Renowned music composer Khayyam passes away at 92

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Mumbai –  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 Monday. 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. He died at Sujay Hospital at around 9.30pm,” a family friend told PTI.

Mohammed Zahur Hashmi, popularly known as Khayyam, was also a recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Bhushan.

Ghazal singer Talat Aziz also confirmed the news to the media. He said, “He passed away at 9:30 PM of cardiac arrest, but the factors were bilateral lung infection and he fought bravely for more than 21 days. I am at the hospital right now.”

The composer had been hospitalized due to lung infection on July 28 after he collapsed in his house. The 92-year-old artist was admitted to Sujoy Hospital in Juhu.

Khayyam, who started his musical career at the age of 17, was also a recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Bhushan. Not only this, but he was also honored with the National Award and Filmfare Award. Apart from Kabhi Kabhie and Umrao Jaan, his other notable works include films such as Trishul, Noorie and Shola Aur Shabnam. He had also composed music for actress Meena Kumari’s album I Write, I Recite. His non-film songs such as Paaon Padun Tore Shyam, Ghazab Kiya Tere Vaade Pe Aitbaar Kiya and Brij Mein Laut Chalo are still famous among his fans.

Khayyam was born as Sa’aadat Hussain in undivided Punjab in Rahon, a town in Nawanshahr District which was then the Nawanshahr tehsil of Jalandhar District. As a boy, Khayyam ran away to Delhi to learn music but was forced to return to complete his education. Khayyam then went to Lahore to learn music from the famous Baba Chishti.

He was never interested in studies and was always fascinated by the music of Indian cinema. He was inclined to music at a very young age. He often escaped to the city to watch movies. Khayyam soon ran away to his uncle’s house in Delhi, in the hope of becoming an actor. Khayyam’s uncle enrolled him in a school, but when he saw his passion for films, he allowed him to learn music, which was actually a step forward in realizing his ambitions. He got his training in music under Pandit Amar Nath. Rest of his family, brothers & sisters are living in Pakistan. He belongs to a very educated family.

Tributes began pouring in soon after the news of Khayyam’s death came out. Celebrities, as well as politicians such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and singer Lata Mangeshkar, mourned the demise of the legendary music director.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday.

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