Interesting things about Guru Dutt: Befriended Devanand because of his shirt

Jackson Brown

  • Guru Dutt was born on 9 July 1925.

  • His early education was done in Calcutta.

  • Guru Dutt’s real name was Vasant Kumar Padukone.

  • Guru Dutt’s father’s name was Shivshankar Padukone and mother’s name was Vasanti Padukone.

  • His father was the headmaster. Later he started working in the bank.

  • Apart from being a school teacher, his mother also used to write short stories. Also she used to translate Bengali novels into Kannada language.

  • When Guru Dutt was born, his mother was only 13 years old.

  • Due to poor economic condition of the family, Guru Dutt’s childhood was spent in poverty.

  • His younger brother Shashidhar had died at the age of seven months, due to which Guru Dutt was deeply saddened.

  • Guru Dutt had two brothers Atmaram and Devidas and one sister Lalita.

  • Eminent director Kalpana Lajimi is his sister’s daughter.

  • Due to schooling in Calcutta, Guru Dutt used to speak Bengali language well.

  • In his childhood, when Guru Dutt’s grandmother used to perform aarti, Guru Dutt used to draw different figures on the wall with the shadow of his hands in the light of the lamp.

  • Guru Dutt was a good student, but could not go to college due to poor financial condition of the family.

  • Guru Dutt’s uncle got him a job in the Prabhat Film Company of Poona in 1944 on a three-year contract.

  • In Prabhat, Guru Dutt was signed as the choreographer, but later he was also given the responsibility of actor and assistant director.

  • It was here that Guru Dutt made two friends – actors Rahman and Dev Anand. Guru Dutt and Dev Anand used to give clothes at the same laundry. One day on the set, Dev Anand saw Guru Dutt wearing his shirt. When he asked about this, Guru Dutt said that he did not have any other shirt, so he got this shirt from the laundry man. After that they became good friends.

  • Guru Dutt and Dev Anand promised each other that if Guru Dutt became the first director, they would cast Dev as the hero and if Dev became the producer, they would cast Guru Dutt as the director. Later Dev kept his promise.

  • Guru Dutt did a small role of Shri Krishna in ‘Chand’ produced in 1944. In 1945, he became an assistant director to Vishram Bedekar in the film ‘Lakhrani’. In 1946, he was assistant director and choreographer in PL Santoshi’s film ‘Hum Ek Hain’.

  • Guru Dutt’s contract with Prabhat ended in 1947. After this he remained unemployed for about 10 months.

  • During this, Guru Dutt started writing in English language. He wrote many short stories in ‘Illustrated Weekly’.

  • Guru Dutt moved to Bombay in 1947 and worked with directors like Amiya Chakraborty and Gyan Mukherjee.

  • Guru Dutt made his directorial debut with ‘Baazi’ (1951).

  • Guru Dutt and Geeta Roy met during the recording of a song for the film ‘Baazi’. Both fell in love and got married on 26 May 1953.

  • Guru Dutt got fame as a director through ‘Aarpar’ released in 1954.

  • After this Guru Dutt Mr. Made brilliant films like And Mrs. 55 (1955), Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959).

  • The failure of ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ broke Guru Dutt. He invested a lot of money and worked hard in making this film.

  • ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ was India’s first cinemascope film. Guru Dutt has made tremendous use of shade and light in this film.

  • Guru Dutt had mastered the art of taking the film’s story forward through songs.

  • Guru Dutt mostly used close-up shots in his films. He believed that 80 percent of acting is done with the eyes.

  • Guru Dutt was rarely satisfied with his work. He used to see some or the other flaw in every film he made. Many of his films remained incomplete because he was not satisfied with them.

  • ‘Pyaasa’, directed by Guru Dutt, has been considered by Time magazine as one of the 100 best films.

  • Before his death, Guru Dutt had fixed a time to talk to Mala Sinha about ‘Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi’.

  • He died on 10 October 1964 due to an overdose of sleeping pills. It is still a mystery whether he committed suicide or died a natural death.

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