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(1930 - 1972)
About Geeta Dutt
   Early years of struggle

   Career in late 40's

   Career in early 50's

   Career in late 50's

   Career in 60's

   Last phase of her career
Personal Details
   Marriage to Guru Dutt

   Life with Guru Dutt

   Geeta and her Children

   Brother Mukul Roy

Dev Anand and Guru Dutt were very close friends. At a party hosted by Dev Anand among the invitees were Geeta Roy and Guru Dutt. Dev introduced Geetaji to Guru at that party. It was a brief meeting. Geeta Roy was already a famous playback singer and was riding high the wave of success and riches. Guru Dutt was looking for employment and not many people knew him. There was a natural chasm between these two, one with whole world at her feet and the other still getting to get a foothold in the film industry. Dev told Geetaji that Guru was going to direct his next movie. Guru knew her because she was already a famous personality, but Geetaji just plain forgot him completely as at this point in her life he was nobody to her.

Dev was right. He was talking about 'Baazi'. He entrusted its direction to Guru Dutt who also wrote its story and shared credits with Balraj Sahni for the screenplay. S.D. Burman, whom Dev adored, was signed to provide the music. This was a maiden venture for Guru. This movie also introduced a newcomer named Kalpana Kartik. Ms. Kartik was going to become Mrs. Dev Anand in another couple of years.

On the muhurat day for 'Baazi', Guru was planning to shoot Geeta Bali dancing to Geetaji's number 'Tadbeer Se Bigdi Hui Taqdeer Banaa Le'. The song, which was actually a ghazal, was written by the lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. Burmanda decided to give the song a western touch and Geetaji was assigned to sing that song. This lady with a marvelously melodious voice had such a mesmerizing effect on its listeners who were fortunate to hear the song during the recording session that left everyone dumbfounded including Guru. Guru Dutt immediately fell in love with not just that voice, but with the person who owned that voice. Guru Dutt's family was present at the muhurat to encourage the maiden venture by one of their own members. They also saw Geetaji and fell in love with her. Also, even though Guru was from Mangalore (Panambur, a village in South Kanara district of Karnataka - to be precise where you will find may Konkani speaking people to which the surname 'Padukone' generally belongs to), his entire childhood until he became an adult was spent in Bengal with his family. For him and his family Bangla language was second nature. This language kinship and the naturally congenial Geetaji's mannerisms and humility, this despite her fame and fortune, drew her closer to Guru's family.

Soon Geetaji started visiting Guru's family at their residence in Matunga. The love between Geetaji and Guru steadily grew in the ensuing months. With the consent of her parents, Guru Dutt's parents already accepted Geetaji as part of their family, soon they were engaged. But soon after the engagement, Geetaji's parents were beginning to have second thoughts about their daughter's marriage to Guru Dutt. She was the only

breadwinner of their household and they were afraid to lose her. So they kept on postponing their wedding.

The film 'Baazi' was a huge success. So were its music and its songs. Geetaji had seven solos in the movie and each one of them was a big hit. People thronged movie theaters to watch the dance of Geeta Bali and the song that went with it, 'Tadbeer Se Bigdi Hui Taqdeer Banaa Le'.

In 1952, Guru made another movie, 'Jaal' with almost the entire cast including the technicians of 'Baazi' intact. Geetaji was getting ever closer to Guru during the filming of 'Jaal'. She sang two solos and a duet in that movie. With backdrop of Goa, and shot entirely outdoor near the Goan seaside, the movie also hit the bull's eye.

Riding on back to back successes of the two movies he directed, Guru was not satisfied and wanted to go into production himself. But he didn't have enough finances and decided to take partners. Geeta Bali, who was in both of his pictures, had her sister, Haridarshan Kaur, partly finance his next picture 'Baaz'. He named his company H.G. Films, taking the initials of the two partners.

When S.D. Burman opted out not to provide its music Guru signed O.P. Nayyar to compose the music of 'Baaz'. This was OP's only second movie. He composed nine songs for it. Seven of these were by Geetaji, Guru Dutt's love-interest. The music and Geetaji's songs were a huge success, but the movie fell flat. Guru Dutt experienced for the first time in his life a failure.

