OP Nayyar unlike OP Nayyar

December 14, 2017

Guest article by Ravindra Kelkar

(OP Nayyar lived life king size. Even when he was in financial difficulty in his later years, he was immaculately dressed and had a regal bearing; there was no dent in his famous pride – he refused the Lata Mangeshkar Award for music, which carried a substantial cash award for those days, when he was in need; he never cared for winning friends and impressing people. His music was as much in-your-face – the infectious rhythm and joy was recognizable from miles. It was impossible for such a person to be unlike him.

Ravindra Kelkar started his series on OP Nayyar with an overview of three phases of his career. After covering his peerless combination with Geeta Dutt, his influence on other music directors, and his duets in two parts, he brings the curtain down on the OPN series with his sixth and the last article – befittingly with his unique songs which are very different from his characteristic style.

This theme was first suggested to me by a reader Mukund Gadgil a few years ago, who also sent me a draft article. I made some suggestions with regard to the write-up and the song selection to fit with the general style of SoY, but I did not get any response from him. I tried a couple of times later to establish contact with him, but didn’t succeed. When Mr Kelkar came on board to write the series, I suggested the theme to him. The write-up is entirely his. I suggested some songs which fitted the theme according to me, and I am happy to note that most of those songs have been included. I thank Mr Kelkar for his highly acclaimed series, and this excellent concluding article. I also take this opportunity to thank Mr Gadgil for the theme idea. This may be the last on OP Nayyar, but I trust this is not the last of Mr Kelkar. Hopefully, we will have more from him on other themes. AK)

OP NayyarThis is the last post on OP (did I hear a collective sigh of relief?) and this interesting theme was suggested by AK. Before, we get into it, let us take a summarized look on OP’s career highlights.


1. OP composed the immortal song Preetam aan milo for CH Atma at the age of 19 in 1945, which turned out to be the foundation stone for his career as MD.
2. OP met Geeta Dutt during his first film Aaasman as an MD. Geeta recommended OP to Guru Dutt. The grand success of Aar Paar helped Guru Dutt as well as OP to get established in their respective careers.
3. OP didn’t work as an assistant to any MD and directly became an MD. This is quite remarkable when one considers that he had no formal musical training.
4. OP played a crucial role in adding a different dimension to Rafi’s vocal abilities by giving him songs which were playful, joyous, and romantically vibrant. In the rendition of these kind of songs, Rafi was matchless. The sustained success of OP-Rafi combination during 1954-1956, resulted in Rafi establishing himself as the undisputed number one male singer for many more years to come. (In my article on OPN’s best songs for Rafi, I had quoted a wag say that “OP Nayyar rescued Rafi from the staid classicism of Naushad”. – AK)
5. The success of Johnny Walker songs composed by OP in Aar Paar, Mr. and Mrs. 55 and CID, made a song of picturised on him an indispensable part of a large number of movies. In fact, Johnny Walker went on to play the role of a hero in many films.
6. CID remained the biggest hit of Guru Dutt films.
7. Naya Daur was the greatest hit of BR Films and helped it to become financially sound and stable.  By the same token, the commercial success of the film helped OP to bag the only Filmfare award of his career. The popularity of the music also led to the revival of Bhangra songs in the movies.
8. After the success of Naya Daur, OP concentrated on grooming Asha Bhosle as a serious competitor to Lata Mangeshkar.  His contribution in helping Asha Bhosle in achieving this objective is indisputable.
9. Kabhi aar kabhi paar was OP’s first super hit song of his film career and it led to the revival of Shamshad Begum’s career.
10. The superb music of Tumsa Nahi Dekha helped Nasir Husain and Shammi Kapoor to establish their careers as director and hero respectively.
11. OP started the practice of on-the-spot payment to the musicians at the conclusion of the recording of the song, when he saw the sad plight of the musicians, being made to beg repeatedly for the remuneration. The Music Players Association till today remains grateful to him for this.
12. OP was the first music director to charge 1 lakh rupees for a film and he used to claim that he was paid the highest royalty among the music directors (Or Naushad/CR? – AK).
13. The success of the film Ek Musafir Ek Hasina helped Joy Mukherjee to establish himself as a hero.
14. OP possibly remains the only MD who publicly gave credit to the lyric writers and the musicians and the singers in the success of his songs. There are many stories where he impulsively rewarded his musicians after the recording.
15. The greatest achievement of OP is that he is the only MD who became commercially successful and remained in the limelight for two decades without using the vocals of Lata Mangeshkar. He would tell us with impish smile on his face, “I take immense pleasure when somebody praises Lata Mangeshkar, since it indirectly enhances my achievement of being the only successful music director without using her voice”. It’s impossible to counter this logic!!!
16. His music career was practically finished after his break-up with Asha Bhosle in 1972. A thought strikes me here. Could he have managed to salvage his career if he had tried to approach Lata Mangeshkar to render his songs???  Remember the film industry is completely commercial, there are no permanent enemies or friends, there are only permanent interests!!! Of course, it’s a historical fact that OP didn’t stoop to this level. I leave it to the readers to ponder on this.

