Wednesday, December 17, 2008


There are some people who follow great trends and there are others who set these great trends. There are some who dream about the stars and the sky, and there are others who achieve beyond the apparent !

Guru Dutt, in totality, falls in the latter category. The Man, the Magician, a visionary far ahead of his times and a film-maker of his own unique class!!

Born as Guru Dutt Padukone on July 9,1925,in a saraswat family of Mysore, He finished his early education in Calcutta, a city which left it's unmistakable stamp on his young mind, and he kept going back to the socio-culture atmosphere and the landscapes of Bengal again n again in his movies. After learning dance with dance maestro Uday Shankar, Guru Dutt finally got his break in Bollywood, surprisingly, as a choreographer, at Prabhat Studios, in the film 'Hum ek hain', the launching banner of friend and star Dev Anand. Rumor goes that Dev and Dutt met at Prabhat when their shirts got mixed by the dhobi and remained friends thereafter !

Dev, now a star, invited Guru Dutt to direct a film for him.1951, thus saw the release of "Baazi", Guru Dutt's directorial debut. The film was a trendsetter, regarded as a forerunner of the spate of urban crime films that followed in Bollywood in the 1950's. 'Baazi', along with success brought love in Guru Dutt's life. He met Geeta Roy, the well-known playback singer during the sound recording of 'Baazi', and fell in love with her marrying her later in 1953.

While Guru Dutt made his acting debut with "Baaz", it was with "Aar-par" that Guru Dutt entered his most celebrated phase as an Actor-Director-Producer. Followed some of his best works Mr.andMrs.55 (with Madhubala), C.I.D.( with Dev Anand, introducing the beautiful Waheeda Rahman), Pyaasa (his absolute masterpiece), Kaagaz ke Phool, Sahib,Biwi aur Ghulam, Chaudvi ka Chand etc.

Apart from being a very sensitive, poetic and passionate director, Guru Dutt was technically a very advanced filmmaker. He had a unique knack of integrating the song into the story and making the film move forward even through the songs (Recall the amazing video of the song ‘Kahin be nigahen kahin pe nishana’). His strength lay in his excellent sense of music and the choreography of his songs. Guru Dutt also mastered the effect of shade and light to create romance and other delicate moods. He gave India it's first cinemascope film with Kaagaz ke Phool. But the movie was rejected by the audience and a dejected Guru Dutt never directed a film again! Guru Dutt also revolutionized the close up shot, using lenses with higher focal length. He strongly believed that 80% of acting was done in the eyes alone. He never repeated himself and his achievements almost made him a cult figure. His castings were very thoughtful. Johny Walker was one of his favorites, and He specially crafted roles for the comedy king in his movies!

But though at the peak of material success and fame, his personal life was in broken shambles. He had separated from wife Getta Dutt, allegedly due to involvement with his discovery and the leading actress in his films, Waheeda Rahman. On Oct 10'th 1964, Guru Dutt committed suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills, though doubts still linger as to whether his death was accidental.

The mind-blowing genius of Guru Dutt was brutally snatched from us, and decades later, Indian Cinema still remembers and misses one of its most gifted craftsmen! His films have not lost their mercurial charm and he stays with us through His legendary work done with the true spirit and passion for filmmaking!!!!

‘Jinhe naaz hain Hind par voh kahan hain.

Kahan hain, Kahan hain, Kahan hain’?’!!