Top 50 Bollywood songs composed by O. P. Nayyar

O. P. Nayyar, Madan Mohan and R. D. Burman – three great names in the glorious era of Bollywood music. But these three talented musicians have always been blamed by music experts of that age for westernizing Indian tunes in an era when classical or semi-classical tunes were regarded as great. Time passed by, tastes of music lovers changed, themes of songs and movies changed like seasons and many experiments were done in Indian music to give it freshness. But time itself proved that blames of those music experts proved to be wrong, and so were their predictions, because the music compositions by O. P. Nayyar, Madan Mohan and R. D. Burman stood against the test of time, and still loved by melodious lovers who tag those tunes as ‘beautiful pieces of compositions’ of the golden era of Indian music, though most of those songs are 50 or 60 years old.

Yes, these three composers were far advanced than the age of music then, and could foresee the music tastes of future youth, and they succeeded also. That may be the reason why, apart from their original compositions, the remixed, rehashed and cover versions are appreciated by music lovers. Their songs have repeated value, that’s why they have been remixed and revived several times. Yes, good piece of music is ageless, and it entertains all groups. Nayyar is also credited to bringing Punjabi folk music to Bollywood.

Brief Introduction

Through this column, I tried to collect best of 50 songs composed by Omkar Prasad Nayyar, best known as O. P. Nayyar, who introduced many western instruments to Indian music. He gave some of the best songs of Asha Bhosle, and also played a significant role in shaping her career in the 1960s, when Bollywood music was ruled by Asha’s elder sister Lata. In this list, where I picked 50 of best compositions of old generation Hindi music, I couldn’t add at least one song sung by Lata.

It’s quite surprising that O. P. Nayyar remains the only leading and successful composer of 1950s & 1960s, who never approached Lata Mangeshkar with any one of his compositions at a time when Lata was the other name of lead heroine’s voice on Bollywood screen. Perhaps the only other established composer who never worked with Lata was Nadeem-Shravan of new age Bollywood music, who worked with Lata for the first time after 14 years of their association with Bollywood. Though O. P. Nayyar never worked with Lata, he gives numero uno position to Lata among female voices. He justifies that his compositions never suited Lata’s voice.

When most music directors of 1960s hesitated to give best tunes and songs reserved for heroines to Asha, O. P. Nayyar used her voice for almost all best tunes of his peak age in Hindi cinema. Prior to his association with Asha Bhosle in the late 1950s, he extensively worked with Shamshad Begam and Geeta Dutt. Rafi remained his most favourite male voice throughout 1950s and 1960s, and often used the singer’s voice to record songs of different actors in the same film. Also he has made Rafi sang for one song filmed on Kishore Kumar. He worked with other male voices like Kishore Kumar and Mukesh for a few movies also. He also exclusively worked with Guru Dutt and Dev Anand for many of their movies.

Without going into those details, let me list best of O. P. Nayyar’s 50 compositions, which I liked most. He composed music for 72 Bollywood films, with a total song count of 550+. Majrooh Sultanpuri and S. H. Bihari remained his popular lyricists. As usual, I had to exclude some of his best tunes. Yet I have tried my level best to include his most memorable songs, and as I am ardent lover of songs of 1960s, this era tunes top the list. I have sorted best 50 O. P. Nayyar songs on the year of release, and thus an amazing journey from his first phase of professional life to his last years, and here it is.   

1. Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar from Aar Paar (1954) – Aar Paar played a significant role in recognizing the talents of Nayyar during his early days, and all its songs were extremely popular. He was only 3 films old in the industry before Aar Paar happened. If you list 10 of his major music works, Aar Paar can never miss the list. The lyrics penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri also played a significant role in making its songs such a huge hit. O. P. Nayyar gave some of the best songs of Shamshad Begum’s career, and this song is definitely one among the best. Guru Dutt and Shyama were featured in this song.

Quite interestingly, in 2004, within a short interval of time, three of its revived versions topped the music charts of television shows, and all the three versions were equally popular. This song stood 12th in the Binaca geetmala annual list of 1954. The female labourer lip syncing this song is none other than actress Kumkum, who later went on to become a star. It was Kumkum’s first screen appearance too. Actor Jagdeep was seen as a boy dancing in this song.

