Classic music of Khayyam

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Khayyam recieving Padma Bhushan from Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh

He is not the Omar Khayyam known for his Persian poetry and couplets but he is Khayyam nevertheless, of India, his full name Mohammed Zahur “Khayyam” Hashmi,  and he says that he gives all his credit to his wife Jagjit Kaur who sang a gem in an old movie Shagoon ”˜Tum apna ranjo gham’ . In fact Shagoon was such a romantic film that its one time hero Kamaljit fell in love with its beautiful heroine Waheeda Rahman as he wooed her and married her.


Waheeda Rahman and Kamaljit in Shagoon  

”˜Khayyam Khayaam nahi hota’ ”“ says he without his wife who stood by him all the way through. Khayyam came from Pakistan where he was called Sharmaji for five years as he worked as Sharmaji-Vermaji composer duo having trained earlier under music guru Baba Chishti.

When in Mumbai he met Sahir Ludhianwi who recommended him to music directors Shankar-Jaikishan. They suggested that the main guy to impress upon was not them but Raj Kapoor.

“I took the challenge and wrote five dhuns and Raj Kapoor Sahib liked all of them and said ”˜ki panchon ki panchon mujhe chahiyen.”

Raj Kapoor went on and used them in his movie ”˜Phir Subah hogi’ and the songs became hits of the time. Notable amongst them were “Wo Subha Kabhi to Aayegi”, “Aasman Pe hai Khuda aur Zameen pe Hum” and “Chin-o-Arab Humara”.

Remembers Khayyam the time when his song in the movie ”˜Biwi’ namely ”˜song “Akele mein wo ghabrate to honge” sung by  Mohammed Rafi  was a huge hit. Whole of India was listening to it as it was always running 24 hours 7 days on some channel or the other.

Then came the film  Shola Aur Shabnam  that established Khayyam’s reputation as a great composer. The songs written by  Kaifi Azmi  are some of the greats of the Hindi Film Industry. From Shola Aur Shabnam “Jaane kya dhoondti rehti hein ye aankhen mujhmen” sung by Rafi and “Jeet Hi lenge baazi hum tum” sung by Lata and Rafi. Soon followed songs of the movie Kabhi Kabhie ”˜Main pal do pal ka shayar hun’ and ”˜Kabhi kabhie mere dil mein khayaal aata hai’ and as this music composer made music he earnt a couple of Film Fare Awards and finally was conferred Life Time Achievement Award in 2010 as well as a Padma Bhushan in 2011. He gave wonderful music to gems such as the music of movie ”˜Umrao Jaan’ and ”˜Bazaar’ ”“ such as ”˜Yeh kaunsi jagah hai ye kaun sa makaam hai’ and ”˜Dikhayi diye yun’.

Other memorable songs of Khayyam are film Lala Rukh “Hai Kali Kali ke lab par” sung by Rafi and from ‘Footpath’ –    “Shaam-e-Gham ki Kasam” sung by Talat Mehmood.  Mohhabat Isko Kehte hein movie gem was another hit filmed on Shashi Kapoor and Nanda –  “Theheriye hosh mein aa lun to chaley jaiyega” sung by Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur.

Khayyam worked with poets and gave them free ride to express under his music compositions.

The only tribute one can give to Khayyam is to give oneself time to this timeless musician whose music and songs have stood the test of time and hear his songs that are true classics in their appeal.

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