N. Datta or Datta Naik – Profile
Datta Naik alias N. Datta was born in 1930 in Oroba, a small village in Goa. At the age of 12, he ran away from his family and came to Mumbai. There he learnt classical music and later worked as an assistant to Ghulam Haider. He also used to participate in street music programs, where Sachin Dev Burman spotted his talent. The maestro employed him as his assistant and while working there, N. Datta also developed a notable career as an independent composer. His compositions showed a fine sense of melody and orchestration. His close association with lyricist Sahir also ensured that his songs were always blessed by meaningful poetic lyrics.
Noted Marathi writer and music aficionado P.L. Deshpande had once famously written that whenever he listened to Lata’s emotional Dhool Ka Phool title song ‘Too Mere Pyaar Kaa Phool Hai’ (composed by N. Datta), he got the impression that each word, each note was rendered as if a tender flower petal was gently placed in flowing water! Lata and Mahendra Kapoor’s qawwali ‘Tere Pyaar Ka Aasraa Chaahataa Hoon’ from the same soundtrack was a huge hit and has remained popular till date. In Naach Ghar, Lata’s silken rendition of N. Datta’s waltz based club song ‘Aye Dil Zubaan Naa Khol’ subtly exposed this materialist world’s duplicity in Sahir’s sarcastic socialist lingo.
N. Datta’s later years were spent fighting ill health and commercial failure. The 1980 film Chehre Pe Chehra was his last Hindi film and on December 30, 1987 he breathed his last (Dr. Mandar V. Bichu)