This composer, an Army officer made Rekha superstar; later donated entire wealth of Rs 10 crore to charity

This music composer, who made Rekha a superstar, once served in the army in World War II.

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This composer, an Army officer made Rekha superstar; later donated entire wealth of Rs 10 crore to charity
Mohammed Zahur Khayyam and Rekha at award event


Other than actors, storyline, and direction, what plays a major role in making a film a hit, is the music in the film which at times becomes the hero of the film. There have been several films that flopped at the box office, but were remembered because of their music hence the singers, and music composers played an integral part in the film's success. One such music composer, who has given several hit tracks, later donated all his wealth to charity. 

The music composer we are talking about made Rekha a superstar with just one song and has composed music for several hits. He passed away at the age of 92 after suffering from cardiac arrest at 92. He is none other than Mohammed Zahur Khayyam. 

Mohammed Zahur Khayyam was born to a Punjabi Muslim family and ran away to his uncle's house in New Delhi. There he was trained under classical vocalist and composer Pandit Amarnath. At the age of 17, Khayyam started working and used to assist music director Baba Chishti for six months. He then went on to serve in the Army during World War II and later went to Bombay to fulfill his dream and made his debut as Sharmaji of the Sharmaji-Varmaji composer duo with the film Heer Ranjha in 1948. However, after this, his partner decided to go live in the newly formed Pakistan and he decided to go solo. 

One of his first breaks was in the film Biwi, in which the song "Akele Mein Woh Ghabrate To Honge" sung by Mohammed Rafi was a hit. He became a star with the film Phir Subha Hogi starring Raj Kapoor and Mala Sinha, in which songs composed by him, "Wo Subha Kabhi To Aayegi", "Aasman Pe hai Khuda Aur Zameen Pe Hum" and "Chin-o-Arab Humara," became huge hits and struck a chord with the audience. And after this, there was no looking back. 

He went on to compose songs for films like Shola Aur Shabnam, Aakhri Khat, Shagoon, and Kabhie Kabhie among others, not only this, Khayyam was also the composer of the film Umrao Jaan which made Rekha a superstar. He composed music for the songs like "In Aankhon Ki Masti Ke", "Ye Kya Jagah Hai Doston", and "Dil Cheez Kya Hai" which emerged to be evergreen. 

Mohammed Zahur Khayyam formed the charitable trust, Khayyam Jagjeet Kaur KPG Charitable Trust, and decided to donate his entire wealth which amounted to Rs 10 crore to the trust to support budding artists and technicians in India on his 82nd birthday. Khayyam was married to Jagjeet Kaur, another Indian singer, and they had a son, Pradeep, who died of a heart attack in 2012 later their son's helping nature became the reason to start this trust. He was also the recipient of the third-highest civilian honour, Padma Bhushan, by the Government of India in 2011.

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