Geeta Dutt: A life sketch

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Kalyan

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Apr 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/23/98
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Hi,
I continue with the life sketch of Geeta Dutt based on
the info from the program, "Yaadon ke rang". The researchers
for the program are V. Nerurkar and Srinivas Joshi. Soon
to come in this series: Roshan, CR and Salil.

As always my comments are in []. Rest of the post is my
paraphrasing of what was mentioned in the program. Fans
of Guru Dutt are advised not to read further. And I hope
my comments aren't longer than the article :)

I would appreciate any corrections to this article and
also any additional info on Geeta Dutt.

- Geeta was on born on the 23th of Nov 1930 in Idlapur
village in Faridkot district.

[ That makes her a year younger to four great singers
born in 1929 viz. Lata, Noorjehan, KK and Suraiya]

- Her father, Devendra Nath Chowdhury was the village
zamindar.

[Shouldn't he be a Roy?]

- Her mother Amya Roy Chowdhury was into music and shayari
and Geeta was the only one of her ten children (6 sons,
4 daughters) who picked up her mother's interest in music.

- She studied at the Anglo Bengali school. She was interested
in music so started learning music from Pt Hirendranath
Chowdhury. She would practice for 3 hrs everyday.

- In 1942 her family migrated to Bombay, India. They started
living in Hindu colony, Dadar.

[In between the following song was played. Does anybody
have the pstats?
Chandni afsaane, sama pyaar ke hai suhaana
hai mai yaad mein roun, door na jao deewaane ]

- She got her break in 1947. In the bldg she lived in,
Pt Gowri Shankar had his Kathak dancing school where
MD Hanuman Prasad was a regular visitor. One day while
on a visit he heard Geeta practising, liked her voice
and booked her for "Bhakta Prahlad". She agreed
with her father's permission.

[ Any hits by the MD Hanuman Prasad? Also what are the
Geeta songs in "Bhakta Prahlad"?
I guess that makes Geeta is one of the few Bengali artists
who made it directly to Hindi films and not via
Calcutta or Bengali films. Of course the same holds for
Ashok Kumar, KK etc.]

- "Bhakta Prahlad" was not a hit but it got the attention
of Sachin Dev Burman. He booked her for Filmistan's "Do bhai".
"Mera sundar sapna beet gaya" was a big hit and she had
arrived as a singer. "Yaad karoge, yaad karoge"
from this movie was also a hit.

[ Thus Geeta didn't have to struggle much.]

- Jogan (1950) by Bulo.C. Rani was another big hit that
made her even more popular.

- Recalled by SDB for Baazi. The songs were a big hit. Also
while working for this film she met the director Guru
Dutt and they fell in love.

[ Pt S.D Batish mentioned that when Geeta would be attending
the meetings of the singers association, Guru Dutt would be
waiting outside]

- She got married to Guru Dutt on 26th May, 1953 and became
Geeta Dutt.

- At the time of the their marriage Geeta was one of the
top singers while Guru Dutt was a struggling director. This
led to talk that he married her for financial security. This
hurt him and he wanted her to stop singing. To avoid marital
tensions she stopped singing.

[ Thus the guy who was so mad about her and wait for her for
hours turns out to be one with a giant ego after marriage.
Worse was to come as he was to develop a fondness for alcohol
and (allegedly) Waheeda.]

- She couldn't control her passion for singing and she started
singing secretly and would be back him early in the evening.
All this tension, worry about not getting home in time affected
her singing and she started getting fewer offers. She gave up
and started singing for home productions only. Around the same
time she was the heroine in a Bangali movie "Badhu" which was
a hit. She got more acting offers in Bengali films but she rejected
them because she was more interested in singing and she didn't
want to be away from GD. One of her Hindi films "Tera saath hai
pyaara" didn't get completed.

[ Is the film "Badhu" available in video and does anyone have more
info about this movie? I would also appreciate info on Geeta's
Bengali songs. It seems to me she got more into Bengali songs
from mid to late 50's onwards as her Hindi songs career started
declining.]

[ How did she expect him to not find out eventually]

- Guru Dutt started a Bengali film "Gowri" with her in the lead role.
But around the same time rumours of his affair with Waheeda started
surfacing. She was upset by these and refused to work in Gowri.

[ Around the same time the OPN-Asha affair blossomed and she was
out of OPN films. ]

- As a result there was a lot tension at home. Finally on Oct 9th
1964 Guru Dutt committed suicide by consuming sleeping pills leaving
her to take care of their three children, Tarun, Arun and Meena.

[What a loser!]

- Geeta broke down after his suicide. To make matters worse she took
to alcohol. She later started singing in stage shows etc to run the house.
She did sing some film songs without much success.

- On 20th May 1972 she died of liver rupture at Harikishandas hospital.

[ Her tragic story shows how a promising career can be ruined by
marriage to a lousy guy.]

[According to Vish her death anniversary is on 20th July.]

I am not sure how reliable the info is. Generally articles and books
on Guru Dutt (or hagiographies) ignore his darker side and also
rarely talk about Geeta and their relationship. Perhaps these
hagiographers fear his saintly image will be tarnished. As a result
info on Geeta's life is hard to come by. I would again appreciate
any further info on her life and songs.

