Ten of my favourite Geeta Dutt solos

Looking back at the six years this blog has been in existence, I find myself surprised that I’ve never done a post on Geeta Dutt. Geeta Dutt, née Geeta Ghosh Roy Chaudhury, the woman with that beautifully melodious, faintly nasal voice, who was known for singing bhajans and other songs with a classical or folk lilt to them—until SD Burman chose her to sing Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer bana de, and opened up to millions of listeners across the years the astounding versatility of this glorious voice. Geeta Dutt, who could sing with equal finesse everything from club songs to wandering minstrel ones. Geeta, who sang some of the most achingly beautiful songs in Hindi cinema.

Geeta Dutt

Born on November 23, 1930 (and dead tragically young, in 1972) Geeta Dutt would have been 84 today. To commemorate her birth anniversary, therefore, a list of ten Geeta Dutt songs, in Hindi, which I like a lot. As is usual with my lists, this one is restricted to songs from pre-70s films that I’ve seen, and—because if I didn’t impose any other restrictions on myself, I’d run into dozens of songs—these are all Geeta Dutt solos (I’ll do a list of my favourite Geeta Dutt duets some other time). Plus, no two songs are from the same film.

In no particular order:

1. Koi door se aawaaz de chale aao (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, 1962): When I wrote that Geeta Dutt sang some of the most ‘achingly beautiful’ songs in Hindi cinema, this was one song I was thinking of (along with the next which follows in this list). Hemant, who composed the music for Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, gave Geeta Dutt three of the most memorable songs of her career in this one film: Piya aiso jiya mein samaaye gayo re, Na jaao saiyyaan chhudaake baiyyaan—and this one.

Koi door se aawaaz de chale aao is the lament of a lonely, neglected wife who waits for her husband: an endless yearning, a never-ceasing waiting for a man who couldn’t care less. The music begins by being almost non-existent, giving Geeta’s voice—echoing, as if from far away—centrestage. Then, later, though the music swells, her voice remains, though soft, still dominant, still haunting.

My only grouse with this song is its length: it is far, far too short.

Koi door se aawaaz de, from Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam
2. Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam (Kaagaz ke Phool, 1959): I remember having read, several years ago, a list of ten of her own songs that Geeta Dutt had picked as her favourites. And being shocked, because Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam was not on the list. I discovered later that that was because she was asked to pick these songs in early 1957; the song didn’t exist back then. That, I thought, could be the only possible reason for leaving this song out of any Geeta Dutt list—because it is so simply sublime.

Rather like Koi door se aawaaz de, Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam has a haunting quality to it, a yearning for love—in this case a love that cannot be, because the man is married to someone else. The music and the lyrics of the song are beautiful, but it is Geeta Dutt’s voice, full of restrained emotion, that makes this song so absolutely unforgettable.

Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam, from Kaagaz ke Phool
3. Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer bana le (Baazi, 1951): This was a song that appeared on Geeta Dutt’s list of her own favourites from among her songs. And not surprisingly, I think. Because not only was Tadbeer se bidgi hui taqdeer bana le a very different song from the ones she had sung before, it was also to be a turning point in Geeta Dutt’s career, since it showed to the world—and to music directors other than SD Burman, who had had the courage to get Geeta Dutt to sing this—that she possessed much more versatility than people had credited her with.

I love the way Geeta Dutt sings this song: it’s a club song, and has a definite Western lilt to it, but there’s no brashness, no sass. Her voice is melodious, playful, yet conveying all the deep meaning of Sahir’s words: it is up to you to do what you will with your life.

Tadbeer se bigdi hui, from Baazi
4. O babu o lala (Dilli ka Thug, 1958): I have heard several fellow bloggers and readers dismiss O babu o lala—but I have to confess to a deep love for this song. In my opinion, it’s one of the finest club songs of the 50s: there is a pep to it that makes it good to dance to (as you can see, what with Herman Benjamin and Co. throughout); yet there is an oomph to it, a something that hints (very broadly) at intimacy. I am all admiration for Ravi, who took an otherwise somewhat sedate tune (Rum and Coca Cola) and turned it into something quite different, smart and sexy and intricate.

And a lot of the credit for the gorgeousness of O babu o lala goes to Geeta Dutt. Her voice is deliciously sultry (made more so by that echo effect here and there, towards the end of each stanza), playful and come-hither by turn.

O babu o lala, from Dilli ka Thug
5. Jaata kahaan hai deewaane (CID, 1956): Geeta Dutt sang two fabulous duets—Ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan and Aankhon hi aankhon mein ishaara ho gaya—for OP Nayyar in CID. And she sang this mischievously seductive song, which ended up being dumped from the film a week after CID was released (the story goes that the censors took exception to the word ‘fiffi’ in the lines Kuchh tere dil mein fiffi, kuchh mere dil mein fiffi; considering fiffi does not really mean anything—it was a nonsense word bunged in to get the metre right—that is rather idiotic).

