Jan 01 1970

5 times Geeta Dutt knocked it out of the park

by   Shriram Iyengar

Few actresses were blessed with the kind of looks and vocals that Geeta Dutt was. Despite any formal training, the doe-eyed beauty was the only singer to hold her own against Lata Mangeshkar at her peak during the 50s. Here are five exhibits to prove it. 

1 Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam (Kaagaz ke Phool)

A song that has entered the syllabus of film schools across the world, 'Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam' is also proof of the magical talent of Geeta Dutt. Singing for Waheeda Rehman, who was then having an affair with her husband Guru Dutt, she evokes the perfect pitch of pathos and longing that make the song an almost personal plea.

2 Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer banale (CID)

This song was a landmark on both the personal and professional front for Geeta Dutt. It was during the filming of 'CID' that she met a handsome, struggling writer/director named Guru Dutt. The song itself was a ghazal by Sahir Ludhianvi, turned into a sensuous cabaret song by SD Burman. Sahir was not very happy about it, but Geeta Dutt certainly made people forget everything about the transgression with her playful, mischievous voice.

3 Meri jaan mujhe jaan na kaho (Anubhav)

One of the last songs she sang was for the film 'Anubhav' in 1971. The minimalistic background score enhances the magic of Geeta Dutt's voice. The dulcet tones of her voice remind you why OP Nayyar and SD Burman considered her their muse. It was the perfect swansong for her.

4 Na jaao saiyan chudaake baiyan (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam)

Meena Kumari was Indian cinema's very own tragedy queen. As the voice of this mercurial actress, Geeta Dutt evokes the heartwrenching cry of a desperate housewife to stop her husband from leaving her. The song is almost a reminder of her own life. Unable to bear the separation from Guru Dutt, Geeta herself turned to the bottle and drowned her life in sorrow.

5 Mat ja mat ja jogi (Jogan)

One of her earliest works and a personal favourite was this wonderful bhajan from the film 'Jogan'. Composed in the raag Bhairavi by the composer, Bulo C Rani, the song is a tribute to the emotional depth Geeta Dutt's voice could carry. Many critics believe this to be her best quality. During an interview in 1957, she listed this as her personal favourite among the songs she had sung.