O. P. Nayyar

21 May 2019
28 Jan 2007
Film Industry
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Omkar Prasad Nayyar (16 January 1926 – 28 January 2007) was an Indian film music director and composer.

O.P. Nayyar was born in Lahore, British India, now in Pakistan.

O. P. Nayyar started his career by composing the background score for the movie Kaneez (1949). Aasmaan (1952), produced by Dalsukh M. Pancholi was O.P. Nayyar’s first film as an independent music director. Subsequently, he composed music for Chham Chhama Chham (1952) and Baaz (1953). Film producer, director and actor Guru Dutt enlisted O.P.Nayyar to write, compose, and conduct music for several movies; Aar Paar (1954), Mr. & Mrs. ’55 (1955), C.I.D. (1956). O.P. Nayyar’s early works were performed primarily by Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt, and Mohammed Rafi; Asha Bhosle was introduced in the 1956 movie C.I.D..

In 1957 Filmalaya introduced Nasir Hussain as a new director, who wanted a composer to provide romantic scores for a new hero and heroine, Shammi Kapoor and Ameeta. O.P. Nayyar’s scores were featured in Hussain’s films Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) and Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1964).

During the 1950s, the state-controlled All India Radio banned broadcasting of most O.P. Nayyar songs on the grounds that the music was too “trendy”. At that time, Radio Ceylon was the only broadcaster of O.P. Nayyar’s new songs.

O.P. Nayyar worked extensively with singers Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle, and Mohammed Rafi, but did not work with Bollywood’s leading female singer Lata Mangeshkar. However, the Mangeshkar song “Ek To Balam Teri Yaad Satayein” (from 1958 film Aji Bas Shukriya) was used in the 1973 movie Taxi Driver, for which O. P. Nayyar was the Music Director.

According to music and film expert Rajesh Subramanian, the song Aap Ke Haseen Rukh from Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi was originally planned with full orchestration. On the day of the recording many musicians failed to report on time. O.P. Nayyar, being a strict disciplinarian, packed off the latecomers and started composing afresh with the musicians who had arrived on time.

Following a disagreement with Mohammed Rafi,O.P. Nayyar started to work with singer Mahendra Kapoor. Kapoor performed O.P. Nayyar’s compositions in several films, Dharmendra, Badal Jaaye Agar Maali, and Chaman Hotaa Nahi Khaali in Bahaaren Phir Bhi Aayengi. He also performed in the movie Sambandh, with Mukesh, and in the movie Shrimanji 1968, with Kishore Kumar.

Based on one of Rabindranath Tagore’s Bengali compositions, O.P. Nayyar composed the song, Chal Akelaa, Chal Akelaa, sung by Mukesh in the film Fakira (film) (1976).

O.P.Nayyar co-produced songs with Shamshad Begum, including “Kajra Mohabbatwala”. After Madhubala’s death, heroines like Vyjayanthimala, Mala Sinha, Padmini, Asha Parekh, and Sharmila Tagore lip-synced several of the O.P.Nayyar-Asha Bhosle numbers.O.P.Nayyar and Bhosle parted ways in 1974. After that, he worked with Dilraj Kaur, Alka Yagnik, Krishna Kale, Vani Jayaram, and Kavita Krishanmurthy.

Majrooh Sultanpuri and Sahir Ludhianvi wrote lyrics for some of O. P.’s earlier compositions such as Naya Daur. During the making of Tumsa Nahin Dekha, the film director Nasir Hussain developed differences with Sahir Ludhianvi and Majrooh Sultanpuri had to write the remaining songs other than the title song. O. P. always experimented with different upcoming lyricists like Jan Nisar Akhtar, Qamar Jalalabadi, S. H. Bihari, and Ahmed Wasi. For Shrimati 420 (1956), Mukhda of “Yahan Hum Wahan Tum” was written by Saroj.

O.P. Nayyar began the tradition of assigning full three-minute songs to comedians. Comedian Om Prakash sang O.P. Nayyar’s composition Churi Bane Kanta Bane in Jaali Note; comedian Johnny Walker sang O.P. Nayyar’s song Aye Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahaan in CID, “Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Jee” (Mr. & Mrs. 55),Main Bambaika Baaboo, Naam Meraa Anjaanaa in Naya Daur and Bajewala in Basant.

Along with some other numbers in the last movie, Asha Bhosle/Geeta Dutt’s, Thandi Thandi Hawaa, he composed a song, Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawaanonkaa featuring Dilip Kumar and Ajit in Naya Daur (1957), for which he won the 1957 Filfare Best Music Director Award. The last O. P. composition which Asha sang was Chain Se Humko Kabhi. It was meant to be included in the movie, Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1973), but it was dropped in the final version of the movie. However, it won Asha Bhosle a 1974 Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Award.

O. P. was very active in his musical career in the 1960s and somewhat in the ’70s. He did not compose music for some of the newer actors of the era, i.e.Rajesh Khanna or Amitabh Bachchan. O.P. movies starred Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Guru Dutt, Dharmendra, Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee, Biswajit, Feroz Khan, Bharat Bhushan and many others. Asha Parekh, Mumtaz, Sharmila Tagore, Madhubala, Rajshree, Rekha, Ameeta, Shyama come to mind for the female leads. Apart from Hindi films, O. P. also composed music for a few South Indian movies, including Neerajanam in Telugu.

O.P. faded from the Bollywood scene in the early 1970s, but made a brief comeback in the 1990s – “Mangni” and “Nishchay” in 1992 and “Zid” in 1994.

In retirement, O.P. Nayyar stayed in touch with only a few people, among them Gajendra Singh and Ahmed Wasi. Singh included O.P. Nayyar as a judge for his TV show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. Wasi interviewed O.P. Nayyar twice for Vividh Bharati and presented his life-sketch through six one-hour-long episodes collectively titled as Mujhe Yaad Sab Hai Zaraa Zaraa.

O.P.Nayyar had two brothers, P.P. Nayyar and G.P.Nayyar. P.P. Nayyar was a medical doctor. G.P.Nayyar was a dentist who worked in the army, then settled in Secunderabad. O.P.’s wife, Saroj Mohini Nayyar, is a lyricist who wrote Preetam Aan Milo (Geeta Dutt, Mr. & Mrs. 55.

Prior to is death, O.P.Nayyar was estranged from his family members to the extent that he requested that they not be allowed to attend his funeral. Following the estrangement, he had moved out of his Mumbai (Bombay) home, then stayed first with a friend in Virar, and later with a friend in Thane.

O.P.Nayyar died on 28 January 2007 of cardiac arrest, leaving behind a wife, three daughters, and a son.

On his death, tributes came from many Bollywood figures, including Lata Mangeshkar, Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz, Mahesh Bhatt, Khayyam, Shakti Samanta, Sonu Nigam, Ravindra Jain, Anu Malik and the now late B R Chopra and Shammi Kapoor.

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