Khayyam Age, Wife, Death, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Wife: Jagjit Kaur
Age: 92 Years
Death Cause: Cardiac Arrest

Real NameSa'aadat Hussain
Full NameMohammed Zahur "Khayyam" Hashmi
ProfessionMusic Director
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 163 cm
in meters- 1.63 m
in feet inches- 5’ 4”
Eye ColourDark Brown
Hair ColourGrey (Semi-bald)
DebutFilm: Foot Path (1953)
Mentor/Guru• Baba Chishti
• Pandit Amar Nath
Famous Tune(s)• Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein...
• In Ankhon KI Masti...
• Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hoon...
• Dil Cheez Kya Hai...
• Aaja Re O Mere Dilbar Aaja...
Awards, Honours, Achievements Filmfare Awards

1977: Best Music Director for Kabhi Kabhie
1982: Best Music Director for Umrao Jaan
2010: Lifetime Achievement Award

Government of India Awards

1982: National Film Award for Best Music Director for Umrao Jaan
2008: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
2011: Padma Bhushan

Other Awards

2018: Hridaynath Mangeshkar Awards for Lifetime Achievement

Note: Apart from this, he has many awards and honours to his name.
Personal Life
Date of Birth18 February 1927 (Friday)
BirthplaceRahon, Nawanshahr District, Punjab, British India
Date of Death19 August 2019 (Monday)
Place of DeathSujay Hospital, Mumbai, India
Age (at the time of death)92 Years
Death CauseCardiac Arrest
Zodiac signAquarius
HometownNawanshahr District, Punjab, India
Food HabitNon-Vegetarian
Address7th Floor, Dakshina Apartments, Juhu, Mumbai
HobbiesWatching Films, Listening to Music
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Married
Affairs/GirlfriendsJagjit Kaur
Marriage DateYear, 1954
Wife/SpouseJagjit Kaur (singer)
ChildrenSon- Pradeep Khayyam (actor and music composer; died of a heart attack on 25 March 2012)

Daughter- None
ParentsNames Not Known
SiblingsHis brothers and sisters live in Pakistan
Favourite Things
Favourite Music Director(s)S. D. Burman, R. D. Burman, Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Shankar Jaiskishan, Naushad
Favourite Poet(s)/Lyricist(s)Sahir Ludhianvi, Kaifi Azmi
Favourite ActorRajesh Khanna
Favourite ActressesMeena Kumari, Rekha
Favourite Singer(s)Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mahmood, Kishore Kumar, KL Saigal
Favourite Restaurant(s)• Sarvi in Nagpada, Mumbai
• Kareem’s at Mohammed Ali Road in Mumbai
Favourite FoodGujarati Cuisines
Favourite DessertLaddoo
Money Factor
Net Worth (approx.)₹10 crore (as in 2016)

Some Lesser Known Facts About Khayyam

  • Did Khayyam smoke?: Not Known
  • Khayyam was born into a highly educated family in undivided Punjab.
  • Since his childhood, he was so much into the films and music that he had almost no interest in studies.
  • His father was also interested in music, literature, and poetry. Khayyam would often go to Jalandhar to watch films along with his father and his siblings. While sharing the memory of his father, Khayyam said-

    When the train halted at Khatkar Kalan station, my father made us kids stand. He then said, ‘Salute this village, this is the village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, where his ancestral home is located.’ For the rest of the journey, my father told us about Bhagat Singh’s inspiring life and how he and his friends chose the gallows to liberate the country from the British.”

  • In his early teenage (at the age of 11), Khayyam left his home for Delhi (at his uncle’s home) to learn music; however, he had to return home to complete his education.
  • Reportedly, he wanted to become an actor and had also acted in S. D. Narang’s film Yeh Hai Zindagi (1947), but destiny had something else for him, and eventually, he turned towards music.
  • After his return from Delhi, he couldn’t keep himself away from music for a long time, and he again left his home, but this time for Lahore.
  • While in Lahore, Khayyam met Baba Chishti, a famous Punjabi music director of that time. Khayyam learned music from Baba Chishti. Baba was so impressed with Khayyam’s talent that he offered him to become his assistant. Khayyam said-

    My work was to give rehearsals to singers and musicians.”

