TV journalist and Bollywood biographer Yasser Usman has taken a deep dive into the journey of the lonesome, troubled genius, Guru Dutt. He had all of it – cash, love, fame, and validation from his viewers. His movies are nonetheless revered right now by critics and college students of cinema. His premature loss of life after a number of suicide makes an attempt shocked the movie business.
Under are excerpts from a definitive biography of the non-conformist star, exploring the person and the parable – Guru Dutt.
In Guru Dutt’s household, Geeta Roy was the star
It was the night of 26 Could 1953. After three years of being engaged, Guru Dutt and Geeta Roy determined to get married. The marriage ceremony was carried out at Geeta’s mom’s residence, Amiya Kutir, in Santa Cruz, Bombay. It was a standard Bengali model wedding ceremony. That morning a few of Geeta’s shut associates went to Guru Dutt’s flat on 12th Street, Khar with chandan paste and garlands. He was wearing a white silk kurta and dhoti worn within the Bengali model.
His mom remembered, “With nice pomp the marriage happened! It was the movie business’s sensation on the time.” The singing icons have been there in full drive too: Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mahmood, Mohd Rafi, Hemant Kumar and Kishore Kumar. The most effective a part of the reception was Guru Dutt’s chief assistant director, Raj Khosla, had persuaded every one of many prime singers there to render one thing — with the situation that the music needed to be from a Guru Dutt film. And such was their love for Geeta that all of them obliged. The one orchestral assist for the singers was the “recurring bow-wow-wow of Guru Dutt’s inseparable canine, Tony”.
“I welcomed my first daughter-in-law by performing the ‘Bou-Bhaat’ ceremony in keeping with our customs… I prayed to god for his or her lengthy life, prosperity, well being and happiness,” recalled Vasanthi. Geeta was very near Guru’s sister Lalitha Lajmi, “I didn’t name her Bhabhi. I used to handle her as Geeta. She was very beneficiant and loving. She used to inform me, ‘Open my cabinet and pull out whichever sari you need to put on.’ As soon as I instructed her I might by no means travelled in a aircraft. She flew me to Delhi for a present, the place we stayed on the Imperial resort. It was by her that I received an opportunity to fulfill legends like O.P. Nayyar, Lata Mangeshkar, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Sahir.’
In Guru Dutt’s household, Geeta was the star.
On the time of the marriage, Geeta was extra well-liked and making extra money than Guru Dutt. The press, movie business gossip in addition to the kinfolk have been insinuating that Guru Dutt had married Geeta for her cash and fame. These rumours reached Guru Dutt’s household. Although the delicate Guru Dutt by no means reacted to it, his mom wrote, “The general public in addition to the kinfolk have been saying that Guru Dutt married Geeta due to her wealth and her large title within the business… Guru Dutt by no means had any craving for wealth. I believe he by no means even glanced at her jewelry. Regardless of his earlier hardships he by no means needed to hoard cash. He had already purchased a two-seater sports activities automotive for himself. He wouldn’t intrude with Geeta’s earnings, nor would he ask how she spent her cash.” Individuals who knew Guru Dutt intently have been of the view that Guru really wasn’t into cash. For him cash meant nothing greater than a commodity to commerce desires with.
“Between Geeta and Guru, it had been determined earlier than marriage that his spouse could be nonetheless actively singing after their wedding ceremony, one thing during which she was flourishing. As a profession girl, Geeta was accustomed to creating her selections by herself, being a singer in recurring demand. Regardless of the equations at residence, the image of cooperation was Geeta on the mike,” mentioned Raju Bharatan.
Regardless of these hurtful gossips, Guru and Geeta have been within the happiest section of their life collectively. “We met for the primary time through the making of Baazi and it was three years later, through the making of Baaz, that we have been married. From Baazi to Baaz it was only a matter of dropping the ‘I’ and changing it right into a ‘We’,” wrote Geeta Dutt. The star-singer Geeta Roy had now modified her surname and glided by the title Geeta Dutt.
However as life unfolded, she realised it wasn’t simply the title that had modified.
“In some way, I had an instinct that Guru and Geeta’s marriage would by no means be a cheerful one. Firstly, in these days, she earned in hundreds whereas Guru’s revenue was restricted in comparison with hers. Secondly, each have been cussed, would by no means yield to 1 one other. Thirdly, Guru had a burden of tasks over his shoulders,” mentioned Guru Dutt’s mom, Vasanthi.
There was an odd paradox in Guru Dutt’s method to his cinema and his private life. In movies, he talked about ‘working ladies’ and breaking of ineffective traditions, whereas in his private life, he demanded adherence to ‘conventional’ values of marriage and motherhood.
The writer and music critic, Raju Bharatan, recollects a dialog with Geeta Dutt, “She was understandably bitter about her ‘persevering with to sing’ being resented. She mentioned she had made a number of issues clear to every person even earlier than her marriage. She had emphasised how her work would entail late hours nearly every day. All of the extra in order she took on songs in not so high-grade motion pictures. Such songs received recorded solely in cheaper second shifts (three.00 to 9.00 pm with the uncommon night chance of one-hour additional time). At one stage it was even recommended that with rising youngsters to take care of, Geeta must be singing solely in Guru Dutt motion pictures. This, mentioned Geeta, would have nearly meant her singing for “the one and solely…”, referring to Waheeda Rehman.
“Pyaasa made Waheeda Rehman a star within the Hindi movie business. In truth, the songs picturised on her had made probably the most affect and have been a lot talked about. The seductive strains of ‘Jaane kya tune kahi’ and the romantic craving of ‘Aaj sajan mohe ang laga lo’, have been each in singer (and Guru Dutt’s spouse) Geeta Dutt’s magical voice.
It’s true that Geeta Dutt sang at her finest throughout this era. In Hindi cinema, the star actors are sometimes identified for his or her profitable songs. The songs they carry out to on display screen are principally sung by playback singers however they in the end develop into identified for the celebs they’re filmed on.
In a method, the songs sung by Geeta contributed immensely to Waheeda’s stardom throughout her preliminary years within the Bombay movie business. By then Geeta’s personal stardom had begun to comparatively fade and he or she was largely talked about just for the movies made by her husband.
“For her half, Geeta Dutt had by no means taken to Waheeda Rehman. Even when, with a contact of supreme irony, it was Geeta’s inimitable model of singing that had witnessed Waheeda Rehman arriving as a heroine reverse Guru Dutt in Pyaasa,” writes movie music historian Raju Bharatan.
Geeta Dutt instructed a household pal, “The primary few years of our married life have been completely satisfied. However issues started getting messy the day Waheeda stepped into the studio.”