Khayyam: Expecting This award Every year

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It’s never too late — feels veteran composer Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi, popularly known as Khayyam, who got the prestigious Padma Bhushan award after waiting for the honour for years.

‘Every year I used to expect that I will be conferred with this award because I felt I deserved it but somehow each time others got it. There were times when I used to have questions in my mind – why didn’t I get the award when my body of work is so vast? But I had no answers,’ Khayyam, 84, told IANS in an interview.

Even though the composer feels that he should have got the award much earlier, he says everything has a time and that’s why probably he got this award after so many years.

‘I feel it’s all on god, whenever He wants you to get something only then you get it. Everything has a time and this was my time that’s why I didn’t get it for all these years and have got it now,’ he said.

Khayyam is known for his marvellous music pieces in ‘Kabhi Kabhie’, ‘Umrao Jaan’, ‘Razia Sultan’, ‘Bazaar’ and ‘Noorie’.

‘Finally, I got what I deserved. Whenever one gets honoured by the government, it is always a matter of pride and makes one happy and so I am happy too. I’m thankful to the Indian government that they found me worthy of this award,’ he added.

The veteran composer, who got his major break with the song ‘Akele mein wo ghabrate to honge’ in ‘Biwi’, gained greater recognition from the film ‘Phir Subah Hogi’ in which songs written by Sahir Ludhyanvi and sung by Mukesh and Asha Bhonsle were set to tune by Khayyam. Notable amongst them were ‘Wo subha kabhi to aayegi’, ‘Aasman pe hai khuda aur zameen pe hum’ and ‘Chin-o-arab humara’.

Then he went on to effortlessly churn out evergreen classic numbers ‘Aaja re o mere dilbar aaja’ for ‘Noorie’ (1979), ‘Aankhon mein humne aapke’ for ‘Thodi Si Bewafaai’ (1980), ‘Dikhai diye yun ki bekhud kiya’ for ‘Bazaar’ (1982), ‘Aye dile nadaan’ and ‘Jalta hai badan’ for ‘Razia Sultan’ (1983).

His singer wife Jagjit Kaur, known for songs like ‘Tum apna ranj-o-gham apni pareshani mujhe de do’ and ‘Dekh lo aaj humko jee bhar ke’, was so overwhelmed with the news that tears welled up in her eyes.

‘We were so happy when the news was announced that my wife Jagjit Kaur actually had tears of happiness in her eyes. My award is her award and my victory is her victory that’s why the news made her so happy that her emotions came out. It’s a great feeling and everyone in my family is very happy,’ revealed Khayyam.

The composer is all set to celebrate his honour and is planning a dinner with family and friends.

‘We are very simple people and will celebrate in our own little way. First, we will pray and thank god for the honour. Then we will celebrate with family and friends. Might have a dinner for close ones,’ he said.

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