    Khayyam With Baba Chishti

  • After assisting Baba Chishti for six months, at the age of 17, Khayyam came to Ludhiana in 1943.
  • Amid all these, Khayyam was inducted into the British Army in 1943 to participate in the Second World War. Citing the reason to join the British Army, he said-

    The British government had promised to give freedom to the country if we supported them in the war.”

  • After a brief stint in the Second World War, he went to Bombay (now, Mumbai) to make a career in films.
  • While in Bombay, he started off his film career as Sharmaji of the Sharmaji-Varmaji composer duo with the movie Heer Ranjha in 1948.
  • He adopted “Khayyam” as his screen name from the film Foot Path (1953).
  • Khayyam established himself as a great composer with the film Shola Aur Shabnam (1961).
  • Apart from directing music, he also tried in singing and his debut song was “Dono Jaha Teri Mohabbat Me Haar Ke” from the film “Romeo & Juliet (1947).” He also sang “Kab Yaad Mein Tera Saath Nahin” from the film “Anjuman (1986).”
  • When Khayyam offered Asha Bhosle to sing for the film Umrao Jaan in 1981, it made Asha Bhosle sing indisputably the best songs of her career- “In Aankhon ki masti ke”, “Ye Kya Jagah hai doston,” and “Dil Cheez kya hai.”

    Khayyam Recording With Asha Bhosle

  • Apart from Asha Bhosle, Khayyam also worked with her sister, Lata Mangeshkar. The first time he got an opportunity to work with Lata was for the film Pyaar Ki Baaten in 1951.

    Khayyam With Lata Mangeshkar

  • Throughout his career, Khayyam preferred to work with the poets having a strong background in poetry. That’s the reason that his music always stands out; having a touch of ghazals and poems.

    Khayyam (right) with Sahir Ludhianvi (centre) and Mohammed Rafi (left)

  • At the peak of his career, Khayyam was often referred to as ‘Naushad’ of that time.

    Khayyam (extreme right) with Naushad (extreme left)

  • In 2012, they lost their son Pradeep who died of a heart attack.
  • His wife, Jagjit Kaur comes from an aristocratic family in Punjab. While talking about the first meeting with Khayyam, she said that one evening, Khayyam followed her on the overbridge of Dadar Railway Station. First, she panicked that he might be stalking her, but when he introduced himself as a music comper, she calmed down.
  • Despite the disapproval of Khayyam’s father-in-law, theirs was one of the film industry’s first inter-communal marriages.
  • His wife, Jagjit Kaur, was a collegemate of the former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh and in 2006, Manmohan Singh took time out from his busy schedule to meet Khayyam and his wife.

    Khayyam and His Wife Jagjit Kaur with Manmohan Singh

  • When he turned 90, he decided to donate all his earnings to his charitable trust- Khayyam Jagjeet Kaur KPG Charitable Trust. He said-

    I have decided that I will donate my entire wealth to support artistes and technicians, who are in need in the film industry. I have given everything I had to my motherland.”

    Khayyam Jagjeet Kaur KPG Charitable Trust

  • Apart from films, he also composed music for ten television serials.
  • In an interview, while talking about his fees, Khayyam said-

    I was the highest-paid music composer for over 14 years. Producers would tell me that I charged six times the money as compared to other music composers. But since I did limited work, and gave every project my 100%, I would expect to get the money I demanded. So, I have been really content. Humari film industry ne humari kadra ki iske hum shukraguzar hain.”

  • In such a long career that began in 1947, Khayyam composed for only 57 films. He said-

    I could easily have done 200-plus films like most contemporary musicians, but I was clear that I didn’t want to compromise on quality.”

  • In August 2019, he was admitted to a hospital in Juhu following a fall while getting up from his armchair at home. Following the incident, his wife, Jagjit Kaur, registered an alarming drop in her blood sugar count. Khayyam and his wife were alotted adjoining cabins, named ‘Lily’ and ‘Tulip’ in the hospital. On 19 August 2019, he breathed his last.

References/Sources: [ + ]

1. Mid Day