Guru Dutt’s tragic life story has always been the subject of much discussion. Known for his melancholy romantic films that he both directed and starred in, Guru Dutt died of an apparent suicide in 1964. His son, Arun, was eight years old at the time.
In an old interview, recently reshared on YouTube by the WildFilmsIndia channel, Arun spoke about his father’s strained relationship with Geeta Dutt, his wife, and addressed speculation about why they drifted apart.
“He had always had a negative thought process since he was a child. He had morbid thinking,” reflecting on his father’s mental health. Asked about his parents’ relationship towards the end of his father’s life, he said, “They had no relationship in the end. They’d separated in 1963. We used to live with our mother near Mehboob Studios, he’d moved out and started living in Peddar Road. The relationship was quite strained by then.”
There were rumours that Guru Dutt had gotten close to Waheeda Rehman and was greatly affected by the failure of Kaagaz Ke Phool, and when Arun Dutt was asked about this, he brushed aside any talk of their being a financial crisis. He said that his father immediately bounced back with the ‘super-duper hit’ Chaudhvin Ka Chand.
Explaining further, he said, “There was basically a breaking of trust. When my father started his career, my mother was absolutely at the peak. And she felt betrayed somewhere, in her journey with him. It was a breaking of trust that caused the mutual conflict.”
But despite what happened between them, Arun said that his mother was ‘very much in love’ with her former husband even after he died. “She had preserved all his letters from 1951 to 1962. After his death, she got many marriage proposals, but she said no,” he added.
Guru Dutt is best known for classics of Hindi cinema’s golden age such as Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Saheb Bibi Aur Ghulam. Geeta Dutt suffered from a nervous breakdown after his death, and died just eight years later.