Guru Dutt was the first person in India to shoot in Cinemascope.  Born as Vasanth Kumar Padukone, Guru Dutt was the benchmark that mainstream Hindi cinema could never reach.

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The Story Behind The Name ‘Guru Dutt’.

Vasanth was 18-months-old when he nearly drowned in a well close to their house but was saved by his grandmother. When Vasanth’s horoscope was studied by spiritual godman Swami Ramdas, he decided to change his name to Gurudutt. In 1950, it was Guru Dutt’s mentor Gyaan Mukherjee who made him drop his surname and change his name to ‘Guru Dutt’. This turned out to be very lucky for him as he got his first break as an independent director with Dev Anand with ‘Baazi’ in the year 1951.

Devi Dutt, Guru’s brother believes that it wasn’t a suicide.

Devi, who was Guru’s younger brother worked closely with him for over 11 years and strongly believes that his brother didn’t kill himself. He speculates that it was an accidental case of a drug overdose as Guru would often remain sleep deprived and take sleeping pills to calm himself down.

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Guru Dutt’s Last Night

Devi recalls how the two of them were on the sets of ‘Baharein Phir Bhi Aayegi’ and Guru seemed to be perfectly fit and healthy. However, one of the lead cast canceled the shoot and an angry Guru had to change plans for the next day.

Devi and Guru then went shopping to Colaba and bought places for Guru’s sons, Tarun and Arun. Devi recollects how when the two of them returned to Guru’s apartment on Peddar Road where he resided without his family.

Guru was reluctant that the kids spend time with him so he called Geeta but she refused to send the kids over because it was late and that definitely upset Guru.

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However, Devi remembers that he was asked to leave after a while as dialogue-writer Abrar Alvi joined Guru for a creative brainstorming along with alcohol. No one had any idea about how 24 hours later, the world would never see one of the finest human beings that we ever witnessed.

Guru Dutt passed away on 10th October 1964 in his home.

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Devi Dutt dedicated Naseeruddin starrer ‘Masoom’ to Guru and Geeta Dutt who were his mentors and even though we might not be able to see this legend in physical form anymore, his art shall always stay with his.

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The fire that he had ignited, continues to light lives even today, for such is the power of his art, such is the light of his art, it reaches the darkest corners of the society.