Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #13

The thirteenth day of songs in this series.

Today, let me begin by thanking those of you who have commented either here on the blog or elsewhere about how much you have liked this new series.

Today, we take up a song by our fifth female singer after Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Suman Kalyanpur, and Shamshad Begum: Geeta Dutt whose birth anniversary was day before yesterday. Surprisingly, as seen by me, the lyrics of her debut song in the movies (1947 movie Do Bhai), Mera sundar sapana beet gaya (Penned by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan and composed by SD Burman) were representative of the last years of her life. She married the director of Baazi (1951) Guru Dutt, on 26 May 1953 and on 10 Oct 1964 he killed himself after an overdose of alcohol and sleeping pils. As the song brings out: “Meri prem kahaani khatam hui, mere jeevan ka sangeet gaya”. Geeta Dutt became totally listless after her husband’s death (they were wedded for eleven years only), ran into financial difficulties, took to alcohol and finally died of liver cirrhosis in 1972, at the age of 41 years (Guru Dutt had died at the age of 39 years). The middle stanza of her first song, at the age of 17 years was:

ओ छोड़ के जाने वाले आ
दिल तोड़ के जाने वाले आ
आँखें असुवन में डूब गयीं
हँसने का ज़माना बीत गया
मेरा सुन्दर सपना बीत गया

Geeta Dutt, husband Guru Dutt and son Arun during happier days

I have been giving you Raaga Based Songs of the Day (eg, ‘Raaga Based Song Of The Day #52’) for the last nearly three months now. Many of you, who know your music well, have at times pointed out that a particular song, though ostensibly close to one raaga has traces of other raagas or has deviated substantially from the chosen raaga. I have readily admitted that, pointing out that it is not the job of the film songs composers to stick to the purity of any raaga. Their job is to produce tunes that would be popular and would tug at the emotions of the listeners.

With that in mind, I started a new series twelve days ago to give you songs that tug at your emotions even when they are not based on any raagas.

These are the songs that stay in the creases of your mind long after you last heard them, somewhat like the strains of the song of The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth.

I also feel that these are the songs that make you wonder whether the lyrics influenced you more or the composition or is it the composition that made you look at the beauty of the lyrics?

The first of these was put together by lyricist Shailendra and composer Salil Chowdhury and singer Talat Mahmood for the 1957 Dulal Guha movie Ek Gaon Ki Kahani starring Talat Mahmood, Mala Sinha and Abhi Bhattacharya: Raat ne kyaa kyaa khwaab dikhaaye (‘Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #1‘).

Our last one, that is the eleveth one, was put together by lyricist Rajendra Krishan, composer C Ramchandra and singer Shamshad Begum for the 1949 HS Rawail movie Patanga starring Nigar Sultana and Gope: Mere piya gaye Rangoon (Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #12).

Today, we shall take up this unforgettable song from the 1959 Guru Dutt movie Kaagaz Ke Phool that starred Guru Dutt and his favourite heroine Waheeda Rehman. The song itself is picturised on both of them in his studio as a director in the movie. The song was put together by Kaifi Azmi as lyricist, SD Burman as composer and Geeta Dutt as singer.

Geeta Dutt was Geeta Roy before she married Guru Dutt. He was the young dashing director of 1951 movie Baazi, his debut movie as a director. She was famous much before him as Geeta Roy. Indeed, hats off to her characteristic style of singing that she could convert a Sahir Ludhianvi ghazal (Tadbeer (through deliberation) se bighadi hui taqdeer (destiny) bana le) into a lilting and feisty song; of course credit has to be shared with Sahir Ludhianvi. Two years later when she married Guru Dutt, he gained but decline started in her career. The reason was that he wanted her to sing only for his productions. At the same time, he wasn’t totally hers especially after Waheeda Rehman arrived on the scene. So she took to drinking heavily to get over the let-down. This affected her singing so hugely that SD Burman who was looking for an alternative to Lata Mangeshkar had to finally give up.

One Geeta (Geeta Roy) singing for another (Geeta Bali) in 1951 Guru Dutt movie Baazi: Tadbeer se bigadhi hui taqdeer bana le.

The worst of it was that she had to sing playback for her husband’s passion: Waheeda Rehman. Take this song for example from Kaagaz Ke Phool. He is married in the movie and a director. He takes her, a no body, to do Paaro in his movie Devdas. Gradually, they fall in love. Their situation is impossible because Guru Dutt has a daughter (Baby Naaz) from his marriage (that has not been annulled) and this daughter is determined to keep her parents together. Think of how close his reel life was to real life. By the way, killing themselves became some sort of fad with such highly talented and highly sensitive people. Take into consideration that their eldest son Tarun, who directed Rekha in 1984 movie Bindiya Chamkegi, also committed suicide in 1985, 21 years after his father did.

Look at the ignominy that Geeta Dutt suffered: the other day I mentioned that Waheeda Rehman’s debut song in the movies was sung by Shamshad Begum: Kahin pe nigaahen kahin pe nishana (1956 Guru Dutt production and Raj Khosla movie C.I.D.) The fact is that Geeta Dutt actually sang Waheeda’s debut song in the movie: Jaat kajan hai deewane. However, the song was censored because of its double entendre that suggested that Waheeda Rehman as a prostitute was selling her wares.

