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(1930 - 1972)
Salil Chaudhary

Salil Chowdhury was one of the greatest musical talents India ever had. He was a man of many talents. He was not only an outstanding composer, an accomplished and gifted arranger, poet and writer but above all an intellectual. A master multi-instrumentalist, he played excellent flute, violin and piano with a deep and well-studied understanding of several other instruments as is evident from their creative use in his music.

In 1952 Salil Chowdhury came to Bombay to compose the music for Do Beegha Zameen. This was the Hindi version of the successful Bengali Film 'Rikshawaala' . The story of 'Rikshawaala' was written by him and the music was composed by him. It was a tremendous success and so was 'Do Bigha Zameen'. Since then he had composed for over 75 Hindi Films, around 26 Malayalam Films and several Tamil, Telegu, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, Assameese and Oriya Films.

In a way, Salilda is the second Bengali composer who has practically neglected the talents of Geeta Dutt (the first one being maestro Anil Biswas). Between his debut year 1952 to 1970, he has composed music for about 35 odd Hindi Films and we

have a paltry seven songs sung by Geeta Dutt for him in this 19 year period (three solos and four duets, one each with Mohd. Rafi, Hemant Kumar, Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar).

For Bimal Roy production Amanat (1955) starring Bharat Bhushan and Chand Usmani, Geeta sings an enchanting duet “Jabse mili tose ankhiyan jiyara dole re” with Hemant Kumar. This is one of the popular songs and finds place in many CD compilations of Geeta Dutt. For the same film, she sings “Jhoome re kali bhanvra ulajh gaya kaaton mein”, another soft and sweet song.

Two years later, we have three songs sung by Geeta for Salilda for three different films. The lesser heard number “Din bahar ke hain” from Zamana (1957) is a stand-out song and one wonders why she has sung so less for him after listening to this song. Even though this song is not one among her famous ones, yet it probably is her best for Salilda. It creates a magical world of paradise in front of your closed eyes and the chorus is so much in sync with the mood of the song and singing of Geeta!

Her last song is a foot tapping number from Kishore Kumar, Madhubala starrer Half Ticket (1962). This film is a laugh riot and this song in particular is a comical romantic song, effectively penned by Shailendra and wonderfully composed by Salilda. Geeta gets to sing a single song for the film, that too a duet, yet she leaves her impression on the album. The days of association of Madhubala with Geeta’s voice were not anymore like before (“Thandi hawa kali ghata” came almost seven years back). Still Geeta is at her best in this song.

There is no information on Geeta singing any Bengali songs for Salilda.
List of songs sung by Geeta Dutt
Please note that this list may not be complete
Year Song Film Co-Singer
Jab se mili tose ankhiyan
Hemant Kumar
Banki Adayen Dekhna
Jhoome re kali
Din bahar ke hain
Hain pyar ke do matwale
Apradhi kaun
Manna Dey
Gul khile ya na khile
Raat ki uljhan
Mohd Rafi
Ankhon mein tum
Half Ticket
Kishore kumar
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