Regards,
Kalyan, a Geeta fan

Chetan Vinchhi

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Apr 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/24/98
to Kalyan

Thanks, Kalyan, for the article on Geeta Dutt.
A couple of quick comments.

Kalyan wrote:
>
> [ That makes her a year younger to four great singers
> born in 1929 viz. Lata, Noorjehan, KK and Suraiya]

Was Noorjehan really born in 1929? I thought she might
be a little older. The 1939 song from GULBAKHAWALI does
not sound like it has been sung by a 10 year old!

> - Her mother Amya Roy Chowdhury was into music and shayari
> and Geeta was the only one of her ten children (6 sons,
> 4 daughters) who picked up her mother's interest in music.

The only one? Geeta's brothers Mukul and Kanu were very
talented music directors.

> - She got her break in 1947. In the bldg she lived in,
> Pt Gowri Shankar had his Kathak dancing school where
> MD Hanuman Prasad was a regular visitor. One day while
> on a visit he heard Geeta practising, liked her voice
> and booked her for "Bhakta Prahlad". She agreed
> with her father's permission.

In 1988, The Illustrated Weekly of India had a special
issue to commemorate 75 years of Indian films. It had
several articles about film and music personalities. A
"friend" borrowed the issue from me in 1990 and I
haven't seen it since. Sigh. One of the sections was
about singers and among other things, their debut film
and year were mentioned. Geeta's debut was said to be
in a movie named Circus King (1945/46?). Can somebody
verify the year and whether it had any Geeta songs?

C

Surajit A. Bose

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Apr 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/24/98
to

Thanks, Kalyan, for the article

Kalyan wrote:

> - Her father, Devendra Nath Chowdhury was the village
> zamindar.
>
> [Shouldn't he be a Roy?]

The plot thickens. For besides this confusion about her father's last name,
there's one about her husband's.

> - She got married to Guru Dutt on 26th May, 1953 and became
> Geeta Dutt.

How could she become Geeta Dutt? Guru Dutt was a first name. His full name was
Guru Dutt Shirali, AFAIR. She should have become Geeta Shirali.

-s

Ushnish Basu

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Apr 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/24/98
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"Surajit A. Bose" <sbo...@nd.edu> writes:

>
> Thanks, Kalyan, for the article
>
> Kalyan wrote:
>

> > - Her father, Devendra Nath Chowdhury was the village
> > zamindar.
> >
> > [Shouldn't he be a Roy?]
>

> The plot thickens. For besides this confusion about her father's last name,
> there's one about her husband's.
>

The full title of the father would have been Roy Chowdhury, a zamindari
title. Maybe he himself didn't use the Roy, but everyone else in the family
did.

> > - She got married to Guru Dutt on 26th May, 1953 and became
> > Geeta Dutt.
>

> How could she become Geeta Dutt? Guru Dutt was a first name. His full name
> was Guru Dutt Shirali, AFAIR. She should have become Geeta Shirali.
>
> -s

Again, a name is how you use it. She might have taken on "Dutt" because that's
what everyone perceived his last name to be.

Ushnish

--
Ushnish Basu ub...@ce.berkeley.edu
+1 510 644-1906 http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/~ubasu

Ambrish

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Apr 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/25/98
to

Surajit A. Bose wrote:
> How could she become Geeta Dutt? Guru Dutt was a first name. His full name was
> Guru Dutt Shirali, AFAIR. She should have become Geeta Shirali.

Correct me if I am wrong. But it was Guru Dutt Padukone.

Guru Dutt Shirali is/was a famous Film Editor (many a time part of the
duo of Guru Dutt Shirali and Waman Bhonsle).

Could some kind soul care to clarify?

Regards

Ambrish

Alpana Pande

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Apr 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/25/98
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Surajit A. Bose (sbo...@nd.edu) wrote:
: > - She got married to Guru Dutt on 26th May, 1953 and became
: > Geeta Dutt.
:
: How could she become Geeta Dutt? Guru Dutt was a first name. His full name was

: Guru Dutt Shirali, AFAIR. She should have become Geeta Shirali.
:
: -s

The full name was Guru Dutt Padukone.


Ashok

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Apr 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/26/98
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In article <35410B99...@nd.edu>, sbo...@nd.edu says...
>

>The plot thickens. For besides this confusion about her father's last name,
>there's one about her husband's.
>

>> - She got married to Guru Dutt on 26th May, 1953 and became
>> Geeta Dutt.
>

>How could she become Geeta Dutt? Guru Dutt was a first name. His full name was
>Guru Dutt Shirali, AFAIR. She should have become Geeta Shirali.
>
>-s

His name was Gurudatta Padukone. Very likely he was born on a
Thursday.

His schooling was in Calcutta. He admired Bengali culture and
didn't seem to have minded being taken for a Bengali. It certainly
makes life easier in Calcutta, but he perhaps carried it beyond. He
went by Guru Dutt from fairly early on in his film careera, and
perhaps even earlier.


Ashok


Ketan

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Apr 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/26/98
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In article <6hord6$2...@pdrn.zippo.com>, kal...@nms.fnc.fujitsu.com says...

