Saturday, October 18, 2008

Radio, and its new lease of life through RJs

It is amazing how the role of a radio jockey is changing. From what I know, it used to be a hobby for people; or a pastime, at best. But, look at the transformation now. There are folks in Bangalore who do it full-time, or more than part-time at least! That's not all - they are counted amongst the glitterati of the city, get accorded VIP status at major events in the city, get invited to inaugurate various things in the city as a chiefguest et al. It sure has caught on. Which is good - at least a new variety and breed of professionals are getting recognised by the dint of their contributions!

Today was quite special as a major retail store, The Weekender was setting up a new branch in Commercial Street, Bangalore. This is a place where most shopaholics in the city flock on any given day, and more so on a Saturday. And 4 of the most famous and popular RJ's in town - Prithvi, Pallavi, Lakshmi and Anjaan were there for the inauguration. They were busy interviewing people at the store, taking requests for various songs and dedications, playing with kids and giving out goodies and gifts. It was a great thing to see, such a simple and uncomplicated set of people connecting with the larger audience. What appealed even more was the degree of connect that the citizens of the city had with these radio jockeys, whose voices are heard across vehicles in the city every single day. Their humour, sense of occasion, history, ability to call out key events related to national interest, constant updates of scores during cricket matches and other sports of national importance, etc have caught on to people's imagination for sure.

I, for one, enjoy the shows on 94.3 FM. Pallavi, that bubbly and incredibly exuberant and "chatter-boxy" type of individual who keeps me hooked onto the radio during my 1.5 hour drives from office back home! And Prithvi, who with his jest and fine ability to do new things such as crack jokes on birthday boys & girls, play the role of a detective etc, are engaging stuff!

Great to see the radio get this wake up call through these RJs. The last time I was hooked on to the radio was in school and college- that too, on Vividh Bharati, and Man Chahe Geet in the afternoons at 1.30 pm. And before that, Amin Sayani and his legendary voice & sense of humour. The Prithvis, Pallavis, Anjaans and the Lakshmis, are giving radio a new lease of life. And to borrow from McDonald, "I'm loving it"!

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