Let us now come back to the theme of this post. All great music directors of the golden era (1950 – 1970) had their own unique style of composition. Also, it is a well-known and accepted fact that the environment in which the child grows plays a crucial part in the making of the man. In that context, all music directors like Anil Biswas, Naushad, SD Burman, C Ramachandra, OP Nayyar, etc. developed their composing styles based upon the musical exposure they had while growing up. In OP’s case, he grew up in Lahore. The advent of KL Saigal through New Theatre’s movies from 1934-35 onwards coincided with OP’s childhood. OP has written very perceptively about this. He writes, “The pictures from New Theatres had taken full control of our minds. As soon as the news of the release of a new picture of New Theatres used to reach us, the whole Lahore would wait for it with great anticipation. The films used to get released at Nishat Talkies. Riding my bicycle, I would invariably reach the theatre, buy the ticket waiting in the long queue and see the movies. I remember seeing movies like Street Singer, Puran Bhagat, Chandidas, Devdas, President, Mukti, etc, over and over again. Saigal, Kananbala, Jamuna, Barua, Timir Burman, RC Boral, Pankaj Malik, etc. were like our family members. Of course, we had special affinity for KL Saigal, since he was from Punjab. His appearance and singing on the screen used to overwhelm me. And, the Shadaj of him was beyond compare, and would affect my tender heart with uncontrollable emotions. We Punjabi people are simpletons, raw, plain, without finesse. Our music is also full-throated, full of vigor, direct, fast-paced. The music of New Theatres was exactly opposite: soothing, hypnotic, subtle, pure like the light of a lamp in front of the God in a temple. This had a profound effect on us, we lost our sleep. It was beyond our imagination. Then came Khajanchi (1941) and it gave us a lot of comfort, we got our pride back. The credit for this belonged to Master Gulam Haider. The magical quality of his music was something different. He integrated the Punjabi folk/melody and rhythm effortlessly.” Hence, in the shaping of OP’s musical character these two factors played a big part. However, if one listens to OP’s songs in his first phase (before Aar Paar), the influence of New Theatre’s music is much more pronounced in comparison with Punjab folk music. The films flopped and nobody took much notice of its music. From Aar Paar onwards, OP created his distinct musical style which shook the prevalent Hindi Film Music scene. Success begets success, so OP carried on in the same style to consolidate his position as a music director in the film industry. As is to be expected, in the commercial world of Hindi Films, the producers also offered similar types of films to OP which were mostly romantic thrillers/comedies. OP very rarely got serious theme-based movies. So, all in all, close to 90% of the songs which OP composed for films have OP’s signature written all over it. Just to put a seal on it, even Lata Mangeshkar said in a tribute, when OP died, “OP’s work was different from his contemporaries. One could always identify an OP song. He left his distinct mark on his songs.

How does the identity of the composer get associated with the songs? I think, when we listen to any song, it creates an impression in our mind based upon the actual composition and the orchestration pieces. The combination of this forges the identity of the composer. So, when we say that this is a typical C Ramchandra song, it involves the effect of the combination of the tune along with the orchestration, which rings a bell in our mind and we connect it subconsciously with other songs which we have heard earlier. This means that the style of orchestration also plays an equally important role in creating the identity of the composer. OP used to compose tune on harmonium and orchestration pieces on piano, all by himself. He didn’t leave the orchestration part to his assistants, like some of the other MDs. Hence, it’s no surprise that most of his songs have OP-ness inherent in them.

Coming back to the theme of this blog, which type of OP songs do we associate with popular OP style? Mainly romantic/comedy/cabaret/bhangra/hoofbeat songs. Loosely speaking, all the songs which do not fall into these categories automatically qualify for this theme. OP in his film music career composed 600 songs. As per my assessment, around 70 songs fall into the category of “OP unlike OP”. These OP songs mainly comprise purely Hindustani classical-based songs, sad mood songs, songs which have philosophical orientation, bhajans, qawwalis, etc.

So, let us listen to some of the “OP unlike OP” songs. I have excluded songs like Pyar par bas to nahin hai, Raat bhar ka hai mehman andhera, Tum rooth ke mat jana, Tu hai mera prem devta, Bekasi had se jab gujar jaye, Main soya ankhiyan meeche, Jaan sake to jaan etc., because they have appeared already earlier on SOY. Quite a few of the songs mentioned below, are rarely heard, so they belong to the category of forgotten gems. But after listening to them, one would be compelled to admit that OP was a complete composer and had the talent and ability to handle all categories of songs expertly, like his renowned contemporaries.

1. Aji jaaneman from Mehbooba (1954) by Shamshad Begum, Lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

This was the first film OP was offered after the success of Aar Paar as a replacement of the original MD Roshan. As explained in my post on Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum came to OP’s rescue by agreeing to sing the songs. This film was produced by K Amarnath. Nalini Jaywant and Shammi Kapoor were the leading pair. This is an excellent song. It starts with a mandolin piece, followed by flute piece, and then an instrument piece (I have no idea what that instrument is, the same music piece is used in the interludes), then the proper song starts. The same rhythm is maintained by OP. Fabulous singing by Shamshad Begum, full of expressions. The more you listen, the more the song grows upon you.