>I would appreciate any corrections to this article and
>also any additional info on Geeta Dutt.

Since you asked...

>I guess that makes Geeta is one of the few Bengali artists
>who made it directly to Hindi films and not via
>Calcutta or Bengali films. Of course the same holds for
>Ashok Kumar, KK etc.]

I don't know how exactly Ashok Kumar got into Hindi films, but I have read his
own interview, wherein he says that he owes his career to Himanshu ?(forgot the
last name--Roy? Biswas?) Anyway this person was a movie bigwig in Calcutta.

>[ Thus the guy who was so mad about her and wait for her for
>hours turns out to be one with a giant ego after marriage.
>Worse was to come as he was to develop a fondness for alcohol
>and (allegedly) Waheeda.]

Apparently you have yet to see Abhimaan. See it. Good movie, and I believe it
has good songs too. :)

>- As a result there was a lot tension at home. Finally on Oct 9th
> 1964 Guru Dutt committed suicide by consuming sleeping pills leaving
> her to take care of their three children, Tarun, Arun and Meena.
>
>[What a loser!]
>
>- Geeta broke down after his suicide. To make matters worse she took
> to alcohol. She later started singing in stage shows etc to run the house.

What a loser? Right Kalyan? :)

> She did sing some film songs without much success.
>
>- On 20th May 1972 she died of liver rupture at Harikishandas hospital.
>
>[ Her tragic story shows how a promising career can be ruined by
>marriage to a lousy guy.]

>I am not sure how reliable the info is. Generally articles and books

>on Guru Dutt (or hagiographies) ignore his darker side and also
>rarely talk about Geeta and their relationship. Perhaps these
>hagiographers fear his saintly image will be tarnished. As a result
>info on Geeta's life is hard to come by. I would again appreciate
>any further info on her life and songs.

Hmm, strange that you would want to base your entire opinion of Guru Dutt or
even of both of them just on film articles. You are entitled to your views, but
please try to anchor your views in some facts if not all. You seem to base your
views on both of them, on just some articles, which you yourself admit have not
explored both sides of Guru Dutt, nor of their relationship. You are not even
sure about how reliable the article is, and yet do not think anything wrong in
labelling someone as a 'loser' or 'lousy'. Your views run into the same danger
as being taken as gospel as all those hundreds of stories about how Lata flexed
her muscles and kept away other singers, with no one bothered to research the
truth. Other than that, good article, and good hero(ine) worship.


Ketan

A Burman fan(atic)

Hemendra Gupta

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Apr 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/29/98
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Ketan wrote:
>
> In article <6hord6$2...@pdrn.zippo.com>, kal...@nms.fnc.fujitsu.com says...
>
> >I would appreciate any corrections to this article and
> >also any additional info on Geeta Dutt.
>
> Since you asked...

>
> >I guess that makes Geeta is one of the few Bengali artists
> >who made it directly to Hindi films and not via
> >Calcutta or Bengali films. Of course the same holds for
> >Ashok Kumar, KK etc.]
>
> I don't know how exactly Ashok Kumar got into Hindi films, but I have read his
> own interview, wherein he says that he owes his career to Himanshu ?(forgot the
> last name--Roy? Biswas?) Anyway this person was a movie bigwig in Calcutta.

Himanshu Roy. He was the head honcho at Bombay Talkies and was married
to the biggest female box office draw Devika Rani. Since Bombay Talkies
was like MGM (if not bigger, relatively speaking) in Bombay it would put
Himanshu Roy right up there with Jack Warner {story goes that he was as
manipulative as Jack Warner too.}

cheers
hemu...

kal...@nms.fnc.fujitsu.com

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to

In article <354099...@lucent.com>#1/1,
cvin...@lucent.com wrote:

>
> Kalyan wrote:
> >
> > [ That makes her a year younger to four great singers
> > born in 1929 viz. Lata, Noorjehan, KK and Suraiya]
>
> Was Noorjehan really born in 1929? I thought she might
> be a little older. The 1939 song from GULBAKHAWALI does
> not sound like it has been sung by a 10 year old!

The info was based on Vish's article on Lata and Noorjehan.
Here's the excerpt.
Noorjehan was born in the Kasur area of Punjab on September 21 1929. There
are some arguments about the year in which she was born. If 1929 is indeed
right, then that would make her senior to Lata Mangeshkar by a grand 7 days.

** end excerpt

Her first film as a heroine was Ghulam Haider's Khandaan (1942). If her
DOB is true, she was 13 then. Quite young for a heroine but then quite
a few heroines of that period and later started in their early teens.

>
> > - Her mother Amya Roy Chowdhury was into music and shayari
> > and Geeta was the only one of her ten children (6 sons,
> > 4 daughters) who picked up her mother's interest in music.
>

> The only one? Geeta's brothers Mukul and Kanu were very
> talented music directors.

Thanks for pointing the error. It seemed to escape the attention
of the researchers for the program (and mine as well). Are either
Mukul or Kanu Roy alive? I guess Mukul Roy was the older of the
two as he composed in the 50's as opposed to Kanu who composed
in the 60's and 70's. I am curious as to how popular they were
in Bengali films. I don't think they composed a lot in Hindi.
I know of only Detective and Sailaab by Mukul and ones like
Avishkaar and Anubhav by Kanu.

