bhulaiyan, 1949, Bulo C. Rani, Rajinder Krishan)
Another Bulo C. Rani beauty set to a simple, but catchy rhythm. From the words the song seems like depicting the first realization of love by the character. Geeta Dutt adds a distinct charm to this song by accentuating the new-found longing of the character as she lingers on just a little longer on the word ‘haaye’.

Dhak Dhak Karti Chali Rail (Dilruba, 1950, Gyan Dutt, Pyarelal Santoshi)

This effect of a moving train is masterfully created by Gyan Dutt in this song. The ease of Geeta Dutt’s rendition is perfectly in sync with the gay abandon with which Rehana dances on screen.

O Pagle Manwa Rota Hai Kyun (Bheeshm Pratigya, 1950, S. K Pal, Manohar Khanna)
While most people tend to unfairly stereotype Geeta as a singer of sad and devotional songs in the early part of her career, it cannot be denied that her sad songs of the era have a quality that comes straight from the heart. This song from Bheeshm Pratigya is quite rare, but deserves a much wider appreciation.

I hope you enjoyed the above selections. By no means do they represent what I would consider Geeta Dutt’s best or even a list demonstrating her width and depth. But they are certainly songs that deserve to be heard.


We are extremely grateful to our dear friend Aditya Pant from Ghaziabad for paying tribute to Geeta ji’s lesser heard gems through this post. Aditya’s interests and knowledge in Indian film music has great variation and depths. He also has his own blogpage Urge to Fly dedicated to his passion about music and beyond. The URL is here

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2 Responses to “Discovering Geeta Dutt..”

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  2. Gajendra Khanna says:


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