Geeta Dutt’s best songs by SD Burman

July 20, 2013

A tribute on her death anniversary July 20

S D Burman and Geeta DuttThere is a great deal common between Geeta Dutt and SD Burman – both being Bengalis is just one of them. Geeta Dutt was born on 23rd November, 1930 at Faridpur in East Bengal (now in Bangladesh) in a prosperous landlord family.  Her  family had to move to Bombay in 1942 in the wake of Quit India movement, which turned anti-landlord. Her singing was noticed by the music director Hanuman Prasad when he was passing by their apartment. He gave her a break in Bhakt Prahlad (1946) to sing a few lines in a chorus. She had some more songs in 1946, but none that could create any ripples.

SD Burman too came from the eastern part of Bengal, now in Bangladesh, and came over to Bombay in the early 1940s. He also got his break as music director in 1946 in Shikari, which did not create much waves.

Both Geeta Dutt and SD Burman had their first major success when they came together in Do Bhai (1947). Mera sundar sapna beet gaya from this film remains one of her iconic songs. This film had some more outstanding songs such as, Humein chhod piya kis des gaye, Mere piya to base pardes re and Yaad karoge yaad karoge. Songs of Do Bhai catapulted her to the top league in a crowded field of great singers like Shamshad Begum, Suraiya, Rajkumari, Zohra Ambalewali and Amirbai Karnataki.

A couple of years later when Lata Mangeshkar stormed the scene sweeping everyone away, Geeta Dutt was recognized as one who could hold her own against her onslaught. She had great success with several composers such as Bulo C Rani (Jogan), OP Nayyar (Aar Paar, Mr & Mrs 55, Howrah Bridge) and Hemant Kumar (Anandmath, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam). Geeta Dutt’s songs composed by SD Burman, both solos and duets, number about 75. She probably sang more songs for other music directors than SD Burman. As per information on Atul’s site, she sang about 1400 Hindi songs, and she had the highest number of songs (about 100) by Chitragupta. But her collaboration with SD Burman in films such as Do Bhai, Baazi, Pyasa and Kagaz Ke Phool remain at a special pedestal and encompass all the possible genres and emotions in music.

Show-biz is replete with tragic personal life of artistes of great talent and fame – Geeta Dutt was one such unfortunate case. Her marriage in 1953 to the person she deeply loved – Guru Dutt – a great creative genius himself, turned out to be turbulent. His letters to her (published by Nasreen Munir Kabir) reveal a tormented and possessive man. He discouraged her from singing outside his banner. His inability to handle his relationship with Waheeda Rahman, which had no future, brought the marriage to unbearable strain. Her singing assignments dwindled, and because of her own personal problems, she could not take full advantage of the fortuitous opportunity given by SD Burman’s discord with Lata Mangeshkar during 1957-62. Guru Dutt’s suicide at a young age of 39 in 1964 completely shattered her emotionally and financially. She herself took refuge in alcohol which took her inexorably to her untimely death on July 20, 1972, but not before she had displayed her talent at the fag end of her life with two great songs in Anubhav (1971) – Koi chupke se aake sapne saja ke and Meri jaan mujhe jaan na kaho – composed by Kanu Roy.

A very good write-up on Geeta Dutt-SD Burman collaboration is here.

I offer my tribute to her with her best songs by SD Burman. With this I am also planning to do SD Burman in a big way, and present his best songs with other great singers as well on their anniversaries.

1. Mera sundar sapna beet gaya from Do Bhai (1947), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan

No list of her songs can be made without this song being at the top. Picturised beautifully on Kamini Kaushal, even after 66 years the song remains fresh and eternal. In a tragic irony, there is something prophetic about this song which describes how her own life would play out – My beautiful dream is long gone, I lost everything in love and the heartless world prevailed.  I understand its tune is based on a Rabindrasangeet, Rodono bhara ae basanto sakhi, but I have not been able to locate the song.


2. Mera dil tadpa kar kahan chala from Shabnam (1949), lyrics Qamar Jalalabdi

Kamini Kaushal again, with Dilip Kumar in this Fimistan production in lead roles. Geeta Dutt had a special niche for peppy, light-hearted and naughty songs. Kamini Kaushal who is in love with Dilip Kumar, both in reel and real life, lip synchs this pleasant song by Geeta Dutt.


