Naveen loved the insurance ad in which the father holds his heart and walks away when he is told that he will have to pay 10 lakhs for his son. Naveen used to say, ‘This is the way.’ Someone over there heard him. He left just like that.
As a nervous newcomer, Naveen signed six films before the release of his debut film Saawan Bhadon. These weren’t enough projects to take his career forward. Being true to his word, he decided to go ahead with those films. They brought him down. He could never ask for work from anyone. He would argue. ‘If they want me they will ask me’. He turned down the plum assignment. Even after being in hibernation for years when he impressed with Khosla Ka Ghosla, he didn’t look for work.
Naveen Nischal has sung some of the most popular songs on screen. In her debut film Sawan Bhadon, directed by Mohan Sehgal, she did a thumka to composer Sonik-Omi’s Rafi-composed Kaan Main Jhumka Chal. In Woh Main Nahi (where he played seven roles) with the team of Sawan Bhadon, he had Kishore Kumar’s Chaah Purush Ho Chahe Naari Thi.
In Parwana in which Amitabh Bachchan played the villain, Naveen sang Simti Si Sharmi Si in Kishore Kumar’s voice. This composition by Madan Mohan was a chartbuster. Perhaps the most famous Naveen Nischal song is another composition by Madan Mohan: Haste Zakhm Mein Tum Jo Mil Gaye To Yeh Lagta Hai.
Turning to Mukesh in Naadan (where he replaced Parikshit Sahni at the eleventh hour), Naveen sang the plaintive Jeevan Bhar Dhunda Jisko Woh Pyar Mila Par Nahi Mila.
In Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Buddha Mil Gaya, Naveen sang one of Kishore Kumar’s most popular love ballads: Raat Kali Ek Khwaab Mein Aayee and in the superhit Victoria 203, Kishore’s Tu Na Miley To Hum Jogi Ban Jayenge (the film’s third biggest hit ) lip-synced in Do Sell Without Support and After a Little Wait)
Mere Sajna flopped but Kishore’s Maine Kuch Khoya Hai Maine Kuch Paya Hai Tere Pyaar Mein became a hit as Rakhi Gulzar’s serenade for Naveen.
And to end with a song that is hardly remembered but one of the highlights of Naveen Nischal’s musical legacy: We have loved loneliness, Sholas in the pile of ashes
Daba Rakha Hai is sung by Jagjit Singh for Amarta in Naveen’s magnum opus Ek Baar Kaho.