West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid tribute to legendary Hindi singer Geeta Dutt on the latter’s 46th death anniversary on Friday.

Dutt, who was born into a wealthy Bengali family on 23 November 1930, was the voice behind some of the most melodious songs of the 1950s.

“Tribute to singer Geeta Dutt on her death anniversary,” wrote the West Bengal CM in memory of the singing sensation who enthralled all at a time when Lata Mangeshkar was making her mark and Asha Bhosle was relatively new.

 

Born as Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri in Faridpur in what is now Bangladesh, Dutt moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) with her family at age 12.

In 1946, at age 16, Dutt got her first chance to sing playback for a composition by K Hanuman Prasad in ‘Bhakta Prahlad’. By early 1950s, Dutt had become one of the most sought-after singers in the industry.

She worked with the best music directors of the period including SD Burman, OP Nayyar, Hemant Kumar and Madan Mohan belting out chart-toppers that remain evergreen to this day.

Some of her most memorable songs include the naughty “Tadbir Se Bigdi Hui Taqdeer” from ‘Baazi’ (1951), the romantic “Hum Aap Ke Aankhon Main” from ‘Pyaasa’ (1957), the tragic “Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam” from ‘Kaagaz ke Phool’ (1959) and the peppy “Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu” from ‘Howrah Bridge’ (1958).

But Dutt’s illustrious career was cut short by the tragic turn of events in her real life. Her marriage to Guru Dutt – the auteur of the 1950s – was not a success. Following Guru Dutt’s death in 1964, Geeta Dutt suffered a nervous breakdown leading to an excessive dependence on alcohol which eventually claimed her life om 20 July 1972.

Her last playback was for 1971’s ‘Anubhav’, in which she sang three of the four songs.