I was listening to those evergreen Shankar Jaikishan songs on my record player the other day. The songs from film Barsat and Anari, especially the title songs ( I mean songs with the title of the film in the lyrics) ‘Barsat men ham…’and ‘woh chaand khila……na samajhe oh anari hai’ took
me to a different and nostalgic world bringing back memories of seeing these films in the theatre,
listening to the songs on the radio and reading news and reviews about them, the performance of
Raj Kapur and so on. It also made me think about several beautiful title songs which were
integral to the films and one could not think of the film without thinking of the song.
The trend of having a title song in the film continued strongly till the middle of the 70s. Probably it was the combination of Raj kapur,Shailendra/Hasrat and Shankar Jaikishen who started the trend in a big way. For Raj Kapur Shankar Jaikishen was the music director till he switched over to LaxmikantPyarelal with film Bobby. There used to be a title song in all RK films be it the Mukesh number ‘Awaara hoon’ from film Awara or the Barsat and Anari numbers mentioned earlier. This continued with the Mukesh number in Jis Desh mein Ganga Bahti Hai and the ‘Bol Radha bol sangam hoga ki nahin’ number, again by Mukesh, in film Sangam. In between there were several title songs by Shankar Jaikishen for Raj kapur films. The ‘Ashique hoon baharaon ka’ from film Ashique, the racy number (Mukesh-Sharda)from film Around the World, ‘Duniya ke sair karlo……Insaf ke dost ban kar, Insaf ke pyar kar lo, Around the world in 8Dollars’ and the title song by Rafi in that musical hit, Love in Tokyo, come to mind. ( The song ‘Sayanora sayanora’ from the film Love in Tokyo was very popular in the campus and an emotion filled, romantic word for the inevitable year end autographs!!). There are a few other title songs also from the fold of Raj Kapur –Shankar Jaikishen which come to mind readily. The ‘Oh Kanhaiya oh kanhaiya’ (Lata) number from film Kanhaiya, ‘Ek dil aur sau afsane’(Lata) from the film with the same title, ‘Mujhko yaro maaf karna, mein nashen mein hoon’( Mukesh) from film Mein Nashe mein hoon, and ‘Diwana mujhko log kahen, mein samajhoom jag hain deiwana’(Mukesh) from film Diwana are some of them. These are typical Mukesh numbers for Raj Kapur by Shankar Jaikishen though a similar number, ‘Chhalia mera naam, chalna mera kaam’ by Mukesh for Raj Kapur was composed by Kalyanji-Anandji for film Chhalia.
In fact one of the less noticed features of Shankar Jaikishen’s work is that they had composed more number of title songs than any other composers of the past and present.Many such songs were on Shammi Kapur when the trio of he, Shankar Jaikishen and Rafi formed a highly successful team with several hit songs. The title songs in film, An Evening in Paris, Pagla Kahin Ka( Log kahein mujhe pahla kahinka), Dil Tera Deewana( Dil tera deewana hai sanam), Raaj Kumar(Mein hoon Raj kumar) and so on come to mind instantly.And who can forget the famous lung bursting ‘yahoooo....’ song, ‘Chaahe koi mujhe junglee kahein’ from film Junglee? By the way, there is another typical song on Shammi Kapur, ‘Dil dekhe dekho, dil dekhe dekho, dil delkhe delkho jee, dil denewalon ko .....’; but this is by debutant music director Usha khanna for Ash Parekh’s debut film Dil Dekhe Dekho.
There are several other outstanding title songs of Shankar Jaikishen like the sweet melodious,’Dil mera ek aas ka panchi’(Subir Sen)from film Aas ka Panchi, , ‘Aayi Milan ki bela mein to aayi’(Rafi) from film Aayi Milan ki bela, ‘April fool banaya”(Rafi) from film April Fool,’Mujhko apne gale lagalo, yeh mere hamrahi’(Rafi-Mubarak Begum)from Hamrahi, ‘Dil Ek Mandir hai’(Rafi- Suman Kalyanpur)) from film Dil Ek Mandir and so on. In film Rangoli there is this soft melody of Kishor kumar,’Rangoli sajao re’and in Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja, there is the rare happy song of Talat Mahmmod with Lata , ‘Tu roop ki rani , mein choroon ka raja, yeh tera mera pyar nirala’and so on. There is the popular hit, Jab pyar kisi se hota hai (Rafi) and the ‘Lakh chupao chupna........dil ki baath bada detha hai Asli Naqli chehra’ from film Asli Naqli. In film Hariyali aur Raasta,the speciality is that there are two title songs, one byLata,’Yeh hariali aur raasta’ and the other by Mukesh-Lata ‘ Bol meri taqdeer men kya hai................jeevan ki do pahloon mein, hariyali aur raasta’’ In fact Lata has also sung this song solo and the LP album with a distinctly designed jacket becomes a rare title songs’ album. Yes, Shankar Jaikishen were the most sought after composers of title songs.
