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Musician Khaiyyaam: The first Recipient of “Naushad Samman” Award

This article is written by Mr. Biman Baruah, Assam.

Musician Khaiyyaam: The first Recipient of Naushad Samman AwardProminent Music director Khayyam has been selected by Lucknow-based Naushad Sangeet Kendra for first “Naushad Saman”, an award introduced in the fond memory of the late legendary composer Naushad Ali. The award consist of a cash prize of Rs.1,00,000 which will be presented to Khayyam at Sangeet Natak Academy Auditorium in Lucknow on February 14, 2009.

On selection for the award Khayyam remarked, “I must have done some good work in my previous life to be selected for an award named after a person like Naushad, a maestro who greatly enriched the tradition of Hindi film music by his immortal compositions”. He also said that he just followed in the footsteps of Naushad and moves violently all his life to bring the resources of Indian classical music closer to the common man and succeeded in doing so. I am 10 years his junior and I only followed the path he led and tried to keep the sanctity of music unblemished by the trends in vogue.

Khayyam had earlier received the Filmfare Best Music Director Award in 1977 for Kabhi Kabhi, in 1982 for Umrao Jaan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Maharashtra Government’s Lata Mangeshkar Award in 2007, whose real name is Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi and popularly known as “Khayyam” in Indian Film Music for four decades (1953 to 1990). In the 1950s he had composed music under the name of Sharmaji for a short time.

Khayyam with wife

Khayyam with wife

Khayyam was born in undivided Punjab’s small village called Rahon under Nawanshahr District. As a boy, he was never interested in his studies and was always fascinated by the music of Hindi cinema. He repeatedly escaped to the city for watching films and soon ran away to his uncle’s house in Delhi, in the hope of becoming an actor. His uncle enrolled him in a school, but when he saw his passion for films, he allowed him to learn music. In those days it was actually a step forward in realizing his ambitions. He got his training in music under Pandit Amar Nath.

Khayyam went to Lahore looking for roles in films. There he also learnt music from famous Pakistani music director Baba Chishti. One day Khaiyyam had moved out to meet G.A. Chishti, one of the foremost music directors from Pakistan. Young Khaiyyam was listening to the composition by Chishti and sung to him its first part which impressed Chishti and gave him an offer of joining him as an associate. At the age of 18, Khayyam assisted Chishti for six months and came to Ludhiana in 1943. After Second World War, Khayam went to Bombay to carry out his vision. In his one of the initial break in the film BIWI (1950), the following ghazal song sung by Mohammed Rafi was an enormous hit:-

Akele Mein Woh Ghabaraate To Honge
Bita Ke Mujh Ko Pachhataate To Honge
Hamaari Yaad Aa Jaati To Hogi
Achaanak Woh Tadap Jaate To Honge
Woh Din, Haay, Woh Din Haay Woh Din!
Woh Din Unko Bhi Yaad Aate To Honge
Patange Apane Donon Par Jala Kar
Hamaari Yaad Dilavaate To Honge

Then Khayyam composed Music for Footpath (1953) and Gul Bahar (1954). The Footpath song “Shyam-e-Gham Ki Qasam Aaj Ghamgin Hai Hum” sung by Talat Mehmood, picturised on tragedy king Dilip Kumar was so soulful and quite popular one. He was well recognised from the Ramesh Saigal’s film Phir Subha Hogi (1958) starring Raj Kapoor & Mala Sinha in which the songs written by Sahir Ludhyanvi and sung by Mukesh & Asha Bhonsle were set to jingle by Khayyam. The notable songs of the film were: “Woh Subha Kabhi to Aayegi“, “Aasman Pe Hai Khauda Aur Zameen Pe Hum” and “Chin-o-Arab Humara“. In the same year, another composition by him the romantic Rafi number “Hai Kali Kali Ke Lab Par” from the film Lala Rukh (1958) is also became popular.

