It is not uncommon in Bollywood for seniormost veterans to face a financial crisis and in turn, be forced to depend on charity for their hospitalisation. In stark contrast, legendary composer, Mohammed Zahur Khayyam, who turned a sprightly 90, on Thursday, has now turned philanthropist.
The polite mannered classical maestro who is still active, has signed on three new movies, as ‘sangeetkaar’ and is raring to ‘reinvent’ himself all over again. Before he cut his birthday cake, ‘Padma Bhushan’ Khayyam declared, “My singer-wife, Jagjit Kaur and I have decided to form a charitable ‘KPJK trust’ and eminent ghazal singer, Talat Aziz, who is more like our son, will be among the proposed trustees. We have decided to financially park our entire assets to the tune of around Rs.10 crore and the interest earned, would be used to assist the poor and needy.”
Incidentally, Khayyam is like a ‘Godfather’ to Aziz, who was given his first filmy playback break by the composer, in the landmark period movie Umrao Jaan, which also boasted of the iconic song ‘Dil Cheez Kya Hai’, picturised on the sensuous Rekha.
Although ‘quality-conscious’, Khayyam has composed music for about 33 movies. He has had the privilege to wield the baton for milestone musicals like Noorie and of course Kabhie Kabhie, where Mukesh sang the soulful title song picturised on Amitabh Bachchan. Asked to share the raaz of his longevity, Khayyam said, “Moderation in lifestyle, get rid of your ego and envy. Listen to music that keeps you relaxed and active.”