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Title Tracks of Old Doordarshan Serials A Journey Down Memory Lane

Posted on 22/05/2021 by Trivia – The Spice of Life

Screen grab Courtesy: YouTube

Cable television revolutionized the small screen. Not only did it offer choices, but also the content of the programmes changed considerably. A barrage of daily soaps started and then there was no looking back. However, there was a time – about thirty to thirty five years ago – when the entire experience of watching television was completely different. Doordarshan (DD) was the only channel. Come to think of it, though there was no choice in terms of channels that one could watch, there was quality in the programmes that were produced. The tele serials were very down to earth. The stories were such that one could easily relate to them. There was no pomp and show. More importantly, the shows were weekly and the number of episodes would usually be 13 or 22. Each day, the prime time would have a different serial. What was also remarkable about these serials was that they had great title songs. Some even had meaningful songs during the episodes in addition to the title tracks.

In this post, I have tried to shortlist ten title songs of shows that were aired on DD in the late eighties and early nineties before the culture of daily soaps started. Those who have grown up watching DD will surely get nostalgic. The music directors, lyricists and singers of these songs were very talented artists in their own right. Many of them in fact were those closely associated with mainstream cinema. This itself reflects the fact that the title songs were written, composed and sung with a lot of sincerity and involvement. No wonder why they are remembered and sung even today.

1) Ae Zamaane Tere Saamne Aa Gaye (Subah,1987) Lyricist: Mandeep Sodhi (?)/R.D.Burman(?); Music Director: R.D.Burman; Singer:R.D.Burman. This tele serial had R.D.Burman not just scoring the music but also lending his voice to the title song, which speaks of vigour and enthusiasm that is concomitant with youth. It addressed a very serious problem – that of drug abuse amongst college youth. This was perhaps one of the first attempts made on television, to openly address this issue. The song has the classic R.D.Burman rhythm. The lilting tune makes the track catchy.

ए ज़माने तेरे सामने आ गए
आज के दौर के नौजवान आ गए 
दर पे तेरे बन के सूरज 
लेके सुबह आ गए अब हम 
सुबह को कर सलाम

मौत और ज़िन्दगी दोनों हैरान हैं..
वक़्त को मोड़ दें हम वो तूफ़ान हैं..

2) Jeevan Ek Pyaas Hain (Talaash, 1992) Lyricist: Yogesh ; Music Director: Lt. Hemant Kumar; Singer: Suresh Wadekar. This serial was based on the Bengali novel Sonar Kathi Rupor Kathi by Ashutosh Mukherjee. The title song of this serial was based on the song Tum Pukar Lo of the movie Khamoshi (1969). As is evident from the title, the plot revolves round the search for a long lost friend. Yogesh, an accomplished lyricist, has added new lyrics to an old tune to make it suitable for the tele serial’s theme.

जीवन एक प्यास हैं 
सभी को कुछ तलाश हैं 

जिनकी हम तलाश में उम्र भर चले 
कोई जानता नहीं वो कहाँ मिलें 
फिर भी टूटती नहीं ये जो आस हैं
सभी को कुछ तलाश हैं... 

3) Man Ek Seepi Hain (Chunauti, 1987-88) Lyricist:??; Music Directors: Sapan Jagmohan; Singer : Amit Kumar. Even with just 22 episodes, this serial was an instant hit; all its actors – Arif Zakaria, Channa Ruparael, Suchitra Krishnamurti and Ali Asgar – were fresh faces. Their portrayal of the ups and downs of college life was very genuine.

The Sapan Jagmohan duo (Sapan Sengupta and Jagmohan Bakshi) composed music for the title track. They started off their careers in music as singers in Salil Chowdhury’s Bombay Youth Choir. They also worked for long as assistants of R.D.Burman. They independently composed the music of films like Begana (1963), Teri Talash Mein (1968), Chetna (1970) and Call Girl (1974). Amit Kumar has sung the song with a lot of passion.

मन एक सीपी है, आशा मोती है 
हर पल जीवन का एक चुनौती है

सोने न दे आग सीने की 
कर ले लगन से तू प्यार
आवाज़ देकर बुलाले तू 
तेरे लिए है बहार
जो बन जाता है धूल राहों की

उसकी दीवानी मंजिल होती है
हर पल जीवन का एक चुनौती है

4) Har Dil Ko Sunaate Hain (Farmaan, 1994) Lyricist: K Razdan; Music Director: Kishore Desai; Singer: Bhupinder. A serial with 14 episodes, several of its scenes are still etched in my memory. The authentic depiction of Nizam culture, the Urdu, the cast – all of them made the serial very popular. The elegance that simplicity brings is seen in the persona of the female lead Aiman, played by Deepika Deshpande – who made her acting debut in this serial. Kanwaljeet, Raja Bundela, Navin Nischol and Vineeta Malik played major roles in the serial. It was based on Rafia Manzurul Amin‘s novel, Alampanaah. Bhupinder sings the title track mellifluously. The serial was directed by Lekh Tandon – the man behind successful movies like Professor (1962), Aamrapali (1966) and Prince (1969).

