Talat Aziz bids farewell to his mentor and father figure Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi
I first met him during my performance at a private mehfil in Khar, in 1978. After my performance, Khayyam saab walked up to me and told me, 'Beta, I like your voice. One day, I will give you a break.' When Umrao Jaan (1981) was conceived, there was no male song in the original script. So, Khayyam saab told Muzaffar Ali [director] saab, 'I want you to include a male song so that it can lend a poetic vibe to Farooq Sheikh's character and Umrao Jaan can fall in love with him. That's how the song, Zindagi Jab Bhi Teri Bazm Mein, was created, and I came into the picture. I remember going to his house for 15 days for rehearsals before we recorded the song.
Khayyam was accorded State Honours. Pics/ Sameer Markande, Yogen Shah
Khayyam saab was a father figure to me. I used to meet him at his home every three-four days, and if I couldn't make it, he would invariably check on me and ask me where I was. I learned the art of perfection from him. He made me record the ghazal, Nagma-e-Jaan Saaz-e-Dil, [Yatra, 2007] 20 times before he was satisfied. He once narrated to me that when he was recording the song Hazar Raahein [Thodisi Bewafai, 1980] with Kishore Kumar, Kishore da wanted to sing the song without interludes while Khayyam saab wanted it with interludes. He let Kishore da sing it his way, but the singer was not happy with the result. That's when Khayyam saab told him, 'I put those interludes because the story is about an estranged couple. The director can show flashbacks of what happened in their relationship in those music pieces.' This was the kind of detailing that Khayyam saab practised.
I was by his side all through his illness. I took care of him over the last 21 days in the hospital. I was praying by his bedside when he breathed his last.
As told to Upala KBR
Also Read: Khayyam Last Rites: Full state honours for the legendary music composer
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