3. Aaj ki raat piya dil na todo from Baazi (1951), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi

From half-a-dozen superhits such as, Aaj ki raat piya, Dekh ke akeli mohe barkha sataye, Suno gazar kya gaye, Tadbeer se bigdi huyi tadbeer bana le, Tum bhi na bhoolo balam and Ye kaun aya ki mere dil ki duniya mein bahar ayi, everyone would have his own favourite. Baazi is a landmark for many firsts. This is the first film Guru Dutt directed for his friend Dev Anand’s home production, Navketan Films, fulfilling a promise they made to each other on sets when they were both newcomers. This was also the beginning of Sahir Ludhiyanvi’s teaming up with SD Burman which would lead to some of the greatest poetry in films with equally commendable music. Navketan’s first film Afsar was not a great commercial success, but with Baazi Dev Anand became a craze and one of the great trinity along with Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor, with a distinct image of romance and style. Finally this was the debut film of Kalpana Kartik, who also became an anchor in the life of Dev Anand (and later his wife), when he was feeling a great void after his love affair with Suraiya ended on her family’s stubborn opposition.


4. Bhagwan do ghadi zara insaan ban ke dekh from Bahar (1951), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

A remake of Tamil film Vazhkai, AVM’s Bahar was the debut film of Vyjayanthimala, who became one of the leading female actors in Hindi films. The film had some of the most iconic songs of Shamshad Begum, including Sainya dil mein ana re. Geeta Dutt carved a special niche for herself for singing bhajans after Jogan (1950). SD Burman exploits her talents in this beautiful bhajan picturised on Pandhari Bai (I was not familiar with her, she has been identified on Atul’s site).


5. Bas chupke hi chupke se pyar ho gaya from Ek Nazar (1951), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

Geeta Dutt’s another niche was night club songs, where she reigned supreme. This relatively unknown song is a very good example of her style which is so befittingly picturised on Kuldeep Kaur, a night club dancer par excellence.


6. Ye hansi ye khushi lakho baras yun hi aye from Armaan (1953)

The video of this song is not available, but it is clearly a night-club song, which was Geeta Dutt’s forte.


7. Aaj sajan mohe ang laga le from Pyasa (1957), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi

No Hindi film has been as much written about and acclaimed worldwide as Pyasa. It was released to a tepid response, but later achieved great critical and commercial acclaim. It is now recognized as one of the greatest classics and established Guru Dutt as a creative genius. Sahir Ludhiyanvi’s poetry and SD Burman’s music had a major role in creating Pyasa magic. Ironically the tremendous success of their partnership also became a cause for strain as to who should get more credit for its superb music – the lyricist or the composer. Both were highly temperamental and egotistical, and Pyasa became their last pairing. A cornerstone of its music was songs by Geeta Dutt. This devotional love song (there is no contradiction between devotion and love in Baul/Bhakti/Sufi traditions), by wandering minstrels in Baul style, reflects the inner yearning of the prostitute, Waheeda Rahman to be accepted by the poet Guru Dutt, whom she admires.


8. Aja chhaye kare badra from Lajwanti (1958), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

From devotional and cabaret/nigh-club songs let us move to folk. I have come across this song for the first time while researching for this piece. It is a superb song with equally superb picturisation of folk dance.


9. Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam from Kagaz Ke Pool (1959), lyrics Kaifi Azmi

This autobiographical film by Guru Dutt was a commercial disaster, but acclaimed as another great classic. The poignant words of Kaifi Azmi reflect the inner turmoil of Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rahman, who are bound in a relationship which can have no satisfactory conclusion. Guru Dutt is famous for his song picturisation with his mastery of light and shadows. This song is the most representative of his talent. It is also one of the most recognizable songs of Geeta Dutt – an immortal classic by SD Burman.


10. Nanhi kali sone chli hawa dheere ana from Sujata (1959), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

From bhajan to nightclub to folk to lullaby is quite a range. Here is a very melodious lorie by Geeta Dutt-SD Burman combination.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashok M Vaishnav July 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

Selecting 10 songs out of (75) anyone’s personal ‘favorites’ Geet Dutt- SDB collaboration is no easy task.
AKji has not only braced up this challenge, he has done it so well.
His even more challenging invitation to await for more on SDB’s work with other singers should certainly spur Geeta Dutt and SoY fans to revisit the songs under this combination and come up with some more gems that have otherwise remained under the covers of fading memory.

