Taking my relationship with radio on the next level, in 2002 I got my first posting in Akshwani Bhawan, New Delhi and for a very brief period edited a business news magazine called 'Market Mantra' on AIR-FM-II ( now called FM-Gold) .I was part of Indian Information Service in those days. Being inside that building was like going to a temple. The work culture was amazing. Despite much degradation in standards, in AIR newsroom and recording rooms you can still find a newsreader/editor calling a friend or consulting an embassy to get the correct pronunciation of a foreign name. There were legendary presenters, people who’s voices become their best introductions for millions of listeners and whose style was copied by many future RJs . There were some people well established in their careers otherwise but working as casual announcers/news readers just to taste the romance of being on airwaves. O yes, it is intoxicating.As insider, I also got a chance to see the archives which can any day make a music lover faint with excitement. From the 40s and 50s the AIR archives have a unparalleled collection of Indian Music-including classical, folk ,regional and of course, the film music.
These days the first thing I do in the morning after pushing my morning alarm back , is tuning the good old Vividh Bharti on my Dish TV. It is almost like going back to my childhood. familiar style of presentation and the similar sounds of opening music. The songs, of course, have changed with time. The emphasis is now more on new songs. At times the discretion of selecting right songs for the right time and mood is also missing but still there are few shows maintaining the standards . I religiously tune to them in the late nights and early mornings. I think now time is ripe for me to end the years of separation with my childhood friend . I have promised myself that I will subscribe to the digital satellite radio as soon as I get a house in Delhi. I guess its now time for me to sing “Awaz de kahan hai….” for my lost companion, my radio.