Ketan writes:

> mm, strange that you would want to base your entire opinion of Guru Dutt or
> even of both of them just on film articles. You are entitled to your views,
> but

You didn't seem to follow my advice for Guru Dutt fans at the beginning of
the article :) Though a lot of info about Guru Dutt might be disputed,
the undisputed facts (based on various accounts) is enough to convince
me that he was a lousy guy and a loser. As for his artistic merits/demerits
IMO that is a RAMLI topic and I have talked about it in RAMLI sometime back.
For RMIM purposes he's just Geeta's husband :)

Regards,
Kalyan

Do chamakti aankhon me, ek khwaab sunehra tha jitna
hai zindagi, teri raah mein aaj andhera hai utna
- Geeta Dutt in Mukul Roy's "Detective"

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

Ketan

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to

In article <6ip770$mqt$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, kal...@nms.fnc.fujitsu.com says...

>Ketan writes:
>
>> mm, strange that you would want to base your entire opinion of Guru Dutt or
>> even of both of them just on film articles. You are entitled to your views,
>> but
>
>You didn't seem to follow my advice for Guru Dutt fans at the beginning of
>the article :) Though a lot of info about Guru Dutt might be disputed,
>the undisputed facts (based on various accounts) is enough to convince

But that is precisely my point. What are the various accounts? Who has made
them? Filmi magazines or people who knew them both personally. Even if you did
hear about the "various accounts" from people close to them, how can you say
that they were not being biased in their judgements? Seems to me you don't even
read all the Filmi magazines, since sometime in late 1996 or early 1997, there
was an article on Guru Dutt in one of the magazines. What it had to say about
Geeta was not exactly flattering as you will read below. I am attempting to
reproduce here, what I remember.

According to the article :

"Geeta was on the top of the world when SDB/Guru Dutt/Dev chose her to be the
sole singer for Baazi. Guru Dutt fell in love with her, at this time, but she
did not exactly feel the same way at that time. Comes 1952, and she gets the
shock of her life, when for Jaal, she learns that not only GuruD and Dev, but
even her mentor, SDB, has chosen Lata, to sing in the movie. In sheer
desperation, she began to respond favourably to all of GuruD's advances, in the
hope that he might be able to save her from being thrown out altogether. The
ploy apparently worked, since she did get some songs. Noticing the success that
GuruD achieved with Baazi and Jaal as a director, she knew that if she were to
offer any challenge to the rising Mangeshkar domination, she had to latch onto a
big time Movie Maker/MD to ensure that her singing career remained intact. She
therefore decided to go alongwith GuruD. At the time of the marriage, GuruD had
made it clear that he wanted a wife who would make his home, and expected her to
reduce her singing career. (Remember this is 1952, not 1998, so let's not rush
into judgements saying whether he was right or wrong). Geeta agreed, thinking
that she could change that rule, and GuruD agreed to marry her, since he was in
love with her. Apparently soon after marriage, Geeta found that she could not
really live with that rule, and as Kalyan mentioned she started singing behind
his back. (Wouldn't you call that a betrayal of sorts, Kalyan?). Alongwith this,
Geeta developed a liking for the filmi parties and socials and developed a taste
for the bottle. This was way before Waheeda Rehman was even a gleam in GuruD's
eyes. Seeing all this, led to major fights between the couple, and their going
away from each other. Geeta refused to change her ways, and GuruD too turned
towards first his work, and then Waheeda in hopes of finding solace/peace.
Geeta's drinking affected her singing too, so much so that she was replaced by
OPN too, who opted for Asha, since they were getting closer to each other. This
made Geeta even more mad, and she blamed GuruD for this too, since according to
her, it was the failure of his movies like Pyaasa and Kagaz Ke Phool at the box
office that prevented her from getting more singing offers. Thus the fights
continued. GuruD was getting depressed because of his marital problems, but more
than that, was hurt by the failure of his films. At this point Geeta left home
and went to live elsewhere. Finally when even Chaudvi Ka Chand failed, he
decided to end his life."

Well, this is pretty much written as the article was. I would like to caution
readers that this too appeared in a filmi magazine, and that I, Ketan, cannot
vouch for its accuracy. Make your own decisions. My purpose in writing this was
to show that you have to look at both sides of the coin, which Kalyan seems to
have failed to do. Who betrayed whom, is a matter for the historian. Also Geeta
did not do stage shows for lack of money. She was well supported by her in-laws,
and brothers. She did it to hang onto her fading popularity according to the
article. So who was the real loser and a louse? GuruD for his affair with
Waheeda and committing suicide or Geeta for betraying him for singing behind his
back, turning to alcohol, neglecting the house and family and eventually ruining
both their lives? As for who ruined whose career, the jury is still out on that
one.


Regards

Ketan

A Burman fan(atic),

and someone who loves GeetaD the singer, and GuruD the movie maker.

