Music director OP Nayyar, best known for classic songs like
Jhumka Gira Re
Pukarta Chala Hoon Mein
, died of cardiac arrest at his home in Thane on Sunday. He was 81.
Rani Nakhwa, with whose kin Nayyar was living for over 10 years after being estranged from his family, said, "He was perfectly alright until 3:30 pm, when he went to the toilet and collapsed inside. He was dead before we could summon medical help."
Born on January 16, 1926 in Lahore (now in Pakistan), Omkar Prasad Nayyar got his first break as a music composer in the film Kaneez (1949).
Director Guru Dutt's Aar Paar (1954) was his first major success. This led to his successful partnership with Dutt on films like Mr And Mrs 55 and CID.
As news of his death spread, a pall of gloom descended on Bollywood, where Nayyar was regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time 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, and among his evergreen tunes were Kahin Pe Nigahen Kanhi Pe Nishana (CID), Mang Ke Saath Tumhara (Naya Daur) and Ello Main Hari Piyan (Aar Paar).