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|Born||Geetā Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri
23 November 1930
Faridpur, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now Bangladesh)
|Died||20 July 1972
|Spouse(s)||Guru Dutt (1953–1964; his death); 3 children|
Geeta Dutt (born Geetā Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri; 23 November 1930 – 20 July 1972) was a prominent Indian singer, born in Faridpur before the Partition of India. She found particular prominence as a playback singer in Hindi cinema. She also sang many modern Bengali songs, both in film and non-film genre.
Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri was one of 10 children born to a wealthy Zamindar family at Faridpur in Bengal, British India. Her family moved to Calcutta and Assam in the early forties, leaving behind their land and properties. In 1942, her parents moved to an apartment in Bombay. Geeta was twelve and continued her schooling at the Bengali High School.
K. Hanuman Prasad took Geeta under his patronage, trained and groomed her in singing and later launched her into singing for movies. In 1946, she got the first break with an opportunity to sing in the mythological film Bhakta Prahlad for which Prasad was the music director. She was given only two lines to sing for a few songs.
In 1947, she got her break with Do Bhai. The music of Do Bhai became a hit with "Mera sundar sapna beet gaya" topping the charts. Geeta Roy's fresh and melodious voice combined vivacity and pathos in such a way that, despite a pronounced "Bengali lilt," the song touched the pulse of thousands of music lovers. She was popularly nick-named "Bangal ka jadu" (the magic from Bengal). In the same film she sang the evocative "Yaad karoge, yaad karoge, ik din humko yaad karoge." It was remarkable for a teenager to sing with such maturity.
In the same year, she sang for Hunuman Prasad's other releases.
- "Naino Ki Pyali Se Hoto Ki Madira" (Rasili)
- "Neha Lagake Mukh Mod Gayaa" (Rasili)
- "Aaja ri Nindiya Aaja": a lullaby alongside the established playback singer Parul Ghosh (Nai Maa)
The uncanny ability of Geeta Dutt that made her race past her contemporaries was her unique versatility to sing any kind of song with the authentic tone, feeling, passion and emotion as demanded by the composition and the situation it was being picturised in. From a bhajan to a club song, from a haunting melancholic song to a peppy romantic number, she could traverse the range of music, seemingly effortlessly. This unique versatility helped Geeta (Roy) Dutt carve out a niche and cement her place even when the Lata Mangeshkar phenomenon was sweeping through the world of Hindi playback, following the runaway success of Aayega Aanewala in Mahal (1949). Geeta Dutt's chart-busting "Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer bana le" in Guru Dutt's directorial debut Baazi (1951) was the turning point where "Geeta Roy's vivacity was matched every inch by Geeta Bali on-screen". S. D. Burman had turned a ghazal by Sahir Ludhianvi into a sensual club song much to the chagrin of the famed lyricist-poet: The ploy worked as Baazi proved a hit on the strength of that song alone.
S D Burman fully exploited Geeta's potential across the spectrum. "Aan milo shyam saanware" (Devdas, 1955), the duet with Manna Dey, has the unmistakable touch of the Baul folk music of Bengal. "Nanhi kali sone chali" (Sujata, 1959) is one of the most popular and heart-touching lullaby ever where Geeta Dutt's voice rings maternal love in every note. The bubbly exuberance of "Aye dil mujhe bata de" (Bhai Bhai, 1956) is in sharp contrast to the pathos of "Waqt ne kiya" in (Kaagaz Ke Phool, 1959).
During Geeta's recording of songs for the movie Baazi, she met its young and upcoming director, Guru Dutt. Their romance culminated in marriage on 26 May 1953. Geeta and Guru Dutt had three children: Tarun (1954-1985), Arun (1956-2014) and Ninā (b. 1962).