Anand Tiwari

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to

Ketan wrote:

{

This
made Geeta even more mad, and she blamed GuruD for this too, since
according to
her, it was the failure of his movies like Pyaasa and Kagaz Ke Phool at
the box
office that prevented her from getting more singing offers.

}

Ketan,

Thanks for the article. I however differ with the article (and hence with
the great soul who wrote it) on two counts. "Pyaasa" was NOT a flop.
Yes, i do not have the box office collection figures with me but from all
accounts that i have read it wa a hit. The acceptance of "Pyaasa" by the
public is partly responsible for Guru Duttmaking "Kaagaz ke Phool".
Later in the article the great soul (the writer) claims that Chaudhvin Ka
Chand was a flop. Now this is just too much! "Chaudhvin Ka Chand" was a
silver jubilee hit in most centres, a fact which i read in FilmFare.
It brought the cash back to a financially sick Guru Dutt films.
If you look at "Pyaasa", "Kaagaz ke Phool", "Chaudhvin Ka Chand" and
"saheb Bibi aur Ghulam" the odd film is clearly CKC. It was a commercial
compromise aimed at bringing the money in, which it did, for no film maker
not even Guru Dutt can attempt a "Saheb Bibi aur Ghulam" with empty
coffers and with a record which states that his last film was as a flop.

Geeta did develop a fondness for the bottle and for younger men but this
ws *after* Guru Dutt met Waheeda. I am saying this on the basis of a book
written by Ismat Chughtai on Guru Dutt's life. I am not aware of the fact
that Geeta latched on to Guru Dutt for combating the Lata challenge. IMHO,
it is an empty conjecture on part of the writer. Guru Dutt did stop Geeta
from singing for outside banners. This combined with other factor's
like Waheeda, OPN-Asha affair, Guru Dutt's whimsical ways of scrapping
projects which included the film "Gowri" (launched as a vehcile for Geeta)
led to the breaking of that marriage.

The difference between Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt starts right from the
backgrounds they came from. Geeta had evevrything going for her in 1951.
Asha had not materialized in a big way and she still had a niche for
herself. She must have been an extremely shrewd lady to see that she would
be out in the cold a few years later. This however does not seem to be
true. She did not geta single paisa from Guru Dutt's property, she and her
children were throw out on the streets by Atmaram, Guru Dutt's brother.

Raj Khosla has put it down in his autobiography that Geeta was left to
fend for herself by Guru Dutt's relations and i will consider his account
as more authentic than the likes of this writer or Guru Dutt's family.
If Geeta Dutt had been so shrewd as to marry Guru Dutt just for combating
Lata (who referes to Geeta as 'didi' in every account i have) then she
should have been smart enough to see Mr Atmaram's intentions. After all
who wants to be the widow of a successful movie director like Guru Dutt
and find herself on the street with 3 children to fend for.

My advice to the great soul who wrote the article is to abstain from
alcoholic drinks while writing a piece or does he consider himself to be
the 'Saigal of journalists' : one who writes a classic piece of (junk)
only when he is drunk.

regards
Anand (a Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt fan)

Ketan

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to

In article <6iqb6c$2...@cegt201.bradley.edu>, an...@cegt201.bradley.edu says...

>Geeta did develop a fondness for the bottle and for younger men but this
>ws *after* Guru Dutt met Waheeda. I am saying this on the basis of a book
>written by Ismat Chughtai on Guru Dutt's life. I am not aware of the fact
>that Geeta latched on to Guru Dutt for combating the Lata challenge. IMHO,
>it is an empty conjecture on part of the writer. Guru Dutt did stop Geeta

What you read from Ismat Chugtai is right, but what someone else writes is wrong
eh? How do you explain that? I would rather reserve my judgement on what both
have written and equally (dis)believe both of them.

>from singing for outside banners. This combined with other factor's
>like Waheeda, OPN-Asha affair, Guru Dutt's whimsical ways of scrapping
>projects which included the film "Gowri" (launched as a vehcile for Geeta)
>led to the breaking of that marriage.

Hmmm, how does the OPN-Asha affair contribute to their marriage breaking up? If
you did read the books you have mentioned (I have only read an excerpt) than I
am sure you would have read that their fights started almost right after their
marriage which would be around 1953 or so. Waheeda did not appear on the scene
till 1955 or so.

>The difference between Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt starts right from the
>backgrounds they came from. Geeta had evevrything going for her in 1951.
>Asha had not materialized in a big way and she still had a niche for
>herself. She must have been an extremely shrewd lady to see that she would
>be out in the cold a few years later. This however does not seem to be

Do read the article properly Anand. As I quoted/wrote, she did have everything
going for her in 1951 as you said. She was not a shrewd lady since it was in
1952 during "Jaal" that she got the news of SDB opting for Lata and it was a
shock for her. That's when she did realize that she could be out in the cold. I
am not here to criticize what she did. After all it is alleged (please note the
word--alleged) that Lata too latched on to CR so that she could get more songs.
So why wouldn't Geeta and Asha too for OPN.

>Raj Khosla has put it down in his autobiography that Geeta was left to
>fend for herself by Guru Dutt's relations and i will consider his account
>as more authentic than the likes of this writer or Guru Dutt's family.

