Veteran composer Khayyam, best known for his music in classic films such as ‘Umrao Jaan’ and ‘Kabhi Kabhie’, passed away after a prolonged illness at a hospital on Monday. He was 92.
Mohammed Zahur Hashmi, popularly known as Khayyam, was admitted to Sujay Hospital in suburban Juhu a few days ago owing to breathing issues and other age-related illnesses.
“He died at Sujay Hospital at around 9.30 pm,” a family friend told PTI.
According to the composer’s spokesperson, Khayyam’s mortal remains will be kept at his residential complex from 10 am onwards for people to pay their last respect. Thereafter, his funeral will take place with full state honours, the spokesperson said.
Calling his work as something which will be remembered forever, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “India will remain grateful to Khayyam Sahab for giving us some of the most memorable compositions, which will be remembered forever.”
“He will also be remembered for his humanitarian gestures to support upcoming artists. His demise is extremely saddening,” he said.
Lata Mangeshkar also took to Twitter and wrote that Khayyam’s demise is the end of an era in music.
“Great musician and a man with a kind heart, Khayyam Sahab isn’t with us anymore. I am so saddened to hear this, I can’t put it in words. With Khayyam Sahab, an era of music has ended. I offer my humble tribute to him,” she wrote.
In a subsequent tweet, the iconic singer said though she loved working with Khayyam, she was also scared because he was a perfectionist.
“Khayyam Sahab would treat me as his younger sister. For me, he used to make his special songs. I loved working with him but would also be a little scared because he was a perfectionist. His understanding and knowledge of Shayari was exceptional,” she tweeted.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered the music veteran as “a soft-spoken, amiable soul”, who contributed to his several films, including ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ and ‘Trishul’.
“…KHAYAM sahib…for all the memorable music he conducted and produced .. prayers condolences,” Bachchan tweeted.
“Umrao Jaan” director Muzaffar Ali remembered Khayyam as a “storehouse of feelings, emotions and music”.
Reminiscing the memories of Rekha-fronted 1982 classic, the director said it took Khayyam and him almost two years to create music for the film.
“Day in, day out, I used to go to him. He used to stay at my house. It was an evolution of music. Today, no composer, director or producer will spend so much time on making the music. We left no stone unturned for this film’s music,” Ali told PTI.
The musician’s other notable works include films such as “Trishul”, “Noorie” and “Shola Aur Shabnam”.
In 2007, Khayyam was honoured with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Creative Music by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s national academy of music, dance and theatre.
Four years later, he was conferred the Padma Bhushan, the country third highest civilian award. In 2016, the veteran composer established Khayyam Jagjeet Kaur KPG Charitable Trust and pledged to donate his entire wealth to the trust to support budding artists and technicians in India.