2. Ajab hamaari hai zindagaani from Kabhi Andhera Kabhi Ujala (1958) by Asha Bhosle, Lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri

Such a soft and melodious song!! Excellent lyrics by Hasarat – Kabhi to mausam judaai ka hai, kabhi hain ghadiyaan madhur milan ki. The violin piece in the interlude as well as the use of shehnai enhance the effectiveness of the song, by complimenting the philosophical thoughts. The film is not available on DVD, so no way to know on whom it was picturized. Though Asha Bhosle has sung it beautifully, one feels this was a song fit for Lata Mangeshakr!!

3. Bedardi preet nahi jani from Quaidi (1957) by Asha Bhosle and Usha Mangeshkar, Lyrics Jaan Nisar Akhtar

This a raag Malhar based composition. Asha’s aalaps are wonderful. The video is not available on YouTube. Most probably it was picturized on Padmini and Helen dancing together. This film was based on the film Prisoner of Zenda. Lahore was a major centre of classical music in the northern India. OP must have attended many classical concerts during his stay and he must have assimilated a lot of it subconsciously, that’s the only possible explanation how he composed so many wonderful classical tunes. (Precursor of Roshan’s ‘Ae ri jaane na dungi’? Raag needs to be confirmed. – AK)

4. Aana hai to aa raah me kuchh pher nahi hai from Naya Daur (1957) by Rafi, Lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi

This is an outstanding song. A great example of the comingling of Sahir’s inspired lyrics with OP’s ability to tune them with equal felicity. It has shades of Yaman, Basant and Puriya-Dhanashree. This is what Pt Shivkumar Sharma has to say about the song –‘Sarangi kaun se scale me chal rahi hai; orchestration kahan se shuru hota hai; gana kahan se shuru hota hai; raag bhi bhinna prakriti ke aa jaate hain – ye sub unexpected hai. Komal rishabh lag raha hai aur Shuddha rishabh bhi aata hai. Ek ke baad ke surprise hai. Bilkul alag mood ka gaana hai!!’. The lyrics are out of this world – Milta hai jahan nyay woh darbar yahin hai/Sansar ki sabse badi sarkar yahin hai. Wah! Kya baat hai!! Rafi has done full justice to the song.

5. Saathi haath badhana from Naya Daur (1957) by Rafi, Asha Bhosle and chorus, Lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi

Naya Daur is a prime example of the versatility of OP. It had three bhangra songs, one tonga song, a Johny Walker song, a bhajan and this song. All of them of excellent quality. As per the situation of the song, OP has composed a perfect tune here. Once again, no praise can be too high for Sahir’s lyrics – Ek se ek mile to kataraa ban jaata hai dariya/ Ek se ek mile to zarra ban jata hai sehara/ Ek se ek mile to rai ban sakti hai parbat. Highlight of the song is excellent use of the chorus, it’s almost as if the chorus plays the role of the rhythm. One of the very few songs of OP where the male and female singers sing together. There was a part 2 of the song Saathi jaagate rehana, which was not included in the picture, which is not readily available. Here is the full song.

6. Soyee hai kahan ja kar from Mr Lambu by Suraiya, Lyrics Harsh

One of the two solos sung by Suraiya for OP. This is a rare song, not heard much, but nevertheless it’s very good. Suraiya has sung it with her usual sweetness. OP worked very less with Suraiya, Talat Mehmood, Mukesh and Manna Dey, but still produced memorable songs which exemplifies OP’s talent to extract the best from every singer.

7. Bhool ja ae dil from Hum Sub Chor Hain (1956) by Asha Bhosle, Lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

This song was not included in the film, so video is not available. One more song, in my view, where one feels the absence of Lata Mangeshkar.

8. Dekho bijali dole bin baadal ke from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) by Asha Bhosle and Usha Mangeshkar Lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

This a Raag Ramkali based composition. A beautiful song. Asha at her best.

9. Yeh duniya rahe na rahe kya pata from Mitti Mein Sona (1960) by Asha Bhosle, Lyrics SH lyricBihari

The video of this song is not available. This film was produced by Pradeep Kumar. This is a lori, most probably picturized on Mala Sinha. This is a fantastic song. The interludes based upon violin, flute and sarangi enhance the beauty of the song. Asha has sung it very well. The soft rhythm is based upon drum beats with brush strokes and double bass.