2 Shyamanuja Das July 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

Great compilation. One of my favourite SD-Geeta song is missing, though: tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer bana le. Will probably go by your choice if you restrict to max one song per film. If thats not a rule, tadbeer se strongly deserves to be in the list

3 AK July 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Shyamanuja Das
Thanks a lot. There is no hard and fast rule to take only one song from a film, thoughI do try to keep the total number to ten. All the Geeta Dutt songs in Baazi are outstanding. Which is the best among them is a matter of subjective choice. I believe Taqdeer se bigadi hui is the most popular song but I liked Aaj ki raat piya the most perhaps because I preferred melody over oomph.

4 N Venkataraman July 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

If I am not mistaken, this is the first excusive article on Geeta Dutt to appear in SOY. Thank you for this tribute on her 41st death anniversary. Forty one is too young an age to call it a day. But life, especially after a tormented marriage, offered her little solace, and she chose to drown her misfortune by taking refuge in alcohol. Her association with S D Burman was fruitful to both of them, but could not last long; providence had set its own agenda. I too join you in paying my tributes to Geeta Dutt on her death anniversary.

Thank you for the excellent write-up. The ten best songs of Geeta Dutt composed by S D Burman covered, in your words, all the possible genres and emotions in music. The pick of the lot were Song #1, #7 and #9. Song #4, #5 and #6 offered variety.
I listened to the Rabindra sangeet mentioned by you, rendered by Kanika Bandopadhyay. The mukhda of the song ‘Mera sundar swapna beet gaya’ has some likeness to the first two lines of the Rabindrasangeet ‘Rodono bhara ae basanto sakhi’. The tempo of Kanika’s rendition is also slow. Hemanta’s rendition is faster.

Now let us listen to this non-film Bengali song composed by S D Burman in 1950.
‘Aaj Khelar Bhangar Khela’,

We are aware that she also recorded the song ‘rut phire par din hamare’ for the film Pyasa. It is also mentioned in the clipping you have attached. But the song was not included in the movie. Likewise, the song ‘Gaye ghabara ke’ from the film Paying Guest too was not retained. Both the films were released in the year 1957 and the MD for both films was S D Burman. Let me present these two songs here.

‘Rut phire par din hamare’, from Pyasa (1957), Lyrics Sahir Ludhyanvi

‘Gaye ghabara ke’ from Paying Guest (1957), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

Finally a peppy song from the film Shanshah (1953)
‘Le Le Dil Ko Le Le Kismat Ke Hai Ye Mel’, lyrics Sahir Ludhyanvi

I welcome your announcement that you will be presenting the best songs of S D Burman with other great singers as well in future.

Thank you once again.

5 Shyamanuja Das July 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I too agree with your choice as far as Baazi is concerned. But probably, I will take this as the second one from Baazi. Now, the difficult question: as a replacement of which one from your list? I guess it would be bas chupke hi chupke se. At the end, it is subjective. But I think you have done a great job

6 AK July 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Thanks a lot. I would look for your favourites which I might have missed.

7 AK July 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm

You are right this is the first exclusive post on Geeta Dutt. To have every major artiste appear once is going to take some time, because my structure is quite free flowing. The idea for doing a series on SD Burman with major singers was borne out of a reader’s comment on this blog earlier that SD Burman was the best music director of the Golden Era. While the ‘best’ would remain a matter of subjective choice – my own favourite being Naushad – I mentioned that SD Burman was the most versatile in terms of variety of singers with whom he gave great songs. None can match him in composing for Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle (and Suraiya, Shamshad Begum too), and Rafi, Kishore Kumar (and Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar too) with equal felicity. I hope to cover most of them by and by.

The Benagli song Aaj khelar is very good. Similarly Geeta Dutt’s un-included song Rut phire par din hamare from Pyasa is beautiful and should have found a place in the movie. Thanks a lot for sharing these songs.

