As a radio jockey, I have presented many live radio shows on All India Radio’s Fm Gold channel (106.4 MHz) until 2014. Many of my listeners are upset with me because they do not know the reason as to why I don’t present live radio shows as often as I used to. I feel I owe them an explanation since they have been the sole reason behind me presenting radio shows on Fm Gold. So here it is.
10th December 2003-one of the most remarkable days in my life-the day when I presented my first radio show on Fm Gold channel (106. 4 MHz) from studio 30 of All India Radio Delhi station. There used to be a lot of enthusiasm and positive vibes in that building at that time.
I did many shows (loads of them) from 2003 to 2013-A good 10 long years. I enjoyed every show-every single one because I had the liberty to ‘create’ a show out of my imagination, out of my dreams and fantasies.
After some years, I started noticing that some people who live under the illusion that they ‘run’ Delhi station need workers who can follow instructions and (apparently) enjoy doing what they told to do. I must admit that I am pretty bad at that stuff.
The times have changed and an unfortunate thing is happening. All India Radio does not need artists anymore who can ‘create’ radio shows; rather they need ‘workers’ who can ‘produce’ them. The problem is you cannot produce a radio show. The moment your produce one, it is already dead. You have taken out its soul in the process.
If you have been listening to Fm Gold channel for quite some time, you must have noticed the gradual decline in the quality. The reason-‘Artists’ are being bullied and harassed in the name of quality control and ‘workers’ are being promoted in the name of compliance and obedience.
One of the most basic qualities of an artist is that he cannot be tamed or made to behave in certain ways. Only a worker full of fear of losing his job can be.
I had worked hard to become a broadcaster. It took me 4 years to have one successful voice audition. There was a charm, a grace, a creative satisfaction in being a radio jockey.
I am an artist who always strive to create a better radio show than the last one. Maybe it is the effect of my training, which I did sincerely in 2002 for almost 2 months. I cued cassettes, I fetched cue sheets, and I delivered production sheets from studios to duty rooms and sometimes even lunches and snacks too. All because a man whom I deeply respect and admire-Mr. Vijay Deepak Chhiber had once asked me to take my training ‘seriously’ and I did. I must say I was fortunate to get training from him. The insights about broadcasting I got under his mentorship are invaluable to me. Those insights have inspired and guided me in times of on-air crises and they still nourish me as a voice actor.
In the end, all I want to say is this:
Creating radio shows is an art. That’s why we artists worship Goddess Saraswati, not Lord Vishwakarma. When you start producing radio shows instead of ‘creating’ them, it ceases to be an art. Keep your production. I am in love with my art.