Remembering Geeta Dutt



November 23rd is Geeta Dutt’s birth anniversary

Geeta Dutt was vivacity personified. If one listened to her songs with eyes closed and tried to imagine the face behind the voice, one would see an innocent face with shining eyes full of life.

While one can dance to her tunes in Mera naam chun chun chu from Howrah Bridge, Tadbeer se bigdi huyi from Baazi dance songs, one can peacefully go to sleep listening to her Nanhi kali sone chali hawa dheera aana from Sujata. This particular lullaby is a particular favorite of mine. The wording are beautiful, the inclusion of the sound of baby’s anklets, the wonderful singing – the song is just great.

Her playful, nuaghty songs like Jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji from Mr&Mrs.55 and Hum aapki aankhon mein from Pyaasa, Ae Dil Mujhe Bata De from Bhai Bhai is what she is most famous for. These songs lift your spirits in no time.

Her sad songs are probably not that well known. Songs like Chand Hai Wohi Sitare Wohi Hain from Parineeta, Mera sundar sapna beet gaya from Do bhai makes one can be filled with grief. The last song, especially, is so melancholic. Geeta Dutt is literally crying in the song.

How can one forget the drunken, sensual singing of Na Jao Saiyan from Sahib biwi aur ghulam? The minimal background music, the intermittent pause singing and music, her slurred pronunciation makes one wonder if Geeta Dutt was really drunk when she sang this song.

Another favorite of mine, Piya Aiso Jiya Mein from Sahib Biwi Ghulam has Geetaji dreaming about her beloved. The lady sounds like she is actually in love and you blush and turn pink listening to the song. Look out for the subtle harkatein – no one could do it except for Geetaji. She is playful, complaining, mischievous – all at the same time!

She is the inspiration for many singers. It’s no secret that Asha Bhosle used to imitate Geetaji in her initial days. The song Jaanu Jaanu Ri from Insaan Jaag Utha is such a pleasure to listen to. Two of the best female singers of the Hindi film industry, Geetaji and Ashaji, create magic in this song.

With Geeta Dutt’s demise, Hindi industry has incurred a big loss, which is impossible to fill. Asha Bhosle gracefully stepped into her place and has done all the justice to it. If anyone can be compared with Geetaji, it has to be Ashaji. Nevertheless, if Geetaji had survived for a few more years, we would have had more gems from her.


13 thoughts on “Remembering Geeta Dutt

  1. Jay Subramanyam says:

    This lady called Anaamica should get her facts right. Sad as it was, nobody ever felt that Geeta’s demise was a big loss to the industry, as she claims. On the contrary, she was all but forgotten by this stage ie 1972 and except for those three ‘Anubhav’ nuggets by Mukul Roy, no other composer bothered to call her for recordings. This is what these hypocritical industrywallas are all about. When the person is alive, they would seldom give him/her work but the moment he/ she expires, they’ll be waxing eloquent about their contributions. After the mid-sixties, Geeta came into news only after her death.

    Geeta was a great singer, no doubt but let us face facts. The last eight to ten years of her life were spent in almost total anonymity.

  2. Jay Subramanyam says:

    Ma’am, I clarified this right at the beginning. You have written that ‘with Geeta Dutt’s demise, Hindi industry has incurred a big loss, which is impossible to fill’ which wasn’t exactly the case for she was all but forgotten by that stage ie 1972. Yes, as an artiste her’s was a tragic loss but the industry had moved way ahead and the 03 numbers she got for ‘Anubhav’ were crumbs for comfort and that too because of Kanu Roy, the composer was a part of her family. In fact, I can’t recall any significant obituary by any magazine at the time of her demise.

    I am not saying this owing to any personal bias or prejudice but just to emphasise upon how callous the industry was in treating an artiste of such caliber.

  3. “With Geeta Dutt’s demise, Hindi industry has incurred a big loss, which is impossible to fill.”

    Just because she was ignored at the time of her death, it does not mean the industry was not at a loss because of her death. We see many cases around us where people who had been forgotten are given a new birth. The same could have happened with Geeta Dutt too.

    She may not have been in demand at the time of her death, nevertheless her death was a loss to the industry.

  4. Jay Subramanyam says:

    I cannot agree on this ma’am. Just to cite and instance. OP Nayyar died just recently, when he had all but disappeared from public purview. Would you then say that his demise was a big loss to the film music industry? No way. An individual can be considered a loss for the industry if at the time of his/her demise, he/she is still active and commercially viable. And Geeta’s playback singing career had hit the roadblock long before her death, starting with the mid-60s. Even if she had lived on, there was no scope of her making a comeback as none of the music directors showed the remotest inclination to give her work [which remains a mystery to me]. All this of course, isn’t intended to belittle the artiste as I myself am a great admirer of Geeta’s.