हर दिल को सुनाते हैं 
फ़रमान मोहब्बत का 
प्यासा हैं बहुत प्यासा 
इंसान मोहब्बत का 

5) Apna Apna Aasmaan (Apna Apna Aasmaan, 19??) Lyricist and Music Director : Satish Bhatia, Mahesh Prabhakar and Sameer Bhatia; Singer: Jagjit Singh. The serial showcases the travails of a family whose patriarch is a freedom fighter and goes to jail during the quit India movement. It is based on a Telugu novel Kaushalya by P.Satyanarayana Murti. Packed with powerful performances by Girish Karnad, Beena and Shriram Lagoo, this was another serial which everyone looked forward to watching. Jagjit Singh’s velvety voice drips with pathos.

Satish Bhatia – who composed and wrote the song with two others – was a multifaceted personality ; he was a composer, conductor and lyricist. After the failure of Maldaar (1951), his first film as composer, he devoted himself to Radio. Later, on V.Shantaram’s request, he composed music for Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti (1967) which has the memorable song Yeh Kaun Chitrakaar Hain.

ज़िन्दगी में हर किसी का अपना अपना आसमान 
हर कोई अपने जूनून की कह रहा हैं दास्तान
 ज़िन्दगी की तल्खियाँ  और हर तरफ नाकामियाँ  
दिल को घायल कर गयी और बढ़ गयी बेचैनियाँ 

6) Yun Nikal Pada Hun Safar Pe Main (Manzilein, 1991) Lyricist: ??; Music Director: ??; Singer: Himanshu Joshi. Manzilen was directed by Umesh Bist. It was based on the script written by Juhi Sinha (an IAS officer’s wife who was also the producer of the series). It follows the ups and downs of a young IAS officer on his first posting as district magistrate. It provides an insight into life in a small district place – the imaginary Virpur in Uttar Pradesh. There is confrontation with local politicians and lumpen elements. Unfortunately, there is no information on the music director or the lyricist. The lyrics are very peppy, though.

यूँ निकल पड़ा हूँ सफर पे मैं 
मुझे मंज़िलों की तलाश है 

नए रास्ते नए आसमान 
नए हौसलों की तलाश है 

7) Dharti Par Suraj Ki Kirne (Neev, 1990) Lyricist: Naqsh Lyallpuri; Music Directors: Sapan Jagmohan; Singer : Amit Kumar. A tele serial with 13 episodes, it captured life in a boarding school, with the focus on the senior secondary students. They are the foundation (or neev) of the future. It is a coming of age story which describes hostel life and boarding school politics. The lyrics penned by Naqsh Lyallpuri are apt for the young and budding citizens of the country who are just about to leave school. Naqsh Lyallpuri (or Jaswant Rai Sharma) was a very profound lyricist who wrote lyrics for songs in films like Dil Ki Raahen (1973), Gharonda (1977), Tumhare Liye (1978), Khandaan (1979), Dard (1981), Dil-e-Nadaan (1982). There is intensity in his lyrics.

धरती पर सूरज की किरणें
 रखे नींव उजाले की 
विद्या के प्रकाश से रोशन 
नींव बने विद्यालय की   
नींव अगर मज़बूत हो मानव
 धरती पर आकाश बने 
कोई गाँधी कोई नेहरू 
कोई वीर सुभाष बने 

8) Kabhi Hadson Ki Dagar Mile (Phir Wohi Talash, 1989-90) Lyricist : Shabab Meruti ; Music Director: Kajal Ghosh ; Singer: Chandan Das. This was another memorable 22 episode serial directed by Lekh Tandon. A poor boy who comes, to the city from a village, for higher studies falls for a city girl who is from a well-to-do family. It deals with the conflicts that arise as a result and how they are resolved. The serial is famous for another lovely ghazal – Mere Humsafar Mere Saath Tum – which was composed by none other than the great music director Anil Biswas. It was sung by an upcoming ghazal singer Shobhana Rao. The song did wonders to her singing career. Unfortunately, the name of the lyricist (Bashir Badr??) of this memorable ghazal is not available.

कभी हादसों की डगर मिले
कभी मुश्किलों का सफ़र मिले
ये चराग़ हैं मेरी राह के
मुझे मंज़िलों की तलाश है

9) Muh Ki Baat Sune Har Koi (Neem Ka Ped, 1991) Lyricist: Nida Fazli; Music Director: Jagjit Singh; Singer: Jagjit Singh. The title track of the serial in Jagjit Singh’s voice transports one to a completely different realm. The question that Nida Fazli asks in the song is so relevant even today. Based on a short story written by Vilayat Jafri, who was then the station director at DD Lucknow, it was worked upon by Dr.Rahi Masoom Raza and turned into a script for a tele serial. It also happened to be the last script written by Dr.Raza, as he passed away in 1992. After Dr.Raza’s death, Vilayat Jafri wrote the script of the remaining episodes. Budhai (Pankaj Kapoor) – a bonded labourer – is the protagonist and the Neem tree is a witness to the vicissitudes of Budhai. Nida Fazli’s lyrics and Jagjit Singh’s music and voice make this title track a masterpiece.