10. Chal akela, chal akela from Sambandh (1969) by Mukesh and chorus, Lyrics Kavi Pradeep

This film was produced by S Mukherjee. The only film by OP with lyrics by Kavi Pradeep. This song is used as a theme song in the movie. This song has impeccable orchestration, with chorus enhancing the quality of the song in no small measure. The words are out of this world. Kavi Pradeep and S Mukherjee were old friends, their association starting from the Bombay Talkies film ‘Kismet’ in 1940s. Kavi Pradeep had a habit of composing and singing a song or two himself in the film. He wrote this song, composed a tune and started to insist with S Mukherjee that he will sing this song, on his tune. Now to sell this idea to OP, S Mukherjee took Kavi Pradeep to OP. As expected, OP hit the roof and bluntly said, “If Kaviji, is going to compose tunes also, where is my need? I am going.” OP went home. The superb words of the song had made an impact on OP. OP got inspired by the words and created this fantastic tune. In the evening, S Mukherjee along with Kavi Pradeep came to OP’s house with the intention of pacifying OP, armed with a bottle of whiskey. OP played the tune to them. S Mukherjee instantly recognized the intrinsic worth of the tune and looked at Kaviji. Kavi Pradeep also realized it and said ‘What a fantastic tune OP! Please forget my tune and get it recorded by the singer of your choice’. OP gives credit to Asha Bhosle for suggesting Mukesh’s name for this song. As was the norm for OP, OP okayed the song at the first take. This made Mukesh nervous. He came running to OP, who was sitting in the recording room. He pleaded, ‘Please take a few more takes’, OP asked ‘Why?’. Mukesh said, ‘Everybody does this with my songs. They take 4/5 takes and select one of them’. OP pacified Mukesh and asked him to listen to the recording and then told him ‘You have sung it very well, I am fully satisfied. So, no need of any more takes’. OP himself considered this as the ‘theme song’ of his life after the end of his film career.

11. Tumko to karodo saal huye from Sambandh (1969) by Asha Bhosle, Lyrics Kavi Pradeep

Another song from the same film. OP was very proud of the musical score he came up with for this film. Almost all the songs from this film were “unlike OP”. This is another fine song. Taar Shehnai is played by Dakshina Mohan Tagore and Sarod by Zarin Daruwala. S Mukherjee and his wife attended the trial run of the film before the release. Their son Deb Mukherjee was making a debut in the film. After the screening was over, S Mukherjee remarked to his wife (who as a devoted mother had come to see her son’s performance) ‘Did you see what sort of acting your son has come up with? Consider yourself lucky that music is by OP. Whatever little success the film may enjoy will entirely be because of OP’s music’.

12. Meri duniya lut rahi thi from Mr and Mrs 55 (1955) by Rafi and chorus, Lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

This is a song that reflects the old style of gazal singing. In this, the qawwali rhythm is played when the mukhda is sung, accompanied by claps. The rhythm stops during the singing of the stanza. The rhythm again starts when the song comes back to the mukhda. Ustad Barkat Ali Khan was a prominent ghazal singer from Lahore and OP must have listened to his singing. The expressions Rafi has put in reflect the singing style of Ustad Barkat Ali, under the instructions from OP. As usual, Rafi has sung the song with great gusto.

13. Diya to jala sab raat re baalam from Dhake Ki Malmal (1956) by CH Atma, Lyrics Saroj Mohini Nayyar

What a fabulous song this is! This song OP had composed before coming into films. The original non-film song was sung by Manmohan Krishna. For the film, C.H. Atma sang it with superb emotions and expressions! You can clearly notice the influence of New Theatres music here. Also, C.H. Atma has sung it perfectly in the style of KL Saigal. OP had the highest regard for KL Saigal. He would say “You say there won’t be another Rafi for hundred years. I say, there won’t be another Saigal for thousand years!!” The interludes and the music arrangement is just perfect to make the song highly effective. Take special note of the end piece of violins which plays for more than twenty seconds. The violins take over seamlessly from where the singer has left. It evokes perfectly the pathos felt in longing in vain for the return of the lover.

14. Man mora bawra from Ragini (1958) by Rafi, Lyrics Jaan Nisar Akhtar

This is a Raag Darbari Kanada (?) based song. Originally, Bharat Bhushan was supposed to play the role that Kishore Kumar ended up playing. This song was recorded when it was supposed to be picturized on Bharat Bhushan. When Kishore Kumar replaced Bharat Bhushan, he requested OP to re-record the song in his voice. OP refused by saying that this classical song was not suitable for him. Kishore went to his brother Ashok Kumar, who was the producer of the film and made the same request. Ashok Kumar told him, “Sorry, music is OP’s domain and his word is final.” This is how Kishore Kumar ended up lip-synching this Rafi song in the film. (This song sounds very far from Darbari Kanada to me. – AK)

15. Chhed diye mere dil ke taar from Ragini (1958) by Amanat Ali and Fateh Ali, Lyrics Janisar Akhtar

This is a Raag Tilak Kamod based composition. When one listens to this song, it becomes very hard to believe that OP had no formal training in classical music. Ragini had another song Jogiya more ghar aaye sung by Amir Khan, which is a traditional bandish in Raag Lalit.

16. Savere ka suraj tumhare liye hai from Ek Baar Muskura Do (1972) by Kishore Kumar, Lyrics Indivar

This is a composition in raag Kalyan in Jhaptaal. This is a climax song in the film. During the recording of the song, Kishore got scolding from OP for not singing it correctly. In the third stanza, Kishore has imitated the style of KL Saigal. The interlude pieces based upon piano, violins, sitar and sarod are in typical OP style. I personally feel, Kishore Kumar was forced to stretch at many places in rendering this song.

