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Bollywood mourns O P Nayyar's death
29th Jan 2007 10.30 IST
Bollywood Sunday mourned the death of music director O P Nayyar describing him as a composer with a distinctive style whose work was always original.
Singers and film personalities from across the spectrum paid rich tributes to Nayyar.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar , who never worked with him during her career as a playback singer, said that his "music always carried its own distinct mark".
"His work was different from his contemporaries. One could always identify an O P song. He left his distinct mark on his songs," Mangeshkar said. Talking about her personal relations with Nayyar, she said, "I never sang for him, but contrary to what people say, we did not have any quarrel."
Nayyar died aged 81 of a heart attack at Thane. As news of his death spread, a pall of gloom descended on the film industry, where Nayyar was regarded as one of the greatest composers of all times even though he had not been in the limelight for close to three decades.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt described Nayyar -- who was always seen in public in white attire and a hat -- as "an audacious man who was a king in his time". " Asha Bhosle owes whatever she is to him. The distinct sensuality that was injected into Asha's singing was the contribution of this extraordinary man," Bhatt said. Extensive use of the typical Punjabi rhythm was the main characteristic of Nayyar's music, Mangeshkar said.
Actress and Censor Board chief Sharmila Tagore , who starred in ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’, said, "We will remember him and his contributions will be there forever. His name will be there as long as there is the history of music."
Singer Manna Dey said he was saddened by Nayyar's death as no one could replace him.
Rajesh Khanna said "originality was the symbol" of Nayyar, whom he described as a "charismatic personality".
TV star and actress Tabassum said, "O P Nayyar's death is yet another shock for us. We were still to recover from the sorrow at the demise of (noted writer) Kamleshwarji when we heard of the death of kind-hearted Nayyar sahab."
Shammi Kapoor , who had been the hero in many of Nayyar's songs said, He "was one of the finest music directors. A man who have India it style and rhythm." "He as very innovative about voice control. He have style to Rafi sahab and Ashaji."
Sonu Nigam said it was a sad moment for the music industry because "we have lost a person of stature and calibre." "I had some nice moments with him in 'Sa Re Ga Ma'. Besides being a music director he was an idealist," he added.
Music composer Ravindra Jain said that Nayyar's death was a great loss for the film industry. "He was a great composer as well as a great human being." Talking about Nayyar's music, Jain said, "He used folk music very well in his compositions. He caught people's imagination in a very short time."
Composer Anu Malik talked about Nayyar's famous "Ghodagadi rhythm" while commenting on the late singer's style. "Nayyar Saab used this rhythm so beautifully, no other composer ever tried to copy it," he said. "He was a father figure to me," Malik said. "While composing he was very strict, precise. He would often record a song in three hours flat," he added.
Expressing profound grief over Nayyar's demise, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said, he gave lilting tunes in films, which became very popular. "He ruled the hearts of the music lovers through his excellent tunes and blended folk and western music and churned out brilliant tunes, which are still very popular," Yadav said in Lucknow.
Described by his contemporaries as a powerhouse of talent, music director O P Nayyar enthralled generations of Indians with his lilting romantic numbers featuring a distinctive sound created by the innovative use of the piano, saxophone and rhythms. The creator of evergreen numbers like "Pukarta Chala Hoon Mei", "Chain Se Humko Kabhi Apne", "Tumsa Nahin Dekha" and "Aap Yuhin Agar Hamse Milte Rahen", Nayyar had faded from the music scene over the past three decades before his death in Thane today.
Though he did not have a classical background, Nayyar, during his heydays, overtook many of his contemporaries like S D Burman and Madan Mohan in popularity. And his songs continue to be heard on the country's airwaves even today, garnering new fans with their unique sound, especially the rhythms that mimicked the clippety-clop of horses.
Nayyar can be credited with advancing the careers of many great playback singers in Bollywood like Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi, but he never worked with Lata Mangeshkar.
Born on January 26, 1926 in Lahore, Omkar Prasad Nayyar began his career in films with the background score for "Kaneez" in 1949. His first big success was Guru Dutt's "Aar Paar", which led to a successful partnership with the director for classic 1950s films like "Mr. And Mrs. 55" and "CID". He gained distinction for his efforts as music director on "Mere Sanam", which featured the evergreen compositions "Jaiyee Aap Kahan Jaayenge" and "Pukarta Chala Hoon Main".
Always attired in his trademark white and wearing a hat, Nayyar faded from the music scene in the 1970s but attempted a comeback in the early 1990s with "Andaz Apna Apna".
Nayyar, the creator of all time hits like "Mera Nam Chin Chin Choo", "Aei Dil Hai Muskil Jeena Yahan", "Aakhon Hi Akhon Main", "Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana", "Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Jee" and "Babuji Dhire Chalna", was recently seen in the musical TV show "Sa Re Ga Ma". Though he spent most of his career composing music for films made in north India, he also did the score for south Indian movies like "Neerajanam".
Nayyar -- whose quiet dignity and poise made him a striking picture of elegance calm -- was perhaps the only music director whose name appeared on billboards over the cast and crew of films. He had been living with friends for over 10 years after being estranged from his family.
O P Nayyar
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