There is a myth that Geeta Dutt resented Lata Mangeshkar for usurping and dethroning her from the top spot among playback singers.
The truth is ,Geeta’s nemesis is Asha Bhosle. Lataji and Geeta Dutt were very close friends.
“Whenever we met we were like two school girls exchanging gossip,” Lataji had once surprised me by telling me she and Geeta Dutt were actually friends.
“Not only friends, very close friends. Shall I tell you something? It is a myth that other singers couldn’t get along with me. I shared a tremendous rapport with Geeta Dutt.She shared all her secrets with me.Even before Geeta I was very fond of Amirbai Karnataki All this talk about rivalry between us was just juicy gossip. Her style of singing was completely different from mine.” Lataji said.
But wasn’t it true that when Lataji came in all the female singers of earlier generations were sidelined? There is this story of Geeta Dutt telephoning Sachin Dev Burman asking what wrong she had done and why he had stopped using her voice.
Lataji said she was a fan of Geeta Dutt’s singing. “Her voice was unique and evocative. No one could sing Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam the way she did. In fact I paid a homage to Geeta in my Shradhanjali album.It wasn’t meant to show that I could sing the song better than her.Like I said, no one could sing the way she could,”
Lataji recalled fun times with Geeta Dutt. “We have recorded a number of songs together. Recordings with her were always enjoyable.”