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surhall
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Today's music? Allah rahem kare!: Khayyam

His Juhu apartment smells of dhoopbattis, his music-cum-prayer room has books on Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. On a calm Sunday morning, I catch up with the 80-year-old music composer Khayyam to ask:

Talk is that you are back to work majorly.
Yes. Iím working almost 12 hours a day. Actually, Iíd never stopped working. Right now, Iím doing a ghazal album with singer Anita Singhvi and two film projects.If the new Umrao Jaan didnít work, itís a comment on the director, not the composer
What did you think of the new Umrao Jaan?
I detest comparisons. Iíd worked hard on the background research for Umrao Jaan. It took a lot of effort to convince Asha Bhonsle to shed her cabret singer image to do ghazals in Umrao Jaan. We studied history and Umrao Jaan Ada in detail before composing the songs. The music was a success. So was Annu Mallikís. He didnít come to my door, asking for guidance. Iím sure he worked harder on his Umrao Jaan than I did on mine. If the film didnít work, itís a comment on the director, not the composer. I was quite pleased with his compositions.

Arenít you identified more with Umrao Jaan than any other film?
Says who? In my career of 60 years, Iíve given over 50 super-hit albums right from my first one to Yatra. Iím also known for Razia Sultan, Kabhi Kabhie and Noorie.. over 40 other films.

Why have you done lesserwork than other composers?
That was my policy right from my early days. And I could do that only because of the support of my wife, Jagjit Kaur. There was always the possibility of financial crunch at home but Jagjeet acted as the buffer.

At one point, you had given up composing for Hindi films.
Yes, trends changed. They wanted dhinchak beats even in ghazal and soft songs. Iím sorry but I have a certain standard of work. As a composer, mine should be the last call on the song. Every filmmaker isnít lucky to get Khayyamís compositions. I have what others donít Ė melody.

At 80, how do you look at ageing?
Bitiya, at this age if I can work as much as any young man and still not be as tired, then I think age has not touched me. Iíve had a disciplined life. My wife has never let me feel that Iím going wrong. At 80, I know my body has certain limitations. I donít challenge that. Iíve grown old gracefully and will continue with music till I breathe my last.Every filmmaker isnít lucky to get Khayyamís compositions.
How would you estimate Asha Bhosle and LataMangeshkar today?
Iíve known them from the time I started working in 1947. Koi kami nahin hai dono mein. Lataji was born with a heavenly voice.. Asha is a little in-your-face and outspoken but sheís as superior a singer. I donít buy the theory that they compete with each other. They are unique in their own way.

What do you think of todayís music scene?
Allah rahem kare! Todayís composers are making a mockery of music. Itís only dham dham dham. A few years from now, you will realise the adverse impact of such music on the youth. They will loose their cool. Music is meant to soothe a tired mind.. music today makes you more tired. Asha is a little in-your-face and outspoken but sheís as superior a singer (as Lata)
Why have you stayed out of the limelight?
Iím not a publicity seeker. I was approached a few times to feature on some TV shows but Iím fine without them.

Yatra has gone unnoticed.
It hasnít. If it had, you wouldnít be talking to me about it. I got congratulatory calls from around the world. I wouldnít have taken on the project if Rekha had not insisted.

Are you in touch with old friends?
My friends were people of a high literary class.Most of them, like Chetan Anand, Madan Mohan, Roshan saab, Ramesh Sehgal and Majrooh Sultanpuri, have passed away. I remember them often but I donít shed tears in their name. Their memories give me strength.

Your music has some similarities with Madan Mohanís.
Not just him, Roshan saab and Jaidevji were melodious. Itís not strange that there are similarities between one or two of our songs but our music was never the same. We all had our distinct styles.Music today makes you more tired.
Whatís your take on remixes?
I simply detest them. They are so jarring to the ears. Melody goes for a toss.

Any final words?
Maalik ne bahut diya hai


GOD GIVE BOTH YOU LONG LIFE.
DHALL
deewani
QUOTE(surhall @ May 10 2007, 11:35 AM) *


Aren't you identified more with Umrao Jaan than any other film?
Says who? In my career of 60 years, I've given over 50 super-hit albums right from my first one to Yatra. I'm also known for Razia Sultan, Kabhi Kabhie and Noorie.. over 40 other films.


Don't you just love reporters who DON'T DO their research? huh.gif Great read, regardless, look forward to more from him. smile.gif Thanks for sharing the article! What a cute couple!

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/St...#33;%3a+Khayyam
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