I end this post with two songs of OP which are from his unreleased films. Many of you most probably haven’t heard them before. I hope you find them interesting.

17. Jhonke hawa ke sajna se ja ke from Jaane Mehboob, by Anuradha Paudwal, Lyrics Noor Devasi

This film was never released. Raj Babbar and Poonam Dhillon were the leading pair. Rohan Kapoor (son of Mahendra Kapoor) also had a role. In fact, it’s claimed that Rohan Kapoor had lip-synched a song sung by his father in this film! Anuradha Paudwal sang for OP in two films. Unfortunately, both of them got shelved. This melodious song was recorded in 1988, sung beautifully by Anuradha. One of the best songs of Anuradha Paudwal in my books. Also, definitely, a song fit for Lata Mangeshkar. Sarangi in this song is played by Ustad Sultan Khan. The songs from this film were released in 1990, but as far as I know this song is not available on internet.

18. Kisi se haal-e-dil apna yahan from Jawani Ki Raat by Rafi, lyrics SH Bihari.

This movie was supposed to be produced by SH Bihari. No other information is available about the film. This is a superb song, sung in his inimitable style by Rafi. The first aalap Rafi sings reminds you of Ek Musafir Ek Hasina song. The lyrics are excellent – Kinaare le chuke the jis ko badh ke aapne daaman mein, woh kashti pyaar ki doobi kahan, kahiye to kyun kahiye. The music is totally based upon harmonium, another favorite OP instrument, expertly played by Babu Sing. There was another song recorded in the voice of Vani Jairam for this film. The recording of these songs took place sometime in 1973-74. These two songs were never released and are not available on the internet. All listeners need to thank SOY for making this song and the previous song available on a public platform like internet.

Note: I am a keen listener of classical music, but not formally trained in it. I request the knowledgeable readers of SoY to confirm the ragas I have indicated in the songs.

1. O.P. Nayyar Kya Baat Hai Is Jadugar Ki. A coffee table book by Sateesh Paknikar. The comments from Pt. Shivkumar Sharma are from this book.
2. The Legendary O.P. Nayyar by Vishwas Nerurkar
3. O.P. Nayyar King of Melody by Lata Jagtiani

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mehfil Mein Meri December 14, 2017 at 10:04 am

what a brilliant theme AKji!
just loved it.
Couldn’t read it fully, its exhaustive! But will read and listen to the songs afterwards carefully.
thanx for the treat.
But i did have a sigh of relief! Just joking…………………
Its wonderful to read your articles Kelkarji.
May be this is your last on OP, but as Akji said, let it NOT be last on SoY.

2 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 14, 2017 at 11:35 am

AK ji and shri Ravindra kelkar ji,
A terrific series. Enjoyed every article. The best is this last one, in my opinion.
His series underlines one important point. Mere knowledge in not enough, one must also know how to use it. The depth of Kelkar ji’s knowledge is undisputed but his skill in using that effectively in the write ups is more laudable.
Thanks for the entertainment with plenty of information, mr. Kelkar.
-Arunkumar Deshmukh

3 D P Rangan December 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm

I have absolutely no hesitation in seconding the opinion expressed at //2 above. You are the final authority on OPN and all will turn to you in any future article on this august gentleman. Your swan song on OPN is indeed the toughest and most professional. I like the way you write the post. Instead of plunging straightaway into the foray you lead gradually towards the theme. That is what I have been practising in my earlier posts. You have given me fresh confidence to pursue in similar vein in any future venture (commentators beware. Steel yourself against future onslaughts from me with reluctant support from AK). What can I say except to state – ab uno disce omnes. I can describe you as – aut regina aut nihil. Your columna nubis is beyond compare. I have seen very many films from which you had posted but not heard the songs thereafter. I would urge you to do similar piece on another great MD – C Ramchandra.

4 Ashok M Vaishnav December 14, 2017 at 1:53 pm

In all its probabilities, what is loudly heard is not a collective sigh of relief, but a refrain of “OH, this series cannot get over”.

Indeed, Kelkarji has captured OPN’s all major facets in the series. But an Oliver Twist-ian urge still seeks ‘something more”

BTW, when I read the title, the only song that came to my mind was Aana Hai To AA Rah Mein Kuchh Der Nahin Hain.

So all other songs have been a great bonus!

5 KB December 14, 2017 at 2:49 pm

All these really sound very much unlike the compositions for which OP was known for ! Thanks for bring about .

6 Mehfil Mein Meri December 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

I’m back after reading full article & listening to all the songs.
I’ve no words to say how I’m feeling!
The article is mind blowing. Actually let me confess, O P is not my very favourite MD. But I do like many of his songs. I saw some unseen angles of his personality in this article and just loved it again!
Right from the first 16 points you have mentioned, till your last note, I read each & every word. It was a musical treat & I got know some unheard compositions by OP.
If I may put some of my observation as a lay man ( I don’t know any Raag, Can’t identify a single of it!)
-The first song from Mehbooba does sound like O P as far as the style of the tune goes, in my opinion
-To AKji, the 3rd song really has a resemblance to Aeri Jane Na doongi
– The Lambu Song has the typical ‘Matka Rhythm’ made popular by HB, invebted by Shyamsunder. so sounds very different than usual OP.
I would have included it in husnalal bhagatram collection, without giving it a secong thought.
Thanks again for highlighting this angle of O P.