2. Babuji Dheere Chalna from Aar Paar (1954) Music or words, which one was better? Impossible to say. In true sense, it was a unique blend of words and music, quite rare in Bollywood, and this evergreen song in fresh in the minds of music lovers, even 60 years after release. Geeta Dutt rendered her voice for this solo, and the song featured Shakira and Guru Dutt.

3. Udhar Tum Haseen Ho Idhar Dil Jawan Hai from Mr & Mrs. 55 (1955) – The song featured Madhubala and Guru Dutt in a romantic mood, and voices were rendered by Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt. Majrooh Sultanpuri penned the beautiful lyrics. Thandi Hawa Kali Ghata is a popular song featuring lead actress. Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Ji is yet another popular duet sung by the same duo, but featured Johny Walker.

4. Ai Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahaan from C. I. D (1956) O. P. Nayyar gave two of the best songs to Johny Walker in his filmy journey, and both the songs were sung by Rafi. Which one is the first? Jaane Kaha Mera from Mr & Mrs. 55, which I have mentioned above. Nayyar has frequently used Rafi’s voice to record songs of Johny Walker. But all those songs were not so popular. Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics were most recently used to coin the film title of Karan Johar’s E Dil Hai Mushkil in 2016. The film also featured a Rafi song from An Evening in Paris (Title track), though it was edited off in the final cut. But the movie was dragged to controversies following Anushka’s character’s remarks in the film about Rafi’s singing style.   

5. Ankhon Hi Ankhon Mein Ishara Ho Gaya from C. I. D (1956) – One of the best duets of Rafi and Geeta Dutt, the song starred Dev Anand and Shakila. Lyrics were penned by Jaan Nisaar Akhtar. The music score earned him First Filmfare nomination for best music. He along with Shankar Jaikishen (for Chori Chori) were nominated.

6. Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana from C. I. D (1956) – The song featured Waheeda Rehman, who played a negative shaded character, and one of her most early works. Shamshad Begum sang this song, and its extremely popular lyrics were penned by Majrooh Sulthanpuri. The composer also made use of Italy’s Mandolin in its orchestra.

7. Yu To Humne Lakh Haseen from Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) – Yet another accomplished work of Nayyar in the 1950s, music played a major role to make this film a super hit. Shammi Kapoor and Ameeta played major roles, and they appeared in this song as well. Sahir Ludhianvi penned its lyrics and Mohammed Rafi did playback singing. Though the movie was a major hit, it couldn’t propel the career of its lead actress, Ameeta.

8. Jawaniyan Yeh Mast Mast Bin Piye from Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) – Yet another Rafi solo featuring Shammi Kapoor, its lyrics were penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

9. Dekho Kasam Se Dekho Kasam Se from Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) One of the early associations of O. P. Nayyar and Asha Bhosle, who predicted then, the pair is to bring some of the best magical songs in the next One-and-a-half decade or so! Nayyar played a magnificent role in shaping Asha’s career who was then only a struggling singer. Nayyar identified the true potential of this great singer, and recorded many youthful songs in her voice, which younger generations still cherish. Rafi sang this duet with Asha, Majrooh Sultanpuri penned the lyrics and film’s lead pair was featured in this song. Sar Par Topi and Aaye Hain Door Se are two other popular duets sung by the duo.

10. Maang Ke Saath from Naya Daur (1957) – The songs of the movie and its super success played significant role in establishing the musical career of Asha Bhosle. She sang this duet with Rafi, and the lyrics of all its songs were penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala appeared in this song filmed on a horse cart. An interesting fact to add – Asha Bhosle sang maximum duets with both the leading voices of Bollywood – Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar.

11. Ude Jab Jab from Naya Daur (1957) – This lovely choreographed song presented Dilip Kumar in a stylish ada, alongside his co-actress, Vyjayanthimala.  Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle rendered their beautiful voices. The movie also included the popular patriotic song, Yeh Desh Hai Veer, inspiring song, Saathi Haath Badhana and dance number, Reshmi Shalwar Kurta and many more. Nayyar bagged his single Filmfare award for best music for this movie. Despite being a great composer, he earned nominations for two movies only – C. I. D and Phagun only, and all these movies belong to late-1950s, completing a hat-trick. He never earned any nomination later, though many of his popular songs which are still popular belong to 1960s.

