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(1930 - 1972)
Sudha Malhotra

The melodious voice of Sudha Malhotra captured the hearts of listeners from the very beginning. Sudha got her very first break as a playback singer in the film Aarzoo (1950), under the baton of legendary composer Anil Biswas. Some sources mention that composer Datta Davjekar introduced Sudha Malhotra for Premnath's English-Hindi bilingual film”Prisoner of Golconda”.

Her versatility allowed her to portray a range of songs, even though she did end up being typecast by the film industry. She sang songs for Hindi films and also in several other languages. Her Marathi duet song “Shukr taara mand waara” with Arun Date is an evergreen classic melody, still enthralling music lovers.

Geeta Dutt and Sudha Malhotra sang quite a few songs together. The earliest comes from music director Vinod, for the film Ootpatang (1955). 'Jhanak jhanak baajey paayal mori' is a sweet conversational song between the two, with interesting arrangement for the interludes too.

Then came the song 'Idhar bhi ek nazar' for Ab Dilli dur nahin (1957, composed by Dattaram), a trio by Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhonsle and Sudha Malhotra. This song is a very good showcase for the three amazing voices which are all young and in extreme good form at that time. The same year, they sang 'Sun dukhde hamaare', a devotional for Naag Padmini (composed by Sanmukh Babu). This is a beautiful song showing the range of Geeta Dutt's voice and is a must listen.

In 1959, Suresh Talwar directed the music for the film Fashionable Wife and Geeta Dutt sang quite a few songs for this movie. Sudha Malhotra sang only one song here that was a duet with Geeta Dutt. 'Sadak pyaar ki kadak' is a fun song and very peppy. Both singers sound like they are having fun while singing this song. On top of that, interesting road sounds make up a significant part of interlude music, adding to the experience. This fun-filled song is penned by lyricist Bharat Vyas who is generally associated with mythological films. The way Sudha gives a twist to the word “Motor car” (pronounced as “Motar carr”) is funny!

The next year, 1960 gives us two duets by them. S. D. Burman composed both of them. The first one of them is 'Haath pasaare raste raste' (Ek ke baad ek, 1960). Interestingly, just like the song 'Idhar bhi ek nazar' for Ab Dilli dur nahin, this song was also filmed on children. This film was more like a documentary promoting family planning. This song is filmed on a couple of children begging on the streets.

For Kala Bazaar, S.D. Burman once again utilised the same two singers, for the very popular devotional song 'Naa main dhan chaahun', which is without doubt the most popular song from this collaboration. Sudha Malhotra sang for young Nanda and Geeta sang for Leela Chitnis in this song. (Just a couple of years ago, Geeta Dutt had sung the superhit song “Tohra manwa kyon ghabaraye re” filmed on Leela Chitnis for the film Saadhna. This possibly prompted the composer to have Geeta sing for the veteran actress).

The two singers came together again after a long gap of 10 years, in 1970 for the film Jwala (Shankar Jaikishan). The song 'Haule haule ek bhi naa ghungroo boley). This song is a trio with Lata Mangeshkar and a very popular and melodious song. This remains the sweet note on which the collaboration between Geeta Dutt and Sudha Malhotra ended.

List of songs sung by Geeta Dutt with Sudha Malhotra
Year Film Track Co-Singer Music Lyrics Remarks
1955 Oot Pataang Jhanak Jhanak Baaje Payal Mori - Vinod D.N. Madhok -
1957 Ab Dilli Door Nahin Lo Har Cheez Le Lo Asha Dattaram Hasrat Jaipuri -
1957 Naag Padmini Sun Dukhde Hamare - Sanmukh Babu Prem Dhawan -
1959 Fashionable Wife Sadak Pyar Ki Kadak Badi Hai - Suresh-Talwar Bharat Vyas -
1960 Ek Ke Baad Ek Haath Pasaare Raste Raste - S.D. Burman Kaifi Azmi -
1959 Kala Bazar Na Main Dhan Chahoon Na Rattan Chahoon - S.D. Burman Shailendra -
1970 Jwala Haule Haule Ek Bhi Na Ghungroo Bole Lata Shankar Jaikishan Rajendra Krishan -
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