Thursday, September 16, 2010

Radio Ga Ga...

For years now, as I get ready for work in the morning I have the habit of listening to the radio. This has been a habit since the time Radio City launched itself into Bangalore. Currently I tune in to 94.3. I like Bollywood music - so I naturally like the music they play and I like the MJ- Prithvi who comes on live in the mornings on this channel. So almost from the time they have launched I have been regularly listening to them. 
As per my daily routine as I switched on the radio today morning - I began to reminiscence about how the radio has been such an integral part of our lives. Long before the private FM channels hit the scene - our family had included radio into our lives. I know before the television the radio was a hit. But considering I was born into pretty much the post colour tv era - radio being a part of our daily life might still be something rare to come by. 
I remember my Dad used to tune into the All India Radio at around 6 am maybe and the rest of the household would wake up to the sounds of Suprabhata or some other classical music. I dont particularly remember my mother enjoying the crackling music my dad's small transistor sized machine used to belt out but my dad could not care less. 
Dad had all his morning timings and chores planned out as per the different programs on the radio. His factory bus would arrive sharp by around 7.15 am and including the bus time he had pre programmed and tuned his mind into the radio timings. He swore by the radio time. Noone was allowed to switch off or meddle with it at that time (not that any one of us actually bothered to :))
The funniest part that I vividly remember even now is that - while my dad shaved I would generally stand by and watch him fascinated (don't ask me why - the whole process just fascinated me...), he would generally hum along with the radio...while I was really young I naturally believed that my dad hummed because he knew/recognised the I grew older I questioned this belief of mine confronted dad ...that's when I realised that dad would just hum along irrespective of whether he knew the song or not and if my brother or I asked him which song it was - he would say "famous song". That's it. No further information (well he had to have information to give it in the first place :))
This continued till my dad retired in 1993. Noone paid that much attention to it but it always played in the background.
Our obsession with radio got rekindled again after my mother and brother started taking on programs on All India we would eagerly tune in and wait for them go on air...amazing feeling!! 
And then of course I joined work and just around that time Radio city was about to be launched in Bangalore, so was Radio Indigo.(if I remember right they were the only stations to have the licence. But Indigo pulled out at that time due to some funds issues - and Radio City ruled the roost for the next 3 years - until the next licence auction) I remember the sales teams from both these stations coming and pitching for our business. Those were the days when being on radio was new to most corporates and my product was one of the ideal clients to begin with. ...I still remember the sentence the woman from Radio City started her pitch with "Sharvani, our station will have such powerful transmitters and such superior technology that you will be able to listen to our radio station - as the crow flies" :) 
So much for the radio's journey into our today's MJs and RJs talk more and play less music and as the radio begins its journey into being one of the preferred mediums for advertisers to be on...........I cannot help but still love the radio and its music... 

Radio............Radio........Someone still loves you!

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