12. Aaiye Meherbaan from Howrah Bridge (1958) – This sensuous club song picturized on Madhubala is also very memorable. Madhubala looks gorgeous in this song, where she tries to woo charming hero, Ashok Kumar. The music director himself certifies that he got attracted to silky smooth voice of Asha after the song was recorded and movie was released. There were rumours of a romantic relationship of Nayyar and Asha soon after the huge success of Naya Daur and Howrah Bridge. True or not, Asha was professionally and emotionally linked with O. P. Nayyar since 1959, and recorded lion share of his songs till they split in 1972. Their collaboration during this period can be termed as legendary. Qamar Jalalabadi penned the lyrics of majority of its songs, including this one. Yeh Kya Kar Daala Tune is yet another popular Asha solo from the movie.

13. Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu from Howrah Bridge (1958) The song played a magnificent role in shaping the career of dancer Helen, and Geeta Dutt’s voice also played its part. Qamar Jalalabadi penned the lyrics, who wrote the lyrics of Aaiye Meherbaan as well.

14. Ek Pardesi Mera Dil Le Gaya from Phagun (1958) – The movie is best remembered for this dance sequence featuring Madhubala. One of the biggest box office hits of the year, Mohammed Rafi & Asha Bhosle sang this duet. The use of been (used by snake charmers) as a musical instrument was the highlight of this song.

15. Bahut Shukriya Badi Meherbani from Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962)A lovely composition by O. P. Nayyar, it’s one of the rare popular songs of Sadhna – Asha Bhosle combination. Mohammed Rafi sang aside Asha Bhosle for this evergreen romantic song pictured on Joy Mukherjee and Sadhna, and the movie also included one more popular duet of same pair, Aap Yun Hi Agar Humse Milte Rahe. Shamsul Huda Bihari penned two of its songs – Bahut Shukriya and Mujhe Dekhkar Aapka Muskurana.

16. Aap Yun Hi Agar Humse Milte Rahe from Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962) The movie included some of the best duets of Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle, which can be categorized as timeless classics. This particular song featuring the lead pair was written by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan.

17. Main Pyar Ka Rahi Hoon from Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962) As told above, this duet was sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle. Raja Mehdi Ali Khan penned the lyrics. Also read: Top 25 songs of Asha Bhosle – O. P. Nayyar combination.

18. Mujhe Dekhkar Aapka Muskurana from Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962) This romantic track sung by Mohammed Rafi was written by S. H. Bihari. The song featured Joy Mukherjee and Sadhna. Whenever I hear the romantic track “Mujhe Raat Din” of 1999 film, Sangursh sung by Sonu Nigam, I feel that it’s heavily inspired from this song. Feels like hearing Rafi’s song once again in Sonu Nigam’s voice. What do you feel?

19. Banda Parvar Thaam Lo Jigar from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) – The title track featured its lead pair, Joy Mukherjee and Asha Bhosle. The song was sung by Rafi, and penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

20. Lakhon Hain Nigah Mein from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) – The song featured Joy Mukherjee, and this solo was sung by Rafi. Words belong to Majrooh Sultanpuri.

21. Aankhon Se Jo Utri Hai Dil Mein from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) Asha Bhosle worked extensively for Asha Parekh in the 1960s, and they together gave some of the classic hits mostly composed by R. D Burman and O. P. Nayyar. Aankhon Se Jo Utri Hai Dil Mein is definitely one of the best compositions of O. P. Nayyar pictured on Asha Parekh, who worked with Joy Mukherjee for several romantic movies in the 1960s and remained successful. Read Top 15 songs featuring Asha Parekh. Majrooh Sultanpuri penned its magical lyrics.

22. Aanchal Mein Saja Lena from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) The song featured Asha Parekh and Joy Mukherjee, and this solo track was sung by Rafi. Majrooh Sultanpuri penned the lyrics.

23. Subhanallah Haseen Chehra from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) In 1960s, Shammi Kapoor mostly played a charming romantic hero onscreen and Shankar Jaikishen composed majority of his songs. Only in rare cases, he worked with other composers and succeeded as well. O. P. Nayyar for Kashmir Ki Kali and R. D. Burman for Teesri Manzil are best instances. When OP Nayyar made Shammi Kapoor to listen to some of his compositions, Shammi immediately said yes. The soundtrack included 8 songs, and all the songs became huge hits. This solo track featured Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore.

