Remembering Geeta Dutt, The Iconic Singer On Her 90th Birth Anniversary

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Geeta Dutt, who started singing as a teenager, is the voice behind many timeless songs like Waqt Ne Kiya Haseen Sitam, Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo and Yeh hai Bombay Meri Jaan. She was considered as the “one singer that Lata Mangeshkar feared”.  Her songs where an instant hit among the audience, as they laughed and cried with her melodies. They calm the soul and once you start listening to her melodious songs, there’s no turning back.  Her voice enthralled all during the 1940s and 50s but her meteoric rise as a singer was followed by a tragic and untimely death.

On the 90th birth anniversary of this iconic singer, let us have a look at 10 things you should know about her.

  • Geeta Dutt was born as Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri was born on November 23, 1930 in a wealthy zamindar family from Idilpur, a village formerly under Faridpur district in Bengal, British India, now in Bangladesh.
  • Dutt learned singing under the patronage of music composer K. Hanuman Prasad, who was impressed by her voice when he overheard her singing. He later launched her as a playback singer in movies.
  • Interestingly, Dutt’s first break was at the age of sixteen in 1946 with the mythological movie Bhakta Prahlad, which was the music directorial project of Prasad. She had to sing two lines for two songs for the film. Later in 1946 itself, Dutt sang for two more of Prasad’s films — Raseeli and Nayi Maa.

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  • Her first hit song was Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya from the film Do Bhai (1947). S D Burman had heard Dutt sing in Bhakt Prahlad and thus signed her to sing for his film.
  • While recording songs for the film Baazi, Dutt got romantically involved with its young director Guru Dutt, whom she married in 1953. They had three children together.
  • In 1957, Guru Dutt launched the film Gauri, which was to be India’s first movie in cinemascope with Dutt as the leading singer. The film, however, was shelved. By this time, the director and actor Waheeda Rehman reportedly started seeing each other, which led Dutt to drinking.
  • It is said that the failed marriage affected Dutt’s career. While S.D. Burman had signed up Dutt as the leading singer of his compositions, relacing Lata Mangeshkar, she reportedly failed to perform well due to her personal problems.

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  • Dutt delivered more than 50 hit songs in her career like Babuji Dheere Chalna, Na Jao Saiyaan Chhuda ke Baiyaan, Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Ji, Kaisa Jadoo Balam Tune Dara and Hawa Dhire Aana, among others.
  • Geeta Dutt died on 20 July, 1972, at just the age of 41 due to liver cirrhosis. It is believed that after 1964 when Guru Dutt died from alcohol and sleeping pill overdose, she suffered from a mental breakdown and financial strains which led her to heavy alcohol consumption.
  • India Post issued two postage stamps featuring Dutt as an honour to this incredible singer in 2013 and 2016.

Shikha Chandra is an intern with SheThePeople.TV