Thankfully, though, the audio version of Jaata kahaan hai deewaane itself survives, and it’s worth including in a list of Geeta Dutt solos: slow and peppy by turn, seductive and yet playful. I wish I had been around to see CID in that first week before this song was taken off.

Jaata kahaan hai deewaane, from CID
6. Mera naam Chin Chin Choo (Howrah Bridge, 1958): And now for a change of pace, with one of the most infectiously foot-tapping club songs Geeta Dutt sang in a career studded with some superb club songs. This film’s lead actress Madhubala, in an unusual role (for a heroine in a film back then) as a club dancer, had some lovely songs picturised on her—but all of them with playback singing by Asha Bhonsle (not surprising, considering OP Nayyar was the music director). But one song—picturised on Helen, still very young and only just on the brink of becoming ‘Queen of the Nautch Girls’—often eclipses the other songs (except possibly Aaiye meherbaan). That is Geeta Dutt’s Mera naam Chin Chin Choo. Everything about this song—the music, the dancing, even the playing of the musicians onscreen—is almost frenetic in its pace. And Geeta Dutt keeps up, and how! This is pep, joie de vivre, phadakta gaana—call it whatever you will, it’s a classic club song.

Mera naam Chin Chin Choo, from Howrah Bridge
7. Nanhi kali sone chali (Sujata, 1960): Another example of Geeta Dutt’s immense versatility. If she could croon sultry club songs or fill her voice with the longing of Koi door se aawaaz de—she could also be the gentle voice of a mother singing a lullaby to her baby. Like bhajans, filmy lullabies are not quite my cup of tea; I invariably find them too cloying. Nanhi kali sone chali, however, is one of the few that manages to get the tone just right: the words are sweetly affectionate, and the calm, soothing gentleness of Geeta Dutt’s voice conveys far more maternal love than any words can express.

Nanhi kali sone chali, from Sujata
8. Aaj sajan mohe ang lagaa lo (Pyaasa, 1957): It was difficult to choose between two wonderful Geeta Dutt songs in Pyaasa: Jaane kya tune kahi and Aaj sajan mohe ang lagaa lo. The latter won, simply because I think the very kirtan-inspired music of this song fits beautifully with Geeta Dutt’s voice: she makes it her own, giving it that folksy, faintly rustic feel that one would expect from a wandering jogan. I also think Aaj sajan mohe ang lagaa lo is a fine example of the virtuosity that Geeta Dutt possessed: her control over her voice is excellent. The beginning of the song, with no musical instruments to support her voice, is slow, very restrained—and then, when the instruments join in and the song begins in earnest, her voice rises into the perfect crescendo of Premsudha… a song that gives me gooseflesh.

Aaj sajan mohe ang lagaa lo, from Pyaasa
9. Thandi hawa kaali ghata (Mr & Mrs 55, 1955): If hers was the voice of the lonely wife in Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, the seductress in Dilli ka Thug, and the loving mother in Sujata, Geeta Dutt shows yet another facet of her voice in Thandi hawa kaali ghata: that of the happy-go-lucky girl next door. Without a care in the world, vivacious, revelling in her own beauty and in love with the very fact of love. Watching this song and seeing Madhubala smile, I found myself thinking, “You can hear that smile in Geeta Dutt’s voice.” That’s how emotive Ms Dutt could be.

(Ironically enough, that doesn’t seem to have been the case. Someone I know had actually seen Geeta Dutt recording a song in a studio, and said that she was poker-faced. Her voice showed every emotion; her face didn’t).

Thandi hawa kaali ghata, from Mr & Mrs 55
10. Hoon abhi main jawaan (Aar Paar, 1954): Aar Paar is more popularly known—at least today, since it’s been remixed—for a Geeta Dutt song which was the very representative of the 50s club song: Babuji dheere chalna. It’s a good song (and well-picturised), but I must admit to a somewhat greater fondness for this song. Geeta Dutt sings again for Shakila, though this time not a Shakila swaying and pirouetting amongst tables. This is a woman, lonely and drunk, but trying to tell herself that she is still young, still beautiful. That there is still hope. Even when there is, actually, little to look forward to.

I love Geeta Dutt’s voice here: sultry, with that slight slurring one would expect from someone who’s tipsy—yet perfectly in control, through the high notes and the low.

Hoon abhi main jawaan, from Aar Paar
Which are your favourite Geeta Dutt solos?

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87 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite Geeta Dutt solos

  1. Should I even be surprised, Madhu? 6 of the ten songs here are on my list that I posted a short while back too. :-)

    Oh Babu Oh Lala – I had completely forgotten this song. Geeta Dutt sings it so well – it is one of the finest club songs indeed. And Smriti Biswas looks nice!

