I have been thinking of writing about Geeta Dutt’s songs for a long time now. But due to some reason or the other, I couldn’t do it. This year I had plans for the 4th anniversary of my blog (which falls on 16th July) and to come up with another post on 20th July, on Geeta Dutt’s death anniversary, wasn’t possible either! The same is true for Rafi. I was thinking of posts on Rafi’s songs this year whenever an opportunity arose.
And I got my wish! Today’s Rafi’s 41st death anniversary. So I thought of coming up with a post dedicated to the duets sung by Rafi and Geeta Dutt. Two birds in a stone. Together they sang 165 songs including duets and trios. Thinking of their duets (which would be around 150, her highest with any playback singer of the golden era) reminds us of S D Burman and O P Nayyar mainly. But when I went through the duets in a systematic fashion, I was surprised to find that the maximum number (25) of their duets were composed by Chitragupt. In addition, N Datta, S N Tripathi, Vasant Desai also had their share. Nearly all the stalwarts offered them duets, a few of which also became popular.
While I was exploring the duets to make a list of my favourites I (as usual) was attracted to the lesser known or less popular duets. So I decided to go for it.
Both were god gifted singers and complemented each other very well. Though they could have sung duets across various genres, barring a few exceptions, most of their songs are peppy, catchy, exuding enthusiasm. The teasing songs, Chhed Chhad songs and so on. In the late 40s, however, they had a few songs in a melancholy mood. I also gathered that the majority of the songs picturised on Johny Walker were duets and many of those were sung by Rafi and Geeta Dutt.
Both the singers started their careers in the 40s. And they had the opportunity to sing together in the late 40s itself. Their first song however wasn’t a duet, but a trio, composed by S N Tripathi for the movie, Man Sarovar (1946). The co-singer was Binapani Mukherjee. The next year saw them singing together under the baton of C Ramchandra for the film, Saajan (1947). They sang a couple of trios with Lalita Deulkar. In 1947 itself they sang their first duet.
Let me open the list with the song,
Tera Kaanton Se Hai Pyar – Chunariya (1948) / Hansraj Behl – Mulkraj Bhakri
So the first ever duet by Rafi and Geeta Dutt was composed by Hansraj Behl. He again offered them a few duets in the late 40s. This is a good song, with a bit of difficult aalaps by Geeta Dutt. The style of aalaps sounds like Arabian. The song sounds like a beggar’s song, of course in the absence of video, I could not confirm!
It was again Hansraj Behl who offered them a duet in the film, Karwat in 1949. In the same year, Husnalal Bhagatram offered them trios as well, with Lata Mangeshkar as the co-signer. The film was Naach. Interestingly, Husnalal Bhagatram offered them a couple of trios once again in the film, Hamari Manzil. The co-signer was S D Batish.
In 1950, composer Krishna Dayal called them for a duet, let’s hear it,
Shama Jalti Hai To Parwane Chale Aate Hai – Bawra (1950) / Krishna Dayal – Ghafil Harnalvi
What a great pathos the ghazal creates! Just wonderful! I must confess, the solo version of the song by Lata Mangeshkar is more popular than the duet version and I was in love with it. But I must say, the duet is equally beautiful. Composed in a typical ghazal style, it mesmerizes you.
For the next couple of years, Chitragupt and Hansraj Behl recorded a number of their duets for the films, Hamara Ghar, Hamari Shan, Veer Babhruvahan and Khamosh Sipahi. Let me add a song from one of these films,
Yeh Taaron Bhari Raat – Hamari Shan (1951) / Chitragupt – Anjum Jaipuri
A cute romantic song with a nice tune. It has nice lyrics and very impressive rendition by the singers.
And as I said already Chitragupt recorded most of their duets. Let’s listen to some of the duets from later years.
Ho Chat Mangani To Pat Shadi – Chalbaaz (1958) / Chitragupt – Anjum Jaipuri
A typically sweet Chitragupt melody. Both of the singers have captured the mood perfectly. Effervescent rendition by Geeta Dutt, she is so lively. Only if there weren’t problems in her married life, she could have sung many more songs.
Zalim Kehna Maan – Baarat (1960) / Chitragupt – Majrooh
It’s a perfectly peppy song based on Punjabi folk. While it has a traditional tune, the singers make it an absolutely delightful experience with their energetic and open throated voices. The chemistry between Ajit and Shakeela is good, the pair looks gorgeous.
Teri Nazar Mein Main Rahoon – Band Master (1963) / Chitragupt – Prem Dhawan
The song has a jazzy tune, with westernised music. It’s an absolutely likable and melodious song. One of the few duets, she sang with Rafi in the 60s.
