OP Nayyar and RD Burman: The magicians in Asha Bhosle’s life | music | Hindustan Times
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OP Nayyar and RD Burman: The magicians in Asha Bhosle’s life

Asha Bhosle was a musical talent of extraordinary calibre. But she gave her best under the guidance of two exceptional music composers -- OP Nayyar and RD Burman.

music Updated: Sep 08, 2016 18:24 IST
Nivedita Mishra
Some of Asha Bhosle’s best  works have been with OP Nayyar (centre)  and RD Burman.
Some of Asha Bhosle’s best works have been with OP Nayyar (centre) and RD Burman. (Facebook, Twitter, HT Photo)

A singer is known for his or her association with the musician who gives them the platform to perform. If Naushad reveled in the talent of Suraiyya, if Madan Mohan gave Lata Mangeshkar her best songs, it was OP Nayyar and RD Burman who worked tirelessly with Asha Bhosle to deliver some of her work.

The collaboration between singer Asha Bhosle and music composer OP Nayyar is legendary. Together, they created some of the most memorable songs of Bollywood. Nayyar is often credited with helping Asha Bhosle develop a distinct style, very different from that of her older sister Lata, who dominated the scene in the 1950s and 1960s. Though, Asha sang her first solo song back in 1949, she had to wait till films like CID (1957) and Naya Daur (1957) came along, giving her a taste of success with a style of her own-fearless, breezy and sensuous.

The two met in 1952 at the music recording of a song titled Chham Chhama Chham. Asha lived under the shadow of her older sister, whose rare finesse, softness and subtlety of expression, ruled the roost then. She had to contend playing second fiddle for most parts. It is often said that it was OP Nayyar who convinced her that she was individualistic enough to strike out on her own. Under his guidance, Asha developed her carefree and fanciful style. She also mastered the cabaret-style singing bringing in sensuality into her music. Her duets with Mohammad Rafi, composed by Nayyar, were all chartbusters in their time. Songs from films like Kashmir Ki Kali and Tumsa Nahin Dekha remain immensely popular to this day.

After long years of professional association, the two parted ways on a rather bitter note in 1972, never to work together again. It has been speculated that Asha was emotionally involved with OP Nayyar.

After her split with Nayyar, Asha began a long and fruitful and a very happy relationship, professional and personal, with the legendary RD Burman. A relationship that lasted till his death in 1994, the full scope for her versatility as a singer was put to test as she explored genres as diverse as cabaret, rock, disco, ghazals and classical.

To Burman goes the credit of bringing youthful, Western-style singing. In fact, turn on any radio FM channel today and rewind to its retro section and all one is likely to get to hear are songs from the golden era of RD Burman-Asha Bhosle combine. From Dum Maro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) and Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne (Yaadon Ki Baaraat, 1973) to Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Caravan) she rocked the Western-style singing he introduced.

If the OP Nayyar era was remarkable for the duets of Asha and Rafi, the RD Burman period was significant with her duets with Kishore Kumar.

On her 83rd birthday, here are some of best collaborations between Asha Bhosle with OP Nayyar and RD Burman.

OP Nayyar songs:

Watch Ude Jab Jab Zulfen Teri (Film: Naya Daur | Singers Asha Bhosle & Mohd Rafi):

Watch Mang Ke Saath Tumhara (Film: Naya Daur | Singers Asha Bhosle & Mohd Rafi):

Watch Dekho Kasam Se Kahate Hain Tum Se (Film: Tumsa Nahin Dekha | Singers: Asha Bhosle, Md Rafi)

Watch Isharon Isharon Mein (Film: Kashmir Ki Kali | Singers: Asha Bhosle, Md Rafi)

Watch Ye Hai Reshmi Zulfon Ka Andhera (Film: Mere Sanam Singer: Asha Bhosle)

Watch Aao Huzoor Tumko (Film: Kismat | Singer: Asha Bhosle)

Watch Jaiye Aap Kahan Jayenge (Film: Mere Sanam | Singer: Asha Bhosle)

RD Burman songs:

Watch Dam Maro Dam (Film: Hare Rama Hare Krishna | Singer: Asha Bhosle)

Watch Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Film: Caravan | Singer: Asha Bhosle)

Watch Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko (Film: Yaadon Ki Baaraat | Singer: Asha Bhosle)

Watch Logo Na Maro Ise (Film: Anamika | Singer: Asha Bhosle)

Watch Jab Se Tum Ko (Film: Kaalia | Singers: Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar)

Watch Aati Rahengi Baharen (Film: Kasme Vaade | Singers: Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar & Amit Kumar)

Watch Phir Se Aaiyo Badra Bidesi Tere Pankhon Pe (Film: Namkeen | Singers: Asha Bhosle)

Watch Aanki Chali Baanki Chali (Film: Namkeen | Singers: Asha Bhosle)