8 Anu Warrier July 20, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Geeta-SD! Perfect. 🙂 I cannot quibble with the songs on your list, and my favourites are Waqt ne kiya, Aaj sajan mohe, Nanhi kali sone chali, and Aaj ki raat piya. One of my favourite Geeta Dutt numbers is a duet Aan milo aan milo and when I was checking the others, I found to my consternation that my favourite Geeta solos (other than the ones you have listed) are mostly collaborations with other directors. 🙂

As for her tumultous personal relationship with Guru Dutt, I’m aware that convention demands that she is deified and he demonised, but her alcoholism started much before his much-talked about relationship with Waheeda Rehman. Besides, being firmly on the ‘there are always three sides to the truth – his side, her side and the whole truth’ platform, I prefer to think that they were both highly creative people with their own egoes and their own personal flaws. 🙂

9 Richard S. July 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

This is a delightful selection, as I would expect. When I saw the title of this post, I was getting ready to suggest that song from Bahar because I was certain that you would have missed it like everyone else. 🙂 But, of course, I should have thought again, considering that this is AK and Songs of Yore. By the way, I made myself familiar with Pandari Bai several years ago when I became a huge Padmini fan because I was curious to find out who this woman was who was named Padmini in the credits to that film, which led a thousand Web sites to claim that Padmini starred in Bahar along with Vyjayanthimala, although she did not appear in this film at all.


There was one other thing I wanted to mention… You mentioned that both Geeta Dutt and S.D. Burman were Bengalis. I was wondering if you knew that there was another very great female Bengali singer whose death anniversary was just three days before Geeta Dutt’s. I did a quick post on her death anniversary, July 17, just a few songs that I found or that came to mind. Her name was Kanan Devi. 🙂

10 N Venkataraman July 21, 2013 at 10:04 am

Pandari Bai was a Kannada actress. A V Meiyappa Chettiar selected her for the unwed mother’s role in Vazhkai. He even made arrangements to coach her and improve her Tamil pronunciation. On finding no improvement, Pandiri Bai was replaced by a stage actress M S Draupadi. However she was selected for the same role in the Hindi version, Bahar two years later under the screen name Padmini.

11 AK July 21, 2013 at 10:08 am

If I make a compilation of overall best of Geeta Dutt, almost half would be SD Burman compositions. Having faced rejection most of the time on your blog, this is probably the first time you are entirely endorsing my choice. Thanks a lot. 🙂

On Guru Dutt-Geeta Dutt relationship, I generally avoid making a judgment. In this case, Guru Dutt’s ‘Intimate Letters’ to Geeta Dutt (in Hindi, English, Bengali), spanning from their courtship days to as married couple to with children, present a picture of a deeply troubled man, given to extreme fluctuations of mood, and often low self-esteem for no apparent reason. (As an aside, another thing which struck me was errors of grammar, spelling and language replete in both his Hindi and English letters. I don’t know how he was with Bengali language. But that does not take away from his creative genius.)

12 AK July 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

“…considering that this is AK and Songs of Yore”. I like that, coming from you! Richard, why don’t you come more often on SoY? 🙂

Have you done an Azurie on Pandhari Bai? I would love to see that.

I have a list of Anniversaries of great singers and music directors. Kanan Devi is one of my greatest favourites. I do hope to get into the 30s and 40s in a big way on this blog at some time. Meanwhile I would go back to your blog for Kanan Devi.

13 AK July 21, 2013 at 10:21 am

Thanks a lot for the information on Pandhari Bai. But it is still not clear why AVM should have given her the screen name Padmini, who I believe was already a famous name.

14 N Venkataraman July 21, 2013 at 11:18 am

I believe, AVMC felt that the name Pandhari Bai was too old fashioned name for Bollywood!!!

15 Subodh Agrawal July 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Der aayad, durust aayad, AK! Didn’t you once mention your ‘indifference’ to Geeta Dutt! I am glad you overcame that and gave my favourite female singer her due on Songs of Yore. Combining her with SD Burman is ‘sone pe suhaga.’

For me Geeta Dutt is the best female singer of Hindi films, despite my immense admiration for Lata Mangeshkar. The ‘khanak’ in her voice, the touch of naughtiness is intoxicating. I think she is quite a match for Hemant Kumar – my favourite male singer – in the twin songs ‘na yeh chand hoga’ and ‘kaise koi jiye’.