    This one list doesn’t at all do any justice to Geeta Dutt’s calibre.

    Other songs I would have liked to have on my list would have been Chanda Chandni Mein (Mujrim): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B_AdeqYhPM
    and Do Chamakti Aankhon Mein (Detective) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tY8F7EdZEU and Oh yes, that playful Humko Chhod Ke Kahan Jaaoge (would this be classified as a duet? Mohd Rafi does say – Acchaji and some other words..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ozmvi4S9r8)

    I think I will be making a list of top 10 duets of Geeta Dutt soon. :-)

    • No, it doesn’t surprise me at all that your Geeta Dutt list and mine should be so similar, Harini! :-)

      I had thought of putting Do chamakti aankhon mein on my list, but then gave it up because it’s a trifle too melancholy – and, most importantly, there were other songs I was more partial to. But Detective does have one of my absolute favourite Geeta Dutt duets: Mujhko tum jo mile.

      Had completely forgotten about Chanda chaandni mein jab chamke, and in fact didn’t even remember Humko chhod ke kahaan jaaoge until I actually listened to it. Both nice. :-)

      And I’m looking forward to your list of Geeta Dutt duets! Some of my favourite songs of hers are duets.

  2. Lovely song. Almost all Geeta Dutt songs are my favorites. I love this one from Mr. and Mrs. 55. I love the story narrated in this sequence, Madhubala looking over the shoulder of her dancing partner to see if Gurudutt is jealous yet. And beautiful Cuckoo singing the song.

    • A coincidence. Sidharth Bhatia mentioned to me on Facebook (when he read my status message about this post) that he woke up with Aaj ki raat piya dil na todo playing in his head. Lucky man! The only songs I tend to wake up with seem to be really horrible earworms which take me the entire day to get rid of!

  3. Great list of my absolute favourite singer – her velvet voice is inimitable! Another one I love of hers that is not listed here is ‘Mujhe jaan na kaho’ from Anubhav.

  4. Madhu did you write this post as a birthday present for me? :-)
    I think I will be revisiting this post many many times. My favouritest (I don’t care if its not a real word!) singer and you have covered some of her best songs including my absolute favourites in no particular order. Yes you can have more than one favourite!
    Nanhi kali sone chali
    Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer bana le
    Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam

    Thank you so much for this post.

    • Oh, was it your birthday yesterday, Shalini? Happy birthday, even if the wishes are belated – I hope you had a wonderful day! And yes, consider this post a birthday present, even if unwitting. :-)

      There is something about Geeta Dutt’s voice that really enthrals me. Perhaps it’s the slightly nasal tone to it that lends it that immense richness. Perhaps it’s her versatility. Or the depth of emotion she manages to bring to just about every song… inimitable.

  5. An excellent compilation of Geeta Dutt solos. As you say, the way she could effortlessly span the gulf between bhajans and club songs was awesome. Thank you for including ‘O babu O lala’ – a song which brings out all the sensuousness (even sexiness, I’d say) in Geeta Dutt’s voice. Some other, lesser known club songs sung by her I would like to mention – ‘Ajee o suno to” from 12 O’Clock and “Soch samajh kar dil ko lagaana” from Jaal. The latter was the only non-Lata female song in Jaal and is ample evidence of the slightly nasal quality of her voice which you have mentioned – an endearing quality nonetheless. Another Geeta Dutt song (strictly speaking not a solo, there is a brief Rafi interlude in it) that I’m surprised is not more popular – “Bachna zara, yeh zamaana hai bura” from Milap – a delightfully playful song.

    • I have to admit I find that slightly nasal quality of Geeta Dutt’s voice not just endearing, but also very effective, in a way – it makes songs like Aaj sajan mohe ang lagaa lo or Aan milo aan milo Shyaam saanwre sound more rustic, and it makes her club songs sound more sexy. Not the rather more conventional sopranos of Lata or Asha, for instance – but something beyond.

      I like Bachna zara yeh zamaana hai bura a lot (and, also from Milaap, the sweet Jaate ho toh jaao par jaaoge kahaan). But I must admit I’d forgotten Aji o suno toh, though Soch-samajhkar dil ko lagaana had been on my longlist.

      • How about “Zara saamne aa” from Baaz. It has a certain sassiness which perfectly matches the personality of Geeta Bali on whom the song is picturised

  6. Nice tribute to Geeta Dutt on her 84th birthday. Her voice touches the very core of one’s soul. As you mentioned, she could sing to the mood needed. Most of the songs presented by you were familiar, yet one can listen to her songs repeatedly. Most of the songs she sang were aural delights. I was not very familiar with the song O babu O lala. Thanks for including the song Aaj Sajan Mohe Ang Laga Lo. Here are a few of my favourite songs of Geeta Dutt.
    Film 12 o clock (1958), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music O P Nayyar

    Film Zalzala (1952), lyrics Brajendra Gaud, music Pankaj Mullick

    This lyrics of this song seems tailored made for her.
    Film Detective (1958), lyrics Shailendra, music Mukul Roy

    Thank you Madhu ji for the post and songs.

