Geeta Dutt is one of my most favourite playback singers of the golden era. Though she is mainly remembered for her popular association with O P Nayyar, S D Burman and Hemant Kumar, her other associations are worth exploring! When I wrote my first post on Chitragupt, I covered his playback singers other than Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi. And of course Geeta Dutt was on the list. It was in November 2017 and it was then I decided to go for a post on their association.
But for the last four years, due to some reason or the other, I wasn’t able to do it. Geeta Dutt sang around 85+ songs for him as per data available on the internet. That’s quite a significant number and yet a large majority of these songs are less known or even unknown. These songs are hardly ever listened to. It would be interesting to explore the unheard treasure.
This year when I was thinking about a topic for Geeta Dutt post, I realised that Chitragupt’s 104th birth anniversary (16th November) and Geeta Dutt’s 91st birthday (23rd November) are in the same month (I don’t know how I managed to miss it so far, I mean obviously their birthdays have been coinciding for so many years).
So finally here I’m with my post.
Geeta Dutt achieved fame and fortune with her songs from Do Bhai in 1947. Chitragupt was an assistant to S N Tripathi in his earlier days but started independently in 1946. His earlier films were all fantasy, stunt-action films, Fighting Hero, Lady Robinhood and Toofan Queen. Geeta Dutt sang for him for Jadui Ratan in 1947. Most probably it was her first film with Chitragupt. Three of her songs from the film are available. A solo and a couple of duets. Let me start today’s post with one of the songs.
Mera Nanha Sa Dil Piya – Jaadui Ratan (1947) With Radha Govind / Lyrics – Behzad Lucknowi
A typical vintage era song. Geeta Dutt’s voice sounds a bit different, perhaps due to poor quality of recording.
Nevertheless it’s quite an enjoyable song. Her co-singer was Radha Govind Pattnaik from Orissa. I couldn’t find much information about him. If anyone knows please add.
The next year, she sang only one solo for Mala The Mighty (1948). From the 1950s Chitragupt recorded a number of her duets with Rafi. Right from Hamara Ghar and Veer Babhruvahan in 1950 to Band Master in 1963, he had their duets in various films. The duets are around 25+, making Chitragupt recording the highest number of duets by Rafi and Geeta Dutt. I am adding a melodious duet from Hamara Ghar.
Chupke Chupke Dil Mein Mere – Hamara Ghar (1950) with Rafi / Lyrics – Rammurti Chaturvedi
What a cute, melodious and romantic duet. It brings a typical flavour of duets of the late 40s. The duets in that era used to have typical interludes. The duet is somewhat popular at least among the avid lovers of the HFM.
For the film, Veer Babhruvahan (1950) Geeta Dutt was his main female singer, she had a couple of duets and solos each. The songs are typically sweet and very melodious.
But my pick is,
Jab Nain Se Nain Mile – Veer Babruvahan (1950) with Amirbai Karnataki, Rafi and Chitragupt / Lyrics – Anjum Jaipuri
This is a wonderful song! Not only a lovely tune, but very good orchestration. After Amirbai Karnataki opens the song with her mesmerising voice, Chitragupt himself sings a few lines. Then Geeta Dutt sings for Mridula while Rafi sings for Shashi Kapoor (of course another actor with the same name). The song flows like a gentle breeze, soothing your senses and mind. Definitely among my favourite quartets from Hindi films.
Their melodious journey continued with the films Hamari Shaan, Tarang, Bhakta Puran, Manchala during the years 1952 – 53. For the film Tarang, she got to sing four songs, including a couple of solos.
Mere Dil Mein Lakh Hai Baatein – Tarang (1952) / Lyrics – Ishwar Chandra Kapoor
The song portrays a shy lady perhaps singing to herself, confessing her love for her beloved. Geeta Dutt captures a perfect mood and tone in her expressions, while the song unfolds in a simple yet attractive melody. The film is perhaps more remembered for its duets.