This was the time Guru Dutt felt he was very lonely. Guru found solace in Geetaji's love for him and pressed her hard to marry him. He became restless and impatient. He wanted Geetaji to make a decision and that too quickly. Finally Geetaji had her parents give consent to their wedding. Nearly three years after they were engaged, Geeta Roy was married to Guru Dutt on May 26, 1953.

Their marriage was a traditional Bengali wedding. It was performed in Geetaji's parents' home in Santa Cruz. The groom was given a ceremonial bath. The saptapadi ceremony took place late that night.

The wedding was performed in a grand style. It was graced by many leading personalities of the Hindi cinema. Some of these guests included Nutan, Vyjayanti Mala, Dev Anand, and Motilal. In spite of all the glamour and glitter of the wedding it was done under a shadow of doubt. Many felt that Guru Dutt was marrying Geetaji because he was broke and needed money and Geetaji was in great demand for singing and her career was still in high gear and flourishing.

Rumors or not, the romantic pair of yesteryears were now a husband and wife. The love felt for each other was genuine and real. There is no reason to cast any shadow of doubt on such beautiful couple. The singer Geeta Roy officially became the singer Geeta Dutt.

In about a year's time, Geeta Dutt and Guru Dutt had their first baby. Tarun was born on July 9, 1954, on the very same day Guru Dutt was born. Guru was ecstatic. He was deeply in love with his wife and he was proud of the newborn.

Guru Dutt also created his own company in 1953. For the other company, H.G. Films, he financed partly. He was able to secure some finances in 1954 and with that he made 'Aar Paar'. He originally roped in Dev Anand to play the role of the hero but got impatient because by this time Dev was an established and successful actor and was beyond coaching. Instead Guru Dutt decided to play the role himself. He signed O.P. Nayyar to compose music. This movie had eight songs. Geetaji sang seven of them. Four of these were solos and three were duets with Mohd. Rafi. Every song in this movie became a major hit. After 54 years, they still are played on the radios. Geetaji, by this time everyone is of the opinion that she sings the best in her husband's movies, had some sizzling numbers in it. 'Babuji Dheere Chalna' is still considered torrid and Geetaji sings packed with emotion that listener's heart melts away under the sweet pain the song inflicts. Her other numbers like 'Ye Lo Main Haari Piya', 'Hoon Main Abhi Jawan', 'Ja Ja Ja Ja Bewafa' are equally evocative. 'Aar Paar', the maiden product of Guru Dutt's own production company was a runaway success.

Guru soon bought himself a farm to be used as a retreat to get away from the crowds in Bombay. The success of 'Aar Paar' had brought some changes to his personality. A personality that was outgoing now was becoming detached and aloof from everyone, including his own immediate family. He started enjoying his solitude and used it to come up with creative ideas for his future film projects. Geetaji was a social bird. Guruji hated everything about parties. Geetaji loved being in the crowd. Guru would work around the clock skipping to visit his own home to see his wife and child. As good-natured as she was, Geetaji started realizing that they were not intellectually matched. This usually led to small squabbles and unnecessary misunderstandings.

Come 1955, Guru's creative juices flowing, was riding high the crest of success of the reception extended by the audience to his 'Aar Paar' decided to make 'Mr. & Mrs. '55'. Again Guru played the hero in the movie. O.P. Nayyar provided its music. This movie had nine songs. Six of them were by Geetaji. She had three solos and three duets with Mohd. Rafi. These songs, after these many years, stay evergreen. Thanks to the combination of Geetaji and OP, these songs always delighted audience. Geetaji's voice suits Madhubala's beauty and exuberance so much that the song like 'Thandi Hawa Kali Ghata' leaves a deep and unforgettable impression on its listeners. Geetaji lends her stunning vocals beautifully to the songs 'Neele Asmaani' and 'Preetam Aan Milo'. She matches word for word with Rafi Saheb in that delightful number 'Udhar Tum Haseen Ho'. With songs like these, Geetaji cements peoples' impressions that she saves best for her husband's films. The fact of the matter is, as the history of her songs can tell, she gave best to everything she sang. This made her miles apart from the rest of her competition.

