As a tribute to the Queen of Bhaav Gayaki, I revisit some of my most favourite duets of Geeta Dutt that create a charming world of evergreen music. She put her heart and soul into each and every song she sang, What stood out was a unique style, rendition, gayaki and that added edge that made these songs reach a new level altogether.
(Pictures used in this article are courtesy The Magical Voice of Geeta Dutt Facebook Group, geetadutt.com, Google Image Search and YouTube)
Time has odd ways of showing its power. It changes, moulds, shapes, breaks and creates. Stars rise and fade out, trends come and go but some things rise above the ordinary to maintain their magic, generations through.
Geeta Dutt, the singer with the dulcet voice dipped in honey and sugar, had the unusual ability to carry the listener away into the world she created with her music. Her characteristic lilt would lend an extra edge to her songs, an added dash of masti, a deeper agony, a tingling laughter, a searing pain… You don’t simply listen to her songs. You feel and live them.
Today, my journey is through my most favourite duets of Geeta Dutt that create a charming world of evergreen music. She not only holds her ground against her male counterpart – each one of them a legend in his own right but creates her own space, a unique style, which makes these songs cut a new level altogether.
One of the most spiritual songs of Hindi film music, this adaptation of Jaidev’s Geet Govind which delves into five of the 10 avatars of Vishnu, is in a class of its own. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in his novel Anandmath penned those exact Sanskrit lyrics and what you hear is the same composition set to tune by Hemant Kumar. Hemant Kumar’s expertise in Bengal’s bhaktigeeti coupled with his grip over Sanskrit sloka rendition finds the perfect harmonious converse in Geeta Dutt’s bhaav gayaki.
The challenge with Jai Jagdish Hare was that two different melodies were running parallel and simultaneously rendered by two singers (Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt) on one single mike.
It did not help matters that Hemant Kumar was a six-footer and Geeta Dutt comparatively much shorter in height. Moreover, Geeta Dutt had to keep walking towards the mike and away from it to lower and heighten the volume of her rendition. To make matters more difficult, she had to keep climbing on and off a raised wooden plank to match height with Hemant Kumar! (Source of anecdote: Nirmal Phophalia quoting Devi Dutt)
Jai Jagdisha Hare (Anandmath, 1951) – Hemant Kumar / Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt
When it came to romantic songs that thrive on the conversational style, Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi made a smashing pair. Two songs in this list are sparkling examples of how a song can become a dialogue that expresses the thoughts, personalities and attitudes of the characters on screen.
The first one is this amazing dream sequence from Pyaasa. Notice the way, the two singers finish their lines here, each ending with a question but how.
Rafi poses the first query – simple, straightforward, love-lorn. Hum aapki aankhon mein is dil ko basaa dein to.
What Geeta replies brings him right back to terra firma – hum moond ke palkon ko is dil ko sazaa dein toh?
Notice the way Geeta teasingly finishes with a lilting “toh”? Pure romance, isn’t it? At the same time, it’s a premonition of what awaits Vijay – he is not going to find a place in those eyes of his beloved. They are closed for him, punishingly.
Hum aapki aankhon mein is dil ko basaa dein to (Pyaasa, 1957) S D Burman / Sahir Ludhianvi / Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi
Now flip the coin. If Rafi is keen on the chhed-chhad, trust Geeta to put on the choicest tantrums with such lyrical ease that you just can’t stop smiling through the song.
The gardens and fountains and the cliffs and the mountains can take a break. You don’t need them to proclaim your love. How about choosing a garage with cars and tyres and tubes and asbestos sheds and corrugated partitions! And actually make it look so much fun and romantic that you almost end up deciding that the garage is quite the best place for wooing your girl with a love song!
With a cocked Kashmiri cap, a scarf round his neck, grease on his cheek and a lopsided smile, Guru Dutt flirtatiously chases Shyama all around the packed garage. Climb every car, crawl up its bonnet, sit on its roof and sing…
Shyama with two long pigtails tied with ribbons (when was the last time we used ribbons on pigtails I can’t even remember) and clad in overalls sort of a long skirt is all fire and brimstone as she turns around and puts Guru Dutt right on the backfoot, dismissing all his ‘kasam’ and ‘pyar’ as a bunch of lies.
You can almost visualize Rafi and Geeta Dutt smiling as they enjoy the song thoroughly. Geeta’s inimitable masti oozes in every word… mimicking and mocking Rafi with all candour with “jaah, jaah, jaah, jaah bewafaaa.” The way she pulls on the “kaisa pyar, kaisi preet re-e-e-e”…. and finishing it with an emphatic “kasammm!”…. Unparalleled!! Rafi’s boisterous style matches Geeta’s dismissals word for word with the little embellishments “arre waah” or “gayaaaaah” adding to the magic.
