Thursday, May 23, 2024

10 Songs by Geeta Dutt, from happy and romantic to devotional and sad

Narendra Kusnur picks 10 songs rendered by Geeta Dutt, one of the most beautiful voices in Bollywood

One of the most beautiful voices in Hindi films, Geeta Dutt had so many great songs that it was a Herculean task to select only 10 songs for this list. So we just randomly shortlisted these gems keeping a few things in mind, fully aware that if we were to compile it tomorrow, we would come up with something totally different.

In her career, Dutt had the maximum number of hits with music directors S.D. Burman and O.P. Nayyar. To mark her 90th birthday anniversary on November 23, we thus picked up two songs each by them. Six other music directors were represented by one tune.

We also used a mix of moods from happy and romantic to devotional and sad. Two famous duets, with Mukesh and Mohammed Rafi, were included and so was one unforgettable collaboration with Lata Mangeshkar. The order is chronological.

1. Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol/ Jogan (1950)

Though she had been singing for four years, Kidar Sharma’s Jogan was a big boost for Geeta Dutt’s career. The film starred Dilip Kumar and Nargis. Music was by Bulo C. Rani and the lines “Ghunghat ke pat khol tohe piya milenge” were part of a traditional bhajan.

2. Khayalon Mein Kisike/ Bawre Nain (1950)

A wonderful duet sung by Dutt and Mukesh, this was composed by the evergreen Roshan. It was picturised on Raj Kapoor and yesteryear actress Vijaylakshmi. Kidar Sharma penned the words, “Khayalon mein kisike is tarah aaya nahin karte, kisiko bewafa aa aa ke tadpaya nahin karte”.

3. Babuji Dheere Chalna/ Aar Paar (1954)

Picturised in a restaurant on the gorgeous Shakila, with Guru Dutt in some shots, this was a huge hit for music director O.P. Nayyar. Geeta Dutt’s voice had a hint of naughtiness, aa she sang Majrooh Sultanpuri’s words “Babuji dheere chalna, pyaar mein zara sambhalna, haan bade dhoke hain, bade dhoke hain is raah mein”.

4. Na Yeh Chand Hoga/ Shart (1954)

There are two versions of this song, sung by Dutt and Hemant Kumar respectively. Hemant Kumar gave the music, and S.H. Bihari wrote, “Na yeh chand hoga, na taare rahenge, magar hum hamesha tumhare rahenge”. The film, loosely based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers On A Train, starred Deepak and Shyama.

5. Thandi Hawa Kali Ghata/ Mr And Mrs 55 (1955)

Filmed on the beautiful Madhubala, this one was wonderfully choreographed and filmed on a group of ladies under umbrellas. Nayyar’s music went perfectly with the visuals, and Sultanpuri wrote, “Thandi hawa kaali ghata, aa hi gayee jhoom ke, pyaar liye dole hasee, naache jiya ghoom ke”. A beautiful melody line lifted the song.

6. Ae Dil Mujhe Bata De/ Bhai Bhai (1956)

Actress Shyama appeared on screen in this song where Rajendra Krishan wrote, “Ae dil mujhe bata de tu kis pe aa gaya hai, Woh kaun hai jo aakar khwabon pe chaa gaya hai”. Madan Mohan composed this frothy tune which Dutt sang in her distinct style.

7. Hum Aap Ki Aankhon Mein/ Pyaasa (1957)

A dream sequence filmed on Guru Dutt and Mala Sinha, this hugely popular romantic duet by Geeta Dutt and Mohammed Rafi was set to tune by S.D..Burman in a waltz format. Sahir Ludhianvi wrote the lyrics, and the song has remained a favourite at live orchestra shows.

8. Waqt Ne Kiya/ Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

Another masterpiece by Dada Burman, it was one of the most soulful and moving songs sung by Geeta Dutt. Filmed on Waheeda Rahman and Guru Dutt, it was written by Kaifi Azmi. The words “Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam, tum rahe na tum, hum rahe na hum” struck a chord.

9. Akhiyan Bhool Gayee Hai Sona/ Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959)

The speciality of this song was that Dutt was joined by Lata Mangeshkar and a vibrant chorus. The talented Vasant Desai composed the sprightly tune, and Bharat Vyas wrote “Akhiyan bhool gayee hai sona, dil pe hua hai jadu tona, shehnai waale teri shehnai ke karejwa ko cheer gayee, cheer gayee, cheer gayee”.

10. Mujhe Jaan Na Kaho/ Anubhav (1971)

Another beautiful song rendered with finesse, this had a wonderful melody by music director Kanu Roy. Sanjeev Kumar and Tanuja appeared on screen. Lyrics were by Gulzar, and the opening lines went, “Meri jaan, mujhe jaan na kaho, meri jaan”. This was Dutt’s swan song.

Narendra Kusnur
Narendra Kusnur is one of India’s best known music journalists. Born with a musical spoon, so to speak, Naren, who dubs himself Kaansen, is a late bloomer in music criticism. He was (is!) an aficionado first, and then strayed into writing on music. But in the last two decades, he has made up for most of what he didn’t do earlier.

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