With music directors Hemant Mukherjee (better known as Hemant Kumar in Bombay film industry) (Harano Sur, Sonar Harin) and Nachiketa Ghosh (Prithibi Amare Chaaye, 1957 and Indrani, 1958), Geeta Dutt came up with songs that were hauntingly melodious, youthful and heartwarming. At a time when Sandhya Mukherjee's voice was synonymous with Suchitra Sen, Hemant Mukherjee and Nachiketa Ghosh picked Geeta Dutt. She also cut a number Non-film discs, singing to the tune of notable music directors like Sudhin Dasgupta and Anal Chatterjee.
In 1958, S.D. Burman had developed discord with Lata Mangeshkar as a playback singer and he attempted to work with Geeta as the main singer of his compositions rather than the upcoming Asha Bhosle who, he felt, was relatively raw. However, out of her personal problems, Geeta would not practice her art sufficiently and failed to meet Burman's demanding standards. (He and O.P. Nayyar then started to work with Asha and helped her blossom as a singer.)
Guru Dutt's magnum opus Kaagaz Ke Phool came in 1959 in which Guru Dutt himself starred in the lead role with Waheeda Rehman. The film was in a way reflective of his own views on life and the transitory nature of fame and success in the film world.
Geeta Dutt came up with one of her best renditions in the heart-rending "Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam," composed by S. D. Burman and penned by Kaifi Azmi where she poured out her pain, anguish and pathos in every word. However, the box-office disaster of Kaagaz Ke Phool (which is now considered a classic) left them shattered, financially and emotionally.
In 1964, Guru Dutt died from a combination of alcohol and an overdose of sleeping pills. (His death was widely perceived as a suicide following two earlier attempts.) Geeta then suffered a serious nervous breakdown and ran into financial problems. She tried to resume her singing career, cutting discs at Durgā Pujā and giving stage shows. She performed in a leading role in a Bengali movie, Badhu Baran (1967), and sang admirably Anubhav (1971), which was her final performance to the music of Kanu Roy as she died of liver cirrhosis in 1972, at the age of 41.
Geeta died of cirrhosis of the liver on 20 July 1972 in Mumbai.
Further information: List of songs recorded by Geeta Dutt She is supposed to have sung over 1200 songs in Hindi films. In addition, she has sung songs in many Indian regional languages including Marathi, Bengali, Maithili, Bhojpuri and Punjabi. She has sung in Nepali evergreen movie Maitighar.
- "Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya" (Do Bhai – 1947 )
- "Woh Sapne Waali Raat" (Pyaar – 1950)
- "Tadbir Se Bigdi Hui Taqdeer" (Baazi – 1951)
- "Aan Milo Aan Milo" (Devdas – 1955 ) With Manna Dey
- "Aaj Sajan Mohe Ang Lagalo" (Pyaasa – 1957)
- " Jane kya tune kahi" ((Pyaasa – 1957)
- "Hum Aap Ke Aankhon Main" (Pyaasa – 1957) with Mohd. Rafi
- "Hawa Dhire Aana" (Sujata – 1959)
- "Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam" (Kaagaz Ke Phool – 1959)
- "Janu janu re" (Insaan Jaag Utha) with Asha Bhonsle
- "Zara Saamne Aa" (Baaz – 1953)
- "Babuji Dhire Chalna" (Aar Paar – 1954)
- "Thandi Hawa Kali Ghata" (Mr. & Mrs. '55 – 1955)
- "Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Ji" (Mr. & Mrs. '55 – 1955)
