The combination of OP Nayyar and Mohammad Rafi was like tea and milk.
The musiclovers had remembered legendary composer Omkar Prasad Nayyar, popularly known as OP Nayyar on his birthday on 16th January, 2016. He had died few years back, but his tunes had remained immortal for the audience of bollywood films for years. Whenever the name of OP Nayyar appeared in the minds of the audience, the name of immortal singer Mohammad Rafi had come together, without whom OP Nayyar was incomplete. The relationship between the two greats can be compared as tea and milk. OP Nayyar started his career with the film Kaneej in 1949.
Guru Dutt had created his image in bollywood films in different categories being a thoughtful director and producer, dynamic actor, good choreographer. One of the numerous reasons for which his films became super hit in the 50s and 60s included the brilliant songs sung by Rafi during the golden age.
Rafi’s songs in Guru Dutt’s Aar Paar, released in 1954 and composed by OP Nayyar became super hit. It was followed by Mr and Mrs. 55 released in 1955. Songs picturized on both Guru Dutt and Johnny Walker had melody and sweetness. Rafi’s songs like “dil pe kiya aisa jaadu”, “muhobbat karlo aji karlo”, “sun sun sun sun zaalima”, composed by OP Nayyar, created landmark in the mid-50s and Rafi emerged as the greatest singer of bollywood films during that time. In many of the songs Geeta Dutt did a great job in duets sung along with Mohammad Rafi.
The same combination of Guru Dutt, OP Nayyar and Rafi gave everlasting hit in the film 12 O Clock with songs like “mai kho gaya”. Also in CID, OP Nayyar and Rafi combination created gold with songs like “aye dil mushkil jeena yahan”, “leke pehla pehla pyar”, “ankhon hi ankhon me”, etc.
The magic combination of Rafi and OP Nayyar mesmerized the audience in Dilip Kumar’s Naya Daur. The super hit songs “saathi hath barana”, “mangke saath tumhara”, “mai bombai ka babu”, contributed a lot in the absolute success of the film. OP Nayyar received the filmfare award for the best music director only once in his career. Credit goes to Rafisahab for the great rendition of each songs of Naya Daur.
The brilliant combination of OP Nayyar and Rafi continued in Raj Kapoor’s film Do Ustad. All the songs in the film became extremely popular including “tu ladki mai ladka”, “ruk ruk ruk, chor na de diwane”, “nazron ke teer mare kas kas kas”, etc. Rafisahab was the first choice of OP Nayyar, and inspite of Raj Kapoor’s voice having closeness with Mukesh and Manna Dey. OP Nayyar gave all the songs of Do Ustad released in 1959 to Mohammad Rafi Sahab.
Even in Bharat Bhushan’s Phagun, OP Nayyar composed all the songs for great Rafi Sahab. So of the most super hit songs included “kaun se pardesi mera dil le gaya”, “tum rooth ke mat jana”, “mai soya ankhiya miche”. Qamar Jalalabadi’s words were as brilliant as Rafisahab’s velvety voice.
Joy Mukherjee’s film Ek Musafir Ek Hasina did brilliant business in the early 60s. Raj Khosla’s musical thriller released in 1962 addressed every section of the society with romantic performance of Joy Mukherjee and Sadhna. All the songs of Rafi and Asha picturized on Joy Mukherjee and Sadhna became super hit. It includes songs like “aap yuhin agar humse milte rahe”, “mujhe dekhkar aapka muskurana”, “phir tere shahar me”, “mai pyar ka rahi hoon”, “bahut shukhriya, bari meherbani”, “humko tumhari isqh ne”, to name a few. Rafi was elegant as ever in the songs “phir tere shahar me” and “humko tumhare ishq ne”. OP Nayyar was probably at his best in the film and his blend of eastern and western music created the romantic mood for the film.
Joy Mukherjee, Rafi and OP Nayyar’s magical combination continued in the film Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon. Most part of the film released in 1963 was shot at picturesque locations of Jammu & Kashmir and the landscape was as romantic as the songs sung by Rafi and Asha in the film. The prominent songs included “banda parwar, thamlo jigar”, “lakho hai nigahon me”, “nazneen bara rangeen hai wada tera”, “aanchal me sajalena kaliyan”, “zulf ke chayon me chehere ka ujala lekar”, to name a few. Rafi had shown his excellent classical skills in the songs “zulf ke chayon me”, and “aancal me sajalena kaliyan”. Asha Parekh showed her dancing skills to perfection in the film. Rajender Nath played the role of the relief character in the film. In fact OP Nayyar maintained the same standard of music in Shammi Kapoor’s film Kashmir Ki Kali and Biswajeet’s film Mere Sanam which were made after Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon.