    On this perhaps, we can just agree to disagree.

  5. One cannot compare Geeta Dutt and O P Nayyar. Nayyar saab was 81 when he died whereas Geetaji was just 41, an age where it is possible for someone to make a second comeback which often happens in music industry.

    Sonu Nigam is hardly in demand these days. All he needs one big hit and he will be back. If he leaves the world today (God forbid), isn’t it a big loss to the industry?

    It’s our point of view which differs. We better agree to disagree.

  6. Jay Subramanyam says:

    Listen ma’am, I am not sure which generation you belong to but I have lived through the 60s and the 70s and can vouch for the fact that Geeta as an artiste was almost totally relegated to obscurity by 1972 – the year when she expired. I have emphasised on this in my earlier posts too, if you have noticed. Her career as a singer was long since over and there was no way she was going to stage a comeback even if she had lived on.

    I wonder how you can claim that Sonu Nigam is hardly in demand these days?? He was heard in ‘Aaja Nachle’, ‘Jodha Akbar’ and has sung wonderful numbers again for A.R. Rehman in the forthcoming ‘Ada’. Yes, his would be a loss to the industry (hypothetically that is) as he is still among the current crop of singers, though not as prolific as before. Geeta was definitely not – when she died, so where was the question of the industry suffering a loss.

  7. Only you might think Sonu Nigam is in demand these days. The movies that you mention came out long, long back. And look at the movie scene relatively. In the last year, how many movies had Sonu’s songs? How many of the movies that came out this year have his songs? Look at the top ten songs today. How many of them are Sonu’s songs? If you look at these numbers, you will know what I am talking about.

    As often happens with artists, they go through a slump. All they need is a push and they are riding on a wave again. Neither of us can predict what would have happened if Geeta Dutt had continued to live on. As I mentioned earlier, all she needed was one break from a music director and she could have topped the charts again. Nevertheless, it is MY opinion that her death was a loss to the industry. You can choose to disagree.

  8. Jay Subramanyam says:

    Ma’am, Sonu Nigam is very much in demand and it is he, himself who has chosen to cut down on recordings, though you may think otherwise. I have cited recent films – ‘Jodha Akbar’ was released not too long back, ‘Ada’ is yet to be released. ‘Aaja Nachle’ did not come long, long back as you claim. ‘Nagara Baja’ from ‘Jab We Met’ wasn’t too long back either and neither were ‘Dupatta Tera’ from ‘Partner’ and ‘Main Agar Kahoon’ from ‘Om Shanti Om’. These can very much be touted as recent hits. One doesn’t have to sing numbers dime a dozen to be rated as popular. And please don’t tell me to refer to the top ten countdown lists. I am well aware of the music scene as it exists today.

    I stand by my point that Geeta’s career was long over before her demise and this, unlike what you say, I can claim with a sense of assurance as I have lived through those days.

    Fine, it is your opinion to say whatever you like, just as it is well within my rights to say whatever I want to.

  9. Jay Subramanyam says:

    Ma’am, on reflection, I too feel we have been going on with a debate that isn’t heading anywhere. On a more circumspect note, I think you deserve the accolades for having written a fine piece on Geeta di and brought back some of her poignant memories. Like you, I too am an ardent admirer of this perennial songstress who somehow never really got her due from the industry.

    Hope to read more of your articles in the times to come.


  10. Chirag says:

    Dear anamika and Jay,

    Would you please give me your fav. top 10 songs from 50-60,Beacause I haven’t heard that much from that time.I really liked the Geeta Dutt songs as well the lyrics.

  11. Abdul Moktader Mamoon says:

    I am proud to be a son of the soil where Geeta dutt was born in 23 November, 1930.

    In the 37th death anniversary of Geeta dutt in 20 July, 2009, famous actor of Bollywood movie, Aamir Khan has declared to bring Geetaji’s life in celluloyed. It is a wonderful idea to honor that great singer.

    Despite a number of memorable play back songs in Hindi movies, she also sang some Bangla film and non-film songs. I belive that it will be hard to produced songs like those.

    Through this write-up I would like to request Aamir Khan to bring her early life in the film and also add the memorable Bangla song e.g. Tume jey aamar, Aei shundor shwarnali shondhay, Oi shur vora du nilimai etc.


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