From your list songs 1, 3, 7 and 9 would figure in any all time list of her songs spanning all music directors. I guess the only other composer who made full use of the possibilities of her voice was OP Nayyar. The one song I miss in this list is ‘Jaane kya tune kahi,’ but I readily concede that the choice between it and ‘Aaj sajan’ is a tough one – if you had to limit yourself to one song per film.

How about following this up with a list of her duets?

16 Ashok M Vaishnav July 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Subodhji echoes my thoughts too.
In fact highly productive and popular music directors can be best presented if we pick up their work with inividual singers, duets with that singer and other songs ( which can be further stratified by the lyricist association).

17 AK July 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I know some more people who are Geeta Dutt fanatic like you. I am not her great fan, but she has sung some great songs, which are mostly by SD Burman to my mind. Her duets would hopefully come some opportune time.

18 AK July 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I have done several of my favourite combos such as Naushad-Rafi, Roshan-Rafi, Roshan-Lata, Chitragupta-Lata, C Ramchandra-Lata etc. Among the great composers of the 50s and 60s, SD Burman lends himself best for this kind of presentation. I propose to do him in a more sustained manner. Others should happen in a more leisurely manner. I am happy that there are many Geeta Dutt admirers who liked it.

19 Arunkumar Deshmukh July 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm

AK ji,

I never imagined that you will run a post solely on Geeta Dutt and her songs with Dada. It is simply superb. As you rightly said,nearly 40-50% songs of Geeta may be from Dada. Your choice of the songs is also very good.

As far as Geeta Guru Dutt spat is concerned,according to Kalpana Lazmi,Waheed chapter had closed in 1958 itself,so obviously the reason for their rift was something else.
It is well known that Geeta had rebelled against the dictat of Guru Dutt that she sang only in his films and nowhere else and she clandestinely did many good songs during that period without telling Gurudutt.When he learnt about them,it added fuel to fire. Another reason,probably was that She withdrew from the film GAURI,which Guru Dutt had launched only for her.

Anyway the truth can be known only to them.

Here is a link to my article on Geeta Dutt,which was put on Geeta Dutt site today itself-

20 N Venkataraman July 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm

That was a wonderful article on Geeta Dutt. Thanks alot.

21 dustedoff July 22, 2013 at 11:11 am

I too am (like Subodhji) a great fan of Geeta Dutt – I love the lack of shrillness in her voice, and there’s something slightly nasal about it too that appeals to me. So any post that’s about Geeta Dutt is right up my street. And this one was a gem, AK. Thank you – Geeta Dutt + SD Burman was a winning combination. From your list, my favourites are Waqt ne kiya, Nanhi kali sone chali and Aaj sajan mohe ang lagaa le. Yeh hansi yeh khushi was completely new for me, and was a very pleasant discovery. Loved it!

22 AK July 22, 2013 at 11:34 am

Thanks a lot. Geeta Dutt’s best collaboration to my mind was with SD Burman. I read your article on Geeta Dutt’s site, it is beautifully written.

Thanks a lot.

23 Soumya Banerji July 24, 2013 at 5:50 am

Geeta Dutt is one of my most favorite singers and SDB my favorite composer – so this post is a double treat! I have read somewhere Lata ruing the fact that Geeta did not have a rigorous training in classical music which hampered her career. I think she had a point if the remark was indeed made. Composers (including SDB) made Lata and Asha sing the more difficult tunes. But after listening to the slightly shrill voices of the Mangeshkar sisters it is so soothing to listen to Geeta Dutt. And the way she laid emphasis on certain musical phrases added an extra dimension.
I consider “Nanhi Kali” to be the best lori in Hindi film music, period. To be sure there are lovely loris composed by others but usually they are over-composed with too much accompanying music. A lori should be a simple tune with little background score – how else will a child go to sleep? “Nanhi Kali” fits the bill perfectly. And Geeta sings it so well. Note the drawing out of the phrase “Hawaa Dheere Aana”, “Pairon Ko Uljhaye” and so on. With this lori I sang my daughter to sleep.

