O P NAYYAR: The man who took on Lata and won

E R RAMACHANDRAN writes: If somebody dared to oppose Lata Mangeshkar and yet made a career in Hindi Film Industry in the 1950s and ’60s, it was wishful thinking and could only be suicidal at worst.

O.P. Nayyar proved that he could do so and how he did!

Not for him compromises which marks the careers of most. Even when he fell out of Asha Bhonsle, he brought in Dilraj Kaur. He also encouraged Mahendra Kapoor to sing for him.

Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Kashmir Ki kali, Mere Sanam, CID, were all big hits due to foot-tapping music from OP Mohammed Rafi’s Jawani Aaye Masth Masth, Hum dum Mere, Pukartha Chalagaya, Yeh Bombai Meri Jaan were all great numbers.…

The last song Asha sang for him, after they had broken up, won her Filmfare award for Pran Jaye Par Vachan na Jaye, was the haunting song: Chain se hum ko kabhi..Aapne jeene na diya…

OP was versatile. He could compose with his signature beat music Yun tho humne lakh hassen dekhe. He was equally good in Mera naam chin chin chu, a foot-tapping song for bar-room dance for Howrah Bridge and Chotasa Balama based in Classical Raag.

O.P. Nayyar brought zing and romance to music in an era known mainly for songs based on classical raag mostly composed by Naushad. Much later R.D. Burman and now A.R. Rahman, to some extent, compose similar music.

But OP was OP. The first and the original….