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Monday, March 6, 2017
Success of OP Nayyar in Indian films and his phenomenal combination with Rafisahab.
OP Nayyar better known as Omkar Prasad Nayyar was known for breaking trends. During the 1940s and 1950s, when other composers stuck to Hindustani ragas and folk songs in Bollywood films, OP Nayyar experimented with Latin tunes, European tunes and blended them with Indian tunes and brought a revolution in Indian music. Not only the songs became popular, but also reached the masses who got exposure to fast peppy music.
The musiclovers had remembered legendary composer Omkar Prasad Nayyar, popularly known as OP Nayyar on his birthday on 16th January, 2017. 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.
Just like other composers were involved with big banners, namely Naushad Ali worked with Mehboob Khan, Shankar Jaikishan worked with Raj Kapoor, Vasant Desai worked with V Shantaram, Salil Choudhury worked with Bimal Roy, OP Nayyar had great combination with Guru Dutt in the early part of his career.
Guru Dutt’s films Aar Par brought him to limelight in 1954. All the songs composed by OP Nayyar became smash hit. While he used Shamshad Begum and Geeta Dutt for the female playback songs, Rafisahab was his first choice and last choice for all male playback songs. The songs with brought him to fame included “kabhi aar kabhi paar”, “muhobbat karlo aji karlo aji kisne roka hai, ho sake to duniya chor do duniya hi dhoka hai”, “sun sun sun sun zalima”, “babuji dheere chalna”, “aye lo ma hari piya”, to name a few. In OP Nayyar tunes, there was room for Rafisahab’s songs for Johnny Walker and sometimes these songs became more popular than the songs of the heroes. In Aar Paar, Rafisahab’s song “are wah wah wah wah wah wah kaisa hoga” became smash hit. In the film Guru Dutt gave great break to Shyama and Shakila who later blossomed as successful actresses.
The magic of Guru Dutt, OP Nayyar and Mohammad Rafi continued in the film Mr and Mrs 55, in the year 1955. Again Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt were at their best in the film. Rafisahab was sublime as usual. This time Guru Dutt took Madhubala as lead actress. OP Nayyar tunes did magic in songs like “dil pe kiya aisa jadoo tabiyat machal machal gayi”, “thandi hawa kaali ghata”, “idhar tum jawan ho”. Again the Johnny Walker, Rafisahab combination clicked and this time it became the biggest hit of the film namely “jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji”.
The same Guru Dutt Production, OP Nayyar music and Rafisahab’s voice created magic in the films 12 O Clock and Dev Anand’s CID. The landmark songs included “tum jo mile mere humsafar raste badal gaye” which had Waltz effect, “mai kho gaya”, “aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan”, “ankhon hi ankhon me ishara ho gaya”, “leke pehela pehela pyar bharke ankho me khumar jadu nagri se aya hai koi jadugar”. While Shakila had lead role in CID, Wahida Rehman had lead role in 12 O Clock.
In 1957, OP Nayyar got the scope of composing music in the film of Tragedy King Dilip Kumar. Dilip Kumar and Vaijayantimala were at the pink of their career, and when music created storms, the film broke records and became blockbuster with the production direction of BR Chopra and Yash Chopra. The super hit songs “saathi hath barana”, “mangke saath tumhara”, “mai bombai ka babu”, “ure jab jab zulfe teri”, 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. Madhubala acted opposite Raj Kapoor in the film.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 Madhubala and 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. In 1957, OP Nayyar’s music in Shammi Kapoor’s film Tumsa Nahi Dekha brought him to fame. All the songs like “yuh to humne laakh hain dekhe hai”, “sar pe topi lal”, “dekh kasam se”, were big hits.
In the early 1960s, many new poets entered Bollywood films and OP Nayyar in addition to combining with Majrooh Sultanpuri, Qamar Jalalabadi combined with Shamshul Huda Bihari in many films. 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.