    • Thank you, Venkataramanji! I’m glad you liked this post. And, thank you for the songs you suggested – as I’ve mentioned in my replies to previous comments, Do chamakti aankhon mein was also on my shortlist, and while I’d forgotten Aji o suno toh, it’s a good song, too.

      I had never heard Boojho boojho ae dilwaalon from Zalzala; beautiful song. Thank you.

      Yes, I agree most of the songs I listed are some of Geeta Dutt’s most well-known ones. There were some others that I’d have liked to have included, except that, as it turned out, I hadn’t seen the film in question. Here is one: Baanki adaayein dekhna ji dekhna, which I like a lot:

  7. Thank you for this post! Geeta is one of my most favorite singer of all times. Almost all from your list are in mine. I suppose that people will add here all gracefull hindi songs of Geeta. So I would like to add some bengali, because Geeta sung also for bengali movies and I am sure that she was the best voice of Suchitra.
    Eii Sundaro swarnali sandhya From Hospital (1960)

    Eai Nishi Raat from Prithibi Amarey Chai

    Absolutely evergreen romantic song – Tumi Je Amar from Harano Sur (1958)

    and two songs that are best illustration for unique Geeta’s voice peculariaty – she could sing light joyful songs that her joy is almost palpable.

    Jhonok Jhonok from Indrani

    this one is hindi but imho less known that it could be. For me it is one of the best Geeta’s song. And Tanuja is amazing here!
    Mera Dil Jo Mera Hota from Anubhav

    • Anna, thank you so much for including all these lovely Bengali songs of Ms Dutt’s! I admit to not having watched too many Bengali films – well, definitely much fewer than I would have liked to – but I have come across some really lovely Geeta Dutt songs here and there. I hadn’t, however, heard any of the songs you have linked to (except Tumi je amaar), so that was a special bonus for me. Gorgeous songs, each one of them.

      Let me add a twist to that, then: this song, which I first heard a few years back, and have ever since wanted to watch Gali Theke Rajpath, just to see how a Hindi song fits into a Bengali film. Teri liye aaya:

    • Thank you for uploading these Bengali songs of Geeta Dutt. “Jhonok Jhonok” especially is marvellous – not just for Geeta Dutt’s sublime singing but also for the simple beauty of Suchitra Sen – she is just exquisite in this song .

    • I have heard of Kaanch ki Gudiya, but I’d never heard either Aayi hoon badi aas liye or Koi bacha lo mujhko bacha lo before. I find the latter especially interesting: Geeta Dutt’s voice is especially youthful and playful yet seductive.

  8. Lovely post and what a coincidence! You post about Geeta Dutt today and I was looking through your posts two days back and wondering why there was on post on her. We had gone on a road trip last week and returned yesterday, and one of the CDs that we listened to while driving was a Geeta Dutt CD. It had some of the songs you have mentioned in your post, Of course, it also had my other favorites: Babuji dheere chalna …https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A35PbjcKoBA
    and Jane kya tune kahi …https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLGCAGHNTJU,
    My husband wanted to know what my friends Madhu and Anu had said about her singing, so I went through your posts as well as Anu’s, and was disappointed that I couldn’t find any post on Geeta Dutt. You and Anu have now become the go-to writers on Hindi films and filmi music for my hubby!
    Thanks for the aural treat!

    • Thank you, Lalitha! And that is a coincidence, indeed. It surprises me, too, to find that despite my abiding love for Geeta Dutt, I’ve never done a post on her. Partly, of course, I realise that this has also been intentional – it’s a fear of not being able to do justice to her. :-)

      “We had gone on a road trip last week and returned yesterday, and one of the CDs that we listened to while driving was a Geeta Dutt CD.

      Mmm! That’s the best type of music to listen to on a road trip!

  9. Love her voice. One could never conduse it with Lata’s, Asha’s Suman’s, Meena’s etc
    It was really hatke

    And you have picked the cream. :-) Love all the songs from the list and would be among my favourite too…except most of her songs are my favourite.
    I love O babu O Lala. Had to smile at Geeta Dutt singing with a straight face and yet bringing that smile to the song as seen on Madhubala’s face. Her smiles were so bright.

    Some of her songs in choomantar are every nice. I like this the best but others are great too with a beautiful Shyama.

    • You hit the nail on the head when you said Geeta Dutt’s voice was hatke, pacifist! Very true. I often (invariably?) confuse Lata and Asha, and also often Suman Kalyanpur. But Geeta Dutt’s voice is so distinctive, it’s impossible to mistake her for anyone else. I remember, when I was small, my parents used to have a ‘Best of Geeta Dutt’ LP (we still have it, though because we don’t have a turntable any more, it’s languishing), and we listened to it so much, I became familiar with Geeta Dutt’s voice well before I turned ten.

