RMIM Archive Article "198".
From the RMIM Article Archive maintained by Satish Subramanian
# RMIM Archives..
# Subject: Geeta Dutt
# Posted by: Hemant Parikh (firstname.lastname@example.org)
# Author: Raju Bharatan (for most part)
# Source: various
From the RMIM Article Archive maintained by Satish Subramanian
She was the blithe spirit of our popular music. All the
more so under the baton of O.P . Nayyar who owed his "Aar
Paar" breakthrough to her. Here is a peep into GEETA DUTT's
solo repertoire for this composer. On the occasion of her
22nd death anniversary falling on July 20,1994 a study by
RAJU BHARATAN. Complied by Hemant Parikh.
Who recommended O.P. Nayyar as a music director to Guru Dutt
for "Baaz"? Inimitable Geeta Roy of course, when she was all
set to become Geeta Dutt Which number arguably rates as the
hottest tune composed by O.P. Nayyar- yesterday, today or
tomorrow? Mera naam Chin-Chin-Choo, the Helen foot-tapper
from "Howrah Bridge".
What a grim irony that Mera naam Chin-Chin-Choo turned out
to be Geeta's swan song for O.P. I turn the spotlight here
on Geeta Dutt's solos for O.P Nayyar, since it is not my
style to halve the anniversary credit by bringing in the
singer's duets too. At twelve o'clock on July 20, we were
into 22 years without Geeta Dutt. Yet this blithe spirit of
our popular music has been in the public ear all these 22
years Geeta's vocal mystique, it is unique.
Especially under the seductive baton of O.P. Nayyar. The
story of their ear-riveting association be-gins with Dalsukh
Pancholi's "Asmaan" in 1952, flopping like nobody's show
business in the face of Geeta Roy's vocals in it; for
O.P.Nayyar, being vibrant as vibrant could be. Vibrant in
the shape of Pom pom pom baaja bole dholak dhin dhin dhin
(the GE28021 record I had to beg, borrow or steal for Ameen
Sayani to play during Binaca for birth play during
anniversary), Arre kya hoon main na bahaar hoon, Dekho
jaadoo bhare more naina and that stunner: Dil hai diwana
jawaan hai zamana. "Asmaan" bombed so explosively that O.P.
Nayyar switched wholesale to Asha Bhonsle for all the 12
songs of his next film, P.L. Santoshi's "Chham Chhama
Characteristically, Geeta never held this against O.P.,
commending his name to Guru Dutt to score the music for the
1953 Geeta Bali - Guru Dutt starrer, "Baaz". And Guru Dutt
shot the movie almost entirely on a ship. What memorable
solos O.P. composed for Geeta to articulate while working
for the first time with a creative director like Guru Dutt
and a super heroine like Geeta Bali. Remembar Geeta Roy's
Zara saamne aa zara aankh mila on Geeta Bali?
And Geeta Roy rendering the very opposite style of tune in
the very opposite style of scene that Geeta Bali, alone
could take in her acting stride; Ai dil ai diwane aag laga
li kyun daaman mein. There were, in the same "Baaz", other
numbers that the listener of taste recalls to this day as
Geeta-O.P. at their brightest; Maanjhi albele chalo re haule
haule, Ai watan ke nauja waan jaag aur jaga ke chal, Taare
chaandni afsaane samaan bahaar hai suhane and Jaage panchchi
savera hua. What composing by O.P., what vocalising by
Yet "Baaz" failed. But not the vocals of Geeta or the tunes
of O.P. In fact, the solo numbers scored by O.P. Nayyar for
Geeta Roy in "Asmaan" and "Baaz" have become collectors
items in the 22 years Geeta has been off but never away. As
for Geeta-O.P.'s "Aar Paar", its impact is still fresh in
our ears. For "Aar Paar" (1954) was the breakthrough film
for Guru Dutt and O.P.Nayyar alike.
