As I have been telling everyone on my social media list for the past couple of months, and as I now plan to tell everyone on my blog list for the next many months, I have come to Guru Dutt late. (I am in middle age, and he passed away at its cusp.) I really discovered him these couple of months ago. However, as I have also been telling my friends (or whoever hasn’t yet unfollowed me fatigued by my new-found obsession with the Dutt), I have made up for lost time with lots(a) intensity. I have watched almost all his movies: produced by, directed by, and starring him, and have now moved on to books about the man. I have only not watched three movies with him essaying a prominent role: Lakhrani (1945), in which he was an assistant director (AD) and also played a bit role; Sailaab (1956), directed by him; and Suhagan (1965), the last movie starring him and released the year following his death. I am still half-way into those books, and amidst it all, keep devouring as many pieces about him on the net as I can.
I think GD (as I refer to him from a deep and warm place of my being, cinematic and otherwise) does that to most people: when you discover him, you deep-scover him (discover him deeply), and after that, no one, at least, not too many other film-makers, comes close. To borrow the opening sentence of one of those many pieces I have read: Unlike other film directors, Guru Dutt does not have fans – he has devotees.
Over these past couple of months, I have discovered and mulled over various aspects of his cinema and his personality (and those who know him know that the two are very closely intertwined), and plan to share them here, over an irfinite, er, infinite number of posts. So, basically, Guru Dutt by a… Guru Nut(t).