24. Yeh Chand Sa Roshan Chehra from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) – Lovely pictured on a lake of Kashmir, Shammi Kapoor too was in his full energy mood for this song, while Sharmila Tagore as a shy girl. It’s a beautiful romantic solo sung by Rafi with lovely lyrics penned by S. H. Bihari. Also read: Top 20 peppy songs of Shammi Kapoor.

25. Isharon Isharon Men Dil Lenewale from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) – This duet featuring the lead pair Shammi and Sharmila was sung by Rafi and Asha and lovely filmed too. S. H. Bihari penned lyrics of all its songs, including this one. O.P. Nayyar used the Asha Bhosle-Mohammad Rafi duo for his most popular duets, and songs of Kashmir Ki Kali, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, Tumsa Nahi Dekha etc remain immensely popular to this day.

26. Diwana Hua Badal from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) – The movie marked Bollywood debut of Sharmila Tagore, and O. P. Nayyar used voices of Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhosle to record all the songs of its lead pair. Asha Bhosle’s voice was a perfect match to Sharmila, and since then many composers regularly used Asha’s voice to record songs for Sharmila Tagore. The movie also included Asha’s popular tracks – Ishare and Meri Jaan Balle Balle. 

27. Hai Duniya Usiki Zamana Usika from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) – While the rest of the songs were filled with fun, this one is an exception. This sad song featuring Shammi Kapoor was sung by Rafi. Also read: Soulful melodies of Shammi Kapoor sung by Rafi.

28. Pukarta Chala Hoon Main from Mere Sanam (1965) One of my most favourite Rafi songs always, it’s a teasing song featuring Biswajeet and Asha Parekh. I don’t know what the hidden beauty behind this Rafi song is; I want to hear it over again every time I listen to it. The lyrics were penned by lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri. It’s the opening song of the movie. In the 1960s, it was a trend – the opening song was filmed in some moving vehicle, say a car, jeep or train, and in most cases, hero sings a solo number. If it’s not possible, such a song is fitted somewhere in the film. How many evergreen classics have been born this way! Countless. Also read: Top 20 songs of Nayyar – Rafi Combination.

29. Jaayiye Aap Kahan Jaayenge from Mere Sanam (1965)All the songs of Mere Sanam composed by O. P. Nayyar are extremely melodious, and regarded as one of the best works of the composer. This solo song featured Asha Parekh and Biswajeet, and they together paired earlier in Bin Badal Barsat (1963).The soundtrack consists of 9 songs and Majrooh Sultanpuri penned its evergreen lyrics.

30. Hue Hain Tumpe Aashiq Hum from Mere Sanam (1965) All the songs of the movie are so beautiful that I want to include all its song. It is indeed a difficult task to exclude one or two tracks, yet I completed the list by choosing 5 of them. Needless to say, all the compositions are classy, and brings back many nostalgic moments which I experienced in my childhood days of 1980s, when Chitrahaar and Rangoli were the only two options to enjoy film songs those days. This Rafi solo was penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri and featured its lead pair.

There is yet another teasing number sung by Mohd. Rafi featuring the lead pair. Nothing more to say, Humdum Mere Maan Bhi Jaao still looks nice to watch on television.

31. Yeh Hai Reshmi Zulfein from Mere Sanam (1965)Mumtaz played small roles in main stream Bollywood films during this period, and this popular sizzling number boosted her career a lot. This song was beautifully rendered in sensuous voice by Asha. O. P. Nayyar always preferred to record songs of lead heroine in Asha’s voice which was quite uncommon those days. Also read: Top 15 Asha songs of my choice.

Yeh Hai Reshmi Zulfein is one of the extremely popular songs of O. P. Nayyar-Asha combination, and so is Jaayiye Aap Kahan Jaayenge. The extremely popular solo of Asha, Aao Huzoor Tum Ko also looks similar to this composition, in rendering as well as tune and orchestra. The actresses in both these songs the actresses try to woo the lead hero – Biswajeet, a strange co-incidence. Both these hit films are best known for its music composed by Nayyar, than the movie and acting of its lead pairs.

