Titles are a favourite with me. They are much more than listing actors and credits, and if used imaginatively, can add a lot of value to the art of story telling. Titles carry a wealth of information which make viewing pleasure – the fonts, the colour, the content and of course the background score.
Classical music has been used very innovatively in the titles of several memorable musicals, and this post will discuss them.
Garjat Bheegat Sawan Aayilo – Malhar(1951)-Roshan
A traditional bandish by Sadarang in the Gaud Malhar delivered to perfection by Lata. The titles show the monsoon in full swing. Roshan did use several traditional compositions, or created filmy versions of them in this works, which I intend to discuss at length later in a different post. This brilliant rendering by Lata didn’t win the imagination of the listeners much.
Very ordinary fonts, but fully focused on the clouds in keeping with the theme.
Garjat Barsat Sawan Aayo–Barsat Ki Raat (1960)-Roshan
And hence this version was created, a very popular duet by Suman Kalyanpur and Kamal Barot. Sahir’s lyrics in chaste Hindi and the use of the instruments makes this an immortal rendering which will stand for centuries. It starts with a flash of Gaud Malhar in the Surmandal, followed by the jaltarang, sarod and then the sarangi. I love the fonts used in the names. Superbly rendered by the 2 ladies, the arrangement is outstanding. Throughout the song, the tabla is clearly audible and the rains in the background and Shyama’s natural gesture at 2:48 is it a fitting tribute to the music
Such is the richness of Indian classical music, that the concept of a raga can be interpreted completely differently by each artiste in line with his/her fertility of imagination. The technicals remaining the same, it is the sheer individuality of each artiste in the exposition of the raga that makes it such a great tradition. Here is a wonderful rendering of the traditional Garjat Barsat by Malbika Kanan
Tansen Riyaaz – Baiju Bawra (1952) – Naushad
An immortal rendering rendered flawlessly and with such grace by Ustad Amir Khan, bringing out the beautiful nuances of Puriya Dhanashree. It is important to note that Puriya Dhanashree is usually rendered in the evening time, which was when Tansen is known to have performed his riyaaz. This is Ustad Amir Khan’s interpretation of Tansen’s rendering. This makes a grand start to a musical movie.
Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje -(1955)-Vasant Desai
This should rank as one of the altime great title scores. Everything is great– the music, exquisite use of colours, i.e. rangoli, fonts and of course Ustad Amir Khan’s rendering of Adana. The titles bear ample testimony to Shantaram’s talent and appreciation of art. A grand opening for a lovely musical.
Tora Man Darpan – Kaajal(1965)-Ravi
A lovely score by Ravi in Darbari Kanada, with chaste Hindi by Sahir. An extremely philosophical song to start a movie! Every word true, every phrase so full of wisdom. Asha’s delivery is perfect. The titles use an interesting font and a curious shade of dark orange.
Inssaf Ka Mandir – Amar(1954)-Naushad
The movie is a personal favourite. Naushad composed some great ones in Bhairavi like “Tu Ganga Ki Mauj“, “Do Hanson Ka Joda“, but I find this extremely pleasing, because of some of the higher octave usages, especially in the antara. Simple lyrics by Shakeel.
Chal Ud Ja Re – Bhabhi(1957)-Chitragupta
This is one of the best scores of Chitragupta, a fine Pahadi. The highlight is the meaningful lyrics by Rajinder Krishen. How I wish I could write so well! I wonder how it must have been to watch it at the theaters.
Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya -Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya(1963) – Ravi
A simple, but effective Maulkauns by Ravi. Ravi did produce several gems in this raga like “Jaan-E-Bahaar Husn Tera” The titles are quite pleasant, and Shakeel’s lyrics are simple and ordinary.
Garaj Garaj Ghir Aayi Re – Koel(1959)-Khawaja Khurshid Anwar -(Pakistani)
I am leaving my readers with a special selection from a Pakistani movie, Koel, set to tune by master craftsman Khwaja Khurshid Anwar, in Gaud Malhar. Rendered beautifully by Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. I love the way the child eggs her father to continue singing.
(I havent added Toofan Aur Diya, since I have discussed it at length in my post on Bharat Vyas)