7 Dinesh K Jain December 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm

AK and Kelkar ji, sincere thanks for a most absorbing series on the inimitable OPN, with such a grand finale!
The best of OPN, in my opinion, also unlike OPN, was the last he composed for Asha, Chain se hukko kabhi…

8 mumbaikar8 December 14, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
What a grand finale! Unlike OP as is as good as like OP:)
Each song is a treat and added information is icing on the cake as usual.
Though I was hoping for OP MK combination.
Like AK I would appeal to you to keep writing.

Thanks for uploading
Jhonke hawa ke sajna se ja ke
and a special thanks for
Kisi se haal-e-dil apna yahan

9 Giri December 14, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
Excellent article not only listing some “different” type of songs by OPN but giving additional information on him as well. I will join the chorus and say, “do not stop with this ” Please continue to enlighten and entertain us with more such articles. As D.P.Rangan ji has observed you have good writing abilities, which is not given to everybody. I would also request AK to encourage Kelkar to come out with more posts.

OPN was a very gifted, naturally talented composer who could turn out any type of pleasing music.I could never believe that he had no formal training in classical music.
By the way would you consider “Yeh duniya usiki” from “Kashmir ki kali” ( a rare sad song by him) with the saxophone dominating score as ‘unlike OPN’?

10 ksbhatia December 14, 2017 at 11:55 pm

Kelkar ji ;

You really have put your heart and Soul in your blog ….and with a great commitment and dedications . With you driving the Locomotive Engine on a perfect track , carrying lots of bogies of OPN ‘s less heard songs ; the journey is equally enjoyable even on steep grades , as on earlier occasion.

Right now started listening to songs , will come back soon .

11 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2017 at 12:39 am

Mehfil Mein Meri #1 and #6,
Thanks for your praise.

12 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2017 at 12:41 am

Arunkumar Deshmukh ji #2,
Thanks for your compliments. I am overwhelmed by your kind words.

13 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2017 at 12:44 am

DP Ragan Ji #3,
Thanks for your appreciation. I have always enjoyed your articles, so you have a fan.

14 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2017 at 12:47 am

Ashok M Vaishnav Ji #4,
Thanks for the praise. I hope you enjoyed the less heard songs. Did you like the unreleased songs of Anuradha Paudwal and Rafi?

15 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2017 at 12:49 am

KB #5,
Thanks for the nice words of appreciation. I hope you liked the less heard songs…

16 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2017 at 12:51 am

Dinesh K Jain Ji #7,
Thanks for the compliments. Many OP fans think likewise about Chain se ham ko kabhi.

17 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2017 at 12:55 am

mumbaikar8 #8,
Thanks for the praise. I am very pleased that you like the song selection. I had short listed 5 more songs which included an MK song. But due to space constraints I pruned the list.

18 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2017 at 12:58 am

Giri Ji #9,
Thanks for the appreciation. “Yeh duniya usi ki” falls into this category for sure.

19 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2017 at 1:00 am

ksbhatiya Ji #10,
Thanks for the praise. I hope you like the songs. I will like to know what you think of last two unreleased songs.

20 KB December 15, 2017 at 2:27 pm

As suggested by one of the writers earlier kindly bring out a similar write up on three more composers- C Ramachandra,Madan mohan and Chitragupta. However, I think this type of analysis already exists for SD and Shankar Jaikishan.

21 Hemant Paknikar December 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Dear Ravindraji,
Thank you for illuminating unseen and unheard aspects of OPN’s music !

In this comment I will deal with point no.12 ( Charging about Rs.1 lakh ) of your article.

In show biz like film industry, it is very hard to get reliable financial data .But I found one book in a prestigious research library .The book is “THE ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF THE FILM INDUSTRY IN INDIA” by Dr.Rikhab Dass Jain. This book has forward written by Dr.Sarvapalli Radhakrisnan,then Vice-president of India. It was published in 1960. It was a Ph.D. thesis submitted to Meerut University which was published in Book form also. As the name of the book suggest it deals with various economic aspects of the film industry in India.
I am quoting relevant portion on page 134,
“ In 1955-56 ,the following categories of the Music directors were noticed

The table No.XLVII — “Categories of Music Directors as per contract amounts”
Name of the music Director Amount per Picture
Naushad,C.Ramchandra,Shankar & Jaikishan From Rs 50,000 to Rs.60,000
S.D.Burman From Rs 35,000 to Rs.45,000
Anil Biswas, O.P.Naiyer From Rs 30,000 to Rs.35,000

Gulam Mohammand ,Madan Mohan,Roshan,
S.N.Tripathi, Bulo C. Rani,Chitra Gupta,Vinod,Nashad From Rs 10,000 to Rs.15,000

