After a courtship and a period of engagement of almost 3 years, on May 26, 1953, film director, Guru Dutt, finally married top playback singer, Geeta Roy. It was a marriage her family was not too happy with. At that point of time, Guru Dutt was still establishing himself as a filmmaker of merit, while Geeta was already at the peak of her career and a much in demand singer. And then, there was the additional problem that he was not a Bengali. Geeta’s family was putting a lot of pressure on her to marry a Bengali boy of their choice, but in the end, true love won out.
The two had met at the song recording of Tadbir Se Bigdi Hui Taqdeer for Guru Dutt’s directorial debut, Baazi (1951). As their romance developed, Dev Anand, in an interview to me, had mentioned how he used to lend them his shack on the beach for some private moments together. They would often go for long drives and picnics to Khandala in Geeta Roy’s car, ‘chaperoned’ by Guru Dutt’s assistant, Raj Khosla, and sister, Lalita Lajmi, also the courier of their love letters. As Khosla was also an aspiring playback singer, he and Geeta used to sing songs along the drive, while Guru Dutt drove the foursome around.
With no wedding date in sight, and a long waiting period following their engagement, Guru Dutt finally took Geeta to the Haji Malang Dargah in Kalyan, which he used to frequent on and off, and asked her to make up her mind. We all know now whom she chose.
The wedding was conducted in the Bengali style at Geeta’s mother’s home in Santacruz in Bombay. It was a volatile marriage of 11 years between two strong, extremely creative artistes and had its share of ups and downs, which ended with Dutt’s untimely death in 1964. Here are some wonderful photographs of the marriage courtesy Guru Dutt’s son, the late Arun Dutt.