32. Aap Ke Haseen Rukh from Baharein Phir Bhi Aayegi (1966) This timeless romantic solo sung by Rafi is definitely one of his most loved songs. Dharmendra sync-lipped to this solo, and Mala Sinha and Tanuja were also featured in this song. Also read: Top Tanuja Songs. The beautifully written Urdu lines and the close camera shots played a significant role in making this song such a huge chartbuster. The song was penned by Anjaan, one of his best poems as well. After the recording of this song, there was a disagreement between Rafi and the composer, and Nayyar recorded the rest of its songs with Mahendra Kapoor, and gave him more opportunities also. Koi Kehde is yet another popular solo sung by Asha Bhosle, featuring Dharmendra and Tanuja.

baharein phir phi aayegi

33. Haat Aaya Hai from Dil Aur Mohabbat (1968) – Though Asha Parekh and Sharmila Tagore remained two most successful and glamorous actresses of Bollywood in the 1960s & Lata Mangeshkar remained the high demanding voice for all lead heroines, both these actresses were fortunate enough to record a few highly romantic and extremely popular romantic songs in Asha Bhosle’s voice. Quite co-incidence, majority of such classic hits were composed by O. P. Nayyar.

Joy Mukherjee was featured aside Sharmila Tagore in this beautiful duet, and sung by Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhosle. Shewan Rizvi penned its beautiful lyrics.

34. Lakhon Hain Yahan Dilwale from Kismat (1968) – O. P. Nayyar was known for his ego problems, and he often discontinue work with that artist. During the song recording of Baharein Phir Bhi Aayegi, he had a clash with Rafi, and after that he gave many of his famous tunes to Mahendra Kapoor, who got benefited with it. Songs of Kismat and Baharein Phir Bhi Aayegi can be tagged under this category. The song featuring Biswajeet is such a lovely song. 

35. Aao Husur Tum Ko from Kismat (1968) – Top song featuring Babita, this solo is regarded as one among the top compositions of O. P. Nayyar sung by Asha Bhosle. This sizzling track is inspired from the composer’s another popular track, Yeh Hai Reshmi Zulfein featuring Mumtaz, and in both these songs, as told earlier, the actresses try to woo the lead hero – Biswajeet. Kismat is regarded as one of the top class works of O. P. Nayyar. Noor Devasi penned its lyrics, quite a rare name in Bollywood. His name is also credited as Noor Lucknavi, who penned lyrics for 1950s movies like Parchayiyan (1952) & Subha Ka Tarah (1954) earlier. S. H. Bihari penned the rest 4 songs of the film (except theme music). Yet Aao Husur Tum Ko still remains the most popular song of the album.

36. Aankhon Mein Qayamat Ke Kajal from Kismat (1968) – Yet another popular romantic track sung by Mahendra Kapoor, the song featured its lead pair, Biswajeet and Babita.

37. Kajra Mohabbat Wala from Kismat (1968) O. P. Nayyar-Shamshad Begum combination gave some of the best songs in the 1950s. The duet – Kajra Mohabbatwala sung by Asha Bhosle and Shamshad Begum also became extremely popular, and it’s the last song sung by Shamshad Begum in O. P. Nayyar’s composition. Biswajeet dressed up as a girl and Babita as a Pathan as a heroine and the song got noticed for its unique filming. The song brought some old memories of ‘Reshmi Salwar ‘ song from Naya Daur, which was also filmed in similar fashion. Quite co-incidence, Music composer and the playback singers remained the same.

38. Woh Haseen Dard De Do from Humsaya (1968) Joy Mukherjee played double role in this film. One of them was a Chinese officer, who has a Chinese girlfriend. Mala Sinha looked different in Chinese getup, and this song is included in my personal favourites sung by Asha Bhosle. In this song, Mala Sinha tries to stop her lover from leaving, and the lyrics penned by Shevan Rizvi are really touching, and suits well with the situation.

39. Dil Ki Aavaaz Bhi Sun Mere Fasaane Pe Na Jaa Do from Humsaya (1968) This very popular and touching song sung by Rafi can never miss my list. The song featured Joy Mukherjee and Sharmila Tagore, and lyrics were penned by Shevan Rizvi. Hasrat Jaipuri and S. H. Bihari also penned lyrics for the movie, yet couple of songs written by Shevan Risvi turned extremely popular.

