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Legendary OP Nayyar- The Romantic Music Maestro

OP Nayyar

Gautam Ganguly

Heartfelt tribute has been paid countrywide and even across the world  on January 16 by the connoisseurs of music while celebrating the birth anniversary of  OP Nayyar,  the legendary music director,  popularly described as ‘the rhythm king’of Bollywood. Despite the passage of time, OP Nayyar’s  lilting,  foot-tapping compositions remain eternal favourites to the innumerable aficionados of Bollywood film songs.

Empirical experiences reveal that ‘dance-friendly’, rhythmic compositions of OP Nayyar   suit the tastes of fast-pace- loving present generations.

The musical ‘pundits’ describe  the secret of OP Nayyar’s sky-rocketing popularity overcoming generation gap syndrome due to his superlative perfection of ‘horse beat rhythm’.  ‘clip-clop, clip-clop’, the  sound created by the hooves of horses galloping is typical of his characteristic music.

The song, ‘Deewana hua badal’ remains the milestone, the quintessential romantic song till date in the history of Bollywood that revolutionized the very concept and texture of Hindi filmy song. The scintillatingly melodious song is one of the most popular songs irrespective of age, culture, generations and transcending national boundaries. Composed as back as in 1964, this iconic song is one of the top twenty popular songs as per ‘You Tube’ views.   Even  neighbouring Pakistan, despite national animosity, takes pride in describing him as the ‘son of Lahore’ having been born there in the year 1926. The rendition of ‘Deewana hua’ by Khalid Baig and Nish Asher, two Pakistani celebrated singers ably supported by breath taking orchestration, is fantastic and soothing.

 Foot-tapping orchestration, superb blending of instruments especially Guitar, saxophone, accordion coupled with Indian Classical Instruments like Santoor, Sitar, Vina, Harmonium, Dholak and Tabla etc are the hallmarks of maestro’s immortal compositions that resulted in enriching Bollywood film songs with some magnificent opening ‘buzz’ and  instrumental preludes and interludes. Even a casual listener can never miss the melodious opening buzz in ‘Pukarta chala hoon mein ( Mere Sanam), ‘Babuji  dheere chalna’ (ArPaar) etc. As soon as the opening buzz is played, people are seen humming these songs.

OP Nayyar had a highly egoistic, stubborn uncompromising personality with ‘no nonsense nature’.  A casual follower of Bollywood music will be surprised to know that he never used  ‘Lata Mangeskar, the ‘Nightingale of India’, to sing his songs even once in his entire illustrious career displaying amazing boldness and courage of conviction.  Towards the end of his career, Nayyar fell out with his most loved singer, Mhd Rafi, for reporting late in recording a song.   Undaunted, the defiant Nayyar carried himself nonchalantly. Mahendra Kapoor, subsequently has made songs like  ‘ Lakhon hain yahaan dilwale’, ‘ Aankhow mei quamat ki( Kismat) etc evergreen.

One article is too small to highlight the greatness, multidimensional musical brilliance of OP Nayyar. I wind up my tribute with the appropriate accolades of Javed Akhtar, ‘Any lover of vintage Hindi film music can identify a Nayyar tune as easily as any art lover would recognize an MF Hussain painting.’

 

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