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A Nayyar: A Pakistani Christian Film/Gazal Singer


Arther Nayyar, popularly known as A Nayyar, is a legend. With pride, love and talent. Nayyar was gifted who captivated the hearts of his fans as one of the leading playback singers of past. He served the country with all sincerity and devotion and received seven Nigar, eight Graduate, four Bolan, a National and Presidential awards.

A Nayyar

Nayyar used to live in Arifwala where his father was a government employee. He did not have access to radio, TV and even a Gramophone. All he had a Cinema close to his home from where he used to listen to songs and developed a keen interest in singing. He first sang National Anthem in Bazm-e-Adab in school performance and was highly appreciated by teachers.

Later, his family settled in Lahore where he joined St, Francis High School from where he completed his matriculation. Afterwards, he joined Fc College where he practiced singing and sang all types of song.
Nayyar did not received a proper music training but got a fine knowledge about classical singing from Samuel Mumtaz, who was a pastor with a proper know-how of classical singing. He polished his talent by listening to music maestros like Salamat Ali Khan, Amanat Ali Khan, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Mehdi Hassan, Noor Jahan, and Lata Mangeshkar.

After a lot of struggle to acquire an opportunity for singing in film industry, he finally got his first break in PTV through a programme Naey Fankaar produced by Rafique Warraich. The programme was meant to introduce new talent. Then he sang two songs for the movie Eik Gunah Aur Sahi with Nisar Bazmi’s compositions. Afterwards he sang a song which M Ashraf composed for him ‘Pyar tu eik din hona tha hona tha ho gya.’ It was a duet with Naheed Akhtar which became a popular street song. People started calling him the Pakistani Kishore Kumar as he used to do some yodeling in his songs.

After a downfall of film industry, and death of Waheed Murad’s death and Nadeem’s departure from Lahore for Karachi, the urdu film quality demised. He afterwards sang many duet Punjabi songs with Noor Johan but never compromised on the lyrics of songs. He refused the offers to sing songs copying Indian tunes. His continuous refusal to sing such songs offended film makers and hence he ultimately stopped getting anymore offers. He strongly believed that lyrics should not fall beyond the line of decency.

Speaking to Dawn News Nayyar said, “I never felt the desire to sing for Indian films. India is so rich in talent that they do not need artistes from any part of the world. Plus I found Indians biased. I am a Pakistani to the core of my heart. I can’t and will not tolerate discriminatory attitude towards a Pakistani. I served the country with all sincerity and devotion; so far I have received seven Nigar, eight Graduate, four Bolan, a National and Presidential awards. There are few other awards too. Perhaps someday I will get the Pride of Performance Award as that is the only thing missing.”