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My Favourite Singers

, by O P Nayyar

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> My Favourite Singers, by O P Nayyar
post Feb 3 2007, 05:48 PM
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This is a rare interview of OPN, in which he tells MANY things about
his various singers ( he talks in DETAILS on Asha, Geeta, Shamshad,
Rafi & C H Aatma. Small comments are those of singers Talat, Manna
Dey, Mukesh, Kishore & UshaM )

This was sometime in July 1957....

In this post, I am adding comments only about CHAtma ( other singers'
comments to follow soon )


When a song for which he has composed the tune becomes a hit, the
music director is apt to take all the credit and the kudos himself. In
the flush of success, he forgets the voice of the voices which have,
in more senses than one, given the expression of life to his tune or
The composition is the composer's undoubtedly. He conceived it, gave
it shape and form, wove its pattern, hewed and bevelled it to fit the
situation and the sentiment, and gave it the flourish and the furbelow
which are the final touches of the artist's craft. So what ? Unsung
and unplayed, the composition is like a beautiful statue or painting
inert and static, until the singer with his or her voice breathes life
into it, imbues it with feeling and expression, and sends it forth
into the world to move a million hearts with its sentimental and
melodic appeal
Often, in moments of relaxation beside the sea - not many, alas,
nowadays with a schedule which practically covers the clock - as I
gaze into the tumbling waters, there rise before my mind's eye the
figures and faces of the distinguished and deservedly popular singers
of the Indian screen who have done just that with my compositions.

The waves now suddenly recede, as if in sympathy with the singer, who
is none other than C H Atma. I am overpowered by the compelling
character of his singing. If Atma has not yet achieved the success he
so richly deserves, it is because he has always to work under the
tremendous handicap of comparison with the immortal Saigal.
His relationship with me goes deeper and farther than that between a
composer and singer, for we have gone together through very hard
times. Once in those dark days when we were both down-and-out, Atma
and I recorded that best-selling disc, "Pritam Aan Milo", for which we
were paid the magnificent sum of Rs 15/- each. The song did serve to
bring Atma into the limelight, but my light was hidden under the
proverbial bushel, with no credit on the disc to the composer of the
The pictures for which I provide music are not usually suitable for
Atma's orotund voice, but I am always glad to use it whenever
opportunity offers - as it did in "Dhake Ki Malmal" for the song "Deya
To Jala"


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