Why would you not believe the other 2 parties? Why this preference for Raj
Khosla's words? Or have you already passed the sentence without bothering to
hear the evidence and facts from all parties concerned?

>If Geeta Dutt had been so shrewd as to marry Guru Dutt just for combating
>Lata (who referes to Geeta as 'didi' in every account i have) then she
>should have been smart enough to see Mr Atmaram's intentions. After all
>who wants to be the widow of a successful movie director like Guru Dutt
>and find herself on the street with 3 children to fend for.

I don't really see, why you keep harping on the "If Geeta was shrewd part" and
what that has to do with what happened after Guru Dutt died. How the hell would
she know in 1952 as to what would happen to her in 1965 after Guru Dutt died?
What she did in '52 she did with the best of intentions (even if as the writer
alleges they were purely selfish reasons). Even if she was shrewd enough to
marry Guru Dutt, how would she have any idea, that things would take the turn
they did? Would anyone marry, fully prepared in the knowledge that someday the
in-laws will throw them out? It's just fate/taqdeer whatever, which loves to
give us humans a swift kick in the pants from time to time. Once again, please
exercise more restraint when believing one writer over another since the bottom
line is -- they have to sell their articles/books and hence the "more
sensational/juicy the gossip" the better it is.

Ketan

A Burman fan(atic)

Anand Tiwari

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to

In article <6iqics$p...@drn.newsguy.com>, Ketan says...

>
>In article <6iqb6c$2...@cegt201.bradley.edu>, an...@cegt201.bradley.edu says...
>
>>Geeta did develop a fondness for the bottle and for younger men but this
>>ws *after* Guru Dutt met Waheeda. I am saying this on the basis of a book
>>written by Ismat Chughtai on Guru Dutt's life. I am not aware of the fact
>>that Geeta latched on to Guru Dutt for combating the Lata challenge. IMHO,
>>it is an empty conjecture on part of the writer. Guru Dutt did stop Geeta
>
>What you read from Ismat Chugtai is right, but what someone else writes is wrong
>eh? How do you explain that? I would rather reserve my judgement on what both
>have written and equally (dis)believe both of them.

Ketan,

Agreed, that i myself did not see with my own eyes what i have written above.
I am just hoping that Ismat Chughtai, being a respectable and admired writer
has not stooped to the level of tabloids.


>
>>from singing for outside banners. This combined with other factor's
>>like Waheeda, OPN-Asha affair, Guru Dutt's whimsical ways of scrapping
>>projects which included the film "Gowri" (launched as a vehcile for Geeta)
>>led to the breaking of that marriage.
>
>Hmmm, how does the OPN-Asha affair contribute to their marriage breaking up? If
>you did read the books you have mentioned (I have only read an excerpt) than I
>am sure you would have read that their fights started almost right after their
>marriage which would be around 1953 or so. Waheeda did not appear on the scene
>till 1955 or so.

With Geeta getting to sing only for Guru Dutt films, and Asha cornering a
sizeable portion of the market, Geeta's frustration increased. People like
OPN whom she introduced, turned their backs on her. That must have added
to her trauma. On the personal front, Guru Dutt had started taking interest
in Waheeda and the news on the professional front was also not that encouraging.
Yes, Geeta did have some great songs in that period too, but the fact is that
she was loosing hold.

I agree that the marriage was not happy from the start. I did mention in
the last post that the backgrounds from which Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt came
were different. They were an incompatible pair. I believe there were just too
many differences in their hopes, aspirations and goals.

>
>>Raj Khosla has put it down in his autobiography that Geeta was left to
>>fend for herself by Guru Dutt's relations and i will consider his account
>>as more authentic than the likes of this writer or Guru Dutt's family.
>
>Why would you not believe the other 2 parties? Why this preference for Raj
>Khosla's words? Or have you already passed the sentence without bothering to
>hear the evidence and facts from all parties concerned?

I just quoted Raj Khosla because he was with Guru Dutt for a large chunk of
his professional career. He was impartial to the extent that he had no
monetary gains from Guru Dutt's death (which both Guru Dutt's family (brother
etc) and Geeta Dutt had). He simply notes that Geeta had a very tough
time after Guru Dutt's death. Guru Dutt's mother has gone on record accusing
Geeta for her son's death. I am not prepared to take her version as the
gospel truth either.

The point i want to make is that after Guru Dutt's death, his family turned
against Geeta who was not the shrewd kind (as alleged by the article) to
anticipate it. Doesn't the article which you have quoted say that Geeta
latched on to Guru Dutt because she was afraid of Lata's dominance in the
playback singing arena? Doesn't this amount to the fact that she was
shrewd enough to see the future circa 1953 and all of a sudden in 1964
she looses all her shrewdness and gets kicked out of her own house.

In any case we are just conjecturing. The truth went with those who are no more.
If there is any authentic source of info on Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt left,
it is Abrar Alvi and he too has the same thing to say about the Guru Dutt -
Geeta Dutt marriage. It was a love affair which found its logical conclusion
in marriage.