Guru Dutt was visiting Hyderabad on a business related trip and was invited to the silver jubilee celebrations of the Telugu movie 'Rojulu Maarayi'. The movie had a song sequence by a young newcomer known as Waheeda Rehman. The song, the lady, and the movie became overnight sensations. At the function he was attending, he met Waheeda and briefly spoke to her. He learned that she could speak Urdu. In the coming years Waheeda was going to play a major role in Guru and Geeta Dutt's lives.

Raj Khosla was a good friend of Guru Dutt. Initially he was introduced to Guru by Dev Anand. In every movie Guru made up to that point, Khosla was his assistant. Guru decided to make a movie with Dev Anand and asked Khosla to direct it. The name of the movie was 'C.I.D.' He invited Waheeda Rehman to audition for the movie. Impressed with Waheeda's talent at the audition, Guru signed her for a multi-film contract. 'C.I.D.' was going to be her first movie. It was a stunning debut by an unknown actress who was also an almost newcomer. The movie with its suspenseful crime story backdrop had some beautiful music by O.P. Nayyar. There were only six songs in the movie, but each one was a smashing hit. Geetaji sang three of them, one solo and two duets. The solo 'Jaata Kahan Hai Diwane' cast a mesmerizing spell on its listeners. However, the censors deleted this song from the movie because they did not approve of it as it showed a police officer in a bad light. The duet 'Aankho Hi Aankhon Mein' is basically a Geetaji song. Rafi Saheb is there, but repeatedly sings the same line. The other duet 'Yeh Hai Bombai Meri Jaan' is considered to be a fitting tribute to a great city. It was sung with a great deal of zest and enthusiasm by Rafi Saab and Geetaji.

While Khosla was directing 'C.I.D.', Guru Dutt was readying for his 'Pyaasa'. In the meantime Geeta Dutt decided to help finance the project of her brother Mukul Roy. The name of the movie was 'Sailaab'. Mukul Roy was its music director as well. The movie starred Geeta Bali and Abhi Bhattacharya. Half way through the production of this movie, its director, Ravindra Dave, developed some differences with the producer and decided to abandon the project altogether. With the movie only half completed, Geetaji was desperate. She begged her husband to finish it. Reluctantly Guru Dutt decided to take over and complete the production. The movie when released turned out to be resounding flop. It was a financial disaster that left Geetaji broke and insolvent.

Amidst all of this, Arun, the second son of Geetaji and Guru Dutt was born. He was born on July 10, 1956. He missed his brother's and father's birthdays by coming to this world a day late.

In 1957, Guru Dutt released his masterpiece 'Pyaasa'. This movie was recently voted by a foreign magazine as one of top one hundred movies ever made in this world! Quite an honor. Waheeda Rehman had a very large role in the movie. The music for this was composed by Burmanda. Its lyrics were by Sahir Ludhianvi. It has many beautiful songs. Geetaji sang four songs in it; three solos and a duet. The song 'Aaj Sajan Mohe Ang Lagaa Lo' is a masterpiece. Geetaji starts slow and reaches to a crescendo leaving our hearts there to suffer in agony and anguish. The song 'Jaane Kya Tune Kahi' is another beautiful solo, picturized on Waheeda, that teasingly arouses a would be companion. 'Pyaasa' happens to be one of the greatest movies ever made and was a crowning achievement in Guru Dutt's young career.

In 1958 Guru Dutt and Waheeda starred in a movie called 12 O'Clock. This was produced by G.P. Sippy and directed by Pramod Chakravorty who was Geetaji's brother-in-law. The movie had songs by O.P. Nayyar. Of the seven songs in the film, Geetaji sang five of them. Three of these were solos and the other two were duets. But the standout song was 'Kaisa Jaadoo Balam Tu Ne Daara'. This beautifully orchestrated song was done with such sweet passion that it lingers in your mind like the scent of a fine smelling flower.

