The top title tunes on TV

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By Mili Swarnakar (Bollywood News Service)
  • Published 30.01.09

Consider this — you are walking along a lonely patch at night when a snatch of music wafts in: Muskurake jeevan… chhede pyar ki dhun. And you go: Aha, someone is watching Kasamh Se!

TV tunes have seeped into our consciousness. Nawab Arzoo, lyricist for several Balaji shows, says: “A title song of a show is like a signboard. It helps attract the audience to the show. It gives a brief of the story without revealing much of it.”

No wonder, deciding the title track is a major creative endeavour for most TV producers who spare no effort or expense to come up with a tune that will catch, and hold, the viewers’ fancy.

Successful playback singers have lent their voice to A-grade serials. Kavita Krishnamurthy, who has rendered her voice to successful heroines from Sridevi to Aishwarya, has sung the title tunes of Jai Maa Durga for which she won the ITA award this year. Sonu Nigam has sung for Amber Dhara.

Shreya Ghosal has enlivened Saat Phere, Kasturi, Mamta and Reth, Mahalaxmi Iyer has sung the title track of Kahiin To Hoga and Astitva, Sadhna Sargam has been the voice of Kora Kagaz while Sunidhi Chauhan has Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi and Richa Sharma has Kis Des Main Hai Meraa Dil to her credit.

From the first Indian serials, title tunes such as the fun-filled Yeh jo hai zindagi…thodi meethi thodi khatti or the thought-provoking Hasratein hi hasratein hai; aur kya hai? or the iconic Rishton ke bhi roop badalte hain — kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi have enchanted viewers.

Lyricist Nawab Arzoo says: “We are given the brief of the story and told about the protagonist before we pen the title track. The picturisation is very important, therefore we write lyrics to suit a preconceived situation. Channels spare only 45 seconds to a minute for a title track; so it is challenging to capture the core of the story in such a short time. At times, we adapt the title track to suit the latest development in the story. I have written more than 200 versions for Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.

Raju Singh, who has composed music for the title tracks as well as background scores for many TV serials (Dekh Bhai Dekh, Just Mohabbat, Filmi Chakkar), is unhappy with the musical output in serials. He says: “We can do a lot more with the background music and the title track. One of the major constraints is the time spared for the serials. I’m trying to make a difference. I’m doing Shree and Jaane Kya Baat Hui on Colors for which I have also sung the title track. With these two shows, I have proved that TV music can be good too.”

Raju Singh has got a breakthrough in films (he has composed two songs for Raaz — The Mystery Continues), but let’s hope that the film industry’s gain doesn’t prove to be TV industry’s loss. Innovative tunes are always welcome.

Hear it before you see it

Most recently, the title song of Balika Vadhu — Chhotisi umar — has been shot in a way that captures the essence of the show, which is on child marriage.

In the Uttaran title tune, Swanand Kirkire deserves full credit for bringing out the child protagonist’s plight: Woh nahin samjhe abhi kya hoti hai uttaran.

Balaji pays meticulous attention to its title tracks —Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and Kasautii Zindagii Kay may have gone off air but the tunes linger on.

Kasamh Se’s Muskurake jeevan encapsulates the aspirations of three sisters. The verdant landscape of mountains forms a picturesque background for the cascading number. Music director Lalit Sen did a commendable job with the track whose lyrics were written by Nawab Arzoo. The rendition of the song by Nihira Joshi (of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa fame) made it pleasing to the ear.

The title track of the afternoon daily KumKum…Pyaara Sa Bandhan (Jeevan kar leta hai shringaar Kumkum se … Kumkum se) has upbeat music by Lalit Sen while Pamela Jain and Sonu Nigam’s voice is soothing to the ear. As is common in the TV industry, the tempo of the song has been changed a couple of times to keep in sync with the latest twists and turns of the story but the catchy title tune remains perennial.

The title track of Dill Mill Gayye is as youthful and colourful as its concept and characters. More than the tune, the lyrics of the song, Hum toh chale thhe dost banke jane kahan dill mill gayye give a pertinent brief on the show. The picturisation manages to establish each character. The tunes played at the beginning and the end on the synthesiser bag brownie points.