Khayyam no more, leaves behind Umrao Jaan

Indian Bollywood music director and background score composer Mohammed Zahur Khayyam (R), better known as Khayyam, poses for photographs along with his wife and singer Jagjit Kaur (L) during his 92nd birthday celebration at his home in Mumbai on February 18, 2019. (Photo by STR / AFP)

Veteran music composer Khayyam of 'Umrao Jaan', 'Kabhi Kabhie' and 'Noorie' fame, passed away on Monday evening. He was 92.

He is survived by wife, Jagjit Kaur, herself an acclaimed singer. 

His son Pradeep died a few years ago.

He was admitted to a Mumbai hospital last week following old age complications.

"Veteran music composer Khayyam saab is no more. He breathed his last at Sujoy Hospital in Juhu, Mumbai at 9:30 PM. He was admitted there since last few days for age-related illness," Pritam Sharma,   the spokesperson for Khayyam-Jagjit Kaur Trust, said.

Mohammed Zahur "Khayyam" Hashmi, better known as Khayyam,  who has given several scores,  was one of the best music composers of Bollywood, cutting across generations.
Umrao Jaan directed by Muzaffar Ali has a super team of Rekha,  Asha Bhosale and lyricist  Akhlaq Mohammad Khan 'Shahryar. 

He was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Creative Music, by the Sangeet Natak Akademi and  Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2011.

After a stint in the Army in the Second World War, Khayyam went to Mumbai (then Bombay) to fulfil his dream. He made his debut as Sharmaji of the Sharmaji-Varmaji composer duo with the movie Heer Ranjha in 1948.

Shola Aur Shabnam established Khayyam's reputation as a composer. 

From "Jaane kya dhoondti rehti hein ye aanken mujhmen" sung by Mohammed Rafi and "Jeet Hi lenge Baazi Hum tum" sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi, from the Chetan Anand directed Aakhri Khat, "Baharon mera jeevan bhi sawaron" by Lata and "Aur kuch der theher, aur kuch der na ja" by Rafi,  are among his masterpieces.

The 1970s saw Khayyam team up with Sahir Ludhyanvi to work in the Yash Chopra-directed "Kabhi Kabhi". The songs were super hits and showed Khayyam's versatility with huge hits like "Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein Khayal ata hai", one of the best of Mukesh, "Tere chehre se nazar Nahin hatti" (Kishore Kumar and Lata) and "Mein Pal do pal ka Shayar Hun" (Mukesh). 

Khayyam's gave memorable music to the late-1970s and early-1980s was from Trishul, Thodi Si Bewafaai, Bazaar and Noorie. Again pairing with Sahir in Trishul he produced great songs like "Mohabbat bare kaam ki cheez hai" and "Janeman tum kamal karti ho" and the light "Gapuchi Gapuchi gam gam". "Hazar rahen" from Thodi si Bewafai and "Aaja re o mere dilbar Aaja" from Noorie and "Dikahyi Diye" from Bazaar are some noticeable songs. 

Khayyam also created music for the Kamal Amrohi directed "Razia Sultan" starring Dharmendra and Hema Malinu and his "Aye dil-e-nadan" is still in the lips of that generation.
Umrao Jaan in 1981 was something that remains uparalled and unmatched.  He made Asha Bhonsle sing songs which are indisputably her best. "In Aankhon ki masti ke", "Ye Kya Jagah hai doston" and "Dil Cheez kya hai" are evergreen and perhaps one of the best performances of Rekha.

Khayyam has always preferred to work with the poets having a strong background of poetry sidelining the regular film lyricists. 

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