Here are some of the most memorable ones we can think of.
1. Bade Achche Lagte Hain
This latest hit show by Balaji has perhaps the longest title in television history. Bade Achche Lagte Hain, Yeh Dharti Yeh Nadiya, Yeh Raina, Aur Tum is originally a song from the 1976 film Balika Badhu. For the serial, the romantic number was rearranged by Lalit Sen and Nawab Arzoo and sung by Shreya Ghoshal. The song is often repeated in the show and its sweet melody has made it a hit with adults and kids alike.
2. Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi
‘Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, thodi khati thodi meethi, is mein jeene ka ek alag hi hai maza.’ Nothing could express life so evocatively as this song for the 1984 sitcom, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. One of the biggest hits on Doordarshan in the ’80s, this popular comedy show starred Satish Shah, Swaroop Sampat and Rakesh Bedi. The song was sung by the legendary ,Kishore Kumar, who, through his brilliant vocals, perfectly emoted the essence of the lyrics and the theme of the show.
3. Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi
Balaji’s most successful show to date, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’s theme song captured the concept of a joint family effortlessly. The lyrics go like this: ‘Rishton ke bhi roop badlte hain, naye naye sanche mein dhalte hai, ek peedhi aati hai, ek peedhi jaati hai, banti kahani nayi, kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi’. Sung by Priya Bhattacharya, the song is still remembered by the audience that was first introduced to saas-bahu sagas on TV a decade ago.
4. Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki
The theme song of this superhit show talked about the significance of Indian values such as respecting elders, cherishing familial relationships and dealing with the ups and down in life with a smile. This Lalit Sen composition, with lyrics penned by Nawab Arzoo, was sung by Balaji favourite, Priya Bhattacharya.
If you grew up watching Mahabharat on Doordarshan, it is hard to forget the deep, resonating voice of Mahendra Kapoor in its title song. Through its impactful lyrics, the song captured the essence of the epic. It talked about how the Mahabharat is a story of purusharth (selfishness), parmarth (truth), duty and the big battle between the good and the evil.
One of the first shows based on Indian mythology, Ramayan was a runaway success during 1987-88. The 78-episode series was created, written and directed by Ramanand Sagar. Its melodious title song almost became a devotional hymn for many Hindus. It’s believed that composer Ravindra Jain’s memorable tune had such an impact that people would start praying and even worshipping the TV sets when the song began to play. While its lyrics resonated with the audiences — ‘mangal bhavan amangal haarii, drabahu sudasarath achar bihaarii’ — the dohas featured at the end of the episode were equally looked forward to.
7. Hum Log
This Anil Biswas composition implored Indians to come forward and contribute to building a better nation, with lyrics such as ‘Aaye haath uthayen, hum bhi’. Set in Delhi, the show dealt with a wide range of issues from unemployment to the aspirations and struggles of a middle class family. Premiering on DD in 1987, this was Indian television’s first soap opera and soon became an immensely popular show on the tube.