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Veteran music composer Khayyam buried with state honours

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Veteran composer Khayyam, best known for his music in classics such as "Umrao Jaan" and "Kabhi Kabhie", was buried with full state honours on Tuesday.

The composer died in a hospital here on Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 92.

His mortal remains were kept at his Juhu residence for fans and friends to pay their last respects. Mumbai Police stood on guard as his body was draped in the tricolour and the cortege taken to the Four Bungalows graveyard, about three kilometres away.

At the graveyard, the late composer was given a three-gun salute by police personnel in the presence of his family and members of the film fraternity.

Those gathered to bid him adieu included prominent personalities such as writers Gulzar and Javed Akhtar, filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, singers Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik, composers Jatin-Lalit, ghazal singer Talat Aziz and actor Poonam Dhillon.

With Khayyam passing away, the last symbol of an era has "indeed gone away", said Akhtar.

"His body of work, as compared to other music composers might be less, but his songs from even unsuccessful films are remembered today after 40-50 years. Today, we forget hit songs of successful films in 15 days.

"His tunes, singer's voice and lyrics are respected a lot. You could hear the voice, understand lyrics and the tunes were exceptional. This combination of all three has gone with him," Akhtar told reporters.

Dhillon teared up while talking about the composer and said he treated her like his daughter.

"He gave the music of my first film 'Trishul', then 'Noorie'. I was 15 when I first met him. He used to treat me like his child. He would bless me every time we would meet. He was full of love. The world will talk about his music... He has immortalised himself through his work," she said.

Khayyam, whose real name was Mohammed Zahur Hashmi, was admitted to the Sujay Hospital in suburban Juhu a few days ago with breathing and other age-related problems.

While he hit his peak with "Umrao Jaan", Khayyam will always be remembered for his melodies in "Bazaar", "Trishul", "Noorie" and "Shola Aur Shabnam".

In 2007, Khayyam was honoured with the 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 the Khayyam Jagjeet Kaur KPG Charitable Trust and pledged to donate his entire wealth to the trust to support budding artists and technicians in India.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 20 2019. 18:40 IST