>herself on the street with 3 children to fend for.
>
>I don't really see, why you keep harping on the "If Geeta was shrewd part"

To disprove the conjecture of the author that Geeta had ulterior motives
when she got married to Guru Dutt. You can ask, how do i know. Well then
how does the author know? Did Geeta tell him?
(She did not tell me at least :-), i am just conjecturing.)

>and
>what that has to do with what happened after Guru Dutt died.

well if she was shrewd, she would have seen thru the schemings of Atmaram.
She did not. So she is not shrewd and hence she did not have any ulterior
motives while marrying Guru Dutt. The defence rests :-)

>How the hell would
>she know in 1952 as to what would happen to her in 1965 after Guru Dutt died?

How the hell does the author know that Geeta knew that she would be sidelined
by Lata and later by Asha?

>What she did in '52 she did with the best of intentions (even if as the writer
>alleges they were purely selfish reasons).

I do not agree with the "selfish reasons" he has stated and that is why i am
raising a hue and cry :-)

>Even if she was shrewd enough to
>marry Guru Dutt, how would she have any idea, that things would take the turn
>they did? Would anyone marry, fully prepared in the knowledge that someday the
>in-laws will throw them out? It's just fate/taqdeer whatever, which loves to
>give us humans a swift kick in the pants from time to time.

I agree. Apply the same logic to the author's ideas.

> Once again, please
>exercise more restraint when believing one writer over another since the bottom
>line is -- they have to sell their articles/books and hence the "more
>sensational/juicy the gossip" the better it is.

I do not know what the intentions of the author were. If it is only "gossip"
then i take back whatever i have written, because i don't care. If the author
is trying to pass his version as the gospel truth then i am questioning
his views.

regards
Anand

regards
Anand


>
>Ketan
>
>A Burman fan(atic)

Kalyan

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to

In article <6iqopk$1...@pdrn.zippo.com>, an...@cegt201.bradley.edu says...

>
>In article <6iqics$p...@drn.newsguy.com>, Ketan says...
>>
>>In article <6iqb6c$2...@cegt201.bradley.edu>, an...@cegt201.bradley.edu says...
>>

Thanks Anand for all the info.

>>What you read from Ismat Chugtai is right, but what someone else writes is wrong
>>eh? How do you explain that? I would rather reserve my judgement on what both
>>have written and equally (dis)believe both of them.

Ketan, it would help if you reveal who that "someone else" you are quoting
is and in which mag that article was published. To me the article sounds very
fishy
and it has a number of factual errors which can be easily repudiated and
have been done so eloquently by Anand. (e.g Pyaasa being a flop or Geeta
marrying Guru Dutt for security - so many well known people have mentioned
that they both were in love and they didn't have anything to gain by
telling one way or other). Obviously you cannot equate the account of a
person who was close to them with that of a nameless source.

The indisputable facts I referred to in my post were about Guru Dutt
restricting Geeta's singing (how restricted and how long might be disputed)
and that he committed suicide leaving his wife and kids.
You argue that what Guru Dutt did (restrict her singing) is fine because
it was in the 50's. I for one consider his action inexcusable specially
that he himself was an artist. If he wanted a wife who would be at home
to take care of the kids and attend premieres/parties with him then he
didn't have to marry one of the top singers of the day.

Kalyan

Kalyan

unread,
May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to

In article <6iqopk$1...@pdrn.zippo.com>, an...@cegt201.bradley.edu says...
>
>In article <6iqics$p...@drn.newsguy.com>, Ketan says...
>>
>>In article <6iqb6c$2...@cegt201.bradley.edu>, an...@cegt201.bradley.edu says...
>>

Thanks Anand for all the info.

>>What you read from Ismat Chugtai is right, but what someone else writes is wrong


>>eh? How do you explain that? I would rather reserve my judgement on what both
>>have written and equally (dis)believe both of them.

Ketan, it would help if you reveal who that "someone else" you are quoting

SKalra902

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to

Ketan wrote:

....>since according to


>her, it was the failure of his movies like Pyaasa and Kagaz Ke Phool at the
>box

>office that prevented her from getting more singing offers. Thus the fights
>continued. GuruD was getting depressed because of his marital problems, but
>more
>than that, was hurt by the failure of his films. At this point Geeta left
>home
>and went to live elsewhere. Finally when even Chaudvi Ka Chand failed, he
>decided to end his life."


Pyaasa was not a failure at the BO, nor Chaudhavin Ka Chand.

Some of us (then in college) liked Pyaasa so much that we saw it four times
during the first week alone. I, personally, did not like CKC as much as others.
BTW, CKC was released in 1960, and G.dutt died in 1965, IIRC. In between,
there were movies like Bharosa, Bahurani, Suhaagan, Sahib Bibi Ghulam, etc.,
and all were successful movies, though Suhaagan and Bahurani were not as big
hits as the other two. Both Cahurani and Suhaagan had excellent music; songs
like "Umr hui tumse mile phir bhi jakyoN", "Tuu mere saamane hai, teri zulfein
haiN khuliN", and "Mere pyaar mein tujhe kyaa milaa" are everlasting for music
lovers.

