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Guru Dutt's birth name was Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone. He was born in Bangalore on July 9, 1925 (All photos/mid-day archives)
Dutt had a tough childhood and faced financial difficulties. He was also affected due to the strained relations between his parents
At the age of 14, Guru Dutt would use his fingers to create images on a wall lit up by the light of his grandmother's 'diya' when she performed aarti (prayers)
Dutt joined the Uday Shankar India Culture Center at Almora, which taught dance, drama, and music, at the age of 16. He joined the centre on a five-year scholarship of Rs. 75 annually in 1941 and studied there until when the advancing World War II forced the closing of the centre
Dutt then got the job of a telephone operator in Kolkata but did not enjoy the mundane work and quit
Guru Dutt's uncle got him a job under a three-year contract with the Prabhat Film Company in Pune (then Poona), in 1944, which kicked off his filmy journey
In the late 40s, when both Guru Dutt and Dev Anand were struggling to find a foothold in the industry, they inadvertently crossed paths. The two met in Mumbai after a washerman, common to Dev and Guru, mixed up their shirts!
Dutt and Waheeda Rehman first met in Hyderabad when he was looking for a fresh face for his film. While working with her in Pyaasa, he fell in love with her. According to some reports, Dutt did not want to leave his wife, Geeta Dutt and wanted both the ladies in his life. But Geeta refused and walked out
Incidentally, when Dutt came up with the idea of Pyaasa, he offered the role eventually portrayed by Mala Sinha to Madhubala. The film changed Sinha's career for the better. In picture: A still from 'Pyaasa'.
Guru Dutt was found dead in his apartment in Mumbai on October 10, 1964. The cause of death was deemed a combination of alcohol and sleeping pills. Although unclear whether it was a suicide or accidental death, Dutt had attempted suicide before
The book Ten Years with Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi's Journey, written by Sathya Saran, was released a few years back. In it, the late Alvi, the noted writer, director and lyricist, who collaborated with Dutt in most of his cult classics, gave a conscious account of his experience with Guru Dutt