      Oh, yes. Jab baadal lehraaye is nice. :-)

  10. There’s no video clip of this song from ustad 1957 but I always imagined it as a kind of club song in the den of criminals meeting there and planning.

    • When I read your comment, I was certain I hadn’t heard Chor lootere daaku before, but then when I began listening to the song… I got the impression, then, that I have heard this song. Good one, and I like the music a lot. There’s a definitely sinister feel to it which makes me agree (along with the lyrics, of course) to what you surmise. :-)

  11. A ten fav Geeta Dutt songs! Wow! A monumentak task to reduce it to ten! As you might know I don’t have one fav singer male or female, but Geeta dutt IS special!

    Love Koi door se aawaaz de, I think nobody could ahve sung this song like Geeta did. I just can’t imaigne anybody else singing this song. But she does sing it a bit undecipehrable. And yes, it IS too, too short!

    Same emotions for waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam. I think if I had the ungrateful task of making a list of ten fav songs of HFM, this one would surely be in that list.

    What is there not to love about tadbeer se bigdi! I think, I must have seen this song on Chaaya Geet, when I was 7 or 8 and didn’t understand the lyrics much. But I knew what was going on thanks to Geeta Dutt.

    O babu o lala is making an appearance here once again. You sure do love this song. I like it too.

    It took me long to realise that jaata kahan hai deewane was missing. People say that it was picturised on Waheeda Rehman and also as you said that it was removed from the film a week after CID was released but somehow both the facts don’t sound true to me. Don’t ask me why, just a hunch. My feeling is that the song just wasn’t filmed. But as I said, only a funny hunch.

    Such a peppy song it is mera naam chin chin choo. It was a fav among us kids.

    nanhi kali sone chali is also one of my fav lullabies. Agree completely with: the calm, soothing gentleness of Geeta Dutt’s voice conveys far more maternal love than any words can express.

    What can I say about aaj sajan mohe. I get tears in my eyes, when I listen to it. The longing in her voice is so poignant! Wow!

    Am glad that you included hoon abhi main jawan. I was afraid it won’t be there as the list was coming to an end. The way she sings hoon, adds more seduction and sex appeal to the song than what others need for a whole song.

    some of the other Geeta Dutt songs which I like are:

    let me start with a song, which made her famous and my fav since my childhood
    mera sundar sapna beet gaya

    I was pretty sure that ae dil mujeh bata de would be on your list, since it not only has your old fav Shyama in it, but also because where she is so happy (wihtout the melancholy and without tthe seductive tone).

    na yeh chand hoga from Shart. I thought that this would surely feature in your list too, but this has got so many versions and the more famous one is that of Hemant Kumar.

    babuji dheere chalna from Aar Paar, but just like you, I also would have taken hoon abhi main jawan for my list

    Good classical rendition by one who allegedly had no classical training baat chalat from Ladki

    I love all her bhajans in Jogan but absolutely love the sense of urgency she adds to the bhajan ghunghat ke pat khol from Jogan

    mujhe huzur tumse pyar hai from Son Of India. As you can read at the beginning of this video, this was supposedly her second and last song for Naushad and that this song for popular in Portugal. But that is not the reason I put it here.

    The famous Geeta longing once again, preetam aan milo from Mr. & Mrs. 55. It is a background song. and comes at the end in titbits.

    aayi re ghir ghir from Miss Mary

    and all her songs in Baazi

    A difficult task to boil down one’s fav Geeta Dutt songs to ten. Hats off to you!
    Sorry for hogging so much space in the comment section.
    And sorry, if I have repeated any songs already mentioned by others.

    • I also expected ‘Aye dil mujehe bata de” to be there in the list. This used be one of the essential songs on any ‘Best of Geeta Dutt’ audio CD. The sheer exuberance of Shyama as she dances her way through the song is amazing. And of course the pipe-smoking, suave Ashok Kumar with the typical, slightly quizzical expression on his face.

      • Yes, Ae dil mujhe bata de had been on my shortlist, but then I realised I’d put it on several lists already – so decided to include some songs I had (relatively speaking) ‘ignored’ so far. :-)

    • What a fabulous selection of songs you’ve listed, Harvey! Thank you so much! I love all of them, and three were on my shortlist: Babuji dheere chalna, Ae dil mujhe bata de (yes, I hadn’t forgotten it; I just realised that I’ve already put it in several lists – also the female pianist one, besides the Shyama list), and Preetam aan milo (I was really torn about that one: so beautifully sung and such a lovely song, but – like Koi door se aawaaz de – so short).