The position in the month of April 1958 was the following :-

O.P.Naiyer From Rs 1,00,000 to Rs.1,10,000
S.D.Burman, Shankar & Jaikishan, C.Ramchandra From Rs 50,000 to Rs.75,000
Naushad,Anil Biswas From Rs 40,000 to Rs.55,000
Madan Mohan ,Nashad ,Vinod,Roshan From Rs 12,000 to Rs.15,000
S.N.Tripathi,Bulo C. Rani ,Chitra Gupta ,Gulam Mohammand From Rs 8,000 to Rs.12,000
(I have reproduced the contents as it is.)
Please note: 1. Naushad & Nashad are different M.D.s ( I hope song-lovers know that !)
2. Some M.D. like Hemantkumar, Vasant Desai etc are absent.(may be due to availability of person or data .)
Few Observations about the Book and referred table .
1. This book (thesis ) was published 57 years back by interviewing lots of peoples connected with the film industry. The author is a researcher in economics and not a film-reporter in a filmy magazine. (so no gossips !). As in any academic research work, the data on various aspects are given in a large number of tables. The Forward by Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrisnan, then Vice-president of India ,mentions importance of such research work.
2. As per the table ,around 1958 ,O.P.Nayyar raised his contract amount to one lakh and above,which was first time any Music director demanded and got the contracts.Even in 1955-56,he was in the Third category with Anil Biswas.(Note that he started film music career around 1952 .)
3. Rates in the table gives some important clues about
1. Why some Music Directors had constant work even without having any megahits ?
Citragupta: 139 films,Ravi:110 films,Bulo C. Rani :62 films S.N. Tripathi :92 films
(compare with Nayyar 72,Naushad 75,C.Ramchandra 104,SDB 90 MadanMohan 92)

4. Why there were imitators of O.P.Nayyar ?
A. It is general observation that products of High brand value/price are imitated by players in the field. (Sony by Soni, AKAI BY AKA1 etc.).This is to exploit financial opportunity by copying highly successful product.
B. By flooding marketplace by cloning similar products ,distinctness (USP:Unique Selling Point) is destroyed and any advantage to charge a premium on distinctness of product is neutralized .
This point substantiates your views about influence of OPN on other MDs in that period.
4. It is very interesting that among singers, Lata Mangeshkar was charging highest and among MDs, OPN was charging highest but both did not work together !

22 Ravindra Kelkar December 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Hemant Paknikar #21,
This is a very valuable information and from your explanation it’ seems very reliable. If S Radhakrisan has written the foreword then it has to be authentic. So I think, this is a valid proof to establish that OP was really the 1st MD to charge 1 lac. In Raju Bharatan’s book on Naushad, he writes that Naushad was charging 1 lac per film way before 1958, which seems to be not very reliable information, it was probably based upon hearsay. In the same book Raju Bharatan has mentioned that C Ramchandra was paid RS 1 lac for film Azad when Naushad refused to score the music(since the time was too short). This could be an exception and not a norm for C Ramachandra.

Or could it be related to saving “Income Tax”, by not disclosing the real amount ?

Another surprise is that Madan Mohan was being paid so low fees.

I also agree in totality with you about your comments on OP’s impact on the Hindi Film Music industry in 1958.

And finally, you have made a very good observation about Lata and OP.

23 Ravindra Kelkar December 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

KB #20,
I am flattered by your suggestion. I don’t think I am qualified to write about C Ramachandra, Madan Mohan, Chitragupta because I haven’t followed their careers as closely as that of OP. I just regularly listen to their songs, that’s all. I am sure there are others in the SOY family who are more suitable to take up this.
However, my motto is never say no…so who knows?

24 ksbhatia December 17, 2017 at 12:18 am

Kelkar ji; @19′

I repeatedly heard the song….Jhonke hawa ke…..by Anuradha Paudwal and I go with your observation that if Lata had sung for OPN the song would have been like what Anuradha sang .

Actually such songs require matching environment to appreciate the song , its lyrics , beats and rhythm . Like in a car one just hear the song or music . The song needs to be ‘listened’ in a proper atmosphere .

In this song OPN is on a soft platform , using his fav. musical instruments with sarangi dominating . Over all a good melody but a similar song rings in my ears for a very close call…..Jare beiman tujh sa balm…..by Suman Kalyanpur from Hercules with music by N.Dutta.

Will come back with views on Rafi’song .

25 Subodh Agrawal December 17, 2017 at 9:01 am

Wonerful article Ravindra Kelkar. It is a very interesting theme and you have handled it very well. I enjoyed listening to the songs and reading your perceptive comments on each.

‘Pyar par bas to nahin hai’ is another song I wouldn’t have ascribed to OPN.

Song no. 3 does sound a lot like Kamod – the raga in which ‘E ri jaane na doongi’ is composed. But I am never sure with this group of ragas – Kamod, Gaud Malhar, Gaud Sarang, Chhayanat – that’s the main reason I clubbed them together in one post. To make things worse for non-experts like us many other ragas like Bihag, Hameer, Kedar, Bilawal also overlap with them a lot.

