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Khayyam Saheb Made the Indian Cinema Immortal With His Music!

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The Padma Bhushan Awardee Veteran composer Mohammed Zahur ‘Khayyam’ Hashmi, who gave Indian cinema a host of timeless compositions in films such as Razia Sultan, Kabhi Kabhi, Umrao Jaan and Bazaar,  passed away on Monday after a short illness. The nation remembers the greatest music composer of all times in conversation with

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aata hai

Ki jaise tujhko banaya gaya hai mere liye

Tu ab se pehle sitaaron mein bas rahi thi kahin

Tujhe zameen pe bulaya gaya hai mere liye

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai…

While the Poet and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi touched the deepest pangs of separation through his poetry, which could not have become a heart touching saga of two lovers without Khayyam Saheb’s melodic interface…creating magic in the night melody of raga Yaman, the song became an amalgamation of the poet’s thoughts and the composer’s heart that he poured to create the immortal melody….

Khayyam Saheb contributed to the Indian film industry for a span of 4 decades between 1953 and 1990. He was widely appreciated for his work in the movie Umrao Jaan in 1982 and won three film fare awards for the best music director award for the film Kabhi Kabhie in the year 1997, and was nominated for the same award for his works in the movies namely Noorie, Thodisi Bewafai, Bazaar. The legendary Maestro earned the lifetime achievement award in the year 2010 and was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Creative Music in the year 2007. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan – Third Highest Civilian Honor by the Indian Government for the year 2011.

The legendary Hindustani Classical Vocalist Pandit Jasrajji speaks about the legend Khayyam Saheb saying, ” Khayyam was a highly experienced, and talented music director who was a perfectionist in himself. He has left a great void today in the music industry which is an irreparable loss. At times we used to sit and talk. He made his films immortal like the UmraoJaan, Kabhi Kabhi with his music, where his music comes first and then follows the singers and the actors. His music had such a grip on me that whenever I heard it I could not move till the song finished. I think it’s an irreparable loss and what is gone with him will never come back, he was a ‘matchless jewel’. May he get a place in heaven. I wish if he could take rebirth in India to compose music again for our generations to come and show a light to the world!”

Poet, Lyricist  & Screenwriter Prasoon Joshi said,  “His biggest contribution was the propagation of Indian classical music through his compositions to the masses, which is mostly regarded as a genre restricted to connoisseurs of classical music or the learned audiences. He proved a point that a good melody which is enriched with a classical touch is also capable of reaching the masses, thus challenging a mind-set.”

Joshi added,  “Khayyam Saheb knew how to give a lyrics it’s due importance while creating a melody, unlike today, when music is so loud that lyrics are not audible. He respected the craft and the soul of a lyricist and knew the value of words and never overpowered them, thereby giving justice to the thought that the lyricist had said. He kept the melody alive and gave great compositions of films like Umrao Jaan, Kabhi Kabhi and many more for which he will be remembered forever.”

Singer Vipin Aneja, “Khayyam Saheb was one of my favorite music directors. I could really relate to a lot of his compositions especially in the film bazaar and many more, this is an end of a golden era today. May he rest in peace and find a place in heaven!”

Singer Aakruti Kakkar remembers meeting Khayyam Saheb as a kid and shares an interesting trivia,  “I was 10 years old when I received a prize in a  singing competition in Delhi from Khayyam Saheb where he had come to judge. He was very encouraging as he appreciated my singing and blessed me, which was a great boost for me to receive from a legend whose name I had only seen on the cassette covers then. One thing I noticed about him was that he always walked holding his wife’s hand, and that shows his character in personal life too, as to how much he loved her, something youngsters of today need to learn.”

Music Entrepreneur Durga Jasraj , ” It’s both easy and difficult to talk about Khayyam Saheb because his music touches your soul be it UmraoJaan, Kabhi Kabhie, Thodisi Bewafayi, Bazaar or Raziya Sultan, the most important element in his music was the absolute sync of the words and the melody, and that’s the reason we remember his songs till today. His music reflected the entire theme of the film like UmraoJaan showed so remarkably the courtesan era’s musical nuances while Raziya sultan’s music showcased the nitty-gritties of the Mughal era sounds, or if you listen to Kabhi Kabhi the music captured the mood of the film remarkably well with its grand sound, which was a legendary work.”

Durga adds, “It’s easy to talk about his music because it touched the soul while it’s difficult because his music had so many aspects which combined together in one composition. He created a musical legacy which is very rich, beautiful, authentic and very Indian and we all will be very proud to have a composer like him. We all will cherish his music which will act as a textbook for generation to generation.”

Singer Sukhwinder Singh- We have yet again lost a legend.  Khayyam Sahab from the music world, who was nothing less than extraordinary. His songs have always left us teary-eyed. One such song is ‘Dikhai Diye Yun’, it had such an emotional impact. Though we physically lost him, he will still be in my heart and his songs are and will be always be appreciated worldwide.”

Music Composer Arko Mukherjee said, “ In a way, I believe in Khayyam Saheb’s idea that quality beats quantity, as today creating music is like having a music factory everyone is creating 30-40 songs a year.  His songs in the film Umrao Jaan especially, ‘Zindagi Jab Bhi ’ has been one of my all-time favorite ghazals, his music will always be remembered.

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