Another Ramesh Saigal’s film, the love triangle Shola Aur Shabnam (1961) established Khayyam as a great composer with some great songs of the Hindi Film Music, in the lyrics of Kaifi Azmi. The notable songs from the film: “Jaane Kya Dhhonti Rehti Hein Ye Aankhen Mujhmein” by Rafi was picturised on young Dharmendra and “Jeet Hi Lenge Baazi Hum Tum” by Rafi & Lata was picturised on Dharmendra & Tarla Mehta. In the film Shagoon (1964), Khayyam also used the voice of his singer wife Jagjit Kaur to sing “Tum Apna Ranj-o-Gham” and “Tum Chali Jaogi“.

In the 1965, he composed music for the film Mohhabat Isko Kehte Hein and the song “Theheriye Hosh Mein Aa Lun To Chaley Jaiyega” by Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur is a notable one. Then for Aakhi Khat, a 1966 film written & directed by Chetan Anand, the songs from the film: “Aur Kuch Der Theher , Aur Kuch Der Na Ja” by Mohammed Rafi was picturised on young debuted Rajesh Khanna  and “Baharon Mera Jeevan Bhi Sawaron” sung by Lata .

Khayyam composed memorable music in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in films: Kabhi Kabhi(1976), Shankar Hussain(1977), Trishul(1978), Noorie(1979), Thodi Si Bewafaai(1980), Chambal Ki Kasam(1980), Dard (1981), Bazaar (1982). He again come together with lyricist Sahir Ludhyanvi in the Yash Chopra’s Kabhi Kabhi & Trishul and produced some great songs. The songs of Kabhi Kabhi, “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein Khayal Ata Hai“,”Mein Pal Do Pal Ka Sayar Hoon“,”Mein Hal Ek Pal Ka Sayar Hoon” by Mukesh & “Tere Chehre Se Nazar Nahin Hatti“, “Tere Phoolon Jaisa Rang“, “Pyar Kar Liya” by Kishore Kumar were super hits. The songs of Trishul, “Mohabbat Bare Kaam Ki Cheez Hai“, “Janeman Tum Kamal Karti Ho“, “Gapuchi Gapuchi Gam Gam” and the songs from Noorie, “Aaja Re O Mere Dilbar Aaja“, “Chori Chori Kyi Aaye Chupke Chupke” are also very popular. Above all, the Rafi numbers from the film Shankar Hussain “Kahin Ek Masum Nazuk Si Lardki” and from Chambal Ki Kasam “Simti Hui Yeh Ghadiyan” & “Sheer Ka Husn Ho, Nagmee Ki Jawani Ho Tum” are the classic Khayyam songs.

Khayyam also composed music for Mazaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan(1981) and Kamal Amrohi’s Razia Sultan(1983). In Umrao Jaan, he had composed his life’s best fine-tune and all the songs of the film sung by Asha Bhonsle, “Dil Cheez Kya Hai Aap Meri Jaan Leejiye“, “In Aankhon Ki Masti Ke Mastanee Hazaaron Hai“, “Justaju Jiski Thi Usko Tuh Na Payaa Humne“, “Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston” and “Zindagi Jab Bhi Teri Bazm Mein” are evergreen. Finally, the song from the film Razia Sultan, “Aye Dil-e-Nadan” by Lata captured his fully grown mood very superbly.

Khyyam Sahab

Khyyam Sahab

The Musician composed music for almost 40 films, has seen practically in giving up work since Jaan-E-Wafa(1990).  After a very long gap, he gave music in Yatra in 2006.

Khayyam has always preferred to work with the lyricists having strong background of poetry side lining the regular film lyricists and therefore everyone finds poetry playing an equal role in Khayyam’s compositions as the music or the singer. He used to give full freedom to the lyricists to express their views thereby making the expression of the songs more poetic and more momentous. He worked with the legends in the field of poetry like Mirza Ghalib, Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Kaifi Azmi.

According to Khayyam, the weak combination between the composer and the lyricist is the reason why very few everlasting film songs come out of the recording rooms nowadays.

Though Mohammed Rafi and Khayyam worked together in only a few films, their friendship lasted from 1950 to till the death of Rafi in 1980. Recalling the warm association, recently Khayyam remarked: “Rafi was a hundred percent dedicated singer. As a person, he was humility personified”.  According to Khayyam, Rafi never hesitated to sing even in C-grade films and adjust his remuneration as per their budgets. Only a compassionate man could do that. As he was a pious man in his private life, in his professional life he always understood.