If Rafi declares:
dur kab talak rahu, phul tu hai rang main
main toh hoon tere liye, dor tu patang main
Pat comes Geeta’s answer:
kat gayi patang ji, dor abb na daliye
aur kisi ke saamne jaa ke dil uchhaaliye
If Guru Dutt winks, Shyama topples his cap. If he pokes her, she pokes him right back. Mars and Venus are evenly matched.
A perfect romantic song in the most unlikely setting! Majrooh Sultanpuri brings the song right to the level of the common, ordinary layman with OP Nayyar’s foot-tapping ever-lasting music.
Love can blossom anywhere and this song is all about romance between the ordinary people amid their ordinary world and yet it is so astonishingly sweet.
Sun sun sun sun zaalima (Aar Paar, 1954) O P Nayyar / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi
Another one in the series of full-on masti songs, this one sparkles with mischief and love. Two colleagues decide to have a little chat about how to locate a lost heart when the rest of the office is out for lunch. Innocuous and funny, delightful and romantic, this beauty from Mr and Mrs 55 is easily one of the biggest hits of the irrepressible Johny Walker.
You have the two lovebirds debating all kinds of possibilities about where the poor heart, which was right here a minute could have disappeared, trade charges of theft (tune to nahin hai churaya mera maal re) and miscalculation (yahaan usey laaye kaahe ko bina kaam re) and ponder over how quickly it can be traced (jaldi jaldi dhoondo ke hone lagi shaam re).
Lost in their own world of hunting for the lost heart, the two end up on all fours under a table, oblivious to their amused colleagues who have collected around them. Talk of delightful office romances, this Geeta-Rafi duet from OP Nayyar and Majrooh Sultanpuri takes the cake.
Jaane kahaan mera jigar gaya ji (Mr and Mrs ’55, 1955) O P Nayyar / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi
This song in Kala Bazar (1960) is picturised on Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman with the song playing only in the background. Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi sing with their heart and soul a beautiful tune composed by SD Burman to lyrics by Shailendra.
The song became the most iconic rain song and is spontaneously remembered with the pitter-patter of rain. It catches the mood perfectly, the rhythm of falling rain drops and the romance. The moments the clouds gather and the first drops fall this song starts playing at the back of the mind of many a music lover.
bheege tan man pade ras ki puhaar
pyaar ka sandesa laayi barkha bahaar
mai na bolu aankhein kare ankhiyo se baat
The usage of the song in the background is beautifully brought forth in the lyrics by Shailendra.
Rimjhim ke taraane leke (Kala Bazar, 1960) SD Burman / Shailendra / Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi. The song is interspersed in a scene.
Romantic duets there are aplenty. But think of romance as a soothing, gentle breeze in a moolit night, and this song comes to mind. Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt got together for some great duets not only in Hindi but also in Bangla and this one surely is one of the best of their repertoire together.
Composed by Geeta Dutt’s brother Mukul Roy, this song is steeped in the Bengal style of music – soft, serene, sugar-coated. Geeta Dutt’s sweetness is perfectly matched with Hemant Kumar’s deep romanticism. When Hemant Kumar begins the song with a spontaneous humming, it immediately sets the mood of something leisurely and melodious.
The picturisation is regular stuff… no great shakes. Pradeep Kumar looks all sophisticated and slick in his silk dressing gown and Mala Sinha is typically coy. It’s a terrace and the lovers have a washing line of drying clothes, a ladder and a studio moon for company. But even if you don’t watch the scene, soak in the serenity of the music and get ready to be air-lifted into a world of melodious romance.
Mujhko tum jo mile (Detective, 1958) Mukul Roy / Shailendra / Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar
Romance as it was in the golden era – soft and delicate. Two lovers enjoy the moonlit night among the trees and rocks. Hemant Kumar and his style of music shines in this song – of creating melodies straight from the heart, soaked in softness. Sunil Dutt with his boy next door good looks and Shyama flit among the trees, happy, joyful and enjoying their moments together.
It’s a song that makes you hum along and smile as you do. Geeta’s dulcet voice begins the song with an ultra-sweet ‘gumsum sa yeh jahaan, yeh raat yeh hawa’ and as if on cue, Hemant Kumar raises the pitch with ‘ik saath aaj do dil-l-l-l-l, dhadkenge dilruba’ and the music sticks follow with the tingling tung-tung-tung sound – a trademark style of Hemant Kumar’s music. Enjoy this beauty.