24 Soumya Banerji July 24, 2013 at 5:59 am

A beautiful Bengali song by Geeta : Tumi Je Amaar

Another non-film song: Akash Judey Swapnamaya

25 AK July 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Thanks a lot for the two lovely Bengali songs.

26 Canasya July 25, 2013 at 12:58 am

Every song of the Geeta Dutt-SDB combine is a treasure. Fans go lyrical over them. To me “Aaj ki raat piya” (Baazi) is one of those rare songs where the antaraa is more hummable than the mukhda (refrain). According to Moti Lalwani ji, Zaved Akhtar considers the esoteric restrain of the charmingly austere “Nanhi kali sone chali” (Sujata) evidence of the supreme confidence of an MD at the pinnacle of his profession. Elsewhere I had read how young girls in conservative families could sing the divine melody of “Aaj sajan mohe ang laga le” (Pyasaa) in front of elders without causing raised eyebrows. And “Tadbeer se bigdi hui” (Baazi), of course, seems to the peppiest number in the entire genre of ghazals even today, according to Madhuji.

SDB seems to have been quite choosy while selecting singers for Hindi versions of his Bengali songs. Most of them went to Lata (Buzdil, Dr. Vidya, Chupke Chupke, Anuraag, etc.) and Kishore (Prem Pujari, Chhhupa Rustam, and Aaradhana, if one believes Amit Kumar’s story that “Roop tera mastanaa” was based on SDB’s own “Aami jaibo shoshuro bari”). But Rafi also got to sing “Hum bekhudi mein” (Kala Pani) and Manna Dey “Aan milo aan milo” (Devdas). Offhand I cannot recall SDB getting Asha to sing the Hindi version of one of his Begali originals. On the other hand, SDB was happy to entrust “Aan milo aan milo” (Devdas) and “Jaane kya tune kahi” (Pyaasa) to Geeta Dutt.

Now with respect to Anuji @ 8, AKji @ 11 and Arunkumar Deshmukhji @ 19. In the early 1970s I had read a Hindi novel entitled “Kala Aadmi”. I forget the name of the author (for a moment I thought it was by Ismat Chugtai, but a list of her works does not contain that title and the presence of Hindi literature on the net is meagre). It was published by one of the reputed houses (Rajpal, Rajkamal, or such other). The story was a veiled account of Geeta Dutt-Guru Dutt saga. Names had been changed, but you could put things together. It had all the details of the making of “Kagaz ke phool” where Guru Dutt had asked Lata to sing. Geeta Dutt had then gone to Lata for help to which she had agreed. I have seen the above story of Kaagaz ke Phool on other Websites. So I can say with some confidence that the book was telling a (may be, partially) true story. But I have not been able to locate that book again. Perhaps the more resourceful visitors on these pages will be able to throw light on its availability.

27 AK July 25, 2013 at 11:34 am

On Tadbeer se bigadi huyi taqdeer bana le I read an interesting anecdote that Sahir Ludhiyanvi was deeply disturbed to see the treatment given to his ghazal. SD Burman assured him that he should wait for its response, which, as it turned out, was mind-blowing. Rest as they say is history. One could guess from the wordings and Sahir Ludhiyanvi’s own sensibilities that he must have something totally different in his mind.

Do you remember what was the conclusion/judgment of the novel?

28 AK July 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I checked up with a knowledgeable friend. The book you are referring to is Ajeeb Aadmi by Ismat Chugtai. There is another novel in Marathi, translated in Hindi, ‘Amen‘, published by Rajkamal

29 Canasya July 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Thanks a lot, Akji. At this age my memory needs a little hint to get going. But it is now all coming back. I have not seen the book recently (I have limited access to Hindi literature right now), but I just saw an essay on the net by Tahira Naqvi about the book:

It is basically a(n unauthorized) biographical novel with the name of Guru Dutt changed to Dharam Dev whose Bengali singer wife is Mangala (Geeta Dutt in real life) and love interest is Zarina Jamal, a Madrasi dancing girl (that is, Waheeda Rehman). One thing I recall is that the novel was more interesting than the movie “Kaghaz ke phool” (for that matter, I am yet to see a movie that was an improvement over the novel it was based on, although I realize that “Kaghaz ke phool” was not really based on “Ajeeb Aadmi”.)

