Saturday, June 28, 2014








Geeta Roy or Geeta Gosh Roy Chowdhary was born at Faridpur ( now Bangla Desh ) to a family of landlords on 23rd November 1930 . She was one of the ten children born to Debendranath Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri and Amiya Devi. From East Bengal, the family moved to Kolkata and finally settled in Mumbai. Geeta has been a gifted singer since her birth. A little training under Hirendernath Nandi made her an accomplished singer and she started singing at the age of 16 years.

Though some assignments as a playback singer came her way immediately, it was S D Burman who gave her a major break in DO BHAI. Burman Dada offered her six songs in Baazi thereafter. And All the six turned all-time hits. After that, she never looked back.I quote some hot songs from Baazi:-

 (1) Suno Gajar kya Gaaye

(2) Aaj Ki raat Piya

(3) Tadbeer se Bigrri huyee taqdeer Bana le

 To the song “Tadbeer se bigrri huyee “, Burman Dada gave a Western touch to the general feel of the song. That made it a super hit. Devanand once said that almost all the officers of Jodhpur Airforce Station would come to a particular cinema hall in the city, buy tickets, see the song and leave. This was a daily affair for that cinema and that was the popularity of the song.

 Baazi was directed by Devanand’s close friend Guru Dutt. During the shooting of Baazi, a serious love affair between Geeta Roy and Guru Dutt also flourished. Geeta lived with her parents at Dadar while Guru Dutt had taken up a residence at Matunga, hardly 1 km away. They would meet quite frequently.

After Baazi, another directorial venture proved a big success for Guru Dutt. It was Jaal. Thereafter, Guru Dutt formed his own production house and married Geeta Roy on 26 May 1953 in spite of stiff opposition from his family. Their eldest child Tarun was born in 1954 followed by another son Arun in 1956 and a lovely daughter Nina in 1962. That made them happy. Geeta Dutt now sang for all the movies that Guru Dutt produced or directed. She sang some all-time great songs like:-

 (1 ) Waqt ne kiya kyaa haseen sitam for Kagaz Ke Phool .

(2) Aaj sajan mohe ang lagaa lo janam safal ho jaaye for Pyaasa.

(3) Na jao saiyaan churra ke baiyaan for Sahib Bibi Au Ghulam

(4) Jaane kya tune kahi for Pyaasa

 Other memorable songs that she sang are Babu ji dheere chalna , Jaata kahaan hai deewane , Mera naam chin chin ,Thandi hawa kaali ghata aa hi gayee jhoom ke , Mera sunder sapna toot gaya ,Kaisa jaadoo balam tune dara ,Piya aiso jiya mein samaayi gayo re,Aye dil mujhe bataa de ,Aan milo shaam saanware and many more.

PYASSA ( 1957 ) had brought Guru Dutt close to Waheeda Rehman. This proximity became a cause of great unpleasantness in his family life. It created a gap that widened with the passage of time. A chapter in the book “ YEARS WITH GURU DUTT – ABRAR ALVI’S JOURNEY ” makes you believe that Guru Dutt was almost ready to perform a Nikaah and marry Waheeda Rehman but for some reason spurned the idea at the last moment.

And then Guru Dutt completed Kagaz Ke Phool. Kagaz ke phool was perhaps a movie much ahead of its time. It proved a commercial disaster for Guru Dutt. He behaved abnormally after the failure of this project. He went into bouts of depression, and started some more movies like PROFESSOR and RAAZ but abandoned the projects halfway. He turned almost bankrupt. A sensitive Geeta was saddened and depressed with all this around her. It was during this period that Geeta Dutt took to drinking. She lost interest in work. She started refusing offers to sing. She refused to sing for S D Burman and O P Nayyar who considered her as their primary playback voice. Guru Dutt somehow managed to salvage himself and create another master piece CHAUDAVI KA CHAAND followed by SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM in 1962 . SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM was a commercial success. Things appeared to be settling down for Guru Dutt but Geeta had not given up her drinking and the family tension kept mounting. By 1964, Geeta had left Guru Dutt to live separately. She took her children along. Guru Dutt died in October same year. The tragic day of Guru Dutt’s death is described in detail in the book “ YEARS WITH GURU DUTT – ABRAR ALVI’S JOURNEY ”. I quote:-

 “That day Guru Dutt had some tiff with his estranged wife Geeta. He was having his drinks with Gole an Income Tax officer. I told them to have dinner as I was busy writing a scene. Geeta had refused to send their baby daughter to Guru Dutt so that he could spend some time with her. He kept calling her again and again and with each call his anger kept mounting. At last, he delivered an ultimatum: “Send the child or you will see my dead body.” I wrote the scene and asked Gole not to serve more drinks to Guru Dutt. I left for Lekh Tandon’s house at Napean Sea Road. I never saw Guru Dutt alive thereafter. And Inspite of her refusal to send the baby, Geeta Dutt could not sleep that night. She had some premonition as to what was going to happen. She was restless. She wanted to come personally to see her husband but her mother did not allow her to go alone at 2 am. She made many calls to Guru Dutt in the morning but the maid informed that sahib was asleep . Geeta kept calling after every half hour but failed to get any satisfactory reply. She finally asked the maid to break open the door and Guru Dutt was found dead. His driver used to buy Sonoril for him from a chemist’s shop in Khar. ”

 When Geeta came to know about Guru Dutt’s death, she had a major nervous breakdown. She could not recognize her own children for six months. She was in a financial crisis. Her brother Mukul Roy stood by her like a rock during this period. Some how she started her stage shows, acted in a Bengali movie and also sang again for the Hindi Movie ANUBHAV in 1971. All the three tracks ‘Koi Chupke Se Aake’, ‘Mera Dil Jo Mera Hota’ and ‘Mujhe Jaan Na Kaho, Meri Jaan’ sung for ANUBHAV were hits once again. These were her last recorded songs .But by now she had badly damaged her liver. This great artist with a magical ,husky and charming voice , finally breathed her last in a Mumbai hospital in 1972 . She died of liver cirrhosis . She was just 42 at that time. After her death, all the three children were looked after by Mukul Roy ( Geeta’s brother ).Mukul had quite often intervened for patch up between Geeta and Guru Dutt. In an interview, Arun Dutt, her son has said this :-

 "Mummy was an extrovert, a fun-loving, happy person, extremely generous, while my father was an introvert, an intense man. She was very sentimental and would fall for any sob story. Though they had their problems, she never let us witnesses them. We were more attached to her we hardly saw him [Guru Dutt]."


Bade shauq se sun raha tha zamana

Ham hi so gaye dastaan kehte kehte

Nasheman na jalta nishaani to rehti

Hamara tha kya theek rahte na rahte


( Avtar Mota )


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