It is well to remember that Geeta Roy, in posing an early
threat to Lata, had broken through long before Guru Dutt and
O.P. Nayyar found public acceptance. Yes, if the Mangeshkar
was already number one by 1953, she was "first only among
three equals". Lata, Geeta and Shamshad Be-gum. Asha Bhonsle
came into the reckoning only after these three and was still
struggling in 1953.
But Our theme song here is Geeta going solo in the sultry
custody of O.P. And the Geeta solos for O.P. in "Aar Paar"
may, each, be pinpointed as an ever green; Yeh lo main haari
piya, Babuji dhire chalna pyaar mein, Hoon abhi main jawaan
and that heart stopper on the obverse of the N50848 Sun sun
sun sun zaalima record: Jaa jaa jaa jaa bewafaa. The Sun sun
sun sun zaalima duet was a straight lift, but Jaa jaa jaa
jaa bewafaa was a mood creation by O.P. - epitomised by
Geeta in that antithetic idiom that so set off her vim and
vitality as a joie-de-vivre performer.
We had a fresh insight into this "other" mood of Geeta as,
in "Mr & Mrs 55", without the slightest sense of inhibition,
she took on C.H. Atma, under the same O.P., and invested
Preetam aan milo with her own vocal persona. Saroj Mohini
Nayyar, as the one who wrote the Atma original, was shaky
about this Geeta edition. But Saroj Mohini could feel shaky
only until Geeta's voice came over after that she knew she
was listening to a live enactor, not a mere singer. May be
Madhubala's visage was half the battle won. But can you
imagine Madhubala without Geeta in such "Mr & Mrs 55" solo
as Thandi hawa kaali ghata? Geeta had this gift of putting
her vocal stamp even on Madhubala! On Madhubala as on Cuckoo
- Neele aasmaane.
O P. Nayyar's composing, at this make-or-break stage in this
career, had a swinging rhythm that was best captured by mood
specialist Geeta Dutt. Look at the way Geeta put over for
O.P., in "Musafirkhana" that charming romantic solo on
Shyama; Dil dee daala nazrana. It was a simple tune equally
simply put across, that is why it was so lucidly picked up
by the simple ear and the simple mind.
What was "Choomantar" but a Johny Walker - Shyama - Karan
Dewan extension of "Musafirkhana". Before you could say
"Chhoomantar", Geeta had established her O.P. sway on your
heart with Jab baddal lehraaya jiya jhoom jhoom ke gaaya,
Gori gori raat hai taaron ki baaraat hai and Raat nashili
rang rangili mast hawa. What a shame these carefree re-
minders of our youth are numbers so little heard today.
Oh, but I have missed out on a film that is current soft-
drink coin: "Miss Coca Cola". The Pepsi people could never
have found a vocal match for Geeta, had she been living to
vivify the fizz in Coca-Cola. Geeta Bali had yet to wed
Shammi Kapoor when she was his "Miss Coca Cola" in the film
of that name! And how can we forget from "Miss Coca Cola"
such Geeta-O.P. ear-catchers as Sach sach bol nahin batiyaan
bana, Teri kaafir nigah kar gayi dil ko tabaah and Ban
dhadkan kajra naina dole re. We rarely get to hear these
numbers, will Vividh Bharati and Doodarshan oblige, now that
the Coca-Colonisation of India by the USA is in full swing?
"C.I.D", of course, was the Raj Khosla directed Guru Dutt
film that brought O.P. Nayyar zooming on as a live
challenger to Shanker-Jaikishan in the year (1956) in which
that swiftly advancing duo bagged their maiden Filmfare Best
music award for "Chori Chori". All the film award entries, I
remember, were counted in my editorial charge in the Times
Of India building and Lata-Manna Dey, at their best in
"Chori Chori", just about managed to edge out Geeta-Rafi at
their best in "C.I.D". Shanker-Jaikishan, too, needed to be
at their most innovative to snatch that 1956 filmfare award
from O.P. Nayyar, who was to beat this duo to it the
following year with "Naya Daur" - without Geeta Dutt!
With Geeta Dutt, in "C.I.D", O.P. had but one solo - but
what a solo! The spell of Jaata kahaan hai diwane abides.
