Saturday, June 28, 2014





GEETA DUTT ( 1930-1972 )

 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 Calcutta  and finally settled in Mumbai.  Geeta was a gifted singer since her birth . A little training under   Hirendernath Nandi  made her an accomplished singer and she started singing from an age of 16 years .
 Though some assignments as play back singer came her way immediately , But it was S D Burman only who gave her a major break in DO  BHAI . After that , She never looked back. Burman Dada offered her six songs in BAAZI  thereafter .  And All the six turned all time hits . I quote some
(1)          Suno Gajar kya Gaaye
(2)          Aaj Ki raat Piya
(3)          Tadbeer se Bigrri huyee taqdeer Bana le
To  “Tadbeer se  Bigrri Huyee “ ,  Burman Dada gave a western touch  to the general feel  of the song. That made it 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  too 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 26th May 1953  inspite of  stiff opposition from his family. Tarun was born in 1954 followed by another son  Arun in 1956  and a lovely daughter  Nina in 1962.


Geeta Dutt now sang for all the movies that Guru Dutt Produced and directed . She sang all time great songs like ..
(1 ) Waqt Ne kiya kyaa Haseen sitam for KAGAZ KE PHOOL 
(2) Aaj sajan Mohe aang Lagaa lo janam safal Ho jaaye for PYAASA
(3) Na Jaao Saeyaan Churra ke Baeyaan for SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM

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 etc. and many more.

PYASSA ( 1957 ) had brought Guru Dutt close to Waheeda Rehman. This proximity became a cause of some unpleasantness in his family life. It created a gap that went on widening with passage of time. A chapter in the book “ YEARS WITH GURU DUTT – ABRAR ALVI’S JOURNEY ” makes you to believe that Guru Dutt was almost ready to perform a Nikaah and marry Waheeda Rehman but for some reasons 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 ,started some more movies like PROFESSOR and RAAZ but abandoned the projects halfway. He turned almost a Bankrupt. A sensitive Geeta was saddened and depressed with all this around her. It was during this period only that Geeta Dutt took to Drinking. She lost interest in work . She started refusing offers for singing .She refused to sing for S D Burman and O P Nayyar who considered her as their primary play back voice. And Guru Dutt some how managed to salvage himself and create another master piece CHAUDAVI KA CHAAND followed by SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM in 1962 .SAHIB BIBI UR GHULAAM 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 diner 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 tablets 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 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 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 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.

Her son ,Arun Dutt adds

"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

( Autar Mota 29.06.2014 )

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