O. P. Nayyar Biography
Omkar Prasad Nayyar (16 January 1926 – 28 January 2007) was an Indian film music composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, and musician. He won the 1958 Filmfare Award for Best Music Director (for Naya Daur). Nayyar worked extensively with singers Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi but not with leading Bollywood female singer Lata Mangeshkar. However, Mangeshkar’s song Ek To Balam Teri Yaad Satayein (from the 1958 film Aji Bas Shukriya) was used in the 1973 Hindi film Taxi Driver, for which Nayyar was music director.
According to music and film expert Rajesh Subramanian, “Aap Ke
O. P. Nayyar Biography Image
Haseen Rukh” (from Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi) was planned with full orchestration but many of the musicians were late for the recording. After a disagreement with Mohammed Rafi, Nayyar began working with singer Mahendra Kapoor. Kapoor performed Nayyar’s songs “Badal Jaaye Agar Maali” and “Chaman Hotaa Nahi Khaali” in Bahaaren Phir Bhi Aayengi. Based on a Bengali language work by Rabindranath Tagore, Nayyar composed “Chal Akelaa, Chal Akelaa” (sung by Mukesh in 1969 film Sambandh).
O. P. Nayyar’s Early Life and Career
Nayyar was born in Lahore, British India (present Pakistan). He then underwent music training. He composed the background score for Kaneez (1949), and 1952’s Aasmaan (produced by Dalsukh M. Pancholi), was his first film as music director. Nayyar then composed music for Chham Chhama Chham (1952) and Baaz (1953). Film producer, director and actor Guru Dutt enlisted him to compose and conduct music for Aar Paar (1954), Mr. & Mrs. ’55 (1955) and C.I.D. (1956). Nayyar’s early work was primarily performed by Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt and Mohammed Rafi, with Asha Bhosle introduced in C.I.D.
In 1957 Filmalaya introduced Nasir Hussain, who wanted a composer to provide romantic scores for newcomers Shammi Kapoor and Ameeta. Nayyar’s scores were featured in the Hussain films Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) and Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1964). During the decade, state-controlled All India Radio banned most of Nayyar’s songs because the broadcaster considered them too “trendy”.
O. P. Nayyar’s Personal Life
In retirement Nayyar stayed in touch with only a few people, including Gajendra Singh and Ahmed Wasi; Singh included him as a judge for his television show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. Wasi interviewed Nayyar twice on Vividh Bharati and presented a series of six one-hour episodes, Mujhe Yaad Sab Hai Zaraa Zaraa, about his life.
He had two brothers: P. P. (a physician) and G. P. (a dentist in Secunderabad). Nayyar’s wife, Saroj Mohini Nayyar, wrote the lyrics to “Preetam Aan Milo” (sung by Geeta Dutt in Mr. & Mrs. ’55. Estranged from his family, he requested that they be barred from his funeral. Nayyar had moved out of his Mumbai home, staying with a friend in Virar and then with a friend in Thane.
He died on 28 January 2007, survived by his wife, three daughters and a son. Nayyar’s death was followed by tributes from many Bollywood figures, including Lata Mangeshkar, Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz, Mahesh Bhatt, Khayyam, Shakti Samanta, Sonu Nigam, Ravindra Jain, Anu Malik, B R Chopra and Shammi Kapoor. A commemorative stamp was issued by India Post on 3 May 2013.His granddaughter Niharica Raizada is also an actress.