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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.