Teesri Manzil (produced by Nasir but directed by Vijay Anand) is to this day regarded one of the all-time musical blockbusters of Hindi cinema, with songs like O Mere Sona Re, Deewana Mujhsa Nahin, O Haseena Zulfon Wali, Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera and Tumne Mujhe Dekha being hot favourites to this day.
But, RD was also sublime in Nasir saab’s Baharon Ke Sapne, a black-and-white film featuring the director’s favourite Asha Parekh and the then-unknown Rajesh Khanna in a drama on unemployment with stunning songs: Chunri Sambhal Gori (which Lataji counted among her most difficult songs), Aaja Piya Tohe Pyar Doon, Kya Janoon Sajan and the least known but enormously moving Zamane Ne Mare Jawan Kaise Kaise Zameen Kha Gayee Aasman Kaise Kaise, written by Majrooh Sultapnuri and sung by Mohd Rafi.
In 1968 Nasir and RD combined forces for the breezy musical Pyar Ka Mausam which boasted of such evergreen will ‘o’ wisp melodies as Ni Sultana Re, Na Jao Mere Humdum, Main Na Milungi Nazar Hatao, Aap Se Miliye, Aap Chahe Mujhko Aarzoo Hai Kissko and of course the Kishore/Rafi tandem Tum Bin Jaaon Kahan. Interestingly the Rafi version of the melody was filmed on the leading man Shashi Kapoor and the Kishore version on Bharat Bhushan who played the hero’s father: at that point of time Rafi was a much more popular singer.
Pyar Ka Mausam is the only Nasir-RD collaboration besides Baharon Ke Sapne to feature Lata Mangeshkar extensively. Otherwise in Teesri Manzil and later Yaadon Ki Baraat, another all-time musical blockbuster, Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai and Nasir Hussain’s last directorial Zabardast, it was Asha Bhosle all the way.
In Yaadon Ki Baarat only the title song featured Lataj, otherwise Asha Bhosle swung into action with the iconic Chura Liya Hai Tumne, Meri Soni Meri t
Tammana and Aapke Kamre Mein Koi Rehta Hai.
In the musical blockbuster Hum Kissise Kam Nahin, Asha and Rafi belted out hit after hit: Kya Hua Tera Vaada, Hai Agar Dushman, Yeh Ladka Haye Allah. It was Kishore with Asha in Humko Toh Yara Teri Yaari and Mil Gaya Humko Saathi (ripped off from ABBA’s Mama Mia). Rafi went solo in the plaintive Chand Mera Dil and RD himself pelted out Tum Kya Janon Mohabbat Kya Hai.
With Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai the RD-Nasir combo began to slow down in spite of Shailendra Singh’s Hoga Tumse Pyara Kaun, Rafi-Asha’s Pucho Na Yaar Kya Hua and RD’s Dil Lena Khel Hai Dildaar Ka.
With Manzil Manzil and Zabardast in 1984 and 1985 the RD-Nasir collaboration came to a subdued end, though it must be said that Manzil Manzil had at least one outstanding track Oh Meri Jaan Ab Nahin Rehna Tere Bina by Shailendra Singh (who sang for Sunny Deol) and Asha Bhosle.
It would be no exaggeration to say RD vibed the best with Nasir Hussain, besides Shakti Samanta. True, Nasir obtained blockbuster soundtracks from OP Nayyar (Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon) and Shankar-Jaikishan (Jab Pyar Kissise Hota Hai) in the early part of his filmmaking career. But after Teesri Manzil it was RD all the way.