Saturday, June 28, 2014



                      ( V K Murthy)
                           (Abrar Alvi)
   (Guru Dutt with Johny  Walker)

   ( Guru Dutt with his wife Geeta Dutt) “ 
                 (With Waheeda Rehman)
  ( With wife and Waheeda Rehman)
                   ( The marriage day)
                            ( Guru Dutt )
                   ( With Waheeda Rehman)
                 ( With Waheeda Rehman)
( With Raj Khosla, Devanad and Waheeda Rehman)
                ( With Waheeda Rehman)
              ( With his wife and Children)
                      ( A family picnic)


 GURU DUTT .( 1925 -1964 )

His real Name ; Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone  or Guru Dutt ( 1925-1964 ). From  a telephone operator to a  prominent film  actor , director and producer ; the Journey was  knotty and  full of troubles  for this restless spirit  . 

His core  team consisted of Abrar Alvi ( screen play or story writer ) , V K Murthy   (cinematographer ) and the comedian Johny Walker 
Cinematographer  V K Murthy  ,who worked in most of Guru Dutt’s brilliant classics like Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam , informs this :-

“Working with him was a terrific experience. He worked on serious subjects, the intellectual type of work. He was hesitant to face the camera as actor, but he did so at my insistence. I was sure because he understood the roles so well.His process involved finalisation of the screenplay and dialogues. This involved many rewrites between him and Abrar Alvi. He could not critique his acting adequately, and so this job was up to Abrar or I. He would never compromise on the way the film turned out, the way each scene linked with the other. 
He was an obsessive director, and until the shot came out just as he wanted he would continue with as many takes as he needed, without a break.

Kaagaz Ke Phool was India's first cinemascope film. We had seen it in foreign films, and Guru Dutt wanted to do something novel for this film. We were inspired by one man, Prabhu, the manager of  Twentieth Century Fox. They had come to India to shoot a film in cinemascope and, after the shooting, left their lenses in their Indian office.Prabhu asked Guru Dutt if he would like to try the equipment. Guru Dutt was intrigued and we tried some shots, saw the rushes and decided that we would do 'Kaagaz Ke Phool' in this format.

 “Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam”was a milestone in terms of lighting.
He was a 'normal' person, very jovial. His lifestyle was that of a lower-middle-class person, and he maintained that despite his success. We often went to eat Dosa and Bhelpuri. We played cricket in the studio compound, and later, we prepared a badminton court with a Chattai(mat).

 I met him over drinks eight days before his death. He was perfectly fine then. I had warned him once or twice not to get excited and to stay calm. During his last days, he was very tense and people would not go near him. They would stay away. " 

  Guru Dutt  married the famous play back  singer Geeta  Dutt in 1953. It was in 1956 when Guru Dutt launched a new girl, Waheeda Rehman, in his movie 'C.I.D.' and soon after, the rumours of their alleged relationship became the hottest talk of the town. Obviously, all these reports miffed Geeta Dutt. It  is widely believed that his close proximity to   Waheeda Rehman, who became one of his leading heroines,    broke his family life . 

"Jab Hum Chalein  To Saaya Bhi Apna Na Saath De, 
Jab Tum Chalo Zameen Chale Aasman Chale, 
Jab Hum Rukein  To Saath Ruke Sham-e-bekasi, 
Jab Tum Ruko Bahaar Ruke Chandni Ruke "

(When I walk, even my shadow doesn't  accompany me; 
 when you stroll , the earth and the sky  strolls with you. 
When I discontinue , this evening  of helplessness  comes to stay along ,
 When you halt , The  spring comes to stay 
And the  moonlight too halts ...)

This was a popular poetic  dialogue from Guru Dutt's movie "Pyaasa" that  remains a  "Time  Readers Choice" for  top 10 movie of all times .

Guru Datt  also led an  indisciplined  personal life. He was a chain  smoker  , drank heavily, and quite often  left his house at sunrise and returned past midnight .

 And then  one day, his wife  Geeta Dutt took the children with her  and went to live in  her  parental house . He sold his house and shifted to  a rented accommodation  at Peddar Road. To ward off loneliness ,  he took to heavy drinking  . He also  got addicted to sleeping  pills while trying  to treat his   sleep disorder and restlessness.   Nothing helped him.He died an unnatural death  in 1964 at a young  age of thirty-nine .   Guru Dutt had scheduled appointments the next day of his death  with actress Mala Sinha for his movie Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, and Raj Kapoor to discuss making colour films .
Some believe it was  due to an accidental overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol.

