Sunday, April 12, 2009

Discovering Geeta Dutt

It is no secret that when it comes to Hindi film music, the one singer I’m completely obsessed with is Lata Mangeshkar. I never had to ‘discover’ her. My earliest memory of a film song has to be one of her songs. Her voice was always a part of my growing up years.

If there is any female playback singer other than Lata Mangeshkar that I am a big fan of, it has to be Geeta Dutt. I must admit that I have only discovered her very recently. I mean I always enjoyed listening to her popular numbers like Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo (Howrah Bridge) or Babuji Dheere Chalna (Aar Paar) or the all-time classic like Waqt Ne Kiya (Kaghaz Ke Phool), but in my mind the image of Geeta Dutt largely remained that of a singer who excelled in only one kind of genre – the club song – with a few sprinklings of pathos-dripping songs here and there. And, boy was I wrong! As I listened to more and more of her songs, I realized that her repertoire is so wide that it is difficult to slot her in a particular genre. That’s what I mean, when I use the word ‘discover’ in her context.

Technically speaking, Geeta Dutt probably lacked in terms of vocal range, but she more than made up by her remarkable quality of injecting the perfect emotion in her songs. Hers was a voice that made its way straight to the listener’s heart.

My intent behind this post is not to do a mini biography of Geeta Dutt. There is ample material available on the net, specially the recently launched website, which is a treasure trove of information about the singer. The purpose behind this post is to list down some of my favourite Geeta Dutt songs – some very well known, and some relatively obscure – so you can get a taste of the variety of songs she lent her voice to.

So here is a list of 10 songs in chronological order.

Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya - Do Bhai 1947 – Sachin Dev Burman – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan

Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol - Jogan 1950 – Bulo C. Rani - Meerabai

Kaise Koi Jiye - Baadbaan 1954 – Timir Baran & S. K Pal – Indeevar

Jhuk Jhuk Jaye Nazar - Aab-e-Hayat 1955 – Sardar Malik – Hasrat Jaipuri

Baanki Adayen - Amanat 1955 – Salil Chowdhury – Shailendra


Jata Kahan Hai Deewane - CID 1956 – O P Nayyar – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Bulbul Mere Chaman Ke - Heer 1956 – Anil Biswas – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Aankh Milane Ke Liye - Chandan 1958 – Madan Mohan - Rajinder Krishan

Na Jao Saiyan - Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam 1962 – Hemant Kumar – Shakeel Badayuni

Koi Chupke Se Aake - Anubhav 1971 – Kanu Roy - Kapil Kumar