    • Speaking of bhajans sung by Geeta Dutt, here is a particularly melodious one from Kala Bazar – though its not a solo (the other singer is Sudha Malhotra I think)

  12. What a wonderful post and selection of songs, I don’t think I could have selected 10. I like all her songs, sure some more than others but difficult to select. So many good ones posted by your readers, by sheer response you can tell how popular she is still after 42 years of her passing.
    A voice with soul ! That’s how I think of her songs. Oh how I wish someone could have done something to save those two. Geeta Dutt and Guru Dutt. We lost a genius of a singer too soon. When you hear Mera naam chin chin choo and eii sundoro swar ali sandhya you feel you are listening to two different singers.
    Many songs that came to mind right away have been posted already. Thanks to youtube, I discovered her bengali songs and they are all gems.
    So I am posting just a few that I have always liked, if they have been already posted then pardon, my browser does not let me read all :( it has taken me several reads just to get past a few.
    Jaate ho to jaao par jaaoge kahan from Milap

    Aaj ki kaali ghata, mast matwali ghata from Uski Kahani

    Kaise koi jiye, Zeher hai zindagi utha toofan wo from Baadbaan

    And the sad version from Aar Paar – ja ja ja bewafa, it almost sounds like she is singing to Guru Dutt the husband.

    There is also something the way she pronounced some words, e.g. In the song, Janu Janu re, …. Main bhi Janu re chup ke kaun aaya tore yangna ( instead of angana) it gave character all her own to the song.

    I think I will stop here, there are so many of her wonderful duets, but that would be another post isn’t it ?

    • Neeru, thank you so much! Both for the appreciation, as well as for the lovely songs you’ve suggested. I especially like Jaate ho toh jaao par jaaoge kahaan, and Jaa jaa jaa bewafa: both, interestingly, are great showcases of Geeta Dutt’s versatility. She can be so peppy and playful, and also so poignant.

      That’s an insightful comment (and example) about Geeta Dutt’s pronunciation of some words. I hadn’t thought about it, but now that you point it out, yes. I see what you mean.

    • Lovely! I was introduced to this song – if I remember correctly – by my mother’s best friend, who is also a Geeta Dutt fan (incidentally, she was the one who had seen Geeta Dutt recording in a studio and was struck by the fact that her face remained quite expressionless, even if she imbued the song with a lot of emotion.

      • Interesting. I think Rafi was very expressive in his recordings from what I have seen. Asha Bhosle too is quite straight singing. Oh how lucky of your mom’s friend to have heard her in person. I have searched but have found no clips of her singing live. Hopefully someone someday will post one on youtube.

        • I hope so, too!

          Yes, I’ve heard that Rafi was very expressive in his recordings, too. From whatever clips I’ve seen of him singing at concerts, or even for TV recordings, I can definitely vouch for that. There’s a particularly lovely recording on Youtube of him singing Tumne mujhe dekha hokar meherbaan, and you can see all that emotion in his face… beautiful.

  13. Yes, I did say I will stop here, but now I am losing the browser in the middle of writing so no more after this. Has been a favourite oh I don’t remember since when – a very very long time.
    Chand hai wohi from Parineeta

    • I have – after much searching high and low – finally managed to lay my hands on Parineeta. Am looking forward to watching it, and to listening to the songs! This one is so lovely. Thanks for sharing it.

      • Really, hard to find ? Our local library has a DVD, but is missing the song “gore gore hathon mein mehndi lagake”. I think they meant to get the new Pareenita but got the old one. I saw it in video tape years ago and it had all the songs.

        • Yes, I remember having searched on Induna, after having (unsuccessfully) searched the library of the rental service I used to subscribe to. But no luck until recently.

          Gore-gore haathon mein mehendi lagaake is such a sweet little song! I love that one.

  14. And here I was, thinking just the other day that I must make good on my promise to Shalini to write a post on Geeta-Rafi duets. I come back to Bombay and a working internet connection today, and I see you have posted her solos – three days ago! Would it surprise you to know that Koi door se awaaz de chale aao is possibly my favouritest Geeta Dutt number? Followed by Waqt ne kiya, Aaj sajan mohe ang laga lo and Hoon abhi main jawan. Somehow, I have always loved the angst in her voice. Her voice drips with pathos. (No, not the cry-ee numbers, but the pathos-laden ones.)

    But here are a few songs that are not sad at all.
    Aaja chhaye kaare badra from Lajwanti

    The only Geeta Dutt song from Anarkali (to my knowledge) – Kehte hain jise pyar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dig_tLrQgaM

    A ‘club’ song from ShartChand ghatne laga that I discovered when I did my Chand post:

    And of course, for the inimitable Helen: Arre tauba from 12 o’clock

    Banki adaayein dekhna ji dekhna from Amaanat – my younger son’s favourite song.