30 Subodh Agrawal July 27, 2013 at 8:51 am

AK, I accept the title of Geeta Dutt ‘fanatic’ graciously conferred on me by you in comment 17 in all humility. It is my proud privilege to share this amazing link with fellow fanatics. I was well aware of song no. 18 in the playlist. Most of the others are new to me:

31 Subodh Agrawal July 27, 2013 at 8:53 am

Sorry, put the wrong link in the pervious comment. Although the mistake is not a bad one – the beautiful Bengalis song by Kanan Devi is a delight. Anyway here is the link to Geeta’s non-film playlist. Thank you Qaseem Abbasi:

32 Ashok M Vaishnav August 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

If I apply the filter of not selecting song that had become fairly popular and avoiding the films that appear in the main article, then I could shortlist the following songs from Geeta Dutt – SDB solos, that strike a very strong resonance, but seem to have been fading from the memory:

1948 Shabnam – Mera Dil Tadpa Kar Kahaan Chala –

1951 Ek Nazar – Bas Chupke Hi Chupke Se Pyaar Ho Gaya –

1953 Armaan – Jadoo Bhari Yeh Fizayein –

1955 Society – Samajh Gaye Hum To Woh Kitna Chhupaye –

1958 Laajwanti – Aajaa Chhaaye Kaale Badaraa – (Not a solo in strict terms, but Geeta Dutt is her at her best in the song)

1958 Sitaron Se Aage – Dil Le Gaya –

33 AK August 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Thanks a lot for the link. It gives a very good introduction to Ajeeb Aadmai and other writings on film personalities.

Thanks a lot for the playlist. Some songs are very good – some like Haule haule hawa dole and Jamuna ke teer Kanha aao are my old favourites. I think we need to thank Parag Shukla also, the person who has uploaded these videos.

In the above list, Aja chhaye kare badra is a superb song, and I checked up my list – I have included in the post (#8). The first two are also quite well known, and are in my list of ten. The remaining songs are completely knew to me.

34 gaddeswarup August 3, 2013 at 9:48 am

I have been keeping away from the discussion even though Geeta Dutt is probably my favorite female singer (she passes my flinch test, I can listen to any song by her without flinching), since I do not much about these things except some remembered songs. Here is a doubt. I remember many of her solo songs and duets with other female singers but not with male singers. Is this common?

35 AK August 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

I like your flinch test. You surpass Subodh on Geeta Dutt.

Her solos are more famous than duets. But surely you remember her duet with Talat Mahmood, Arman bhare dil ki lagan tere liye hai from Jaan Pehchaan?

36 Canasya August 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Some of the greatest HFM duets are by Geeta Dutt – Baware Nain, Pyasaa, Kala Bazaar, Aar Paar, Manzil, Devdas, to name just a few. (A complete list will be quite long.) My guess is that her slightly lower octave voice provided a greater contrast to the higher octave voices of Lata/Asha used by the heroines. MDs therefore preferred her for female only duets.

37 gaddeswarup August 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Thanks, but I do not rememer that song though I heard it before. I only meant that with some singers I do flinch when the voices get shrill; so far it has not happened with Geeta Dutt but I probably did not hear that many songs. My favourites change; on some days it is Amirbai Karnataki.
Canasyaji, Thanks for the explanation.

38 mumbaikar8 August 13, 2013 at 1:07 am

Finally Geeta Dutt has a well deserved feature on your blog. I hope Manna Da will follow soon.
Getting a break! with SDB what more can we, the Geeta fan, can ask for?
All 10 songs are master pieces my favorites being ummmmm all 10.

Talking about her personal life, it makes us wonder, how cruel destiny can be, two extremely talented human being meet, fall in love and marry when their respective careers are blooming. but instead of becoming strength for one another turn out to be the weakest link in each other’s personal as well as professional lives.
Both lives ended so abruptly.

39 AK August 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Thanks a lot. Manna Dey of course, in my own way in my own time.

You have so beautifully summed up their personal lives. Some tragedies are just too sad, it is futile to explain them by rational reasoning. I recall during Centenary Celebrations of Hindi films, held at Siri Fort Auditorium, one segment was retrospective of Guru Dutt films, which was preceded by a panel discussion in which one of the panellists was his niece, Kalpana Lajmi. She went to tortuous lengths to explain what happened, and “disabuse people of some common perceptions about Guru Dutt’s personal temperament”. I was feeling uneasy at her attempt to clean up the unpleasant part of their relationship, and wished she confined herself to his cinema.