मुँह की बात सुने हर कोई
दिल के दर्द को जाने कौन
आवाज़ों के बाज़ारों में
ख़ामोशी पहचाने कौन 

10) Ek Naya Parivartan Yugaantar (Yugaantar, 1985) Lyricist: ??; Music Director: Sapan Jagmohan; Singers: Mitali Chowdhury, Moreshwar Nistane and Pankaj Dasgupta. This serial was based on Sunil Gangopadhyay’s award winning Bengali novel Sei Somoy (Bengaliসেই সময়Those Days). It depicted pre-independent India. It was about the freedom movement which was accompanied by a social reform movement. The actors were Navin Nischol, Beena, Mohan Gokhale and Anil Chatterjee. It showed how times changed as generations went by. The title song is filled with zeal and zest. It speaks of how the pages of history cannot consummately capture the past. Sapan Jagmohan’s music is perfectly in sync with the mood of the song and the plot of the serial.

जाने न कोई उस पल को 
लेके आएगा जग में जो
एक नया परिवर्तन 

 इतिहास के पन्नों पर 
सच की हैं परछाइयाँ 
शब्दों में बँध न सकी 
उस युग की सच्चाइयाँ 
 जिनसे हुआ धरती पर 

[I was not able to find the video of just the title song.]

This post was a real trip down the memory lane. Many of us were just kids or teenagers when we watched these shows and perhaps could not appreciate them fully. Prasar Bharati Archives has digitized many of them and that is the reason why admirers of old serials like me can relive those magic moments. Come to think of it, many of the subjects (like drug addiction) on which these serials were produced were pretty serious. They truly tried to convey a message to society about what ails it. Ace lyricists, singers and music directors were associated with these title tracks. This is what makes them unforgettable.

For a while, I did feel out of place while watching an episode or two of these vintage serials, as there was no mobile phone in sight!! It made me wonder about how we survived without mobiles and internet. Life too was perhaps simpler back then. May I also add here that I was amazed to find that there are several admirers like me who still cherish these serials and their title tracks. Documentation of these songs however leaves much to be desired. The names of the lyricists/singers/music directors are not easy to glean. That explains the question marks ?? that you would find at several places. I would be pleased if someone can add these details along with their favourite title track.

Disclaimer, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube/ other platforms only to make the post audiovisual. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.

6 thoughts on “Title Tracks of Old Doordarshan Serials A Journey Down Memory Lane

  1. Yes,
    It really was a trip down the memory lane.
    Though I couldn’t remember all of them, I did remember Chunauti, phir Wohi talash, talash.
    And the life was definitely simpler and lighter. I miss those days. Oh!
    Actually the nostalgia of the old days was the main driving force foe me to start the 90s series.
    No mobile, no internet, just Doordarshan. No melodramatic saas bahu daily soaps. No loud sets, no loud make-up or jewelry. How badly I miss those days.
    I could think of Tamas, Nukkad, buniyaad, Gul Gulshan Gulfam, and of course the epics, Ramayan and Mahabharat.
    The sword of Tipu Sultan, chanakya, Bharat ek Khoj etc. I don’t exactly remember if these serials fit in the timeline you mentioned.
    There was one serial, perhaps named Indra dhanush, that featured Akshay Anand and Karan Johar.
    And I couldn’t remember the one with Sudesh Berry and Malwaika Kohli. That was popular too.
    Let me see if I could get the videos.



  2. Oh
    And I did find,


    And, how I forgot Malgudi days


    Gul Gulshan Gulfam

    Vijay Anand in Tehkikat



    Bharat ek Khoj

    I feel hopelessly nostalgic. I want to return to those days right now. Just right away!
    Of course I can’t



    1. Anupji, thanks for reading and sharing the same sense of nostalgia. The Sudesh BEerry and Malvika Tiwari starred serial was Kashish. We are fortunate that many of the serials are available on YouTube. But unlike film songs, the title tracks of the DD serials are not properly documented. It is difficult to find the names of the lyricist, music director and singer /s and the year/s of telecast for all of them. Also some like Darpan only have theme music and no song per se.


  3. Oh yes.
    Kashish was the name.
    I agree no documentation of the DD title tracks. But still majority of the tracks are available on YouTube, but the related information is not there with each one.


  4. Wonderful People , please share the Title track for Tumhare Liye Doordarshan Lyrics “Akaash se jertr hain baadal, mehakti hai kushbu in wadiyon mein. Yahaan se wahaan tak, Tumhare Liye”


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