Its Kuchch tere dil mein fifi kuchch mere dil mein fifi
punchline by Geeta represented O.P. Nayyar's trendy counter
to S.D. Burman's Tip-tip-tip-tip-tip--tip-tip effect given
by the same Geeta Roy on Geeta Bali in the Dekh ke akeli
mohe beguiler of "Baazi". There was a raging in controversy
in the letters' section of Screen about why Geeta's Jaata
kahaan hai diwane was deleted from "C.I.D." Which is the
Geeta number you would choose from between O.P.'s Jaata
kahaan hai diwane and S.D.'s Dekh ke akeli mohe? The choice
lies between Geeta Roy and Geeta Dutt!
When he bagged "Mr. Lambu", for O.P. Nayyar it was a dream
come true, for the film gave him his first opportunity to
compose for Suraiya. At the time, I remember expressing my
disappointment to O.P. for the way he had scored Suraiya's
two solos in "Mr..Lambu" as Yaad karun tori batiyaan and
Soyi hai kahaan jaakar taqdeer mohabbat ki. But today these
Suraiya numbers sound pleasant enough. As pleasant as
Geeta's lone solo in "Mr. Lambu", Aaj jo hum tum mil gaye
pyaar mein? Well, for Geeta, Suraiya was no competition.
Even Lata was not, for the word "competition" did not exist
in Geeta's vocal lexicon.
That is why Geeta could pack her all even into a below-grade
crimusical like "Shrimati 420". There were no fewer than
three Geeta-O.P. solos in "Shrimati 420" and each was part
of a Nayyar wave that then swept our cinema: Meri zindagi ke
humsafar phenkna yahaan bhi ek nazar, Hum ko chhod ke kahaan
jaaoge saiyyan and Badi rangili zindagi hai ha seen hai
dillagi hai. What a great idea it would be if HMV issued a
Cassette made up exclusively of Geeta's OP solos in the
1952-60 phase. For come 1961 and Geeta sadly, is out of O.P.
Nayyar's recording room.
Which then is the timeless number with which Geeta Dutt came
closest to matching her own Mera naam Chin-Chin-Choo? We are
talking of O.P. Nayyar. so I say it is Chor lootere daaku in
"Ustad". I know Asha successfully grappled with every
sironise twist and turn in an O.P. tune in later years, but
Chor lootere daaku came at a time when Geeta alone could do
that for O.P. Nayyar. And whether the number be Chor lootere
daaku or Mera naam Chin-Chin-Choo, Geeta had the God given
gift of sounding sensuous without sounding salacious. Geeta
alone had this knack of never making even an O.P. tune sound
voluptuous. I concede Asha took over from Geeta in style,
yet the fact remains that there is not one O.P. tune you can
recall that Geeta coarsened .
"It is sad therefore that a sizzler like Chor lootere daaku
represents the phase (1957) in which O.P. Nayyar began the
business of banishing Geeta by having ears only for Asha.
The solos and duets alike of Geeta, I find, are severely
rationed by O.P., starting with "Ustad". In O.P.
chartbusters like "Tumsa Nahin Dekha" and "Naya Daur", even
in Nayyar quickies of this period like "Hum Sub Chor Hain"
and "Qaidi", it is Asha almost all the way, barring that
almost mandatory interpolation by Shamshad Begum.
With "Phagun", the Madhubala-Bharat Bhooshan all-Pilu
musical coming at the fag-end of 1957, O.P.'s obsession with
Asha is complete - all 11 songs in the film carry her
vocals. This I emphasise not as a criticism of Asha, who
came up the hard way, but merely as OP not being any longer
pre-pared to entertain the idea of resummoning his one time
chief artiste, Geeta Dutt. This was when Geeta made that
famous phone call to O.P. to ask: "What have I done to you
that you now don't send for me at all?" How does O.P. feel
about such Asha concentration and Geeta inattention today?