Gumsum sa yeh jahaan (Duniya Jhukti Hai, 1960) Hemant Kumar / Rajinder Krishen / Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar
This isn’t a typical duet but a satirical sketch of the big, bad city of Mumbai, which went on to become iconic. If you are wondering why I included this one, since it’s more of a Rafi song than Geeta, just listen to the one stanza that Geeta gets in the fag end of the song. She leaves her stamp, emphatically.
When Rafi cribs, insaan ka nahin kahin naam-o-nishaan or bekaaron ke hain kayi naam yahan, Geeta brings up the brighter side. Bombay’(not Bambay, as Rafi croons) isn’t all that bad, she emphasizes. Jo hai karta woh hai bharta hai yahaan ka yeh chalan – you get what you give to the city, you reap exactly what you sow.
Dadaaa-geeri nahin chalne ki yahan, she warns with that delightful lilt. Get the point?
Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan (CID, 1956) O P Nayyar / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi
Reworked from SD Burman’s own Bengali hit Rongila re, this song from Bimal Roy’s Devdas is a shining example of the use of the beautiful Vaishnavi Baul music in Hindi film music. Keeping to his trademark style, SD Burman made minimal use of instruments with the prominent ektara resounding – a typical Baul instrument.
Shot with sensitivity and a deep understanding of the Bengal hinterland, amid sprawling green orchards, the music helps accentuate the bhaav gayaki in the voices of Geeta Dutt and Manna Dey. SD Burman uses the kirtan angik tradition of Bengal with a folk Baul tinge and a deeper spiritual connect, making this lovely number an ever popular one although on-screen you don’t have any star cast to speak of. Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics sketch the Radha-Krishna imagery powerfully, proving yet again that music knows no barriers.
Aan milo aan milo shyam saanware (Devdas, 1955) SD Burman / Sahir Ludhianvi / Geeta Dutt and Manna Dey
It’s a conversation, a relay, a give-and-take. It’s poetry, recited simply so, and then weaved into a tune. Dev Anand, the musician-singer is being put to test by his lady love Nutan with a “let-me-see-if-you-can-make-a-song-of-this” kind of challenge.
On the face of it, it’s a duet. But it has parts where each singer sings his/her own tune separately and yet together, two parallel tracks that never submerge the other, never overshadow. Simply put, it’s a game in music in perfect harmony and sublime love.
Geeta Dutt begins with just the whimsical and thoughtful recitation of the opening lines. It isn’t a song yet but the rendition of the mukhda itself is musical with Nutan complementing Geeta with perfect expressions. The suave and smart Dev Anand ponders for a moment and then picks up the cue with Rafi as the matching voice, playfully stringing the lines in tune.
Who else but Geeta can be as emotive, making the words sound as soft as feather, as lyrical as the rain and as delicate as the finest glass. Music maestro SD Burman must have asked her to make her voice swoon to the words because that’s exactly what Nutan does on screen…well, almost!
One is amazed at the sheer brilliance of rhythm of the music director and arranger and pure expertise of the singers. Needless to say, it is extremely difficult to sing a parallel different tune, even as the aalap, and both Geeta and Rafi do an awe-inspiring job.
Extracted from the essay on this stunning composition and one-of-a-kind duet: The Tender Musical Tête-à-tête in Chupke Se Mile (Genius of SD Burman)
Chupke se mile pyaase pyaase (Manzil, 1960) S D Burman / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi
“She would have the typical two curly locks of hair across her forehead, a bunch of bangles on one arm, lovely sarees and hand-picked jewellery. Her steady companion would be her batua bag (a little pouch) in which she carried her favourite zarda paan. Her brothers Ranjit Roy and Mukul Roy also enjoyed their paan and the family tradition continued,” says Tapati Dutta, Geeta Dutt (Roy’s) niece recounting memories of her legendary aunt.
This duet by Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar is pure mishti paan – succulent with the lingering juicy sweetness and continues to enthrall long after it has ended.
The song begins with this astonishing Senza Misura by Geeta (“That standalone part is rhythmless so it is Senza Misura. Such ushers are used to dramatise the coming song,” explains Manek Premchand, author of several books on music including Hitting the Right Notes and Talat Mahmood: The Velvet Voice) and the camera pans to show the “chaaron taraf hai veerane, o saajana” creating the setting for the separation in the wilderness.
