From a fan

I am no secret fan of O P Nayyar. But it is true that I hadn’t heard of OPN till I was about 14.

I was introduced to his music a few years earlier though. Mom used to start her household work with a 9 o’clock radio program that played, yes, Hindi movie songs. I couldn’t help but listen, and few years of listening told me that there was something that made “Jaaiye aap kahaan jayenge“, “Maang ke saath tumhaara“, “Laakhon hain nigaah mein” and “Huzure-waala” sound very similar. Each of those sounded like a slide to me, sit on one and next thing you know, it is over. No disruptions, smooth, and continuous. But not slow.

Just around the time when I learnt the concept of music director and all, Mom once asked me to buy an old music album called “Phir wohi dil layaa hoon“. At the T-series cassette store, I opened the cover and read the name, O P Nayyar.

College and hostel time brought about an avalanche of interest in music. And I learnt OPN did many non-horse-tap-beat songs as well. I did splurge my (parent’s) money in buying as many OPN albums as I could easily find. Though my hostel mates would only notice the complete Pink Floyd collection I burnt my Dad’s hard earned money on. OPN was relatively retro, and guys who could recall who composed “chain se humko kabhi” music-quiz nerds.

I always imagined how OPN would have fared with modern sounds and recording techniques, for he was tagged a modern guy back in his days. That wish did come true with OPN’s comeback attempt “Nischay“, a flop that starred one Salman Khan. I could not blame Amit Kumar for not doing a good job of “Kisi haseen yaar ki talash hai“, because the songs just didn’t have that ‘OP zing’ and lyrics were pure duh (chal mere ghode chal). Perhaps, everything has its own time.

But when it was his time, he was the king, and he ruled. Here is to the man from this fan – Mr Omkar Prasad Nayyar, the legacy you leave behind will make sure you won’t be forgotten.

Update: Entertaining an email request for my personal top 10 OPN songs. Limiting it to max 1 song per album, here it is.

  1. Main pyar ka raahi hoon (Ek Musafor Ek Hasina)
  2. Humne to dil ko aapke kadmon mein rakh diya (Mere Sanam)
  3. Deewana hua baadal (Kashmir Ki Kali)
  4. Aankhon hee aankhon mein ishara ho gaya (CID)
  5. Maang ke saath tumhara (Naya Daur)
  6. Humdum mere (Phir wohi dil laya hoon)
  7. Jara haule haule chalo mere saajna (Saawan ki ghata)
  8. Jawaniyan ye mast mast (Tumsa nahin dekha)
  9. Jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji (Mr and Mrs 55)
  10. Aankhon mein qayamat ke kaajal (Kismat)
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6 Responses

  1. The passing of OPN will certainly be mourned. However it might yet be an opportune moment to think of the epistemology of Hindi film music in a sensible way (Not the clamour of this new fad that Indian cinema is poised on the brink of global conquest).

    While Naushad was all about discretion, Madanmohan of yearning, Salilda and Sachinda of curiosity OPN was about sensibility. Almost Austenian and Flaubertian in the extent of stylistic realism that he seems superficial at times. While there was very little of subtlety in his compositions he also was possibly the only composer who never became coarse with time.

    How I do hope if and when the rational historian of Hindi Movie music does write her /his tale there will be pages about OPN and Geeta Dutt. What with aye dil aye diwaane (Baaz), Yeh lo main haari Piya (Aar Paar), Thandi hawa Kaali Ghata ( Mr and Mrs 55), Dil de daala (Musafirkhana),Jaata kahaan hai diwane (CID),Chor lootere daaku (Ustaad) this will be a most elegant episode. The style and panache is almost heart breaking tho’ devoid of any emotional roller coaters.

    For the moment all we can tell this voice / composer duo is- Kaisa jaadu balam tune dhara kho gaya nana sa dil hamara.

  2. Wah… Maang Ke Saath Tumhaara… meine… Maang Liya Sansaaar…

  3. yes, I felt passing of OPN as a personal loss!

    Thanks for the top 10’s SB, helps us salute the spirit of OPN!!

  4. Sad indeed. His distinctive style will sure live on.

    OPN was an interesting personality as well, with so much said and talked about him in his days. Not getting along well with producers due to his supposedly enhanced sense of dignity. Affairs with Asha and Geeta (is that true?). A fight (with Lata) that they say never took place. Fall out with Md Rafi. Demanding royalty on album sales (HMV?). Wonder how much and what is the truth about each of these.

  5. I loved the way you described his songs as a slide – sit on it and it’s over – no disruptions, nothing. How true!

  6. OPN was an interesting personality as well, with so much said and talked about him in his days. Not getting along well with producers due to his supposedly enhanced sense of dignity. Affairs with Asha and Geeta (is that true?). A fight (with Lata) that they say never took place. Fall out with Md Rafi. Demanding royalty on album sales (HMV?). Wonder how much and what is the truth about each of these.

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