    Darshan pyaasi aayi daasi for Sangdil under Salilda’s baton:

    Okay, back to being woeful: Aye dil ae deewane from Baaz

    Hai ye duniya kaun si ae dil from Sailaab

    Thank you so much for this post, Madhu. I came home all tuckered out (and with the promise of more hectic days to come), and this was such a blessing! I have been luxuriating in your choices. It’s amazing how refreshing it is to just lie back and listen…

    (p.s. Sorry for such a long list of songs in the comments!)

    • For somebody so tuckered out, you’ve managed to do pretty well at adding some great Geeta Dutt songs, Anu! Some of these I’d never heard before; one I’d mentioned in one of my comments (Baanki adaayein dekhna ji dekhna – also, like your younger son, I am very fond of this song!), and a couple I should’ve been familiar with, since I’ve seen the films, but had forgotten about. Thank you for reminding me of them!

      No, why am I not surprised that your favourite Geeta Dutt songs are mine, too? By the way, I have found another long-lost sister: Harini, who blogs at bagsbooksandmore. Same tastes. :-D

  15. I was humming this song the other day and realized it is a Geeta Dutt song. I also have a set of rare songs of Geeta Dutt and it has a few from Abe Hayat like Mara re Mara re o Maara… But this one, I have liked since childhood.
    Aaj nahiin to kal, bikhrenge ye baadal, o raat ke bhoole hue musafir subah hui ghar chal, ab ghar chal re – Kavi Pradeep, MD Avinash Vyas from Naagmani

    • I hadn’t heard this song before, though the tune is very reminiscent of a bhajan, isn’t it?

      Incidentally, Maara re maara re was on my long list. ;-) I like that song a lot, but there were others which were better, so it got left out, eventually.

      • Yes, it does sound like a bhajan if you think of it that way, the wordings lead you to think that way too, but somehow I never did think of it as a bhajan. I have not seen the movie, but there is another Geeta Dutt solo that got a lot of radio play in its day, ” toone khoob racha bhagwan khilona maati ka”. The more popular one is sung by Kavi Pradeep himself, “pinjre ke panchi re, tera darad na jaane koy”. Your post has brought so many songs to memory, I am thoroughly enjoying listening to Geeta Dutt galore.

  16. Since nobody has posted this song yet, I thought I should. Geeta Dutt sings Kahaan phir hum kahaan phir tum for Helen, in Nightclub. Another lovely song, which I like a lot:

  17. Dustedoff,
    Even a non Geeta fan would love all the songs, any doubt about Geeta’s fan?
    The wait is on for Geeta Duets please do not make us wait too long.
    Adding one of my favorites to this lovely list and additions.
    Deleted song from Paying Guest, Gaye ghabhrake ke mil.

    • I hadn’t heard Gaye ghabraake dil till a few days ago, when fellow bloggers bagsbooksandmore posted it! It’s a nice song – I do wish they’d retained it in the film.

      “please do not make us wait too long.

      Coming up, very soon! :-)

  18. Another nice club song of Geeta Dutt from Mai Baap (1957) – though not a solo. OP Nayyar sort of specialized in these Geeta Dutt club songs

  19. A lot of Geeta Dutt songs don’t have an accompanying video clip. :-(
    I found this very peppy, typically Geeta Dutt song from a vague film (I’d never heard of it) called awara ladki of 1957.

  20. Excellent choices of songs there for sure. Most of those are close to my heart. I think for me another worthy duet that falls in the same league (or may be a league of it’s own), is the song from Pyasa – “Hum Aapki Aankhon Main Is Dil Ko Basa..” by Geeta and Rafi. May be selfishly I love this more because it has two of my favorite singers at their peak. What I find especially attractive is the “Nakhra” in her voice and the “Pleading” in his voice. For the word “Nakhra” I don’t think I have ever found a decent english equivalent. Very playful indeed. The chemistry between the two that comes out to play is very rare. A treat for the ears! I can’t think of another pair who complemented each other’s singing styles as much as these two did.

    Here’s the link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXG_8EL_jFM

  21. Geeta Dutt… Now her singing is delectable. And so expressive.. Her voice was capable of conveying different myriad feelings, all within a single song itself. My most fav female singer everrr…. Here are two of her very popular non-film bengali songs-


    (jhir jhir chaitali batashe)

    (oi sur bhara dur neelimay)

    P.s: Wanted to add some fav hindi songs of her too, but then realised that all my favs are either mentioned in the list itself or have been pointed out by the readers of this blog. Still one of my absolute favorite is Kaise koi jiye from Baadbaan. I see that Neeru ji too is fond of this number. The same number has an equally effective solo by Hemant Kumar.

    • Lovely songs, Raunak! Thank you. I hadn’t heard either of them before, but loved them both. When listening to Jhir jhir chaitali batashe), there were two sections – one part of the vocals, another during an interlude – when I got the distinct feeling that this was a tune I’ve heard in a Hindi film song too. Couldn’t recall which, though.