Geeta’s melodious voice rings out as the camera closes up on Nutan’s stricken face:
Chhoota hai jo daaman tera
Manzil manzil hai andhera-a-a-a (delightful quiver!!!)
Hemant Kumar picks it up from there:
Tere saath chala dil mera
Rahe pyar nigehbaan tera
Hemant Kumar also does a tera-a-a-a but Geeta’s sweetness is instant hike in sugar levels 🙂
And then the antara begins with a delectable “haiii-yy-o”
Zara dekh tadapna mera
manzil manzil hai andhera-a-a-a
What to do when your heart does a somersault on this andhera-a-a-a… phew!
The song concludes with a delectable Doo-wop (the harmonising backing vocals supporting the longing-laden O saajana by Geeta and Hemant Kumar )
An amazing composition by Anil Biswas to words written by Majrooh Sahab, this duet from Heer (1956) has a princely Pradeep Kumar with a flowing robe and an astonishingly effervescent, dreamy Nutan.
I couldn’t help sharing this mishti paan with just the right amount of mishti supaari as a bonus 11th song – haii-yy-o!
O saajana (Heer, 1956) Anil Biswas / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi
Geeta Dutt – The Skylark Who Sang From The Heart
Eternal Wait: The Story Of The Dark Girl By The Meghna (Geeta Dutt)
The Language Versatility of Geeta Dutt – A Rare Depth of Feeling
The Mesmerizing Moods of Jaane Kya Tune Kahi (Pyaasa)
The Tender Musical Tête-à-tête in Chupke Se Mile (Genius of SD Burman)
Geeta Dutt – The Singer with the Golden Heart
Moments with ‘Geetu Pishi’ – Remembering Geeta Dutt
The Queen of Bhaav Gayaki – Geeta Dutt
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Personally, I am beyond favourites and like all artists and their work.
Geeta offers everything a singer could in a song. The lilt, the seduction, the sadness, pathos, excitement, emotion, naughtiness, bhakti, titillation, sheer pleasure of listening and complete involvement. I have not found one single voice that could equal her and her rendition.
A lovely compilation, Antara, each song worth listening a 100 times and more. Each attached with in numerous memories.
Thank you Peeyush ji,
I agree whole-heartedly with every word you say. There have been so many clones for so many voices but no one could imitate her. She put in that added extra straight from the heart and soul that makes every song justify its exact mood, lyrics, objective and tone.
Thanks for the superb feedback. Very delighted and humbled as choosing these 10 is one of the most difficult things I have done.
A quiet and unassuming singer, but her voice and belied everything about her persona.
All her songs are my favourite, but my most all time favourite song of hers is a non filmy one which she sang for Pandit Nikhil Ghosh. This solo is usually never mentioned in her in many forums.
But that’s understandable. Because each one has his pick from her vast ocean. It was this song which mesmerised and literally transported me from infatuation to life time love for her.
Very well written article.
Thank you for the great feedback! Its a great privilege to receive these words from you 🙂
I now got it…. you are referring to haule haule hawaaein dole.… absolute stunner with an uncanny ability to dig roots in the mind once you hear it…. I simply love this beauty. Will add it for sure in my next post.
“transported me from infatuation to life time love for her” – that’s really touching. And so true, each of us connect to this voice and personality in our own individual ways.
Just go through lyrics of this song and listen to it again. There has been a discussion about them in separate forum.
Bharat Vyas has written piya piya papiha bole.
Geeta pronounces it as pihu pihu papiha bole.
In the third stanza it is mere do nain royen.
She pronounces it mere do nayan royen.
Apparently they don’t mean much but that’s where the beauty of Geeta comes. A Bengali siren with a roshogulla tucked in her cheeks singing these lyrics from Bharat Vyas from Gujarat. And what with Nikhil Ghosh announcing the advent of nature unfolding itself like a newlywed bride. The mix of two Pandits from east and west being sung by Geeta. Aah…
Haule, Haule Hawa Dole,
Kaliyon Ke Ghoonghat Khole
Aaja More Man Ke Raaja,
Piya, Piya Papiha Bole
Haule Haule Hawa ….
Kaare, Kaare Badra Chhaye,
Kaun Sandesha Laye
Sawan Suhawan Aaya,
Piya Mere Tum Na Aaye
Haule Haule Hawa …..
