Renowned music composer Khayyam no more
India's veteran composer Khayyam, best known for his music in classic films such as 'Kabhi Kabhie' and 'Umrao Jaan', passed away after prolonged illnesses at a hospital in Mumbai on August 22. He was 92.
The noted composer was admitted at the ICU at Sujay Hospital in suburban Juhu due to lung infection over 10 days ago. He was admitted to the hospital a few days ago owing to breathing issues and other age-related illnesses.
The musician's other notable works include films such as 'Trishul', 'Noorie' and 'Shola Aur Shabnam'.
Mohammed Zahur Hashmi, popularly known as Khayyam, was also a recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Bhushan.
Mohammed Zahur Hashmi was an Indian music director and background score composer whose career spanned four decades. He won three Filmfare Awards for Best Music in 1977 for Kabhi Kabhie and 1982 for Umrao Jaan, and a lifetime achievement award in 2010 . He was awarded the 2007 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Creative Music, by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance and Theatre.  He was awarded the third-highest civilian honor, Padma Bhushan, by the Government of India for 2011.
Khayyam was born as Sa'adat Hussein on February 18 in 1927 in Rahon in Punjab, British India. As a boy, Khayyam ran away to his uncle's house in New Delhi. There he was trained under classical vocalist and composer Pandit Amarnath.
Khayyam went to Lahore looking for roles in films. There he met Baba Chishti, a famous Punjabi music director. After listening to a composition by Chishti, he sung to him its first part. Impressed, Chishti gave him an offer of joining him as an assistant. Khayyam assisted Chishti for six months and came to Ludhiana in 1943. He was only 17 then.
After a stint in the Army in the Second World War, Khayyam went to Bombay to fulfil his dream and made his debut as Sharmaji of the Sharmaji-Varmaji composer duo with the movie Heer Ranjha in 1948. He went solo after his co-composer Rahman Varma went to the newly created Pakistan post partition. One of his earliest breaks was in the film Biwi (1950) in which the song "Akele Mein Woh Ghabrate To Honge" sung by Mohammed Rafi was a huge hit. "Shaam-e-Gham Ki Kasam" sung by Talat Mehmood from the film Footpath (1953) struck a chord among the masses. He gained greater recognition from the film Phir Subha Hogi (1958) starring Raj Kapoor and Mala Sinha, in which songs written by Sahir Ludhyanvi and sung by Mukesh and Asha Bhonsle were set to tune by Khayyam. Notable amongst them are "Wo Subha Kabhi To Aayegi", "Aasman Pehai Khuda Aur Zameen Pe Hum" and "Chin-o-Arab Humara". Songs from the film Shola Aur Shabnam (1961) written by Kaifi Azmi established Khayyam's reputation as a great composer. From the Chetan Anand directed Aakhri Khat (1966) "Baharon Mera Jeevan Bhi Sawaron" by Lata and "Aur Kuch Der Theher" by Rafi were huge hits. Other notable songs are from the film Shagoon (1964) which had Khayyam's wife Jagjit Kaur sing "Tum Apna Ranj-o-Gham" and "Tum Chali Jaogi".
The 1970s saw Khayyam team up with Sahir Ludhyanvi once again to work in the Yash Chopra-directed Kabhi Kabhie (1976). The songs showed Khayyam's versatility with huge hits like "Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein Khayal Aata Hai" (Sung by Mukesh and Lata), "Tere Chehre Se Nazar Nahin" (by Kishore & Lata) and "Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hoon" (by Mukesh).
Khayyam gave memorable music to the films of the late-1970s and early-1980s. Songs from Trishul, Thodi Si Bewafaai, Bazaar, Dard, Noorie, Nakhuda, Sawaal, Bepannah, and Khandaan are some of his best works.
Khayyam was still to deliver his best and the opportunity came in Muzaffar Ali's Umrao Jaan in 1981. He had Asha Bhonsle sing the songs "In Aankhon Ki Masti Ke", "Ye Kya Jagah Hai Doston", and "Dil Cheez Kya Hai", which are evergreen.
Rajesh Khanna liked the songs of the film Kabhi Kabhie so much that he gifted Khayyam one of his cars. Subsequently Khayyam composed music for Thodisi Bewafai, Dard (both 1981) and Dil-E-Nadaan (1982), all of them starring Khanna in the lead.