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That was her daur...

Naya Daur emerged as the 1957 OP Nayyar-Sahir Ludhianvi turnstiles-turner. Raju Bharatan tells more.
Hindustan Times | By Raju Bharatan, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 07, 2008 02:17 PM IST

Last Monday, it was about how, in Mehboob's Amar, pining for Dilip Kumar was an act taken over from Meena Kumari by Madhubala.

By a Madhubala vivifying Anjali in a Naushadian Yaman vein of Jaanewaale se. As yet another raag Yaman piece, one originally all set to be picturised on Madhubala alongside Dilip Kumar, could you pick out the OP Nayyar duet?

Tinted melody
I mean the all-time Maang ke saath tumhaaraa Asha-Rafi duet from BR Chopra's Naya Daur. The Yaman-tinted duet in which Dilip Kumar so rhythmically romances the tongaa accommodating Vyjayanthimala by his side, it's hoof beat in tune with their heartbeat.

Asha, vocally aptly, was to lip-sync Maang ke on a Madhubala Venus-winsomely chugging along in an Itarsi village, some 100 miles from the city with which Johnny Walker we Naya Daur-identify as Main Bambai kaa baaboo. Madhubala and Dilip Kumar then were getting along like a farmhouse on fire. Papa Ataullah Khan sensed as much, he made sure no way could the twain meet in far away Itarsi.

BR Chopra invoked Madhubala's Naya Daur contractual terms specifying a month's outdoor shooting. Khan saheb remained adamant about any such village set's re-locating inside Bombay.

That's how Vyjayanthimala materialised overnight in Itarsi to make Dilip's hair stand on end in a vein of Udeyjabjabzulfen teri. Dilip's neo — Naya Daur heroine came to Itarsi fresh from this pair's triumph in Bimal Roy's Devdas.

Indeed Vyjayanthimala had insisted that, not Suchitra Sen as Parbati, but herself playing Chandramukhi, represented the real Saratchandra Devdas heroine. Quality SD Burman tunes like Abaagey teri marzi (in raag Maaru Bihag with Ali Akbar Khan on the sarod) certainly put the stamp on Vyjayanthi as Chandramukhi.

As our Chandramukhi spurned Filmfare's 1956 Best Supporting Actress award for Devdas, there was quite a buzz in a viewership then near-exclusively fed on that mag. So much so Vyjayanthimala had to be appeased by being pronounced Filmfare Best Actress for Sadhna (1958).

Turn down
Here's where OP Nayyar, after clinching his maiden Filmfare Best Music award for Naya Daur, had shied away from BR Chopra'a Sadhna. After being committed in writing to compose for Sadhna even as he signed for Naya Daur. Naya Daur emerged as the 1957 OP Nayyar-Sahir Ludhianvi turnstiles-turner. Yet OP flatly refused to work with that poet's poet in Sadhna.That's how the BR banner's in-house music director, N Dutta, came to score Sahir's Aurat ne janam diyaa mardon ko in Sadhna.

That way OP, for all his insights into Urdu poetry, cared for neither Sahir nor Majrooh. OP dismissed all film music as tikdambaazi. "Even my Naya Daur tuning's all tikdambaazi," noted OP.

"Tell me, how much of Naya Daur's music do you today remember as written by Sahir?"

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