Joy Mukherjee’s combination with OP Nayyar continued in the film Humsaya. In that film Sharmila Tagore got the lead role opposite Joy Mukherjee. By that time due to emergence on new actors and actresses in bollywood films, Joy Mukherjee’s popularity declined and the film also did moderate business. In respect of the songs, Rafi’s song “dil ki awaaz bhi sun” became hit. But OP Nayyar gave a number of songs to Mahendra Kapoor was well which did not strike gold in the box –office.
Besides Rafi’s western romantic mood is utilized by OP Nayyar in a very stylish way in the songs “Diwana hua badal, sawan ki ghata chayi” and “Yeh Chand Sa Roshan Chehera” in the film Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964 picturised on Shammi Kapoor and “Humne to dilko aap ke kadmome rakh diya, is dil ka kya karenge yeh ab aap sochiye” in the film Mere Sanam, 1965 and “Phir Miloge Kabhi is baat ka wada karlo, humse ek aur mulakat ka wada karlo” in the film Yeh Raat Phir Na Ayegi, picturised on Biswajeet. In all these songs the sarengi and santoor had played a very pivotal role accompanied by the intoxicating appeal of Rafi’s voice.
In the film Baharen Phir Bhi Aayegi, Rafi’s ghazal “aap ki haseen rukh” composed by OP Nayyar and picturised on Dharmender was extremely romantic and made the audience spellbound in the early 60s. OP Nayyar composed peppy numbers for Rafi Sahab in Dharmender’s film Muhobbat Zindagi Hai in 1966. Rafisahab’s song “na jaane kyun” was as brilliant as “tumhari mulakat se” and “yeh purnur chehra yeh dilkash ada”. The list of films where OP Nayyar and Rafi’s magic flabbergasted the listeners just goes on including films like Tumsa Nahi Dekha, Basant, Phagun, Kismat, etc.
One article is too small to explain the domination of OP Nayyar and Mohammad Rafi in bollywood films of the 50s and 60s. But the songs and the films had not become obsolete and listeners can listen to them again and again. The songs and the films should be restored.
Death Anniversary of Mehmood and remembering him with Shankar Jaikishan and Rafi.
The viewers of Bollywood films remember Mehmood on his death anniversary on 23rd July, 2016. The viewers of bollywood films remembered Mehmood and showed their respect to legendary comedian Mehmood on 29th September, 2015. He was an indispensable actor during the 60s and 70s. He had acted in different types of roles ranging from serious ones in Choti Behen to villainish roles in Pyaasa and obviously serio-comic roles in Gumnaam. He was the other comedian other than Johnny Walker, who had given lips in majority of songs in landmark films. His combination with Subha Khote and Dhumaal, was as brilliant as the legendary pairs of Dharmender Hema Malini or Shashi Kapoor Nanda.
Shankar Jaikishan had always been known to set trends and not follow any existing system created by the other compositions. SJ used Lata to her limit in Barsaat in the late 40s, during a time when the other female singers like Noorjahan, Suraiya, Samshad Begum, Rajkumari were also prominent in singing playback songs in bollywood films. SJ never stuck one single team and that was one of their secrets of success in bollywood films. In respect of Mehmood, it was a tradition for most of the composers to use Manna Dey to sing for Mehmood, most of which were very very successful. SD Burman used Manna Dey to sing “duniya bananewale” in the film Ziddi for Mehmood, where he used Rafi to sing the songs for Joy Mukherjee like “bolo bolo, aye dildaar”, etc. RD Burman used Manna Dey to sing the songs “sawaariya” and “ek chaturnaar” in the film Padosan for Mehmood. LP used Manna Dey to sing “o mere maina” in the film Pyar Kiye Ja, for Mehmood.
There are numerous other examples where Manna Dey was used by the composers to suit Mehmood. Shankar Jaikishan had something else in mind. He used Manna Dey in very serious classical songs like “sur na saje” in Basant Bahar, emotional songs like “tu pyar ka sagar hai” in Seema, or folk songs like “chalet musafir” in Teesri Kasam. When it came to Mehmood, SJ experimented with Rafi, and those songs probably are considered the most successful songs of Mehmood in his entire career.
