Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Archive for the ‘Geeta Dutt- Meena Kapoor duet’ Category

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusaist of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4511 Post No. : 16059

kuchh aur zamaana kehta hai kuchh aur hai zidd mere dil ki
main baat zamaane ki maanoon ya baat sunoon apne dil ki

This was the swan song from ‘Chhoti Chhoti Baaten’ (1965) both for the singer and the music director of the song as this was their last film in Mumbai before shifting lock stock and barrel to Delhi in 1963. The playback singer was Meena Kapoor and the music director was Anil Biswas. In relation to her romantic affairs with Anil Biswas in the early 1950s, just like in the above two-liner, she was in a quandary. But her heart was adamant (aur hai zidd mere dil ki) that led to a long partnership with Anil Biswas irrespective of what the society said about their relationship.

Today, November 23rd is the 3rd Remembrance Day of Meena Kapoor. The day also happens to be 90th birth anniversary of Geeta Dutt. Both were born in the year 1930 in Bengal Presidency of British India. Both started their playback singing career in Mumbai in the year 1946 – Geeta Dutt with ‘Bhakt Prahlad’ (1946) and Meena Kapoor with ‘Pul’ (1947) in 1946 though her first released song was from ‘Eight Days’ (1946). The similarities do not end here.

Both Geeta Dutt and Meena Kapoor got recognition as playback singers under S D Burman – Meena Kapoor in ‘Aath Din’ (1946) and Geeta Dutt in ‘Do Bhai’ (1947). Both virtually ended their playback singing career around mid-1960s though there were few spill-over of their songs thereafter. Both had almost similar vocal cords giving an impression to the listeners that their singing voices sound more or less the same. And what was more important was that despite being in the competitive field of playback singing career, both were close friends to such an extent that they both became a part of extended family of Roys and Kapoors.

Unfortunately, their similarities of Geeta Dutt and Meena Kapoor did not reflect in their playback singing career. During their active years (1946-65) of playback singing career, Meena Kapoor’s output (around 175 songs) has no match with that of Geeta Dutt (around 1400 songs). Out of curiosity, I checked the year-wise growth of the playback singing career of both of them beginning with the year 1946 and up to 1955, the year from which Meena Kapoor had Anil Biswas as his life partner, almost retiring from her playback singing career except singing mainly for Anil Biswas. The statistics given in the table below reveal that Geeta Dutt was quite ahead of Meena Kapoor for all the years – both in terms of aggregate number of songs as well as films.

Year Geeta Dutt Meena Kapoor
Films Songs Films Songs
1946 12 21 2 5
1947 22 52 5 9
1948 37 107 15 43
1949 34 97 8 15
1950 50 169 12 17
1951 30 81 4 11
1952 42 122 5 8
1953 25 59 14 27
1954 25 54 7 10
1955 34 84

[Source: List of songs of Geeta Dutt from counter-checked with and list of songs of Meena Kapoor from]

What could be the reasons for such a significant difference in their output of songs? At the outset, I could not see any reason other than ascribing it to a pure bad luck for Meena Kapoor in the sense that she was born with a voice almost similar to Geeta Dutt. And it was Geeta Dutt’s voice which seems to have been preferred by most of the music directors over that of Meena Kapoor.

In Lata Khubchandani’s article reproduced in RMIM’s Article Archive (No.324), Meena Kapoor had said that she had never been ambitious and she had not taken her music seriously. She also did not make any effort towards furtherance of her playback singing career. Her father, Bikram Kapoor who was a character actor in New Theatre, Kolkata and later in Mumbai, wanted his daughter to excel in singing only after completing her education. When she started living with Anil Biswas sometime in mid-1950s, she was happier as a housewife than pursuing the playback singing profession.

There is an interesting trivia as to how Meena Kapoor met Anil Biswas for the first time. In the interview referred to above, she had revealed that she refused to give audition to Anil Biswas when he was planning to get some songs sung by her for ‘Anokha Pyaar’ (1948) under the recommendation from his brother-in-law, Pandit Pannalal Ghosh. She had already recorded many film songs under many composers. As such, she felt that it was not necessary to her to give a fresh audition to Anil Biswas. It was her father who took a few recorded songs of her to Anil Biswas. After listening to her song, tod gaye haaye tod gaye armaan bhara dil tod gaye from ‘Khel’ (1950) under the music direction of Sajjad Hussain, Anil Biswas called her for rehearsal without audition. This incidence also shows as to how casual Meena Kapoor was in regard to her playback singing career.

Geeta Dutt on the other hand was interested in pursuing the playback singing career in films and her parents encouraged her by arranging music teachers. It was exactly at a time when Meena Kapoor’s restrictive playback singing career due to her education gave opportunity for Geeta Dutt to get a strong foothold as a playback singer as the statistics in the above table reveal. For example, S D Burman after giving two songs to Meena Kapoor in ‘Aath Din’ (1946), he switched over to Geeta Dutt during 1948-55 beside Lata Mangeshkar. It was only after 1957 when Geeta Dutt could not give sufficient time to S D Burman for rehearsals, he switched over to Asha Bhosle (Lata Mangeshkar not singing for him due to some misunderstanding). It is interesting to note that after her marriage with Guru Dutt in 1953, the yearly aggregate number of songs sung by Geeta Dutt post-1953 have fallen mainly due to a stiff competition from Lata Mangeshkar coupled with her domestic compulsion.

