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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 and Mohammed Rafi but not with leading Bollywood female singer Lata Mangeshkar. However, Mangeshkar's song Saari Saari Raat Teri Yaad Satayein (from the 1958 film Aji Bas Shukriya) was used in the 1973 Hindi film Taxi Driver, for which Nayyar was music director. 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,[2] Nayyar began working with singer Mahendra Kapoor.[3] 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).

O. P. Nayyar
OP Nayyar 2013 stamp of India.jpg
Nayyar on a 2013 stamp of India
Background information
Native name
ओंकार प्रसाद नैय्यर
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
InstrumentsPiano, Dholak, Keyboard, Drums
Years active1951–1995

Nayyar co-produced songs with Shamshad Begum (including "Kajra Mohabbatwala"), and after Madhubala's 1969 death Vyjayanthimala, 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, Alka Yagnik, Krishna Kale, Vani Jayaram and Kavita Krishanmurthy.[3] 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 more active during the 1960s than he was in the following decade, 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, Asha Parekh, Mumtaz, Sharmila Tagore, Madhubala, Rajshree, Rekha, Ameeta and Shyama. In addition to Hindi films, Nayyar composed for Neerajanam 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 mention it. She mentions S.D. Burman's name instead. Why OP and Asha parted away in 1974, both of them never talked about it.

Early life and careerEdit

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.

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".[4]

Personal lifeEdit

In retirement Nayyar stayed in touch with only a few people, including Gajendra Singh and Ahmed Wasi; Singh included him as a judge for his television show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. Wasi interviewed Nayyar twice on Vividh Bharati and presented a series of six one-hour episodes, Mujhe Yaad Sab Hai Zaraa Zaraa, about his life.

He had two brothers: P. P. (a physician) and G. P. (a retired army dentist in Secunderabad,who passed away in 2010). Nayyar's wife, Saroj Mohini 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 Fifty Five" by Geeta Roy / 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.[5][6]



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

External linksEdit