Drug Overdose Or Suicide? Guru Dutt's Brother Recalled Last Hours Before 'Pyaasa' Director's Death

The mystery behind 'Pyaasa' and 'Kaagaz Ke Phool' director, late Guru Dutt's death is still quite debatable. However, his younger brother, Devi Dutt had once said this about his brother's death.


By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:

Drug Overdose Or Suicide? Guru Dutt's Brother Recalled Last Hours Before 'Pyaasa' Director's Death

Born as Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone, better known as Guru Dutt was the one who had introduced close-up shots in Indian cinema. The iconic filmmaker was also the first director to use light and shadow in such an incredible manner in his films. Guru Dutt's movies are titled 'cult classics' in India and countries like Japan, France, and Germany. However, it's still unclear whether Guru Dutt had committed suicide or his death was a case of a drug overdose.

In a career spanning just 20 years, visionary director, late Guru Dutt's two films, Pyaasa and Kaagaz ke Phool, have reserved a place in TIME magazine's 'All-TIME' 100 best movies. Some also titled him as the 'Orson Welles' of Indian cinema, Sight and Sound critics' and directors' poll had also included him among the greatest film directors of all time, and the list of his achievements goes on.

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Guru Dutt

After so many years of Guru Dutt's death, his younger brother and filmmaker, Devi Dutt opened up about his death and the constant debate in media, whether it was suicide or a case of a drug overdose. Recalling the moments from the last few hour's before his death, Devi Dutt had stated that his brother was working in his studio with director, Shaeed Latif. However, the shooting got postponed that day because Malaji Sinha couldn't reach their studio because of last-minute trouble. He had said:

"On October 9, 1964, he was at his studio with Tanuja, Rehman and director Shaeed Latif for his production Baharein Phir Bhi Aayegi. But Malaji (Sinha) had got stuck in Madras. So the shooting got postponed. Bhabhi had gone to the children's school for PTA and was supposed to send Tarun and Arun across in the evening."

guru dutt

After the cancellation of the shooting, Guru Dutt and his brother, Devi Dutt were going back to their house when the Pyaasa director had told his younger brother to stop and buy some kites for him. Narrating the incident, Devi had stated that his brother was a huge fan of kites and had wanted to fly them with their children over the coming weekend. Devi had said:

"We left for home in the car. He asked me to buy kites and manjha from Bandra as he wanted to fly kites with the children over the weekend. Then we stopped at Charag Din at Colaba. He bought clothes for the boys and also some for me."

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Guru Dutt

After reaching home, Guru Dutt had gone straight to the kitchen and had started cooking. Devi Dutt had emotionally continued and had revealed that his elder brother had always wanted to live with him and their other three brothers, Atma Ram, Shashidhar, and Vijay. Devi Dutt had continued:

"When we reached home, he went into the kitchen and began preparing omelettes. He said he'd cook more often when we all lived together. He said that we brothers would occupy the 9th and 10th floors, from where we'd watch the sunset every evening."

Guru Dutt

In the middle of their sweet conversation, Guru Dutt's Chartered Accountant, Gole saab had walked in and had informed the ace director about the notices he had received about his pending taxes. Then, Devi Dutt had added that Gole saab and his elder brother had gotten indulged in an intense argument. After which, Guru Dutt had told Devi to go home. That was the last meeting between Guru Dutt and his brother, Devi Dutt, and recalling the exact moment, he had said:

"On the way out I met Abrar Alvi. I asked him to convey Bhabhi's message to Guru Dutt - that she wouldn't be sending the kids as it was late. That was my last evening with Guru Dutt. The next day, he was no more. I still maintain he did not commit suicide. It must have been due to the sleeping pills after heavy drinking with Abrar."

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Guru Dutt

For the unversed, on May 26, 1953, Guru Dutt had tied the knot with popular singer, Geeta Roy, whom he had met during the shoot of the film, Baazi. Soon, the couple had three beautiful children, namely, Tarun Dutt, Arun Dutt and Nina Dutt. However, by the 1950s, the news of Guru Dutt being romantically involved with actress, Waheeda Rehman had started doing rounds in media. Also, the financial issues had peaked up, and the actor had to vacate his bungalow.

Guru and Geeta Dutt

That was the time when Guru Dutt had shifted to a rented flat, and his wife, Geeta Dutt had moved to her parents' place along with their children. It is said that towards the end of his life, even Waheeda Rehman had distanced herself from him, owing to his alcoholism, anxiety and depression attacks. After which, on October 10, 1964, Guru Dutt had passed away due to an overdose of sleeping pills with alcohol.

Guru Dutt Waheeda Rehman

The critically acclaimed director, Bhavna Talwar, who had received National Film Award for her debut film, Dharm, in 2007, is working on Guru Dutt's biopic.

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Cover and Images Courtesy: Guru Dutt
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