Posts Tagged ‘Dutta’

A fan’s tribute: Vol. 5

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Geeta Dutt

Having been brought up in a middle class Bengali family in a small township of Assam, listening to Hindi songs was a taboo in our house for a long time. So, quite naturally, I became familiar with Rabindrasangeet and Modern Bengali songs of Hemanta, Manna, Dhananjay, Shyamal, Manabendra, Sandhya and others first and then, much later I started exploring the Hindi singers, who then gradually became more obsessive for me over the years. Recalling my childhood days, I remember, my father used to bring cassettes of Bengali songs of different artists every now and then, and whenever a new cassette used to come at our house, we used to listen to that repeatedly for 2-3 days! Difficult to believe such days existed in today’s world of i-Pods and mp3 players. Anyways, one day we got an ensemble cassette of Geeta Dutt (in Bengali, it was written “Dutta”, whether it was goofed up with the Bengali surname or done intentionally, I don’t know) and remember, Lata, Asha, Kishore and Rafi had yet to make their entries in our house by that time.

So came my first reception to the songs of Geeta Dutt- the immortal creations like Nishi raat banka chand aakashe, Ei sundar swarnali sandhyay, Tumi je aamaar, Shudhu ektukhani chawa etc etc. First impression is the last impression, they say, and it was for me as well. Geeta Dutt sketched out to be a singer of soft, melodious and sometimes slow songs for me for a long time. And trusting my father to the full, I had confirm belief that Geeta Dutt must be one of those “good singers” like Hemanta or Shyamal and not a “notorious lot” like the Hindi film singers ☺

Of course, in 1996, after listening to the first Geeta Dutt Hindi film songs collection, things changed. But, surprisingly, for many music lovers, Geeta Dutt is remembered more in Bengal for her soft, slow and soothing melodies and quite contradicting to her popular, club song singing image (especially in the fifties) in Hindi movies.
Geeta Dutt’s Bengali repertoire is indeed very different from her Hindi image. When you listen to her in songs like “Koi door se awaz de” or “ Mujhe jaan na kaho meri jaan”, you might sometimes desperately wish why but why the music directors did not give her more of such songs?

Whereas, in Bengali, I sometime really miss more of her peppier and foot tapping numbers which she sang in Hindi. (Though she has the distinction of singing the very first cabaret song in Bengali film.) Even in Hindi, the sober, serious shade of Geeta Dutt was utilized more by the lot of Bengali MDs like Hemant, Salil, Timir Baran,Kanu Roy and S D Burman; with a big exception from Avinash Vyas who gave some sparkling gems of deep emotional songs to Geeta Dutt. Pankaj Mullick never worked with Lata or Asha, but he gave as many as five songs to Geeta ji in Zalzala(1952). The forties and the early fifties really belonged to this marvellous lady. She even bettered Kishore Kumar in the latter’s strong forte- naughty songs- in “De bhi chuke hum” for the film Jaal (1952); she was as if dominating the male singer with sheer confidence there! The kind of confidence with which she used to pull off those numbers those days, are beyond expressing in words.

Geeta Dutt’s Bengali work has that sharp distinction of being in a different segment altogether. Of course, she was very busy in Mumbai (then Bombay) in those days of the fifties, but still could manage to find times to record for Bengali non film albums and some highly memorable movies like Harano Sur, Hospital, Luko Churi. Guru Dutt started making a Bengali movie called Gouri in around 1954 for launching Geeta as a heroine, but the movie was never completed. S D Burman was the music director and some songs were recorded. Very recently, the song “Jaani bhromara kaino” (which was never released on records) was discovered through great contribution by SIRC.

S D Burman also used Geeta in other Bengali films like Samar(1950)- which was a remake of Bombay Talkies’Hindi movie Mashal released in the same year.

This 23rd November would be Geeta ji’s 82nd birth anniversary. A lady with great talent and versatility introduced so many concepts those days which were beyond imagination. One of her song in Jaal Saaz was banned also those days for being too bold. She broke traditions and orthodox in Hindi and stuck to them with equal ease in Bengali- amazing!!
The brand of Geeta Dutt is just like her- blend of spirit and soberness- excelling in each of them!
My salute to the Original Queen of Playback Singing in India.


We are grateful to our dear friend and a huge fan of Kishoreda, Shri Arghya Dutta for writing this special tribute on our request. Arghya has his own blog page here.
He has also written articles on Kishoreda on our sister website dedicated to the great singer/actor/composer Kishoreda.