From the time of starting with 1947 movie Do Bhai‘s song: Mera sundar sapna beet gaya to her 1971 Basu Bhattacharya movie Anubhav‘s songs composed by Kanu Roy (Meri jaan mujhe jaan na kaho meri jaan, Koi chupake se aake, and Mera dil jo mera hota), Geeta Roy and later Geeta Dutt gave us some very memorable, sensuous and eminently romantic songs in the movies. Some other favourites of mine are: Na ye chand hoga and Chand ghatane laga raat dhalne lagi (Shart; song also sung by hemant Kumar but with different stanzas), Jai Jagdish Hare (Anand Math; also with Hemant Kumar), E ri main to prem deewani, Ghunghat ke pat khol and Main to Giridhar ke ghar jaayun (Meera bhajans in Jogan), Ai dil mujhe bata de (Bhai Bhai), Jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji, and Thandi hawa kaali ghata aa hi gayi jhuum ke (Mr & Mrs 55), Bachpan ke din bhi ky adin the (with Asha Bhosle in Sujata), Dekh ke akeli mujhe barkha sataye (Baazi), Dil ki umange hain jawan (Munimji), Jaa jaa jaa jaa bewafa, Ye lo main haari piya hui teri jeet re and Sun sun sun sun zaalima (Aar Paar), Jaane kya tune kahi (Pyaasa), Kaisa jaadu balam tune daara (12 O’ Clock), Khayalon mein kisi ke is tarah aay nahin karte (Bawre Nain), Koi duur se awaaz de chale aayo and na jaayo sainya chhuda ke baiyan (Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam), Mera naam chin chin chu (Howrah Bridge), and Rimjhim ke taraane leke aayi barsaat (Kaala Bazaar). Perhaps the song that should be her legacy, in lyrics at least, is the Do Bhai (1947) movie song: Yaad karoge ik din hamako yaad karoge).

Geeta Roy singing the song: Yaad karoge ik din hamako yaad karoge live on BBC.

What can be the greatest tribute to Geeta Dutt? I think nothing can be greater than Lata Mangeshkar singing the song that I have selected for you: Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam, as a tribute to Geeta Dutt:

I have already, in my posts, said enough about the composer of this song: Sachin Dev Burman. Incidentally, although he was the composer and music director of choice for Dev Anand movies, he was so for Guru Dutt movies. The commonality came about because Guru Dutt directed movies for his great friend Dev Anand under the banner Navketan Films. Even at that there were movies that were not dev Anand starrers for which SD Burman composed, eg, Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and the songs of these are amongst his most memorable:

SD Burman composed songs for Guru Dutt’s 1957 iconic movie Pyaasa, some of the best songs of Mohammad Rafi like this one: Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kyaa hai?

Finally, the lyricist of the song: Kaifi Azmi. I have as many as three blog posts on him: ‘The Best Songs Of Kaifi Azmi – Aa Great Lyricist And Poet’, ‘Part II’ and ‘Part III’. He was the only famous lyricist whom I heard live in a mushaira (in my college Govt College Dharamshala). I have found his poetry and lyrics so powerful that I wonder how could he write these in such simple words. In this song, for example, by using the expression बुन रहे हैं दिल ख़्वाब दम-ब-दम he laid bare the feelings of lovers, out of marriage, when his first marriage hadn’t succeeded; and he did it so easily without using volumes and without resorting to grandiose words.

Before I give you the song: waqt ne kiya, I must tell you about her Baazi (1951) song: Aaj ki raat piya dil na todo. It is in my favourite Raag Pahadi, Tal Dadra (Please see: ‘Raaga Based Song Of The Day #7’). It is actually songs like these that made her immortal.

(Poster courtesy: Wikipedia)

As I said, today’s song is from the 1959 Guru Dutt movie Kaagaz Ke Phool, which is the first Indian film in Cinemascope, and also the last one directed by Guru Dutt. The film is said to have been inspired by Guru Dutt’s association with Gyan Mukherjee, and to pay homage to Mukherjee. Mukherjee was a famous 1940s director whose Kismet (1943) made him a household name. The life and subsequent failures of Mukherjee, whom Guru Dutt had joined in 1950, influenced him deeply. However, the song and the movie also, in great parts, represent on reel Guru Dutt’s own story in real life.

Please enjoy Geeta Dutt sing: Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam….

वक़्त ने किया क्या हंसीं सितम
तुम रहे न तुम हम रहे न हम
वक़्त ने किया…

बेक़रार दिल इस तरह मिले
जिस तरह कभी हम जुदा न थे
तुम भी खो गए, हम भी खो गए
एक राह पर चलके दो क़दम
वक़्त ने किया…

जाएंगे कहाँ पूछता नहीं
चल पड़े मगर रास्ता नहीं
क्या तलाश है कुछ पता नहीं
बुन रहे हैं दिल ख़्वाब दम-ब-दम
वक़्त ने किया…

I think there are very few people who are not affected by the reel and real lives of Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt, two of the most outstanding talents in Hindi films that were wasted because of their sensitivities leading to their excesses in their own ways that finally led to their untimely deaths. In between, we have Waheeda Rehman, the Living Legend, who was the cause of much heartburn for Geeta Dutt whose career went into sudden decline after her husband’s involvement with her. This song represents that confusion in their lives. The pain of the expressions of Waheeda Rehman, on screen, is nothing in comparison to the pain that Geeta Dutt brought to singing for her. Waheeda Rehman’s name in the movie was Shanti. Ironically, shanti (peace) was what Geeta Dutt lost forever after Waheeda Rehman came into her husband’s life. Seen from every angle: singing, lyrics, composition and cinematography (the play of shadows and lights), the song represents one of the best that Hindi movies had to offer. I am transported into another world everytime I listen to it.

I hope you enjoyed it too.

Please await tomorrow’s song.

© 2017, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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