Delhi: After battling for life in the ICU at a Mumbai hospital since July 28, legendary music composer Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi, popularly known as Khayyam, breathed his last at 9.30 pm on Monday.
The hospital declared cardiac arrest as the cause of his death. The Padma Bhushan recipient was admitted because of infection in lungs and was in critical condition ever since admission. Ghazal singer Talat Aziz, who was looking after the composer and his wife Jagjit Kaur during this tough phase, shared the news with Bombay Times.
“He was on the ventilator for a while. The doctors informed me that Khayyam saab passed away at 9.30 pm. I’ll take his body home today and will make arrangements for the burial tomorrow. He wanted his burial to happen at the Four Bungalows graveyard. I’m extremely worried about his wife Jagjit ji, as she, too, has been unwell for a while,” said Aziz.
Khayyam, 93, was the man behind some of Bollywood’s most celebrated soundtracks, Kabhi Kabhi (1972), Umrao Jaan (1981), Noorie (1979), Raziya Sultan (1983), Bazaar (1982), among many others. “I used to recite the Quran to him every day at the hospital. In fact, Khayyam saab’s wish was that I recite the surah Yaseen (recited at the time when someone is about to breathe his/her last) during his last moments. I did that today,” said Aziz, as he was on the way to the hospital. Musicians Salim Merchant and Sonu Nigam also arrived at the hospital. The last rites will be held tomorrow afternoon.
Khayyam’s music sounds just as sweet as his name.
As a homage to the legend, who died in Mumbai at the age of 92, we refresh some of his timeless melodies:
‘Zindagi jab bhi tere bazm mein’ (Umrao Jaan)
The song that gave Bollywood a new voice – Talat Aziz. Umrao Jaan may have been owned by Asha Bhonsle – her best album – but the young singer from Hyderabad caught the ear too, with his distinct voice and the effortless ease with which he conveyed the emotion of the song to the listener.
‘Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein’ (Kabhi Kabhie)
There are two versions to the song. In this version, Lata Mangeshkar takes over from Mukesh who sings the opening line and she does a great job, too. Rakhee, as the bride sitting alongside her groom (Shashi Kapoor), brings out the pain of the song and of her situation. In the other version, which is a Mukesh solo, she shares some lovely romantic moments under tree with Amitabh Bachchan.
‘In aankhon ki masti’ (Umrao Jaan)
It is one of those rare songs in which everything jells perfectly. Lyricist Shahryar’s great lines were given an enchanting tune by Khayyam and Rekha’s mujrah ensured it would always remain a pleasure to watch as well.
‘Ae dil-e-nadaan’ (Razia Sultan)
Probably Lata Mangeshkar’s best song for Khayyam. A brilliantly composed and orchestrated song, this melody has been haunting music lovers since the early 80s. Hema Malini looked ravishing in the film as the eponymous Razia Sultan.