During this time Guru Dutt decided to make a movie in Bengali starring Geetaji as its heroine. Its name was 'Gouri'. But after shooting only two reels, the movie was shelved. If completed, it would have been India's first cinemascope movie. Instead that distinction now belongs to Guru Dutt's next magnum opus 'Kaagaz Ke Phool'. The main reason the movie was unceremoniously shelved was because the relationship between Geetaji and Guru Dutt started deteriorating. Geetaji had strong inclination that Guru Dutt was having an affair with Waheeda Rehman. This made things considerably worse.

While making 'Kaagaz Ke Phool', in 1959, Guru Dutt had assigned one of his assistants to direct another movie called 'Raaz'. It had Sunil Dutt as its hero opposite Waheeda who had a dual role. Dissatisfied with the progress of the movie, Guru Dutt had it halted. However it was later revived with Guru Dutt himself replacing Sunil Dutt. R.D. Burman was signed to compose music for it. But Guru Dutt shelved even this one after finishing nearly one-fourth of the movie. But Guru Dutt was dissatisfied and the movie was halted, this time for good. R.D. made use of these songs he composed for 'Raaz' for Mehmood's 'Chhote Nawab'. Raj Khosla took the idea of 'Raaz' and made changes to it and made a smash hit from it called 'Woh Kaun Thi' starring Sadhana.

Guru Dutt also started making another movie called 'Professor' starring Kishore Kumar and Waheeda. This project was also abandoned. Later F.C. Mehra made this movie with Shammi Kapoor in the title role. It was a huge hit.

There were similar projects Guru Dutt decided to make and abandoned that others profited by making them as movies. Some of these were 'Bees Saal Baad' and 'Neel Kamal'. It was this fickle mindedness of Guru Dutt that became a big botheration for Geetaji.

Guru Dutt's and India's first cinemascope motion picture, 'Kaagaz Ke Phool' was released in 1959. It starred Guru Dutt and Waheeda and was directed by Guru Dutt himself. Its music was composed by S.D. Burman. Geetaji had two solos in the movie. One of them, 'Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam', is considered as one of her best. This indeed is the case. The song is filled with such rich language, penned by Kaifi Azmi, and sung with so much pathos, you can experience the pain and suffering. Geetaji was going through turmoil in her life and this song was a perfect tribute to the state she was in.

After suffering huge financial loss with 'Kaagaz Ke Phool', Guru Dutt wanted to bring out something quickly that will also be commercially successful. After the debacle of his last movie, he vowed never to direct again. He made 'Chaudhvin Ka Chand' in 1960 with M. Sadiq directing it. This movie had music by Ravi. Geetaji sang only one song in this movie, 'Balam Se Milan Hoga'. It was a sweet song but she was not her usual distinguished self. Her personal life crisis was clearly -affecting her professional life.

In 1962, Guru Dutt made 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam'. It had Meena Kumari, Waheeda Rehman, Rehman, and Guru Dutt in the lead roles. Its music was provided by Hemant Kumar. It was directed by Guru Dutt's long time friend Abrar Alvi. There are three solos by Geetaji in this movie. This was the year their only daughter Nina was born in, August. But things were getting worse day by day between Geetaji and Guru. Guru Dutt even tried to stop Geetaji sing any of the songs for this movie. But Geetaji went to court and had her reinstated to sing half of the songs. The three songs Geetaji sings reflects her life at this stage of her career. 'Koi Door Se Awaaz De' is a haunting melody that is full of melancholy. 'Na Jaao Saiyan' is a sweet song where wife is begging her husband to stay with her. 'Piya Aiso Jiya Mein' is another song where the lover is waiting for her beloved to show up. All very sweet songs. These were the last songs Geetaji sang for Guru Dutt's movies.

Guru Dutt attempted suicide for the third time during the making of 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam'. He was mentally depressed and was unstable. The failure of 'Kaagaz Ke Phool' was still heavy on his mind. The eroding relationship between him and his wife Geetaji was taking a heavy toll and too much to bear.

Soon after this Geetaji and Guru Dutt decided to live separately. In the meantime, Guru Dutt started making 'Baharen Phir Bhi Ayengi' with Shaheed Lateef directing it. But Guru died of an overdose of pills on October 10, 1964. Geetaji suffered a mental breakdown after the death of her husband. For nearly three months she could not even recognize her own children.

Sometimes it seems like sadness is the only price one pays for glory and fortunes.
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