Adds V K Murthy  :-

“Before I shifted to Bangalore, I met him and Abrar Alvi. Guru Dutt told me, 'I have become an orphan now. Gharwale nahi hai, tum Bangalore ja rahe ho, Abrar doosra film likhne ke liye Madras ja raha hai. (My family is gone, you are going to Bangalore, Abrar is going to Madras to write for a film.). I have become an orphan. Kya karuun  mein?'’

 Guru Dutt had three childen , Arun , Tarun and Neena . Tarun , the eldest  , also committed suicide . Arun is looking after his father’s  Rich lineage . Neena  is married to  actress Minu Mumtaz's son.

 Shy to face camera , Guru Dutt  turned to direction and production. His movies are a class apart . His songs  explore   passionate human  situations with  intense lilting  poetry. He engaged  masters like Sahir , Majrooh , Shakeel and Kaifi Azmi as song writers for his movies . The classics that he created include  Pyassa ( He  also acted as hero  in this masterpiece apart from producing and directing it) , Kagaz ke Phool , Chaudavi Ka Chaand , Sahib Beebi Aur Ghulam ,  CID, Mr and Mrs 55, Baazi and   Aar Paar . Can one forget his movie songs like :+

  (1 ) Badle Badle Meray Sarkar Nazar Aatay Hain..
  ( 2 ) Dekhi Zamaane Ki Yaari 
 ( 3 )Waqt ne kiyaa  Kyaa Haseen Sitam.
 (4 ) Aaj sajan mohe aang Lagaa Lo 
(5) Jaane woh Kaise log thhay Jin Ke 
(6) Jinhe Naaz hai Hind Par Woh Kahaan Hain 
( 7 ) Tang Aa Chuke Hain 
(8) Piya aiso Jiya mein Samaayi Gayo Re
(9)  Na Jaao Saiyaan Chhurra Ke Baiyaan 
( 10 ) Yeh Lo Mein Hsari Piyaa 
 (11 ) Babu Ji Dheere Chalnaa 
(12 )  Kabhi aar Kabhi paar 

Some times I believe that he lived the  last days of  his life  exactly by    what  he sang  in "PYAASA  "…

lo Aaj hamne torr  diyaa rishta-e-ummeed
lo Ab kabhi Gilaa Na Kareinge kisi se hum

Gar Zindagi Mein Mil Gaye phir ittefaaq se
Poochheinge apnaa haal teri  bebasi se hum
 ………………………Tang aa Chuke Hain Kashmakashe Zindagi Se Hum                        
                                       Thukraa na Dein jahaan Ko Kahin Bedilli Se Hum     


( Avtar Mota )

P S 

Padukones are   Sarswat  Brahmin . There is a strong belief that many centuries ago, these people moved out from  Kashmir and settled in  coastal Karnatka , Maharashtra  and a part of Konkan . I spoke to some of them in Goa , Bangaluru and Manglore  and they   confirmed it with pride . Some extensive research is needed in this field as   their customs , colour of skin  , religious ceremonies   and  tendency to go for the  pursuit of knowledge and fine arts  matches with Kashmiri Pandits  . These Sarswat  Brahmins  are mostly Shaivites  and their Kuldevta is either  Mangeshi or Nageshi or any other form of Lord Shiva.
Some prominent names from this community that come to mind are  Guru Dutt ,  Lata Mangeshkar , Sachin Tendulkar , Aishwarya Rai ,Leena Chandavarkar ,Shyam Benegal , Girish Karnad , Suman Kalyanpur ,  T  A Pai  ,  M V Kamath , Sunil Gavaskar  ,Deepika Padukone  , Prakash Padukone, and  Nandan Nilekani.

Dr K N Pandita , noted historian and scholar  told me this  :-

" Post 1990   , i attended a conference of Sarswat Brahmins in Mumbai and it transpired to me that every Sarswat Brahmin from Western India believes that his origin is Kashmir . I was also asked to address the Sarswat gathering. Listening to our  suffering, these Sarswats  offered  free land for our  resettlement' in Konkan area. A leader of Sarswats present in that gathering was prepared to donate two  Crores
 on spot should Pandits uprooted from their native land  decide to settle in any area of Goa, Maharashtra and karnataka.It was probably 1992"

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