40 Hans August 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm


Your comment 27 tells us about another anecdote which does not appear logically correct, though it does not harm anybody’s reputation. Sahir wrote lyrics after getting the script and after knowing the situation in which the song will be used. The other lyricists in those times also followed the same pattern, but Sahir was more insistent. In this film also the song is totally according to the situation. The hero is in a dilemma whether to join the night club and he had come there because his sister is suffering from TB and needs to be admitted to a sanitorium and the club dancer is asking him to join. To me the wordings are perfect for the situation and Sahir kept his sensibilities for the situations which suited those type of songs. If he wrote ‘ye takhton ye tajon’ and ‘jinhen naaz hai’, he also wrote ‘sar jo tera chakraye’ in Pyasa. If he wrote ‘dukhi man mere’, he also wrote ‘ae meri topi palat ke aa’ in Funtoosh, and though he was an atheist he wrote ‘dene wala jab bhi deta’ in that same film and also wrote ‘de data ke naam tujhko alla rakhe’ in Ankhen.

Even otherwise also the scripts and situations for songs were decided by producer or director who was dominant and not by MDs. Guru Dutt was not the one to relinquish this prerogative.

41 RSBAAB (Ravi) December 28, 2013 at 10:56 am

Lovely compilation…….Apart from Mera sunder sapna beet gaya, I am totally awestruck whenever I listen to Waqt ne kiya…….superb lyrics and sublime composition. It only shows that ultimately you need emotion in a song to appeal to your heart. As you rightly pointed out, Geeta Dutt was also very good in Anubhav in 1971. Baazi was also notable for another reason – for highlighting the quick ‘Dada style’ of weaving notes in succession quickly without ‘lingering’ on any specific note. Most of Baazi songs were in this style. I also highlighted this in my post on ‘The best of S D Burman, the charming Dada’ at

42 ksbhatia October 30, 2014 at 12:35 am

AK’ji , Apart from beautiful solos under SDB Geet dutt was equally at ease with other MDs of that era . Like Asha she was perfect in slow and fast numbers as well– La OP Nayyar style. She was very comfortable in singing duets with lataji and other female singers. I am recalling her fast number with Lataji…..”Bechain nazar Khoi see nazar” from Yahudi ……And Yes one beautiful duet with Suman kalyanpur ………” Phulwa ban mahke dil dahke dali dali” from Hum bhi insaan hain an old movie with music by Hemant Da and lyrics by Shailendra . Such gems are rare to find ; only one has to dig into the past memory lanes and enjoy the present .

43 AK October 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm

KS Bhatiaji,
Indeed, and also Ta thaiya kar ke ana.

44 ksbhatia October 30, 2014 at 11:45 pm

AK’ji , Thanks for another nice duet by Geeta and Lataji . When Geeta ,Aasha and OP Nayyar cmbines the results are fantastic There is a beautiful duet song ” Thandi thandi hawa pooche unka pata laaj aayi sakhi kaise do main bata ” from Johhney walker . This song hold a beautiful piano accordeone melodious interlude . Incidently this reminds me of another song of Geeta dutt ” Pom Pom Pom Baja bole ” from Aasman an old movie of the 50’s . This song have a beautiful accordeone interlude [ again by OP Nayyar] which was used as a signature tune for Binaca Geet Mala in the early 50’s ; and laterly replaced by ” spanish gypsey dance “. Hear and enjoy.

45 s p sinha February 7, 2015 at 2:53 pm

the song mentioned by Mr venkatraman ‘aj khela bhangar khela’ is a Ravindrasangeet.

46 s p sinha February 7, 2015 at 3:04 pm

sorry for the goof up. this was a different song.

47 gaddeswarup November 5, 2015 at 6:06 am

Revisiting this post, I remembered one of my favoutrite Lata-Geeta duets which might have been mentioned in the above comments and then some more. May be, i am gettin in to the spirit of lists.
Goonj Uthi Shehnai-1959-
A few more
Ta Thaiya Karte Aana, O Jaadugar More Saiya – Panchayat
meri choti si behan dekho gahne pahan from ‘toofan aur diya’
Man mor machaawe shor ghata ghanghor \ Film Ladki

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