Bollywood on Sunday mourned the death of music director OP Nayyar describing him as a composer with a distinctive style whose work was always original.
Singers and film personalities from across the spectrum paid rich tributes to Nayyar. Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, who never worked with him during her career as a playback singer, said that his "music always carried its own distinct mark".
"His work was different from his contemporaries. One could always identify an OP song. He left his distinct mark on his songs," Mangeshkar said.
Talking about her personal relations with Nayyar, she said, "I never sang for him, but contrary to what people say, we did not have any quarrel."
Nayyar died aged 81 of a heart attack at Thane.
As news of his death spread, a pall of gloom descended on the film industry, where Nayyar was regarded as one of the greatest composers of all times even though he had not been in the limelight for close to three decades.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt described Nayyar -- who was always seen in public in white attire and a hat -- as "an audacious man who was a king in his time".
"Asha Bhosle owes whatever she is to him. The distinct sensuality that was injected into Asha's singing was the contribution of this extraordinary man," Bhatt said.
Extensive use of the typical Punjabi rhythm was the main characteristic of Nayyar's music, Mangeshkar said.
Actress and Censor Board chief Sharmila Tagore, who starred in Kashmir Ki Kali, said, "We will remember him and his contributions will be there forever. His name will be there as long as there is the history of music."
Singer Manna Dey said he was saddened by Nayyar's death as no one could replace him. Actor Rajesh Khanna said "originality was the symbol" of Nayyar, whom he described as a "charismatic personality".
TV star and actress Tabassum said, "OP Nayyar's death is yet another shock for us. We were still to recover from the sorrow at the demise of (noted writer) Kamleshwarji when we heard of the death of kind-hearted Nayyar sahab."
Actor Shammi Kapoor, who had been the hero in many of Nayyar's songs said, "He was one of the finest music directors. A man who have India it style and rhythm."
"He was very innovative about voice control. He gave style to Rafi sahab and Ashaji."
Singer Sonu Nigam said it was a sad moment for the music industry because "we have lost a person of stature and calibre."
"I had some nice moments with him in Sa Re Ga Ma. Besides being a music director he was an idealist," he added.