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End Of An Era: Lahore-Bombay Film Music Link Snaps

Renowned music director Khayyam (Mohammad Zahur) died on Thursday in a Bombay hospital at the age of 93.

With his departure, the pre-partition link between the Lahore and Bombay film industries has come to an end. Nobody else from pre-partition days is now alive in either India or Pakistan.

Born in village Rahon in Nawanshahr district near Jalandhar in a family of musicians, Khayyam first came to Lahore to work in the film industry. During his early years, Khayyam learned a lot from Baba Chishti, the doyen of Pakistani music directors, who took many budding artists under his wings and taught them to fly.

Khayyam then shifted to Bombay in 1944 and stayed on there after the partition of the sub-continent in 1947.

For a while Khayyam composed music with music director Rehman Verma and started producing music under the name Sharma. This is the point when the famous music duo of Vermaji-Sharmaji was born.

At a later stage he started working independently and composed some of the most evergreen and great compositions for the Bombay film industry. He won the Filmfare Award for the hit film Kabhi Kabhi.

Khayyam was married to Jagjit Kaur, a noted singer. Together they had a son, namely Pardeep, who died in 2012.

On his 90th birthday, Khayyam and Jagjit Kaur announced that they are setting up a trust in which all their possessions – some 12 crore or 120 million Indian rupees – which would help singers, song writers and other artistes who are facing economic hardship to get much-needed support.

The couple also made it known that they would not take donations from anyone and only their own hard-earned money would constitute the resources of the trust. It was also decided that after the couple died the trust would be managed by a board of trustees.

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