"Very guilty" says O.P. "But love knows no reason, only a
Even in such a season, in "Duniya Rang Rangeeli" in which
there were six songs by Asha tuned by O.P., Geeta Dutt left
a vocal mark, all her own in the sole solo she got in the
film: Kya yeh tu ne kiya ishara. From such an occasional
Geeta crumb, I conclude that O.P. at times suffered from
pricks of conscience. It was the call of such a conscience
that presumably made O.P. offer Geeta such solo sops in 1958
as Bach bach bach kahun sach sach sach in "Farishta" and
Channda chaandni mein jab chamke kya ho aa mile jo koyi
chham se in "Mujrim".
Yet there was one film in 1958 in which O.P. Nayyar had to
settle for Geeta Dutt as his main singer afresh. This,
traumatically for Geeta, was the Waheeda Rehnnan Guru Dutt
starrer: "Twelve O'Clock". We had here, hoon the still
super-supple throat of Geeta three such O.P. lilters as
Kaisa jaadu balam tum ne daara, Aji o suno to nahin tum ne
humen pehchana and Arre tauba taurba yeh teri ada. Thus was
the "Clock" chimingly turned back to "Twelve" before Geeta
Dutt disappeared from O.P. Nayyar's recording room.
Asha Bhonsle went on to sing for O.P. Nayyar as many as 81
solo plus chorus-backed numbers, but the digits get reversed
in the solo case of Geeta to 18. Yet what a watershed these
18 Geeta solos mark in O.P.'s career: O. P.Nayyar might have
created some sort of a recording by getting Asha to figure
in all songs of "Phagun", all 14 songs of "Basant", all 9
songs of "Hongkong", all 7 songs of "Mitti Mein Sona", all 6
songs in the case of each of three films: "C.I.D. 909",
"The Killers" and "Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye".
The Chain se hum ko kabhi aap ane jeene na diya
collaboration of Asha-O.P. may have a pang and a tang all
its own. Yet Asha Bhonsle, as a human being first and a
imputative being after, will be the first, I know, to spare
a Thandi thandi hawa poochche unka pata thought for a Geeta
who hid her light under a bushel so that her husband's might
shine the brighter . A husband who, when he went back to
O.P. Nayyar for "Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi", knew it had to
be Asha it could not be his wife even for a tune right up
Geeta's, alley like Koyi keh de keh de kehde zamane se jaa
ke ki hum ghabra ke mohabbat kar baithe....
An Asha shraddhanjali to Geeta, is it not overdue, now that
Ms. Bhonsle has sung like a champion for 22 years without
any competition from Ms.Dutt?
From the Record GEETA DUTT IN MEMORIAM
This marvel of a musical montage will bring you bitter-sweet
memories of bygone years. Bitter, because the voice that
presents it is the voice of Geeta Dutt who is no more with
us. And sweet, because sweetness was the keynote of her
Geeta's was the voice that lent a rare sensitivity and
poise, an uncanny grace and dignity, to every song she
warbled, It had also in it a subtle blend of talent and
imagination of originality and virtuosity - the kind of
blend we find so beautifully reflected in the rich legacy of
recorded repertoire she has left behind Indeed, her sudden
death at 41 has left a void in the melody world that is hard
to fill, . Born in a well-known family of Zamindars from
East Bengal, now Bangla Desh, Geeta Dutt migrated to Bombay
soon after partition in 1947, Timbre and tone were in her
blood and before long did she blaze a new trail as a singer
Maestros of the eminence of S, D, Burman and O, P, Nayyar
found her silken voice ideally suited for films and
harnessed it to best advantage, From then on, for almost two
decades, Geeta had her sway over millions of her fans,
singing as many as 5,000 songs in a variety of languages-
from Bengali and Hindi to Punjabi, Marathi and even Gujarati
Songs like Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya and Tadbeer se bigdi
hui, with their perennial appeal, are the finest examples of
her eloquent musical expression Geeta Dutt s marriage in 1
953 with Guru Dutt, the versatile producer - director -
-actor, was an event to remember in the world of film music.
