Geeta Dutt, formerly known as Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri, was born into a rich family in East Bengal, now Bangladesh, in 1930. She first sang in a chorus song in 1946; only a couple of lines. But as the aura of diamond cannot be hidden; young Geeta got noticed by S.D.Burman. He made her sing in “Do Bhai”. Her singing style was totally different from the one which was popular during those days. But instead of copying the style of established singers, she introduced her own style – fresh and free flowing.
Her voice was full of expressions. She could be easily labeled as the first versatile female singer of Bollywood. Another versatile star in the category of female singers, Asha Bhosle, had yet to shine. She sang an array of youthful romantic songs. Let it be the warning in “Babuji dheere chalna” or the scolding in “Ja ja ja ja Bewaafa”; her voice was full of feminine youthful vigor. The film “Baazi” was a starting milestone in her career. Under the patronage of S.D.Burman, she sang many beautiful songs for this film viz. “Aaj ki raat piya”, “Suno gajar kya gaaye”, “Tadbeer se bigdi hui” etc. The year 1952 was the busiest in her career. During this year she sang for at least 31 different films.
Another genre of songs that Geeta Dutt mastered was the Bhajans. There was this distinct serenity in her voice that was best suitable for Bhajans. A couple of examples are – “Aaj sajan mohe aang lagalo” from Pyaasa, “Jai Jagdish Hare” from AnandMath and “Na main dhan chahu” from Kala Bazar.
On personal front she was an extrovert, a fun-loving person. She loved having people around and playing a perfect host to them. She was a doting mother. The famous lullaby “Nanhi Kali sone chali” from Sujata, is a testimony of a mother in her. God only knows, how many Indian kids were lulled to sleep by this lullaby.
Geeta Dutt has left her inerasable mark in the genre of sad songs too. Who can forget the emptiness in “Waqt ne kiya kya hansi sitam”? The ruthlessness of time is conveyed so deeply. The melancholy in “Mera sunder sapna beet gaya” is equally haunting. The reflection of pain, distress and helplessness in “Na jao saiyyan” is immortal.
In her small lifespan and career she has delivered many memorable gems. Even during the last year of her life, she delivered something as soft and romantic as “Koi chupke se aake” for the movie Anubhav. This enthralling voice, sweet like honey that explored an array of genre and emotions became silent in 1972. Geeta Dutt passed away at the tender age of 41. November 23, is her birth anniversary. May her soul rest in peace.