Happy World Radio Day! Greetings to all radio listeners and shout out to all those who keep the radio buzzing and vibrant with innovative content and music, providing infotainment in the best way even in this internet driven electronic era. This is the most liked medium of information in rural India.
Most of us brush aside the magic that good old radio can bring to our lives. Back in the days, even owning a radio was a matter of pride. I still remember the day, when we were gifted a radio by one of our neighbours in Kalarabanka. It’s been an important part of my growing up. From melody to cricket scores and other awareness programmes, radio has been an important way for me for information and entertainment.
Until the advent of television, radio was the prime source of entertainment. I can still recall those days when the radio broadcasted a coherent mix of news, soothing music, drama, cricket commentaries and gripping topical talks. There were not many channels like today. The AIR had entertainment segments called Vividh Bharati wherein Bollywood music was played and also advertisements were featured, creating the radio culture that is prevalent to this day.
We discussed about various programmes on radio with classmates. In villages and my village too, radio was a craze. The person who possessed radio was flocked around by people. That was the only gateway to the outer world. I would also write down lyrics of the songs and maintained a notebook. It was one of my prized possession. Iti and I would also wait for some broadcasts and then would make it a family event to sip tea without milk and puffed rice. We tried picking up the style of delivery and modulation from radio jockeys. And, I haven’t learnt it well.
Nowadays, my radio listening is very limited but I definitely enjoy if it’s switched on in the car and I don’t get disturbed by my always ringing phone.
Nothing can match up to the nostalgia All India Radio can evoke. Almost all of us have memories, ranging from vivid to vague, of listening to the signature ‘akashavani’ jingle at the break of dawn, daily companion. And even today, with so many other sources of infotainment and with all private radio in the ecosystem, radio, FM and AM continued to be the most comfortable traveling companion.