Khayyam said that Rafi had a desire to sing some bhajans -Hindu devotional songs, ‘In fact, Rafi himself gave me some bhajan tunes and asked me to compose music taking those tunes as a base. That album containing some memorable bhajans was one of Rafi’s earliest non-film albums. Even during his heydays, Rafi never ceased to be a student of music. Khayyam said that he was always keen to learn about the intricacies of music, ragas, mixing and compositions.

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9 Blog Comments to “Musician Khaiyyaam: The first Recipient of “Naushad Samman” Award”

  1. The other famous songs of Rafi Saab with Khayyam are as follows
    1) Jheet hi lenge baazee hum tum from the film Shola Aur Shabnam
    2) Hai kalee kalee ke lab par from the film Lala Rukh for which Rafi Saab had lent his voice for Talat Mahmood

  2. anuska says:

    dear biman
    very nice and informative article about khayamji.i am a great fan of rafi sahab.khayam utilised the voice of rafi sahab to the maximum.
    great work.keep it up

  3. ashish kapoor says:

    dear rafi fans and lovers,
    a couple of non-filmi bhajans in which khayyam sahab composed music and rafi saab lent his voice that come to my mind are [1] tere bharose hey nandlala, [2] paon padun tore shyam, [3] more shyam pal-pal more,[4] shyam se neha lagaye,[5] suniyo araj hamari,[6] main gwalo rakhwalo maiya . the lyricist in all these bhajans is madhukar rajasthani.
    ashish kapoor, (vice president) rafi foundation memorial society
    , ,tel-09810087414, 09212587414

  4. binu nair says:

    Naushaad saaheb’s birthday was celebrated by music lovers in mumbai after his demise. We visited Khayyam saaheb and invited him to be present . Mr.Raju Naushad had accompanied us. Mr.Khayyam in his usual way spoke good about Naushad ji . and promised to come. he never did turn up or sent in a message for not coming for the music programme.
    but, what happened during the discussions – is reporting material . we informed khayyam saaheb that we intend to mark his coming birthday with a music concert of his beautiful songs.
    said Khayyam : My fans invite me on my birthday and give me a big bag filled with notes (money). we understood his intentions. we left his place pledging not to see him “any time more”.

    binu nair…

  5. Khayam has to his credit more of Rafi Saabs classic private renditions than the filmi songs to his tally
    However the undersigned would specifically like to bring to the kind notice of the innumerable admirers of Rafi Saab that while actually recording the song Jane kya dhoondti raheti hai ye aankhen from the film shola aur shabnam (which was fortunately dharmendras first ever debut film) our beloved king of melody Rafi Saab was down with severe fewer and in-spite of all the ods against him he was ready to render this classic song which in the annals of the music history will go down as one of the greatest sung songs ever
    This was the sheer magic & magnitude of the greatest ever – Rafi Saab

  6. A few of the greats of khayam with Rafi Saab which i remember are as follows
    1) parbaton ke pedo par sham ka basera hai — Rafi Saab with Suman Kalyanpur from the film Shagun — 1964
    2) Tum chalee jaogee parchaeya rah jayegee — Rafi Saab from the film Shagun — 1964
    3) Jane kya dhundtee rehetee hai ye aankhen mujhme rakh ke dher mein shola hai na shabnam hai — from the film shola aur shabnam

  7. kprem says:

    So kind, Thanks, Thanks alot for Rafi Sahab update. I Love Voice and singing of Rafi Sahab being unique singer in world. He was gift from GOD. May GOD give him happinees in all life

    warm very warm and best wishes for Rafi Sahab

  8. unknow says:

    Kheyyam Sahab gave so less music but when he gave music was hit,as I Think he is one of few who used MOhd Rafi and Lata Ji so well,Asha Ji said that in film Umrao Jaan Kheyyam Ji gave her new style to her singing..

  9. Anwar-ul-Haque says:

    Dear Mr. Biman,

    Very nice informative article about Kheyyam Sahab. He composed many immortal songs, but his speciality was composing some really great non-film compositions for Rafi Sahab.


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