Birhi Gagan Roye,
Mere Do Nain Royen
Piya Tum Paas Nahin,
Kahan Kis Desh Khoye
Ghan, Ghan Badra Gaaje,
Jhan Jhan Payal Baje
Chhayi, Chhayi Haye Bahar,
Tum Bin Jiya Na Laage
Haule Haule Hawa …
You have hit the nail on the head, Satwik ji…!
In my earlier article on Geeta Dutt I had specially talked about this unique pronunciation and lilt that is so characteristic to her.
She added a Bengali lilt to Hindi words and a Hindi lilt to Bengali songs – for example mera sundar sapna beet gaya, main prem mein sab “kooooch” haar gayi … “Dadageeeeeri” nahin chalne ki yahan and so on…
In Bengali songs one example is the superhit Jhanak jhanak kanak kankan baaje instead of Jhonok jhonok as Bengalis prefer….
Have been listening to Haule haule hawayein dole since morning in the loop specially noticing the twist in the words 🙂
Thank you for the wonderful value addition to my article. Very grateful and super delighted!
You hit the right notes … Every time !
Just awesome tracks can’t single out any as best – the unique sweetness in her voice has been par excellence !
Again its melody time with Antara! You don’t miss a single beat!
One can can just shut one’s eyes and let the music roll on!
By the way you have included a pic of Geeta with Talat but no duet of that pair! There are any number of soft romantic songs. I would include this favorite of mine. An almost forgotten classic where each singer deftly supplements the other and Husnlal & Bhagatram provide a perfect piano canopy for the voices to play around in. It is Kafila 1952.
Thank you so very much Bharat ji! Great feedback – “melody time with Antara”! Wow!!! 🙂
I wanted to include ‘thandi hawaaon mein’ from Bahu – such a sweet duet with Talat Mahmood. Was caught between this one and Aye dil hai mushkil – and finally opted for the second one purely for the emphatic ‘Dadaageeeeri nahin chalne ki yahan’ – awesome style 🙂
You have added a lovely song which is a first time hear for me. Both voices are pure velvet – Geeta Dutt and Talat Mahmood. Believe me, dropping songs from my extended list to choose just 10 is one of the most difficult things I did! 🙂
Thanks again for an awesome feedback!
Yes Haule Haule Hawaai Dole is an absolutely bewitching song and has always been my favorite. The jadugari she performs with the tones is classic!
Just listen to that line Piye Mere Tum Na Aaye! how her voice suddenly becomes flat with disappointment.
So true Bharat ji… “flat with disappointment” – a unique dip in a song that is actually as racy and yet gentle as the refreshing breeze.
That is the uniqueness of Geeta Dutt to me – the added bhaav or emotion she injects in the words – creating a mood that never fails to affect the listener – be it masti or anguish.
Perhaps because it came true from the heart. She lived the song she sang.
This discussion board has turned GOLD. Such valuable involvement and added posts, wonder how many such platforms attract such intelligent and involved posts. This only happens when a write up is purely ‘dil se’ and the songs and narrative connect straight.
Haule haule was among those we grew up with, so many child hood musical memories come back. Thanks Dr. Satwik.
I like all songs from Kafila, actually I have been very fond of Husnlal Bhagatram music. The Kishore number in Kafila is lovely too, but this Geeta Talat duet is all time favourite. Thanks Bharat.
Totally agree with you Peeyush ji!
This is my biggest reward that so many knowledgeable people found this article interesting enough to engage with. Of course, as Bharat ji and Sangeeta Di said… let the music roll on! These songs enrich our lives, whenever and wherever you hear them.
Dr Satwik ji has taken the discussion to another level – in fact, its now making me think of another story where each one of us can suggest one song that particularly has been a lifelong love or turning point or has affected one more deeply than others. What say? I know its a very difficult choice and that will be the challenge of that essay!
About the Geeta-Talat duet from Kafila, I heard it several times after Bharat ji suggested. Exquisite and feather soft. Wow!
About Kishore, one of the songs I was forced to drop from my list was de bhi chuke hum dil nazraana dil ka – the way Geeta trolls on the ‘r’ syllable – chhodo bhi yeh rrrr-aag purrrrrrrrrrana dil ka – is just too endearing.
Thank you for the thumbs up!!! 🙂
Some comments on this article received on Facebook:
Mahesh Sagar: Wonderful post with all time favourite Geetaji duets …
Sandeep Suri: Antara very nice!! All of them are on top of my list too
Antara: Thanks Sandeep ji! Actually by most loved duets I was referring to my own favourites. 🙂 Very happy and humbled with your comment.
Sandeep Suri: The list of top duets with Geeta Dutt is very much similar.. I am a great fan of her voice and love her solos too..