.......Geeta Dutt did keep singing for OPN, films like Howrah Bridge, 12
O'clock, etc., came in 1957/58. Sujaata was 1959. Even SJ had her sing in
Love Marriage and Shararat, both 1959 releases, though Shararat songs were out
since the summer of 1958. Ravi gave her "tumse hi meri zindagi" with Mukesh in
1960. Banjaarin (1960) had another duet with Mukesh, "dil tuune diya dil maine
diya".

Granted, though, that with Lata's avalanche style inroads into almost every
MD's camp from the early 50's, Geeta was left far behind by the mid-50's.


Happy listenings.

Satish Kalra

Surajit A. Bose

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to

Ketan wrote:

> At the time of the marriage, GuruD had
> made it clear that he wanted a wife who would make his home, and expected her to
> reduce her singing career. (Remember this is 1952, not 1998, so let's not rush
> into judgements saying whether he was right or wrong).


Whoa! Even in 1952, what justification could there be for a [then] non-entity
like Guru Dutt to insist that a celebrated singer like Geeta should stop
singing after their marriage? What did he have to offer her in exchange?

Probably he just couldn't stand the thought of having a wife with a more
successful career than his own. I forget who it was who mentioned ABHIMAAN
earlier in this thread....

It's not as though Guru Dutt would have had no role models of husbands with
successful wives in the film industry. Remember Meenakshi Shirodkar? The first
woman to appear in an Indian film wearing a bathing suit, sometime in the
1940s. The scene created a scandal, but her husband had no problem with it.

The article you quote, Ketan, suggests that Geeta did not love Guru Dutt, and
only married him to salvage her career. Let's be logical about this. In the
first place, it makes no sense for Geeta to marry somebody in the hopes of
salvaging a fading career if that person has made it clear that she is to have
no career after the marriage.

In the second place, if Geeta were as shrewd and far-sighted as the article
makes out, then she could easily have pulled the kind of move Lata pulled over
Sharada. When Lata saw that Sharada was headed for a Filmfare award, Lata
promptly "withdrew" from the award race (Raju Bharatan's hagiography of Lata
says so). Similarly, if Geeta could predict that her career would be
effectively over in a year or two, she could have announced her "retirement."
"It's not that no MD wants my services; it's that I don't want to provide
them."

Thirdly, the fact that Geeta wanted to continue singing after her marriage
does not in any way demonstrate that Guru Dutt's love for her was greater than
her love for him. One could say, as the article clearly implies, that "if
Geeta loved him, then she should have had no problem giving up her career for
their marriage's sake." But a far stronger position is the rebuttal: "if he
loved her, he should have had no problem with her career to begin with."

The clincher would be a look at Geeta's career singing Bengali songs. While
extremely popular, Lata and Asha did not monopolize regional language films
the way they did Hindi films. People who made no dent on the Hindi film scene
often found a great success in regional languages--take Vani Jairam, Sandhya
Mukherjee, and even Usha Mangeshkar. If Geeta's career graph in Bengali songs
plummeted after her marriage to Guru Dutt, then it is a clear indication that
the marriage, and not the Mangeshkar monopoly, was what sabotaged her career.

Thanks for posting the article, Ketan; it does provide an interesting
perspective. But your conclusion from it, that it is not possible to arrive at
a fair-minded assessment of Guru Dutt's attitude toward Geeta, won't wash.

-s

Snehal B. Oza

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May 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/7/98
to

In <199805062344...@ladder03.news.aol.com> skal...@aol.com (SKalra902) writes:

Satish ji, thanks for reminding these songs. In the RMIM-fight about 2 GDs
(oops !!), there was reference that Lata was chosen by SDB in 1952 for Jaal.
If this was not a reference to entry into Guru Dutt related films, then let me
correct that AFAIK, Lata's first song with SDB was in 1950. Incidentally it
has a Geeta number too (may be more than one). Geeta's number was 'Ye Baat
Kitni Such Hai Re' and Lata's 'Aankhon Se Door Door ... Kaun Hain Mere Wo'.
Of course Mashal's best song was Manna's 'Upar Gagan Vishal'. HMV has released
one Arun Kumar solo too.

Actualy until 1953 (may be well upto 1955) Lata wasn't much ahead (if at all)
of Geeta Roy and Shamshad.

Snehal

Bakulesh

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Jun 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/3/98
to

Sorry to to butt in and harp on a point which is not relevant to this
conversation on Guru Dutt. I have known for a long time that Guru Dutt
committed suicide. But only recently have I come to know that many of
psychotropic medicines can be dangerous if taken with alcohol. I have myself
taken Valium under prescription from Indian doctors who never warned me about
alcohol. In my case doctors may have presumed correctly that I am teetotaller.
The point that I am trying to make is: How do we know that it was a suicide?
Could it not be that Guru Dutt was taking a medication and did not know about
alcohol and took enough alcohol to kill himself accidentally? After all he was
under stress and might not be averse to taking alcohol now and then to cope.

On other matters of history of Guru Dutt I think so it makes sense to not to
give more credence to one person over other. But we hardly have primary sources
to go back to. Still I tend to believe Chugtai and Khosla more than Lata.
Lata's remarks should not be taken as serious evidence. For every movie person
who is dead she has made it sound like that she was very very friendly with
that person.

cheers, -Bakulesh

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