The year 1954 saw her singing for Chitragupt in a couple of prominent films. Let me add a song of my choice from these films.
Nanhe So Ja Re – Toote Khilone (1954) / Lyrics – G S Nepali
She sang three solos for the movie. All the songs are good, though I had to select just one! I won’t call it a typical lullaby, as it has a somewhat fast paced. Geeta adds a touch of motherly affection to her voice. Chitragupt composes it in his typical inimitable style.
Dekho Na Dekho Humein – Miss Mala (1954) with Kishore Kumar / Lyrics – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
Kishore Kumar and Vyjayanti Mala starrer, Miss Mala had majority of the songs sung by Geeta Dutt. The mentioned song has male, female solo versions sung by Kishore Kumar and Geeta Dutt respectively. But I liked the duet version. A simple melody, nothing extraordinary. But I think it is very impressive, thanks to the singers.
The year 1955 brought a couple of mythological films, Shri Ganesh Vivah and Shiv Bhakta, along with Raj Durbaar which sounds like a costume drama. The film, Shiv Bhakta started a very successful and melodious association between Lata Mangeshkar and Chitragupt. But even though most of his songs were now sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt also had her fair share of songs in the forthcoming years.
Jane Kaise Kaise Kaise Ho Jee Tum – Basre Ki Hoor (1956) / Lyrics – Shewan Rizvi
The film name clearly suggests a B grade film. But it’s a good, fun song. In the absence of video I couldn’t guess the picturisation. Such a lively and bubbly performance by Geeta Dutt. It’s such a sad thing that so many good songs from B grade films were neglected just because of the so called grading system.
Dekho Ji Dil Na Todo – Captain Kishore (1957) / Lyrics – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
What an interesting song! The film had five of her solos and this one is my favourite. It seems the heroine is either teasing the hero or putting her demands in an exaggerated way. Just listen to the way she sings, ‘रोss दूंगी’. It really feels like she is about to cry. But she is mischievous otherwise. I hadn’t thought of such a song from Raja Mehdi Ali Khan. Such a playful and simple language he used in the song which portrays demands of a nagging lady. I again wish to repeat my statement. It’s such a sad thing that so many good songs from B grade films were neglected just because of the so-called grading system.
I consider the years 1958 – 59 as a peak of their association. In 1958, she sang for Chitragupt in at least half a dozen films. Most of the films were B grade. The films were Taxi Stand, Chalbaaz, Teesari Gali, Zimbo, Daughter of Sindbad and Son of Sindbad. She sang a couple of duets with Lata Mangeshkar for Son of Sindbad. The songs are good though I eventually dropped those to limit the number of songs on the list. The peppy Rafi and Geeta Dutt duet from Chalbaaz was already on one of my earlier lists, so I didn’t repeat it. I liked a couple of songs from Teesari Gali as well. But I’ve added,
Kabhi To Haan Haan Haan Kaho Na – Son of Sindbad (1958) with Rafi / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
Yet another playful romantic comedy song. The song is full of energy and exuberance, making you tap your feet and dance. Chitragupt, though an avid follower of Indian classical music, was at ease with such western style compositions as well. Enjoy this number.
In 1959 as well, she was a part of five films, Commander, Kangan, Daaka, Bazigar and Guest House. The beautiful Rafi – Geeta Dutt duet from Daaka is a good one. Again a western style composition with a catchy rhythm. Guest House was full of Lata Mangeshkar, and Geeta Dutt was reduced to just one solo, a club song.
Machal Ke Dil Kahe Mera – Commander (1959) / Lyrics – Sarshar Sailani
I would say it’s my most favourite song on today’s list. It was on my earlier Chitragupt list as well. Very meaningful lyrics, subtle use of instruments creating a dreamy aura and excellent rendition by Geeta Dutt. Even without a video we can imagine a lady eagerly waiting for her beloved with dreamy eyes and lots of positivity. She hates to wait, but she starts enjoying the period. Sarshar Sailani was never a well known lyricist, but he has penned a number of good songs. Should be doing a post soon on his songs.
