Gardish… Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt love story retold

By Ashok Kumar,

Sydney, July 15, 2018

We have seen several love stories on the screen and even love stories of married couples (Saathi) but never the love story of a dead couple. “Gardish Mein Taare” shown in Sydney on 14 July at the Sir John Clancy Auditorium, UNSW is a play based on the turbulent life and times of noted film maker Guru Dutt and his playback singer wife Geeta Dutt.

“Gardish mein Taare” as name suggests Guru Dutt and Geeta could not have a fairy tale love story and marriage due respective ego and 

obsessions. The play begins with the death of Dev Dutt Bose and rest of the story is narrated by Bhavna Dutt Bose (Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt) played here by noted actors Arif Zakaria of ‘Bombay Talkies and Darmiyaan fame’ and Sonali Kulkarni, of ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ fame.

The rest of the story is narrated through ‘flash backs’ by the singer while being interrogated for her husband’s death. Film directors are known for their varying moods and styles while working.  So, why not here? That was the essence of the story. Varying moods of Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone, popularly known as Guru Dutt and Dev Dutt in the play reflected the upheaval in their lives.

Despite their skirmishes, Geeta also tells the investigating officer about her intense love for Dutt , ” hum ladte hain to janwar ki tarha aur pyaar bhi karte hain janwaron ki tarha.” (We fight like animals but also love like animals.)

The MC stated that the play would leave an impression and surely it did but few in the audience were left disappointed as they found a very weak topic.  It was just an episode in their life that proved to be disastrous. As is known, Geeta too died soon and their two sons, Tarun and Arun, followed their parents to heaven. The only surviving persons are their daughter Nina and Arun’s two daughters.

Coming back to the play, set in blue background reflects the tragic tale of the talented couple and what to expect from the director Saif Hyder Hassan. There was a brief indication of involvement of Afsana (Waheeda?) with Dutt.  There was also a mention of another person in the life of Geeta thereby completing the adultery angle though there was a phone call informing Dutt that his wife has left the house with children. To lighten the mood, Dutt mimics Yusuf sahib in a scene while waiting for him on the sets.

Back home the pictures of Guru Dutt and Geeta tell a different tale. That of a happy and loving couple far away from Gardish Mein Taare.

The background props are effectively used by Hassan depicting the times of 50s and a glimpse into the then films. Arif who is not new to Sydney (Bombay Talkies) performed superbly as Guru Dutt and Sonali looked fresh and mature while giving a magnificent performance as Geeta.

Congratulations to Manju Mittal for bringing a superb show to Sydney and her love for the Mumbai film industry is growing. She understands the mood of the audience in Sydney very well.

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About Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

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