Antara: So am I Sandeep ji! We have a series of articles on her solos and the first one I wrote with the help of my friends in The magical voice of Geeta Dutt was a great experience…! Articles by Sounak Gupta, Parag Sankla ji, Lakshmi Priya, Tapati Dutta followed and we build up a nice collection of essays exploring various facets of her singing, personality, life and so on.
With duets I was caught in a fix – the choice was not only between great duets with her male counterparts but also with her famed co-singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle and Suman Kalyanpur – what to pick and what to leave! Hence, stuck to just male singers this time and will perhaps do another one with the female voices later.
Anu Krishnan: What a great list! Loved it!
Deepa Buty: Lovely write up buddy 🙂 and I can keep on hearing Aan milo aan milo 24*7 🙂
Antara: Ditto ditto Buddy! Thanks a ton 🙂 Jai jagdish hare and Aan milo for that spiritual connect…
Sun sun sun sun and Jaane kahan mera are my daughter’s favourite every day listening….
Mujhko tum jo mile and Gumsum sa yeh jahan are romance in tranquility…
Hum aapki aankhon mein and Chupke se mile are pure conversations soaked in love and music…
Ai dil hai mushkil is the perfect caught in the traffic jam song daily…
Aur rimjhim ke taraane ke bagair baarish ka mazaa hi kya….
See? Geeta Dutt is part of daily life, commute, work, leisure and spirituality too 😀
Tapati Dutta: Awesome post Antara. I am really feeling proud that Geetaji was very near to me. Still in my heart.
Antara: Thank you Mashi!!! These are just a few of my so many favourite songs of Geeta ji. That I know you so closely and can talk about my favorite singer with you is one of the beautiful blessings of life!
Since you have brought up the topic of female duets please listen to this 1958 Chitragupta Geeta-Lata duet from Son of Sindbad. Geeta is called Bhaav Gayaki. Nowhere is it so apparent as in this song where every line is repeated by each in turn. Lata sings as though this is all routine with her. Geeta sings as though she really means it!
This is sooo beautiful Bharat ji! Again a first time hear for me.
Heard it now several times and I wholly agree with you – she is indeed bhaav gayaki. Although there is no comparison between the two divas of Hindi film music, each one has a distinct style and unique rendition. As I had quoted in my first article on Geeta Dutt:
“Was there ever a playback singer who conveyed feelings better?” writes Ganesh Anantharaman in his book Bollywood Melodies: A History of the Hindi Film Song. “Geeta (Roy) Dutt may have had the sketchiest of training, but she succeeded as a singer because she knew that playback singing is not so much about technique as it is about taking the listener along into the world of feelings. In her ability to be true to the mood of the song, her capacity to evoke the same mood in the listener, Geeta was supreme. It was on the strength of this ability that she was to hold her own against so phenomenal a talent like Lata Mangeshkar between 1947 and 1957, the first decade in Hindi cinema for both. Lata seemed perfect; Geeta rang true.”
The song of Son of Sindbad you have referred to is beautiful – with those delightful repeats of the lines. Such a sweet melody too.
In one of his articles on Chitragupt, Peeyush ji had insisted on adding this lovely Geeta-Rafi duet from Son of Sindbad. No video was available, nor a good quality audio. But Peeyush ji was determined, this song has to be included!! 🙂
Finally I had to request Parag Sankla ji who immediately sent me the audio from his massive collection over 1200 Geeta Dutt songs. And when I uploaded the audio track of Toofanon se khele jaa (Son of Sindbad, 1952), I was amazed at the power of the song and the lovely sing-song tune. A must-include indeed.
This discussion indeed is bringing me new perspectives with each comment. Thank you so very very much!
That has remained the unique strength of Geeta. She never sounded mechanical.
For Geeta, a song was not a show of her supreme singing ability. It was more focused on impact and the mood and how she felt the emotions herself and relayed it on microphone.
That is what makes an expert listening ear react to and be impressed by Geeta reaching the heart straight away.
Beautifully analysed! Every song beautifully chosen, every one so well deconstructed! So much to learn and enjoy from your writing. Power to your obsession 🙂
Thank you so very much Manek Sir! I learn a lot from you and your posts and the takeaways are many, many!
Thank you for clarifying the difference between the Doo-wop, the capella and the Senza Misura! It is now clearer to me why O saajana starts with a Senza Misura and ends with a Doo-wop!
Thanks again for the beautiful compliment! Will cherish it always… Grateful! 🙂