The king of rhythm and romance O P Nayyar was in his prime this time 50 years ago but as is usual with the film industry, his success graph this year had its highs and lows. Let’s revisit his memorable creations, that include some everlasting melodies.
Among Nayyar hits this year was the delayed and remade last film of Guru Dutt, Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi. Initial shooting for the film had begun in 1962 in the premises of the prestigious newspapers The Statesman, Calcutta and The Times of India, Bombay. But unfortunately, the film had to be reshot after Guru Dutt passed away and Dharmendra stepped in for the original hero Guru Dutt and Shahid Lateef took up the director’s megaphone.
The film had several hit songs including:
Koi keh de keh de keh de zamane se jaake (Aziz Kashmiri / Asha)
Dil to pehle hi se madhosh hai matwala hai (Shewan Rizvi / Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhosle)
Badal jaaye agar maali (title song by Mahendra Kapoor written by Kaifi Azmi)
Johny Walker had his own way of romancing his lady love. This song gives you a great tour of Calcutta complete with cycling around the Victoria Memorial and romance in the tram.
The lyrics leave you laughing:
Ban thhan ke yun kahaan chali ho fifty ki raftaar se
dil wala koi kood na jaaye chalti motor car se
chalte chalte padhti jao dil ka open letter ji
Suno suno Miss Chatterji, mere dil ka matter ji (Anjaan / Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhosle)
Aapke haseen rukh pe aaj naya noor hai remains the most popular song from the film, an evergreen hit. I have had the fortune of seeing the original clip of this beautiful song, starring Guru Dutt, in a documentary. Of course, the two heroes are not comparable and each had his own unique style.
Aap ke haseen rukh pe aaj naya noor hai (Anjaan / Rafi)
After Kashmir Ki Kali, OP Nayyar and Shakti Samanta came up with another winning score in Sawan Ki Ghata. Almost all songs were hits and remain popular till today. The lyrics were by S H Bihari.
Hothon pe hasi ankhon mein nasha, pehchan hai mere dilbar ki (Rafi-Asha)
Zulfon ko hata le chehre se, thoda sa ujala hone do (a leisurely romantic song by Rafi)
Meri jaan tumpe sadke, ehsaan itna kar do (a beautiful tandem by Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhosle)
Haule haule chalo more sajana, hum bhi peeche hain tumhare (the peppy tonga song by Asha, a speciality of OPN)
Mohabbat Zindagi Hai, directed by Jagdish Narula for producer K C Gulati, and was shot at Jharia Coal mines around Dhanbad by cinematographer V Ratra. Ratra was known as a Navketan/Dev Anand photographer and next time that Ratra visited the coal mines was in 1971 for Vijay Anand’s Tere Mere Sapne. Some very beautiful songs were composed by Nayyar for this film, lyrics by S H Bihari.
Na janee kyun humare dil ko tumne dil nahin samjha (Rafi)
Tum sab se hasin ho, aur sab se jawan ho (Asha / Mahendra Kapoor)
Raaton ko chori chori bole mora kangana (Asha)
Brij Sadanah’s Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi delivered one of the top scores of the year. Several songs from the film were hits including,
Har tukda mere dil ka deta hai duhai, dil toot gaya aapko awaz na aayi (Aziz Kashmiri / Asha)
Main shayad tumhare liye ajnabi hoon magar chand taare mujhe jante hain (S H Bihari / Asha)
Mera pyar wo hai ke mar kar bhi tumko juda apni bahon se (S H Bihari / Mahendra Kapoor)
In terms of nostalgic songs, this love song tops among songs that express the anguish of a lover trying to make her beloved remember their forgotten romance. Asha Bhosle’s expressive singing coupled with a delightfully sweet melody and lovely lyrics made this song become synonymous with romantic recollection.
Yahi woh jagah hai, yahi wo fizayen, yahin par kabhi aap humse mile the (S H Bihari / Asha)
Electrifying dance numbers featuring two gorgeous female dancers are a genre of their own in Hindi films. Who can forget the Sai-Subbulaxmi sisters in Aplam chaplam or Ragini and Padmini in Tu hai mera prem devata or several other such dance jugalbandis, several of them classical dances.
But among the very few dance duels picturised as club songs Huzurewala, jo ho ijazzat to hum ye saare jahan se keh dein between Helen and Madhumati with Manohar Deepak is surely one of the best known. The song gets a sensational start with the Spanish guitar and the saxophone and the verve-laden voices of Asha Bhosle and Meenu Purushottam perfectly match the energy of the dancers.
Huzurewala, jo ho ijazzat to hum ye saare jahan se keh dein (Aziz Kashmiri / Asha Bhosle and Meenu Purushottam)
But the one song from Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi closest to my heart is Phir miloge kabhi is baat ka vaada kar lo with Rafi’s magical singing and excellent accompaniment by Asha. S H Bihari’s pure romance lyrics and a melody perfected by the king of romance and rhythm, OPN made this one of the most romantic songs ever.
Phir miloge kabhi is baat ka vaada kar lo (S H Bihari /Rafi-Asha)
The films that did not fare well were Akalmand. Do Dilon Ki Dastan and Love & Murder. Although Akalmand did not do well at the box-office, OP Nayyar tried a rare combination of singers in O bekhabar tujhe kya pata with Bhupendra, Mahendra Kapoor and G M Durrani.
If we look back to this album where all lyrics were written by Aziz Kashmiri, we find a handful of songs that have survived and are known even today:
Diya hai aapne bada haseen sahara (Kishore)
Khubsoorat saathi, itni baat bata, kitna pyar hai dil mein tere (Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar)
Do Akalmand, huye fikarmand – the title track (Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi)
Do Dilon ki Dastan, produced and directed by actor Pradeep Kumar was a washout as a film and so was its music.
Vyjayanthimala was his heroine here. Nayyar did create some nice, chirpy songs such as the two Asha-Rafi duets – Milti hai agar nazron se nazar sharmate ho kyun, aji aine kaha and Aji pehli mulaqat mein nahin pyar jataya karte and the Asha solo Yeh machalta sama aa meri jaane jaan. The lyrics of these three songs were by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan.
Adarshlok’s Love and Murder was a Raja Paranjpe direction. Well known and respected in the industry, he had signed in Prithviraj Kapoor to do a pivotal role with lesser known Jaymala and Ramesh Deo in the lead. Love & Murder had the same fate as Do Dilon ki Dastan at the box office though I remember one Asha song fondly, Yeh jeevan jitni baar mile, mujhe sajna tera pyar mile.
Tere gesuyon ka saaya meri jaan jisne paya by Rafi (lyrics by Aziz Kashmiri) gained some popularity on radio, as did this Asha number, that was my favourite from the film – Yeh jeevan jitni baar mile, mujhe sajna tera pyar mile.
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