Geeta Dutt was a part of S D Burman’s musical team right from 1947, when she sang a couple of all time hits for the film Do Bhai. But it was in 1951, for the film, Naujawan that Burman Da offered Geeta Dutt and Rafi a couple of duets under his baton for the first time. Later he called them for duets in Jeevan Jyoti (1953) and Society (1955). But it was not until Pyaasa (1957) that their duets composed by Burman Da became popular. Unfortunately Burman Da couldn’t offer many songs to the duo after that. Their last duets composed by Burman Da were released in 1960. Let’s listen to a couple of duets. It’s a shame that these songs are not popular. Real hidden gems!
Rehem Kabhi To Farmao – Society (1955) / S D Burman – Sahir
I must confess I wasn’t aware of this funny song. What a delightful experience! I heard it for the first time during the research and instantly liked it. Just look at the way Rafi manages to convey the expressions! Mischievous and melodious. If you haven’t heard it before, please listen. I strongly recommend it.
Batao Kya Karoongi Main – Ek Ke Baad Ek (1960) / S D Burman – Kaifi Azmi
I would include it among their best duets. It was a real find for me. What an absolutely flawless rendition by Geeta Dutt! Soothing, melodious with perfect expressions. And what can I say about Rafi? Perfect! And for me, it’s one of the best songs composed by Burman Da. And so beautifully written, feels like a walk through a dreamy night.
Burman Da’s assistant, N Datta also offered quite a few songs to the duo. Right from his first film, Milap in 1955 to the 1960s.
Bachna Zara Ye Zamana Hai Bura – Milap (1955) / N Datta – Sahir
I’m not sure if I should call it a lesser known or less popular duet. It’s a bit popular, but again a general music lover may not have heard it.
Later, however, Datta was restricted to B grade films, like Doctor Shaitan, Awara Abdullah, Rickshawala etc.
Tum Mile Woh Din Dhale – Doctor Shaitan (1959) / N Datta – Jan Nissar Akhtar
Whatever might be the grade of the movie, the song is definitely good. A fresh and delicate voice of Geeta Dutt, with equally energetic voice of Rafi. Surely a charming duet!
On another front, in 1954, the film Aar Paar was released and the duets sung by Rafi and Geeta Dutt became roaringly popular. Those were their first duets with Nayyar. It was also the first time that their duets reached the heights of success and popularity. Later they sang a number of duets under Nayyar’s baton, till 1957-58. Later on due to various reasons, Nayyar was more inclined to Asha Bhosle and it was for the film, 12 o’clock in 1958 that their last couple of duets for O P Nayyar were released.
As I’m going to highlight lesser known or less popular songs, let me present a couple of duets,
Are Na Na Na Tauba – Aar Paar (1954) / O P Nayyar – Majrooh
Oh my god! Even after knowing this movie for more than two decades, I wasn’t aware of this song. Picturised on the real life couple, Johnny Walker and Noor Jahan (actress Shakeela’s sister), it reminded me of Jane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Jee. I’m not sure if this is really less popular or I was the only one not to know about it. Mischievous sounding Geeta Dutt and teasing voice of Rafi make a good combination.
Dekho Ji Dekho Meethi Ada Se – Maai Baap (1957) / O P Nayyar – Jan Nissar Akhtar
A club dance by Meenu Mumtaz and Johnny Walker. A typical Nayyar song.
Now, let’s have a look at the duets composed by other composers. Though composers like Shankar Jaikishan, Madan Mohan, Roshan were hugely popular, Geeta Dutt wasn’t a regular singer for them. And though Geeta Dutt had a good association with Hemant Kumar, the latter wasn’t much inclined to Rafi. So the list has a mixed bunch of songs, covering the first rung and second rung composers. I’ve focused on the songs from the mid to the late 50s. The songs are arranged in chronological order.
Meri Jaan Gair Ko Tum – Kundan (1955) / Ghulam Mohammad – Shakeel Badayuni
A good melody full of fun. Om Prakash and Kumkum teasing each other. If I remember correctly, this song was mentioned by Aditi Pathak in her comments on the Ghulam Mohammad post.
Le Gaya Dekho Dekho Dil – Samundar (1957) / Madan Mohan – Rajendra Krishan
While the movie is mainly adored for songs by Lata Mangeshkar, this one’s a hidden gem! Listen to the two of them sing. She is singing consistently perfectly even if he is singing like a drunken man, which may cause the co-signer to go off-beat. The song has flavour of O P Nayyar’s style.
Gori Gori Patli Kalai – Hill Station (1957) / Hemant Kumar – S H Bihari
Not an outstanding song, but perhaps the only duet, Rafi and Geeta Dutt sang under the baton of Hemant Kumar.