Eventhough Naushad had composed music for a large number of films, the number of title songs by him is less. One of his much acclaimed title songs is ‘’Mere mehboob tujhe meri muhabath ki kasam’(Lata as well as Rafi)from film Mere Mehboob, a Rajindra kumar Sadhana starrer.The soulfully rendered song ‘ Dil diya dard liya,dilruba maine tere pyar ne kya kya na diya, dil diya....’(Rafi) of film Dil Diya Dard Liya and the song, ‘Mere ghar se pyar ki palki chali gai’ (Manna Dey)from film Palki which as a chorus by Rafi, Manna Dey and Lata is also there.
Music Director R.D.Burman had tuned a few beautiful title songs for films. One is from the Super hit Rajesh Khanna film Kati Patang ,’Na koi umang hai.........eh kati patang hai’.There is another super hit song ‘Yadon ki baraat nikli hai’ from the Dharmendra-Zeenat Aman starrer Yadon ki Barat and the famous ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ from the Dev Anand film with the same title.
Turning to music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal the first song coming to mind is ‘Suno Sajana .........Aaye din bahar ke’ from the Asha Parekh starrer Aaye din Bahar ke.There is also the song ‘ Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ from the film with the same title and the song ‘Hum bane tum bane ek dhuje ke liye’ from the Kamal Hasan-Rati Agnihotri starrer Ek Dhuke ke Liye to mention a few.
There are several other title songs in films, viz., Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje (Music: Vasant Desai), Bin Badal Barsat(Music: Hemant kumar), Dil hi To hai (Music: Roshan) Noorie( Music :Khayyam) Jeene ki Raah(Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal)and so on. From music Director S.D.Burman there is the song ‘Tere ghar ke Saamne ek ghar banaoonga(Rafi) for film Tere Ghar ke Saaamne and a title song in film Tere mere sapne(Kishor). The song beautifully rendered by Mukesh in a grief striken voice for film Saaranga, viz., ‘Saaranga teri yaad mein’ composed by Sardar Malik is another memorable title song. How can we forget the award winning song by Mubarak Begum, ‘Kabhi tanhayiyon mei yun, hamari yaad aayegi’ from director Kidar Sharma’s film Hamari Yaad Aayegi? The music by the veteran Snehal Bhatkar was the highlight of the film.Three title songs composed by O.P.Nayyar are coming readily to mind. Rafi’s Tum sa nahin dekha and Phir wohi dil laaya hoon and Mahendra Kapur’s Baharen phir bhi ayengi, all three standing examples of O.P’s famous rhythm.
In film Kora Kagaz (Vijay Aanand-Jaya Bhaduri) Kalyanji Aanandji has given the melodious song ‘Mera jeevan kora kagaz kora bhi rehgaya’(Kishor) and in film Mere Humsafar there is the song ‘Kisi raha mein kisi mode par mere humsafar mere humsafar(Lata-Mukesh)..
There are a few title songs in the ‘pyar’ series. The romantic melody, ‘Dekha hai kisi ke chanchal nainon men, pyar ka sagar’(Mukesh-film:Pyar ka sagar. Music :Ravi)) is one song which even now keeps one glued to the radio/tv when heard. In film Pyar hi pyar, there is this pleasant song, ‘Dekha hai teri ankhon me pyar hi pyar beshumar’(Rafi-Shankar Jaikishen).In that highly successful remake of Tamil film Kathalikka neramillai , in Hindi, Pyar kiye jaa’, ther is the song,’Din jawani ko char vyar pyar kiye jaa’ with kishor kumar at his hilarious best. There is a similar song by Rafi in film Pyar Muhabath with music by ShankarJaikishen.
Let me end this by listing ( not a ranking list)four title songs, which according to me are a few of the best ever in Hindi films in this category.
2. Film: Choudwin ka chand. Singer: Rafi Music: Ravi.
Song: Chaudwin ka chaand ho.
3. Film: Barsat ki raat. Singer : Rafi .Music: Roshan.
Song: Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat.
4. Film: Dil apna aur preet parai. Singer: Lata Music: Shankar jaikishen.
Song:Dil apna aur preet parai
It is a pity that by the beginning of the 80s title songs began losing its space probably with the eclipse of Shankar Jaikishen and the reluctance/lack of taste of the makers in giving meaningful names to films. There was a sort of revival for title songs by A.R.Rahman in films like Taal, Dil Se etc. and the box-office success of films like Dil to pagal hai (Music: Uttam Singh) and Dilwale dulhaniya le jayengi(Music:Jatin-Lalit)and so on. But the revival was temporary. It now appears that film titles are no longer inspired by poetry,traditional romantic feelings, sentiments associated with long cherished values etc. thus limiting the scope for sweet, melodious, inspiring and meaningful title songs.With titles like Dirty Picture, Jab we met, Pyar ka side effects, Pyar mein twist,and numbered titles like Dhoom 1,2, 3, 3 Idiots etc, I am afraid, it will be idiotic to expect a title song like ‘Dil ne phir yaad kiya dard ki lahar aayi hai.(Rafi-music: Sonik-Omi. Film. Dil ne phir yaad kiya).