O. P. Nayyar

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Nayyar on a stamp of India
Nayyar on a stamp of India
Background information
Birth nameOmkar Prasad Nayyar
Born(1926-01-16)16 January 1926
Lahore, Punjab, British India
Died28 January 2007(2007-01-28) (aged 81)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
GenresFilm score
Occupation(s)Singer, record producer, music director
Instrument(s)Piano, Dholak, Keyboard, Drums
Years active1951–1994

Omkar Prasad Nayyar (16 January 1926 – 28 January 2007) was an Indian film music composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, and musician. He is considered to be one of the most rhythmic and melodious music directors of the Hindi film industry.[1] He won the 1958 Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for Naya Daur. Nayyar worked extensively with singers Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle, Mohammed Rafi, though not with leading Bollywood female singer Lata Mangeshkar.

O. P. Nayyar had recognised Kishore Kumar long before he became a popular singer. The film like Baap Re Baap (1955) is one of Kishore Kumar hits in the characteristic "O. P." style as well as the film Raagini (1958), but the relationship did not endure.

Early life and career[edit]

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. Nayyar never worked with Lata Mangeshkar, though her song Saari Saari Raat Teri Yaad Satayein from the 1958 film Aji Bas Shukriyawas used in the 1973 Hindi film Taxi Driver, for which he was the music director.[a]

Nayyar's favorite Raga is Pilu in Hindustani classical music, its equivalent in Carnatic music being Kapi (raga) which eventually remained source for majority of his compositions, but he has been able to mesmerize everyone with no clues.

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".[3]

According to music and film expert Rajesh Subramanian, "Aap Ke 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,[4] Nayyar began working with singer Mahendra Kapoor.[5] Kapoor performed Nayyar's song "Badal Jaaye Agar Maali, 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).

Nayyar co-produced songs with Shamshad Begum (including "Kajra Mohabbatwala"), and after Madhubala's 1969 death Vyjayanthimala, Sadhana, Mala Sinha, Padmini, Asha Parekh and Sharmila Tagore lip-synced several Nayyar-Bhosle songs. Nayyar and Bhosle parted ways in 1974, and he then worked with Dilraj Kaur, Krishna Kalle, Vani Jayaram and Kavita Krishanmurthy.[5] Majrooh Sultanpuri and Sahir Ludhianvi wrote the lyrics for some of Nayyar's earlier songs, including "Naya Daur". Nayyar also worked with developing lyricists such as Jan Nisar Akhtar, Qamar Jalalabadi, S. H. Bihari and Ahmed Wasi. He began the tradition of assigning full, three-minute songs to comedians. Om Prakash sang Nayyar's "Churi Bane Kanta Bane" in Jaali Note and Eent ki dukhi paan ka ikka in Howrah Bridge and Johnny Walker sang "Aye Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahaan" in CID, "Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Jee" in Mr. & Mrs. 55, "Main Bambaika Baaboo, Naam Meraa Anjaanaa" in Naya Daur and "Bajewala" in Basant.

In addition to songs for Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt's, Thandi Thandi Hawaa, Nayyar wrote "Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawaanonkaa" (featuring Dilip Kumar and Ajit) for Naya Daur (1957). The song earned him the 1958 Filmfare Best Music Director Award. The last Nayyar song performed by Bhosle was "Chain Se Humko Kabhi". Intended for Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1973), disappeared in the film's final cut but won Bhosle the 1975 Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer. Nayyar was less active in the 1970s and did not compose music for younger actors such as Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan. His films included Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Guru Dutt, Dharmendra, Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee, Biswajit, Feroz Khan, Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala, Asha Parekh, Sadhana, Mumtaz, Sharmila Tagore, Rajshree, Rekha, Ameeta and Shyama. In addition to Hindi films, Nayyar composed for Neerajanam 1989 film in Telugu. He made a brief comeback during the 1990s with Mangni and Nishchay in 1992 and Zid in 1994. O.P. Nayyar played a major part in shaping up Asha's career, but Asha rarely mentions it. She mentions S. D. Burman's name instead. Why OP and Asha parted away in 1974, neither of them ever talked about it.

Personal life[edit]

He had three brothers: Elder brother colonel G. P. Nayyar (a retired army dentist in Secunderabad who died in 2010), then Dr. H.P. Nayyar (a physician, who died in 2005) the younger one is P. P. Nayyar (a physician, who was kidnapped in Australia since then he is missing). O. P. Nayyar's wife, Saroj Nayyar was a stage dancer before marriage and she came in touch with O. P. Nayyar at Lahore Radio Station at that time he was a singer at that station, Saroj Nayyar wrote the lyrics to "Preetam Aan Milo" (originally sung by C. H. Atma in 1945 which was used later in the film Mr. & Mrs. '55 by Geeta Dutt). 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.[6][7]



  • The Best Of O. P. Nayyar Vol. 1 to Vol. 6
  • Parichay – Introduction To India's Musical Geniuses (O. P. Nayyar)|Parichay – Introduction To India's Musical Geniuses
  • OP Nayyar-Penaz Masani – Dekho Mohabbat Ka Dastoor
  • OP Nayyar-Runa Laila - Presents The Loves (1984)
  • OP Nayyar-Penaz Masani – Jaane Do (1990)
  • OP Nayyar-Ashok Khosla – Naye Kapde Badlkar
  • OP Nayyar-Ashok Khosla – Ajnabi Shehar Mein
  • OP Nayyar-Runa Laila – Allah Ne Is Dil Ne
  • OP Nayyar-Runa Laila – Kehdo Is Raat Se
  • OP Nayyar-Runa Laila – Wadiyan Wadiyan
  • Golden Collection – O. P. Nayyar (compilation)
  • O. P. Nayyar, Asha Bhosle – Sunheri Yaadein


  1. ^ Contrary to popular perception, it was never due to any animosity between the two. In an interview, Lata Mangeshkar clarified, that she and O.P. Nayyar had no problem whatsoever. Nayyar believed that despite Lata being an excellent singer, his style could be better rendered by Asha Bhonsle or Geeta Dutt. Lata confirmed further that she agreed with that view. This goes well with the fact that her song Saari Saari Raat Teri Yaad Satayein was used by Nayyar Saheb.[2]


  1. ^ O.P.Nayyar – The Rhythm King – Hindi Film Music – Profiles. Cinema Sangeet (16 January 1926). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  2. ^ भारत रत्न Lata Mangeshkar के साथ कुछ पुरानी बातचीत | Seedhi Baat Lata Mangeshkar with Prabhu Chawla on YouTube
  3. ^ O.P.Nayyar's immortal relationship with Mohammad Rafi | Rafians tribute to a true Maestro – Mohd Rafi. Mohdrafi.com (12 August 2007). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  4. ^ "O.P. Nayyar", Hindilyrix, archived from the original on 6 June 2013, retrieved 29 January 2016
  5. ^ a b "The stubborn note of O P Nayyar", Rediff.com, 4 February 2003, archived from the original on 18 May 2012, retrieved 29 January 2016
  6. ^ Lohana, Avinash (17 January 2017) Warrior Savitri: OP Nayyar's granddaughter Niharica to act in a comedy film. Times of India.
  7. ^ Musician O P Nayyar's cardiologist grand-daughter Niharica Raizada in an item number – Indian Express. Archive.indianexpress.com (5 March 2013). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.

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