  22. So many wonderful, wonderful songs. It hadn’t struck me that she’s sung such a large proportion of my favorite songs (also a great post because I downloaded a bunch onto my music drive, this and her duets – thanks)
    I don’t know if it was mentioned, but I certainly didn’t see a link to this one “Meri jaan mujhe jaan na kaho” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6FkVPOMtvM
    What I loved about her songs was the fact that she had such mastery that she could sing at less than perfect pitch and tone, to make the lyrics real, explore the emotions that she / the character were supposed to be feeling and making the song accessible. Something that Lata never achieved… like a lot of the actors we’ve talked of, Geeta sang for the role, Lata sang as Lata.

      • Not a problem, Sucheta. It’s a lovely song – I’d have certainly included it in my list if I’d seen the film – so I don’t mind you mentioning it again.

        “Geeta sang for the role, Lata sang as Lata.

        Oh, very well said. I am amazed at how beautifully (and convincingly) she can sing for Leela Chitnis in Na main dhan chaahoon and do equal justice for Smriti Biswas in O babu o lala – and so many other songs that are completely worlds apart.

        • here a little bit disappointed. I never find Lata singing as Lata, she is master in changing her voice according to the character.

  23. ‘Na jao saiyyan’ isn’t there! This song can be regarded as one of the best of Geeta Dutt. I can’t imagine this song in any other singer’s voice

    • I can’t imagine this song in any other singer’s voice

      Neither can I. But this list is ten (not fifteen, not twenty) of my (not XYZ’s) favourite Geeta Dutt songs. ;-) I never said they were her best songs. Just songs that I like a lot.

  24. Miss Madhu:

    SAHIB BIWI GHULAM’s Koi Door Se Awaaz De, aka Chale Aao Chale Aao, was
    mutilated in film. The 78 rpm version was issued on: Geeta Dutt’s LP – In Memorium and re-re-issued on her 2-CD compilation. It is 3:20 minutes
    duration and has the 2nd para: Aas Tod Ke Mukh Mod Ke. The film (sountrack
    version) is only 1:44 min or so. At YouTube, some one has made it
    available, but the audio quality is BAD

    SUJATA’s Nanhi Kali – the soundtrack source (LP and then CD of film) has undesirable baby’s crying noises.. The 78 rpm version is clean and was
    released on film’s EP and probably is there on Geeta’s 2-CD compilation

    SUDHIR
    July 2015

    • ” The film (sountrack version) is only 1:44 min or so. At YouTube, some one has made it available, but the audio quality is BAD”

      The audio quality of this one is pretty good and, not counting the non-song parts at the beginning and end, is about 2:30. As you know, the film versions of songs are often different than what is found on the soundtrack albums. Does that mean it was ‘mutilated’? Well, I expect the director knew exactly what he was doing when using this shorter version in the film. Maybe he couldn’t think up enough interesting things for Guru Dutt’s character to do in the middle of the night to keep the viewer’s attention during the full song. Yes, I realize you were responding to dustedoff’s comment that the song was too short. And who wouldn’t want more Geeta Dutt?

      • Thank you for responding to that, Tom – and thank you for that clip, the sound quality of which is perfect.

        Maybe he couldn’t think up enough interesting things for Guru Dutt’s character to do in the middle of the night to keep the viewer’s attention during the full song.” – I agree! And, somehow I do think that, short as the song is, the shortness of it is what heightens the effect of it. Bhootnath hears only this short, haunting song sung in the night; it’s not long enough for him to go exploring to see who’s singing, or what – but it’s enough for him to be intrigued, and a little scared, whatever.

  25. Gone weekend Ma made a plain request to Re-watch couple of her fav classics; pyaasa and anubhav and also insisted on me gaving her company. So I arranged them from torrents. Over and above the whole marvel they were, I was in particular, so carried away by the songs and lyrics and the singers,mostly. I was so intrigued by the female singers’ voice. Apart from what details my mother provided then-n-there, google came to my rescue for further little details and hence this post. It’s a fairly recent affair for me, i’m still hunting for Geeta ji’s tracks for my playlist. So I just wanted to make sure that my fav is not missed of which I’m making a mention; if so again…. It’s from movie anubhav lyricist being Gulzar saheb — Muhje Jaan Na Kaho Meri Jaan…another one from pyaasa— Jaane Kya Tune Kahi……Woooooww…!!! geeta ji has added different character to songs which are completely in contrasting and starkly different moods or say themes…!!!

  26. hi, i want to post one of my favorite song from Commander by Geeta dutt.
    i love its lyrics so much, its very nice
    Machal Ke dil kahe mera

    and daro re rang from jogan

    i hope u like these song too…………………….

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