40. Zara Haule Haule Chalo More Sajna from Sawan Ki Ghata (1966) – It was quite rare in those days, a music composer other than SJ composed songs for Shammi Kapoor. When O. P.Nayyar made Shammi hear a few tunes he already composed, Shammi Kapoor instantly agreed to choose Nayyar as music composer for Kashmir Ki Kali (1964). Shakti Samanta who was the director of the film chose the rest tunes for his next film – Sawan Ki Ghata released two years later. Though songs can’t be compared with Nayyar’s classic work for Kashmir Ki Kali, songs were well received. Quite co-incidental, both the movies starred Sharmila as female lead. Also, was the film’s title coined using the phrase, Sawan Ki Ghata from the popular duet of Kashmir Ki Kali? When I hear ‘Deewana Hua Badal‘, I feel so. Manoj Kumar and Sharmila Tagore were filmed in this song, penned by S. H. Bihari.

41. Aaj Koi Pyaar Se from Sawan Ki Ghata (1966) – Sawan Ki Ghata is remembered for two best solos sung by Asha, apart from Meri Jaan Tum Pe Sadke in two versions sung by Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor. S. H. Bihari who frequently worked with the music director wrote its wonderful lyrics as well. One of the very first wet sari songs that Mumtaz figured in, she played second fiddle in the film. But she was the real show stealer of the film, and outshined Sharmila Tagore, who played the female lead.

42. Yehi Woh Jagah Hai, Yahi Woh Fizaye from Yeh Raat Phir na Aayegi (1966) – Same year O. P. Nayyar composed songs for yet another Sharmila film, co-staring Biswajit Chatterjee. This movie also starred Mumtaz in a supporting role. Out of the 8 songs composed by Nayyar, he used Asha Bhosle’s voice for 7 of its songs except one solo sung by Mahendra Kapoor. Yehi Woh Jagah Hai is a solo version sung by Asha Bhosle. S. H. Bihari penned lyrics for all its 8 songs.

43. Mera Pyar Woh Hain from Yeh Raat Phir na Aayegi (1966) – It’s the single solo male track of the album, and the song featured its lead pair, Biswajit and Sharmila Tagore. It’s indeed one of the career best romantic tracks sung by Mahendra Kapoor.

44. Phir Miloge Kabhi Is Baat Ka Vada Karlo from Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966) The movie featured two duets sung by Rafi and Asha, and this track deserves special mention. The song featuring its lead pair was penned by S. H. Bihari.

45. Chal Akela from Sambandh (1969) – This composition is quite different from Nayyar style, and one of the rarest Nayyar compositions sung by Mukesh. Lyrics were penned by Kavi Prateep, and the song featured Deb Mukherjee. With the late 1960s, the career of Nayyar had already started deteriorating, and with R. D. Burman in the beginning of 1970s, he met the same fate of other music directors who ruled the roost in 1950s and 1960s throughout. But this song is exceptionally well.

46. Title track from Ek Bar Muskura Do (1972) – Audience might have forgotten the film Ek Bar Muskura Do. What remains in memory is a handful of Nayyar songs sung by Kishore Kumar. The song featuring Deb Mukherjee and Tanuja was penned by Shevan Rizvi. Quite sadly, post 1960s, only one album could find its place in my list (except Nischay of 1990s), though he was active in the industry till 1995. From the career peak in the mid-1960s to the lowest phase, his compositions never returned to his glorious yesterdays. After Nayyar and Asha Bhosle decided not to work together in 1972, Nayyar’s career graph had a steep fall. But Asha in association with R. D. Burman established herself as the most successful female singer of the industry quite matching with her elder sister.

47. Tu Auron Ki Kyun Ho Gayee from Ek Bar Muskura Do (1972) – One of the finest tunes of Nayyar-Kishore da combination, the song is unique for its Kishore’s style of singing. This song is considered one of his best, heart-touching, passionate and fastest songs in a sad mood. The club song featuring Deb Mukherjee and Tanuja was penned by Indeevar. Also read: Top 50 songs of Kishore Kumar.

48. Chehare Se Zaraa from Ek Bar Muskura Do (1972) The song in Mukesh’s voice make us remember SJ’s songs composed for Raj Kapoor. It’s quite surprising that this song featured Deb Mukherjee aside Tanuja. S. H. Bihari penned the lyrics. Also read: Top songs featuring Tanuja.