26 Ashok Kumar Tyagi December 17, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Ravindra ji,
This has been a thoroughly enjoyable series
Ditto what has been stated above by Arun Deshmukh, Anup,Giri and others. Carry on providing excellent support to AK ji.
Thanks and regards.

27 AK December 17, 2017 at 6:44 pm

I find that some collateral accolades have come my way. Thanks a lot to the readers for their appreciation. It has been a pleasure to work with Mr Kelkar.

This has already spurred Mr Rangan to threaten a deluge.

Mr Rangan,
I am sure readers would be mighty pleased. Don’t take scheduling as ‘reluctance”.

28 Ravindra Kelkar December 17, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Subodh Agarwal Ji #25,
Thanks for the appreciation. Thanks for endorsing the ragas.

29 Ravindra Kelkar December 17, 2017 at 10:33 pm

Ashok Kumar Tyagi Ji #26,
Thanks for the compliments.

30 Ravindra Kelkar December 17, 2017 at 10:44 pm

AK Ji #27,
I also enjoyed working with you and express my sincere thanks to you for giving me this opportunity. After reading your posts on OP-Rafi, OP-Shamshad and OP-Asha, I felt that I should use my knowledge about OP gathered over 40 + years, the various aspects of his music which I have come to appreciate and share it with the SOY family. This is what I have attempted to do in my posts. From various comments made by the SOY family members, it seems that more or less I have succeeded in my endeavour. So I once again thank AK and all the SOY family members for their support and encouragement.

31 AVADH LAL December 19, 2017 at 12:55 am

Dear Kelkar ji,
An outstanding write-up, Sir!
This was a superb dessert after the excellent fare that was served to the music lovers – a repast that was immensely enjoyable. An icing on the cake with cherries and all.
You are truly an authority insofar as maestro OPN is concerned. The love and joy that you derive from his music shows and you have superbly conveyed the nuances of his melodies to all of us. Thanks a lot.
However, I have a small confusion about the name of the lyricist of the first two songs of C.H Atma composed by O.P. Nayyar – Is she Saroj Mohini Iyer ( as given in some sites) or Saroj Mohini Nayyar (as mentioned in song no. 13 above?
Once again, Thank you very much indeed for your painstaking effort in revealing some of the hidden facets and gems of OPN’s music magic.
Avadh Lal

32 Ravindra Kelkar December 19, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Avadh Lal Ji #31,
Thanks for the compliments. The lyricist is Saroj Mohini Nayyar , wife of OP Nayyar. In the video link given in the song, also, it’s wrongly mentioned that lyrics are by Jan Nisar Akhtar

33 ksbhatia December 24, 2017 at 11:14 pm

Ravinder Kelkar ji ;

As we all know , OPN ‘s unique use of his fav. five lead instruments and the rhythm in orchestration lead to immediate recognition of his songs ; how come his assistant G.S. Kohli deviated from the mean graph and adopted a sort of different style in most of the films he did. He even roped in Lata to sing in some of his films .

34 Ravindra Kelkar December 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

kabhatia ji #33,
In my view, roughly 25% of GS Kohli’s songs have OP touch in them. His most famous movie was Shikari (Lead pair Ajit and Shakila). All the popular songs in that film like, Chaman ke phool, Agar main poochhoo jawab dena, Tum ko piya dil diya and Yeh rangeen mehfil, have more than shades of OP. Another famous song of his ‘Mana mere haseen sanam’ sung by Rafi in the film ‘Adventures of Robin Hood’ also resembles OP. Of course, he must have tried to create his own stamp but I don’t think he quite managed it. You are right that he used Lata’s voice in some songs, with probably the same intention of creating his own identity. I have no idea about the number of films he gave music to. My guesstimate is around 20 films…He used to look after the rhythm section for OP and he learned about composing music by observing OP in action.

35 ksbhatia December 27, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Ravindra Kelkar ji ;

I perfectly endorse your views . G. S. Kohli some time repeated his own tunes in other films like Char Darvesh too . I think he got exhausted too early after him giving music as independent MD . He however remained humble assistant to his master…OPN .

Meanwhile some little known MDs like …..S D Batish , Manohar ….etc…were composing some songs using rhythm of the likes of OPN and even using his signature instruments too . Just as a referal examples here are some , though these are off the subject of this article.

Yeh bheegi bheegi raat…..Rafi, Geeta Dutt….Dr.Z [1959]….Manohar


Tum Lakh Chalao Teer…..Asha….Ek Arman Mera[1959]…S D Batish


……there quite a few more , may be some time I will divert them to OPEN branch of S o Y later on.

36 Ravindra Kelkar December 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm

ksbhatia ji #35,
I fully agree with you.
As I have mentioned in my controversial write up ‘OP’s influence on other MDs’ , the songs you have listed are from that period from 1958 to 1961. As I wrote in the post, I have a list of around 100 songs from that period which have shades of OP. …I think it’s a good idea to post them in OPEN HOUSE.

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