Jagjit Kaur is an Indian singer and wife of the famous Indian music composer Mohammed Zahur Khayyam (aka Khayyam).
Jagjit Kaur was born in the year 1931 (age 88 years; as in 2019) in Punjab. Since her childhood, she was interested in films and music and would often participate in cultural programmes organised in her school.
Family, Caste & Husband
She was born to a noble Punjabi Zamindar Family. She got married to the veteran music composer, Mohammed Zahur Khayyam in 1954. She had a son named Pradeep Khayyam, who died of a heart attack on 25 March 2012.
She made her singing debut with the Punjabi film “Posti (1950).” She made her Bollywood debut as a singer with the film “Dil-E-Nadaan (1953)” under the composition of Ghulam Mohammed. She sang three songs in the film- “Muhabbat Ki Dhun Bekararo Se Poochho,” “Chanda Gaye Ragni Cham Cham Barse,” and “Khamosh Zindagi Ko Ek Afsana Mil Gaya.” However, it could not help her gain much recognition.
After a decade of her marriage with Khayyam, she sang the best song of her career titled ‘Tum Apna Ranj-O-Gham’ from the film “Shagoon (1964).” The song went on to become the benchmark of her career.
- ‘Kahmosh Zindagi Ko Afsaanaa Mil Gayaa’ from the film “Dil-e-Nadan (1953)”
- ‘Pehle To Ankh Milana’ from the film “Shola Aur Shabnam (1961)”
- ‘Tum Apna Rang–o-Gham Apni Pareshani Mujhe De Do’ from the film “Shagoon (1964)”
- ‘Dekho Dekho Ji Gori Sasural Chali’ from the film “Shagoon (1964)”
- ‘Nain Milake Pyar Jata Ke Aag Laga Dee’ from the film “Mera Bhai Mera Dushman (1967)”
- ‘Chale Aao Saiyan Rangeele Main Vaari Re’ (with Pamela Chopra) from the film”Bazaar (1982)”
- ‘Dekh Lo Aaj Humko Jee Bhar Ke’ from the film “Bazaar (1982)”
- ‘Kaahe Ko Byahi bides’ from the film “Umrao Jaan (1981)”
- ‘Saada Chidiya Da Chamba Vai’ from the film “Kabhi Kabhi (1976)”
7th Floor, Dakshina Apartments,
- Jagjit likes listening to music and watching films.
- Jagjit is known for her rustic voice and her strong ability to render folk music. Music experts believe that her vocals flow from high to low pitch, acquiring a mellow finish.
- Jagjit’s singing career started with the film “Posti (1950).” It was also the first Punjabi film, in which Asha Bhosle had lent her voice.
- Jagjit’s singing talent was first spotted by Khayyam during a music concert, where she was singing a classical song. Khayyam approached her and offered her to sing for “Shola Aur Shabnam (1961).” She sang a solo and a duet song with Mohammed Rafi in the film. From then on, Khayyam and Jagjit’s musical bond never broke.
- Jagjit and Khayyam met for the first time on the overbridge of the Dadar Railway Station, where Jagjit had been following her. At first, Jagjit felt anxious, thinking of him as a stalker. When Khayyam introduced himself as a music composer to her, she calmed down.
- Jagjit’s father was against her marriage with Khayyam, but she was determined to get married to Khayyam only. Despite her father’s disapproval, her marriage with Khayyam was one of the first inter-communal marriages in the film industry.
- Even in her short singing career, she became one of the most versatile singers of Bollywood. From the folk song like ‘Ladi Re Ladi’ from “Shola Aur Shabnam (1961)” to the soft melody like ‘Tum Apna Ranj-O-Gham’ from “Shagoon (1964),” Jagjit had touched every shade of singing. Her traditional wedding songs, such as “Kaahe Ko Byahi Bides,” “Chale Aao Saiyyan,” and “Dekh Lo Aaj Humko,” all of them were for Khayyam and are considered as jewels.
- Though, she has sung fewer songs than her contemporaries Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar; all her songs are considered as gems.
- In an Interview, Jagjit Kaur told that even after she had sung the ageless classic like ‘Tum Apna Ranj-O-Gham’ from “Shagoon (1964),” Khayyam never proposed her name to the producers.
- When Khayyam turned 90, Khayyam and Jagjit decided to donate all of their earnings to their charitable trust, ‘Khayyam Jagjeet Kaur KPG Charitable Trust.’ While talking about it, Khayyam said,
I have decided that I will donate my entire wealth to support artistes and technicians, who are in need in the film industry. I have given everything I had to my motherland.”
- Reportedly, Jagjit Kaur was the classmate of the former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh. In 2006, Manmohan took time out of his busy schedule to meet Jagjit Kaur and her husband, Khayyam.
- In August 2019, Khayyam fell while trying to get up from his armchair at his home and had to be admitted to Sujay Hospital in Juhu. Following the incident, Jagjit encountered an alarming drop in her blood sugar count. Jagjit and Khayyam were alotted the adjoining cabins named ‘Lily’ and ‘Tulip’ in the hospital. Khayyam passed away on 19 August 2019 due to cardiac arrest.