Nazar Ne Aisa Mara – Bazigar (1959) with Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
Bazigar had songs by Lata Mangeshkar and Geeta Dutt both. Geeta Dutt sang three songs, including one solo, one duet and a trio. This is a wonderful duet, mostly a dance number or so it sounds like. Both the singers are neck and neck. And Chitragupt’s typically sweet melody is enchanting.
Aag Lagana Kya Mushkil Hai – Kangan (1959) / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
A beautiful club song in Chitragupt’s typical tune and orchestration. The repetitive use of the word ‘अभी’ in a fast pace adds a magic to it. The movie should have a special mention. Lata Mangeshkar’s songs from Kangan are well known and well appreciated. But Geeta Dutt’s contribution is uncelebrated. She sang a couple of solos and a couple of duets for Kangan. All the songs bring a different flavour of her singing. Her solos are dance numbers, one picturised on Helen, the other on Nishi. The former is a performance at home, while the latter a club song. Her first duet with Rafi is a comedy song picturised on Bhagwan and Shammi, while the other duet brings a mother-son pair, where Geeta Dutt sings for Nirupa Roy advising good habits to her son, played by Daisy Irani.
The last year of the decade, 1960 saw her singing for 3-4 films under Chitragupt’s baton. The songs were divided among Lata Mangeshkar and Geeta Dutt. Most of the songs of the latter were either club songs or picturised on supporting characters. But out of her couple of duets with Rafi from the film Barat, one was lip synced by the main lead, Shakila. I’m adding however,
Dil Hai Tera Deewana – Zimbo Comes To Town (1960) / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
I couldn’t recognize either of the pair. It’s a seductive song. She is trying to woo him and Geeta Dutt’s expressions are spot on! The orchestration also supports it. I’m going to add all the songs on today’s list to my personal collection.
The 60s decade was not so successful for Geeta Dutt in general. She was more or less thrown out from A grade films, barring the songs from Guru Dutt’s films. Her association with Chitragupt came to an end in 1963. Most probably her last song with Chitragupt was a duet with Rafi from Band Master. I had it on my list of duets by Rafi and Geeta Dutt. So I won’t repeat it. In all she had less than ten songs in those three years. I’ve added a couple of songs from the films of the 60s.
Beete Nahi Raat Sanam – Hum Matwale Naujawan (1961) with Mukesh / Lyrics – Majrooh
Again a film that is much remembered for Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi songs. But this duet by Geeta Dutt and Mukesh is good too. The song reminded me of a similar song from Nache Nagin Baaje Been. Chitragupt’s typical melodies are ageless. You won’t get bored with these ones.
Tumhi Ne Chhup Chhup Ke Dil Ko – Aankh Micholi (1962) / Lyrics – Majrooh
This was one of the last films of Geeta Dutt with Chitragupt. The heroine of the movie was Mala Sinha, who received Lata Mangeshkar’s and Geeta Dutt’s playback for one song each. This one is a club song rendered in a perfect mood. The jazzy orchestration suits perfectly too. Listen to Geeta Dutt sing, ‘तुम बड़े ख़राब हो’. What a perfect faux anger! Note the quality of her voice in the 60s. It’s in a perfect condition.
There’s no point now discussing her personal problems. Still one feels sorry for her. She had everything a perfect playback singer should have, perhaps except an understanding and considerate life partner. Anyways, discussion on this point is endless.
I will end my post here. I always find it interesting to explore the lesser known zones of Hindi film music. Barring a handful of songs, I wasn’t aware of any other songs. Though she sang more than 85 songs for Chitragupt, the majority of the songs remained in the dark. Only occasionally does someone peep in that dark to shed light on the hidden gems. I’m glad I’m one of them. Let’s commemorate the uncelebrated associations.
Would you add a song?
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