Chhunak Chhunak Thunak Thunak – Panchayat (1958) Iqbal Qureshi – Shakeel Nomani
A forgotten melody. It’s so marvelous, so full of rhythm and melodious. It flows smoothly like silk. And good picturisation on the banks of river with Shyama and Raj Kumar. Excuse me for poor audio quality.
O Soniye O Soniye – 10′ O clock (1958) / Ram Ganguly – Shyam Hindi
The song depicts war of genders. I don’t know why this catchy number isn’t popular despite being very entertaining.
Unse Rippi Tippi Ho Gayi – Agra Road (1958) / Roshan – Prem Dhawan
A gang of youngsters roaming around. The heroine drives the hero with her. The tune is attractive, the lyrics are multilingual, with incorporation of Gujarati, Punjabi. But the icing on the cake is yodeling by Rafi. He does it wonderfully well. The only irritating thing is very average picturisation.
Dil Hum To Haare – Ardhangini (1959) / Vasant Desai – Majrooh
The film has three wonderful duets by Rafi and Geeta Dutt. A couple of them are dance numbers, picturised on Gopi Krishna. One of the songs has Jeevankala, while the one I’ve included has Naaz, as a dancer. The third song is picturised on Shubha Khote and Agha. All the songs are well sung by the duo, and very beautifully composed by Vasant Desai.
Dil Se Dil Takraye – Love Marriage (1959) / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
A peppy dance number by Helen and Surya Kumar. It’s relatively less popular as compared to the other songs of the movie. I won’t call it great, though Geeta Dutt is memorable in the song. Perhaps her only duet with Rafi under SJ’s baton.
Yeh Bheegi Bheegi Raat – Dr Z (1959) / Manohar – Akhtar Romani
The song refreshes our memories of a few songs, like Yeh Mard Bade Bedard and Yeh Mere Haath Mein Tera Haath. It sounds much like Nayyar’s melody, perhaps it has roots in Punjabi folk music. A good song.
Nadi Kinare Koi Pukare – Chandramukhi (1960) / S N Tripathi – Bharat Vyas
How can a song be so sweet! It’s the magic of S N Tripathi. The foot tapping song has a perfect rhythm, aptly rhyming words, and a honey dipped melody. It perhaps has a Rajasthani folk base. You just start listening to it, start tapping your feet and get completely lost in the song. Equal appreciation for the singers, not a single moment of boredom. Lovely lyrics by Bharat Vyas.
In the 1960s, however, the number of duets plummeted significantly. We know what exactly happened to Geeta Dutt in the 60s. Due to the conflict between her and Guru Dutt, she was unable to concentrate on her singing career. The story actually started in the late 50s itself, but manifested significantly in the 60s, when in general Geeta Dutt was nearly swept away from the mainstream playback. If the rumours are to be believed, Guru Dutt was a self centred man, hardly caring for Geeta Dutta’s feelings. Anyways, it must have been a difficult period for her. Still she had a few assignments.
For the film, Pyar Ki Daastan (1961) a couple of duets were recorded by Nashad and were picturised on Mohan Choti and Jeevankala.
But I’m adding a song from the movie, Gangu (1962),
Ye Gora Gora Mukhda Ye Kala Kala Til – Gangu (1962) / Kalyanji Anandji – Prem Dhawan
A song picturised on Chandrashekhar and Naaz. I came across it last month, while researching for my post. A typical 60s song! Good tune and good rendition by the singers.
Humein Pyar Karne Na Dega Zamana – Pyar Ki Baazi (1966) / Jimmy – Indeevar
One of her last duets with Geeta Dutt. Please ignore Jagdeep and Vijaya Choudhary, listen to the song. The song is full of pathos and Geeta Dutt sings with perfect expressions. After singing a lot of teasing songs in the 50s, they finally sang this song.
And, to end the list, let me present a song from an unreleased film. Though I couldn’t confirm, the film was perhaps meant to be released in the 1970s.
Gul Khile Ya Na Khile – Raat Ki Uljhan (unreleased ?1971) / Salil Chowdhury
This one was perhaps the forerunner of the song from Chhoti Si Baat. It has all the things a typical Salil Chowdhury song has! Though Geeta Dutt’s voice sounds a bit older, it still has her unmistakable charm and freshness. Such an energetic, youthful song. I’m glad I’m ending the post with a joyous song. Still a sad feeling about Geeta Dutt’s unfortunate life makes my heart go out to her.
I’ve tried covering as many composers as I could. Please add duets fitting the theme. I know, the word ‘lesser known’ would change its meaning subjectively. So you may find a few known songs on the list.
Image Courtesy:- Mohdrafi.com
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.