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A Tribute to O. P. Nayyar
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One of the most talented music directors and a very colourful personality , O.P. Nayyar, passed away on 28th January at Thane , near Bombay. He had been ailing for some time and he succumbed to a cardiac arrest. The music maestro had celebrated his 81st birthday just some days back, on 16th January.

Among the music directors of his generation, O.P. Nayyar was considered a maverick, charting his own course and composing music that had a strong stamp of individuality. Many of those who knew him felt that he was arrogant, but the actual listening audience loved his music.

Born in Lahore on January 16, 1926, Omkar Prasad Nayyar started his career with the background score for the film Kaneez (1949). He got a break as a composer in 1952 with Dalsukh Pancholi's 'Aasman', which was followed by 'Baaz' and 'Cham Chaamacham', all of which flopped.

However, he tasted his first commercial success few years later with Guru Dutt’s 'Aar Paar' (1954), which was followed by 'Mr & Mrs 55' and 'CID' both with Dutt.

He had some huge musical hits in his career, films like B.R. Chopra's 'Naya Daur', Shakti Samanta's 'Howrah Bridge' and two of Shammi Kapoor's biggest musical hits - 'Tumsa Nahin Dekha' and 'Kashmir Ki Kali'.

Famous for his decision to never work with Lata Mangeshkar at a time when lead actresses insisted on having her as their playback singer, Nayyar stuck to his favourites Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle and among mates Mohammed Rafi. His insistence on Asha Bhosle as his favourite singer in the nearly 60 films that he composed for invited talk of their romantic liaison. It also took their team to an unprecedented high, especially after 1957-1958 with a string of path-breaking songs like "Raaton ko chori chori" , "Zara haule haule haule chalo more saajna " , "Chain se humko kabhi" and many more.

He may have faded from the scene due to age and advent of newer composers , but the spirit of his songs like " Jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji" , " Mera naam Chin Chin Choo" and " Yeh desh hai veer jawanon ka" will always keep him alive , for the listeners of Hindi music and for the film industry.

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