She lent her voice to almost all the films produced by her
husband - like "Pyaasa", "Mr. and Mrs. 55", "Baazi", "Aar
Paar", "C.I.D" , "Kagaz- ke- Phool" and "Sahib Bibi Aur
And it is sheer delight to hear these songs even today, This
disc offers you the very epitome of her emotional world in
all its varied facets of the little joys and sorrows that
shaped her musical being.
Addition By Hemant Parikh.
(Source Raju Bharatan & Vandana Majumdar Articles)
Geeta Roy / Geeta Dutt
Died July 20, 1972 she was only 41. ( Born 1931)
- 1952 "Asmaan" First O.P. Nayyar -Geeta Dutt combina-
tion film flopped.
- 1953 Geeta Roy suggested Music Director O.P.
Nayyar's name to Guru Dutt for the film "Baaz" * ing
Guru Dutt & Geeta Bali.
- 1953 She was among the first three equal famous
singers 1) Lata Mangeshkar, 2) Geeta Dutt, 3) Samshad Begum.
- 1957 O.P. Nayaar never asked Geeta Dutt to sing for
Bharat Bhusahan & Madhubala starrer "Phagoon".
- 1958 O.P. Nayyar called her for the film " Twelve ‘
O' Clock" *ing Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rahman.
- During the film "Pyaasa" Guru Dutt fell in love with
Waheeda Rahman. Geeta could not face her Husband linked
with other woman, She stayed up all night her friends
suggested her to take alcohol.
- Guru Dutt stopped Geeta Dutt and Waheeda Rahman sign-
ing films out side his banner. Soon Geeta Dutt lived
- Guru Dutt passed away in the year 1964 ( 10th
October). It had been said that Geeta Dutt sold her
Jewellery to pay Guru Dutt's artistes. Her house was
auctioned. She started doing stage shows to support her
- Like the doomed love story of the choti bahu in
"Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam", both Meena Kumari and Geeta
Dutt who had infused into the role with the haunting Na
jaon saiya shoodake baiya became alcoholics themselves.
Ironically like the legendery Meena Kumari Geeeta Dutt
too finally sccumbed to the deadly cirrhosis of the
liver in 1972.. Jo dusro ko khush kar gaye who khud
khun ke aansoo pee gaye.
- Geeta Dutt sang 18 solo's for O.P. Nayyar
- Asha Bhonsle sang 81 solo's for O.P. Nayyar
- 1971 - Geeta Dutt sang her last song for the film
"Anubhav" for the Music director Kanu Roy.
- Born in Zamindar Family East Bengal ( Now the new
- She migrated to Bombay ( Now Mumbai) in the year
- 1953 - She married Guru Dutt Padkukone.
- She too tried comiting suicide.
- Dev Anand introduced Geeta Roy to Guru Dutt at a
party. They met again, when Geeta was recording Tadbeer
se bigdi hui taqdeer bana le. Soon, Guru Dutt was
madly in love with her. He wrote her long, love letters
and they would go for quiet drives together.
- Geeta Dutt till today remains one of the most Beauti-
ful female singers in the Indian Music Industry.
- Geeta Dutt sang most of her best songs for S.D.Burman
and O.P. Nayyar. But she also sang for Madan Mohan,
Shanker Jaikishan, Hemant Kumar, C. Ramchandra, Vasant
Desai, Ravi, Chitragupa, Naushad & Kanu Roy.
- Geeta Dutt sang her most famous-duets with Mohammad
Rafi. But she also sang with Asha Bhonsle, Lata
Mangeshkar, Hemant Kumar, Talat Mahmod and Mukesh.
I hope this will paint picures in your mind about the legen-
dry singer Geeta Dutt. If there is any corrections to be
made please e-mail me. Happy reading.
Hemant Parikh ( Music Fan)
Address: 15 - Sheppard Ave, Mount Roskill, Auckland - 4 New Zealand.
Ph: 0064 9 629 3598 Mobile: 0064 9 629 359 Fax: 0064 9 376 2223