49. Roop Tera Aisa Darpan from Ek Bar Muskura Do (1972) This solo featuring Deb Mukherjee was sung by Kishore Kumar and this romantic track was penned by Indeevar. Ek Bar Muskura Do is one of the rarest works of O. P. Nayyar, where he used the voices of all the three legendary male singers of Bollywood – Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore.

50. Dekho Dekho Tum from Nischaiy (1992) – Now it’s time to conclude the list. All the songs of Nischay give as reminiscences of old era music, no doubt, and I like all its songs. Though it can’t be compared with Nayyar’s greatest hits of 50s and 60s, I would like to conclude this list, mentioning at least one song he composed post 1975. This romantic song belonging to the present era was sung by Amit Kumar and Kavita Krishnamurthy. Salman Khan and Karisma Kapoor starred in this song. Compositions like Sun Mere Sajna and Nayee Surahi Taza Paani also tried to bring those glorious era and singing style back once again.

Before I conclude….

I would like to mention a few more of my favourite Nayyar songs which couldn’t enter the list of Top 50. Hope you will like it.

51. Sun Sun Sun Sun Zaalima from Aar Paar

52. Ye Lo Main Haari Piya from Aar Paar

53. Mohabbat Ka Haath Jawani Ka Palla from Howrah Bridge

54. Thandi Hawa Kali Ghata from Mr. and Mrs. 55 

55. Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Ji from Mr. and Mrs. 55 

56. Jaata Kanhan Hai Diwane from C. I. D

57. Leke Pahela Pahela Pyar from C. I. D

58. Boojh Mera Kya Naav Re from C. I. D

59. Aaye Hain Door Se from Tumsa Nahin Dekha

60. Sar Par Topi from Tumsa Nahin Dekha

61. Chhupanewale Saamane Aa from Tumsa Nahin Dekha

62. Saathi Haath Badhana from Naya Daur

63. Yeh Desh Hai Veer from Naya Daur

64. Reshmi Shalwar Kurta from Naya Daur

65. Yeh Kya Kar Daala Tune from Howrah Bridge

66. Aji Qibla from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon

67. Humdum Mere Khel Na Jaano from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon

68. Kahin Na Kahin Dil Lagana Padega from Kashmir Ki Kali

69. Meri Jaan Balle Balle from Kashmir Ki Kali

70. Tukde Hain Mere Dil Ke from Mere Sanam

71. Roka Kayi Baar Maine Dil Ki Umang Ko from Mere Sanam

72. Humdum Mere Maan Bhi Jao from Mere Sanam

73. Meri Neendon Mein Tum from Naya Andaz

74. Piya Piya Piya Mora Jiya Pukare from Baap Re Baap

75. Zulfon Ko Hataa Le Chehre Se from Sawan Ki Ghata

76. Badal Jaye Agar Mali from Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi

77. Tumhara Chahne Wala Khuda from Kahin Din Kahi Raat 

78. Nayee Surahi Taza Paani from Nischay

79. Sun Mere Sajna Sun from Nischay

To conclude: He never recorded songs with Lata, and did considerably less songs with Mukesh and Kishore Kumar. During the peak years too, he used Mukesh’s voice to record only 4 songs – Jhuka Jhuka Ke Nigahe from Miss Coco Cola (1955), Chal Chala from Sambandh (1969), Chehre Se Zara and Yeh Dil Lekar from Ek Baar Muskura Do (1972). Yet during his peak years, he was one of the most expensive music composers, who used to charge Rs. 1 lakh from film. His tunes were so fresh and provocative and had millions of fans. He created unconventional music using Jazz and Hindustani, and nicely blended instruments like piano, sitar, flute, western drums and even horse whip voices.

AIR didn’t play his songs for years. He invited criticism for not using Lata voice. Yet nothing upset him, and he went on to create magical tunes. Also read: O. P. Nayyar Vs Lata Mangeshkar – The story of a musical cold war. Interestingly, he used to read Ramayana in Urdu language as he never learned Hindi. A big salute to one of the biggest musical legends of Hindi cinema, who created new benchmarks in composing.

Also read a few articles on O. P. Nayyar who brought great reformations in Bollywood music in the old era. Here is the page link. Click on the images to read. 

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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2 Responses

  1. Michael Thomas says:

    I wd b greatful to you if you can point out the song opn had orchestrated with only four instruments.

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