“ Cholbe na ”, (This won’t do), was SD Burman’s emphatic reaction when he heard Shakti Samanta was planning to call his film ‘Subah Pyar Ki’, taken from the song ‘Raat ke humsafar’ sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhonsle for An Evening in Paris .
After giving it some thought, Samanta asked C Mohan (publicity designer) who also suggested using a simple name. Mohan was also planning to make a film which he had not yet started work on. But he had registered the name.
Samanta bought it off Mohan and ‘Subah Pyar Ki’ became Aradhana (1969). With the change of name, an actor’s luck changed too and there was no looking back for Rajesh Khanna.
There is also the case of the name of a film being changed four times. Anokha Bandhan became Bandagi , then Aankhon Aankhon Mein and finally came to be released as Phir Kab Milogi (1974), one of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s less memorable films.
BR Chopra decided to change the title of his film from Talaq, Talaq, Talaq to Nikaah (1982). Shah Rukh Khan had a rethink on his film Billu Barber and called it Billu (2009) instead.
Would you watch a film that was called ‘Full Boots’? May be the makers got cold feet about it and renamed it. Hum Dono (1961) went on to become a memorable film with Dev Anand in a double role. Similarly Hrishikesh Mukherjee changed his mind about ‘Raag Ragini’ and thought Abhimaan (1973) would resonate better and it did!
Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962) was a psychological thriller. Its working title was ‘Mai Akela’, which sounded more like a tragic love story of a lonely man.
While the song ‘Akela hoon’ main sung by Rafi was retained, the name of the film was changed.
‘Nafrat ke Waris’ that was made with both a happy and a sad ending. “I edited the one with the sad ending,” said Mansoor Khan. Mansoor’s father was in a quandary as his friends begged him to retain the happy ending. They told him the film would fail if both the hero and the heroine died in the end.
“My father gave me that feedback. But I had got another from the younger people in the family. My sister, Aamir, Aamir’s sisters and our friends were all for the sad ending. We managed to convince my dad but had to change the name. The original ‘Nafrat ke Waris’ sounded too khatarnak !” The title that Nasir Husain had suggested was Qayamat se Qayamat Tak (1988)!