- "Jab Badal Lehraya" (Chhoomantar – 1956)
- "Mere Zindagi Ke Humsafar" (Shrimati 420 – 1956)
- "Jaata Kahan Hai" (CID – 1956)
- "Aye Dil Hain Mushkil" (Aka "Bombay Meri Jaan") (CID – 1956), With Mohammed Rafi
- "Chor, Lutere, Daku" (Ustad – 1957)
- "Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu" (Howrah Bridge – 1958)
- "Kaisa Jadoo Balam Tune Dara" (12 O'clock – 1958)
- "Jai Jagadish Hare" Composed By A Sanskrit Poet Jayadeva Circa 1200 AD (Anand Math - 1951)
- "Na Jaao Saiyaan Chhuda Ke Baiyaan" (Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam – 1962)
- "Kaise Roko Ge Aise Toofan Ko" (Anandmath – 1952 ) With Talat Mahmood
- "Madbhari Hain Pyar Ki Palken" (Fashion – 1957)
- "Na Yeh Chand Ho Ga" (Shart – 1954)
- "Piya Aiso Jiya Mein Samaye Gayo" (Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam – 1962)
- "Chale Aao Chale Aao" (Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam – 1962)
Madan Mohan's direction
- "Aye Dil Mujhe Bata De'"(Bhai Bhai – 1956)
For movie Anubhav (1971)
- "Mujhe Jaan Nah Kaho Meri Jaan" (Anubhav – 1971) Music: Kanu Roy
- "Mera Dil Jo Mera Hota" (Anubhav – 1971) Music: Kanu Roy
- "Koi Chupke Se Aake" (Anubhav – 1971) Music: Kanu Roy
Several songs from Jogan:
- "Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol"
- "Mein Tou Girdhar Ke Ghar Jaon"
- "Mat Ja Mat Ja Jogi"
- "Dag Mag Dag Mag Dole Naiya"
- "Mein Tou Prem Diwani"
Some Bengali songs:
- 'Shachimata Go Char Juge Hai' (1950)
- 'Ekhan-O Dustar Lajja' (1952)
- 'Ei Sundar Swarnali Sandhyay' (Hospital, 1960; Music: Amal Mukherjee)
- 'Katha Achhe Tumi Aj Asbe (Kanu Ghosh 1960)
- 'Ei Mayabi Tithi' (Shonar Horin, 1959; Music: Hemant Mukherjee)
- 'Tumi Je Amar' (Harano Sur, 1958; Music: Hemant Kumar)
- 'Nishiraat Banka Chand Aakashe' (Prithibi Aamare Chaay, 1957; Music: Nachiketa Ghosh)
- 'Jhanak Jhanak Kanak Kankan Baaje' (Indrani, 1958; Music : Nachiketa Ghosh)
- ' Sundar, jano na ki.....' ( Indrani, 1958; Music : Nachiketa Ghosh)
- ' Nir chhoto kshati nei ' [duet with Hemanta Mukherjee]( Indrani, 1958; Music : Nachiketa Ghosh)
- ' Kancher churir chhata' ( Dak Harkara; Music : Sudhin Dasgupta)
A few Bengali songs of non-film genre:
- ' Kato gaan haralam tomar majhe ' (Music : Anal Chatterjee)
- ' Krishnachura aagun tumi ' (Music : Sudhin Dasgupta)
- ' Ektu chaoya, ektu paoya ' (Music : Sudhin Dasgupta)
- '..Aay aay moynamotir ganye ' (Music : Kanu Roy)
A postage stamp, bearing her face, was released by India Post to honour her on 3 May 2013.
- Ali, Nasir. "The Impact of Geeta Roy in Nineteen Forties". geetadutt.com. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Geeta Dutt – The Skylark Who Sang From The Heart". Learning and Creativity. 20 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- 'Guru Dutt attempted suicide thrice' Rediff.com 8 October 2004.
- "All Time Greats: Geeta Dutt: Too short a lifespan for a nightingale". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 30 June 2005.
- 'The Geeta Dutt Website'
- 'Geeta Dutt's Collaboration with S.D. Burman'
- Video on YouTube
- 'Geeta Dutt's Collaboration With O.P. Nayyar'
- 'Geeta Dutt's Collaboration With Hemant Kumar'
- Video on YouTube
- 'Geeta Dutt's Bengali Film Career'
- "Tumi Je Amar". Youtube.Com. Retrieved 29 March 2008.