The song “ajahu na aye balma sawan bita jai” in the film Saanjh Aur Sawera, picturized on Mehmood, stands out as one of the most classically oriented compositions of SJ for Rafi. The song had both appeal for the mass and also the class. The song “hum kale hai to kya hua dilwale hai” in Gumnaam, became a trademark song of Mehmood. Rafi almost reproduced the style of dialogue throwing of Mehmood in the song and it appeared to the masses that the song was sung by Mehmood himself. SJ used Rafi to sing the song “mai rickshawala” in the black and white era in the film Choti Bahen, during a time when Mehmood’s image was not created.
Mehmood almost made people cry in the film and the credit goes to Rafi’s emotions in the song. In the film Zindagi, Rafi’s song for Mehmood titled “ghungharwah mora cham cham baje”, became big hit. The other hit songs of Rafi for Mehmood composed by SJ include “o gori chalona hans ki chaal”, “zindagi mujhko dikhade raasta”, “mai hoon jaani tera”etc.
Rafi’s presence was felt in the films Beti Bete, Bhai Bhai, etc. where Mehmood had prominent roles and SJ composed the music of those films. Even the song “bakhma bakhma” in the film Shatranj became successful. Even in the duets that were sung for Mehmood, SJ created a new trend in allowing Suman Kalyanpur to sing some of the songs with Rafi or Sharda to sing some of them, in addition to Lata who had sung around 440 duets with Rafi during the golden age. The songs and the films of the legendary combination of Shankar Jaikishan, Rafi and Mehmood should be restored for their filmic appeal and versatile creations.
Jagjit Singh’s excellent compositions will remain immortal forever.
The listeners of music all over the world wish happy birth anniversary to Ghazal Maestro Jagjit Singh on 8th February, 2016.
Listeners of ghazals remember the king of ghazals Jagjit Singh on 10th October every year. Ghazal King Jagjit Singh passed away on 10th October, 2011. In respect of his excellent ghazals his listeners have remained speechless. His voice had been used to heal sadness and sickness.
He had been the only singer who had composed and sung songs on the poetry of legendary Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee titled “Nayidisha” in 1999 and “Samvedna” in 2002. Along with his wife Chitra Singh, he was the first Indian composer to have used digital multi-track recording for the album “Beyond Time” in 1987.
His original name was Jagpreet Singh. He learned khayal, dhrupad, thumri from Ustaad Jamaal Khan. His album “The unforgetables” in 1976, mesmerized the audience. His baritone voice made everyone enchanted. He departed from classical ghazals to a more refined romantic rendition, by keeping the soul of the lyrics intact.
He created a different gharana, a bit different from the other legends of ghazals like Mehedi Hassan, Talat Mehmood, Mohammad Rafi, Noor Jahan, Begum Akhtar, etc. His compositions in the duet albums “Ecstasies”, “A Sound Affair”, “Passions”, with Chitra Singh were unparallel. Jagjit Singh’s excellent bass was balanced by Chitra Singh’s high notes in most of the ghazals. Duet ghazals like”duniya jise kehte hai jadoo ka khilouna hai”, “kaun keheta hai muhobbat ka zuban hoti hai”, etc., will remain immortal for ever.
After the death of his son Vivek at the age of 21 years, Chitra Singh left singing. But Jagjit Singh’s later albums were full of pathos, but the excellent lyrics of the shayar’s or poets or given adequate expression by the legendary Ghazal King. The titles of his music albums were also thoughtful including Hope, Insight, Mirage, Kahkashan (Galaxy), etc., to name a few.
Jagjit Singh probably had sung with the best poets of the country in the 80s and 90s including Nida Fazli, Qateel Shifai, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Sudarshaan Fakir, Zaka Siddiqi, Nazir Bakri, Faiz Ratlami and others. It required huge talent and innovation to do justice to the thoughtful words shown in the poem.
In whichever field of music Jagjit Singh had ventured he had struck gold, whether his albums in bhajans or gurbani. Jagjit Singh enriched hindi film music with his excellent compositions in the film Saath Saath and others. His film songs like “tumko dekha to ye khayal aya”, “tum itna jo muskura rahi ho”, “hoton se chulo tum” had remained historical masterpieces. His songs in TV Serial Mirza Ghalib had enchanted numerous listeners. A Padmabhushan being awarded to the musical maestro was not enough to reward his brilliance.
One article is too small to highlight his achievements. His immortal works should be preserved and restored.