Both the films had a similar theme, as the stories revolved around a Lucknow courtesan. While "Pakeezah" released 1972, Muzaffar Ali's "Umrao Jaan" released 1981. The music of both the films is celebrated till today.
"'Umrao Jaan' was a subject which already had 'Pakeezah' in front of it, a big hit. Maker Kamal Amrohi saab, Meena Kumari as heroine, Ashok Kumar">Ashok Kumar and Rajkumar saab, music by Ghulam Mohammad was super duper hit. I was a bit scared about what will happen," Khayyam, who celebrated his birthday Monday, said here in an interview.
"I was scared about what will I do now, people have heard everything in 'Pakeezah'," he added.
Khayyam says reading about Umrao Jaan helped him compose the music.
"Then I started reading the history, how 'Umrao Jaan' became such a big singer, she was a brilliant dancer and she also did poetry," the composer said.
Khayyam is known for his compositions in films like "Aakhri Khat", "Kabhi Kabhie", "Noorie", "Thodi Si Bewafaai" among others.