Both Geeta Dutt and Meena Kapoor have emotional tone in their voices which suits the genre of poignant and devotional songs. However, going by a large number of songs sung by Geeta Dutt relative to that of Meena Kapoor, the former’s versatilities are evident to general listeners of her songs. Just note as to how S D Burman had been instrumental in making Geeta Dutt a versatile singer. From emotional mera sundar sapna beet gaya in ‘Do Bhai’ (1947) to light-hearted tadbeer se bigdi huyi taqdeer bana le in ‘Baazi’ (1951), to coquettish song, jaane kya toone kahi jaane kya maine suni, teasing song, janoon jaanoon re chhupke kaun aaya in ‘Insaan Jaag Utha’ (1959) and many of her club songs. Her repertoire of songs under other music directors is also large.

Meena Kapoor did not get much opportunities to display her versatilities as her singing output was less than 200 songs as compared to Geeta Dutt’s around 1400 songs. But Meena Kapoor had also a good repertoire of songs like waltz type song, aate hain wo aate hain wo in ‘Chalte Chalte’ (1947), light-hearted meri jaan meri jaan sunday ke sunday in ‘Shehnaai’ (1947), romance in ye samaa ham tum jawaan in ‘Maashooka’ (1953), folk song, rimjhim barse paani aaj more angna in ‘Pardesi’ (1957), Rabindra sangeet, mere chanchal naina madhur ras ke bhare in ‘Angoolimal’ (1960) etc.

With almost similar voice timbre, Geeta Dutt and Meena Kapoor had very few occasions to sing together during their active years of playback singing career as detailed below:

Films Songs (Geeta-Meena) Co-singers Music Director
Hip Hip Hurray (1948) Main jaan gayi jaan gayi Hanuman Prasad
Aadhi Raat (1950) Maine baalam se poochha Hansraj Bahl
Jalte Deep (1950) Aayi milne ki raat Shardul Kwatra
Hulchul (1951) Mile dil aankh sharmaayi Mohd. Shafi
Ghaayal (1951) O rani mainwati -1 G M Durrani Gyan Dutt
Ghaayal (1951) O rani mainwati -2 G M Durrani Gyan Dutt
Ghaayal (1951) Tera kisi pe aaye dil Gyan Dutt

Before I conclude my article, I would like to give links of a solo song each of Meena Kapoor and Geeta Dutt for the purpose of their voice comparison. I have deliberately selected the songs of the same genre (Meera bhajans) so that the comparison is on the even keel.

Meena Kapoor main birhan baithi jaagoon ‘Gopinath’ (1948)
Geeta Dutt ae ri main to prem deewaani ‘Jogan’ (1950)

After repeatedly listening to these two songs, I can feel some differences in voices but I am unable to explain as to what are the differences. Probably, Meena Kapoor sounds slight nasal in her singing than Geeta Dutt. Of course, musicologists like the late Ashok Ranade would have technically explained their voice differences.

On the occasion of the 90th birth anniversary of Geeta Dutt and 3rd Remembrance Day of Meena Kapoor on November 23, 2020, I am presenting their duet song, aayi milne ki raat karo meethi meethi baat from an obscure film ‘Jalte Deep’ (1950). The song is written by Aziz Kashmiri which is set to music by Shardul Kwatra. The film was produced by R Vasudeva under the banner of Nihal Film Corporation and was directed by Deepak Asha. The star cast included Nimmi, Amarnath, Randhir, Sophia, Deepak, Kuldeep, Leela Mishra etc. The film had 12 songs of which one song has been covered in the Blog.

The voices of Geeta Dutt and Meena Kapoor are so similar that I get a feeling whether the song I am presenting is solo or duet. However, the lyrics do give an impression of a duet and HFGK mentions Geeta Dutt and Meena Kapoor as playback singers for the song.

Since the film’s VCD/DVD is not available, one can listen to the song only on the audio clip. I have a photograph from the film in which Nimmi and Sophia are seen holding a tray each with lamps. Based on the photograph, my guess is that the song may have been picturised on Nimmi and Sophia welcoming their ‘balam’ and ‘sajan’.

Audio Clip:

Song-Aayi milan ki raat karo meethhi meethhi baat(Jalte Deep)(1950) Singers-Geeta Dutt, Meena Kapoor, Lyrics-Aziz Kashmiri, MD-Sardul Kwatra


aayi milne ki raat
karo meethhi meethhi baat
tumhen meri kasam
o mere achhe balam
aayi milne ki raat
karo meethhi meethi baat
o tumhe meri kasam
o mere achhe balam
aayi milne ki raat
karo meethhi meethhi baat

raat hai suhaag ki
chhaayi hai bahaar sajan
chhaayi hai bahaar
nainwa se phoot pada
meethha meethha pyaar
nainwa se phoot pada
meetha meetha pyaar
zara thhaamo ji haath
karo meethhi meethhi baat
o tumhe meri kasam
o mere achhe balam
aayi milne ki raat
karo meethhi meethhi baat
tumhen meri kasam
o mere achhe balam
aayi milne ki raat
karo meethhi meethhi baat

taaron ne dekh liya tera mera mel sajan
tera mera mel
ankhiyon ne khel liya naya naya khel
ankhiyon ne khle liya naya naya khel
zara thhaamo ji haath
karo meethhi meethhi baat
o tumhe meri kasam
o mere achhe balam
aayi milne ki raat
karo meethhi meethhi baat
o tumhen meri kasam
o mere achhe balam
aayi milne ki raat
karo meethhi meethhi baat

“Aadhi Raat” (1950) is an obscure movie, but this movie has some awesome songs in it, as I have discovered while discussing the songs from this movie. I have so far discussed two songs from this movie.
Read more on this topic…

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