Saturday, February 13, 2016

Radio Ga-Ga

Thirty years ago, a shy junior college boy who loved to sing was invited to join the college music group for a performance on YuvVani, the Youth Show on All India Radio, Mumbai. At the end of the recording at Akashvani Bhavan close to Churchgate in Mumbai, a charming lady named Ms. Sarla Mirchandani asked the troupe to share their names and addresses on a piece of paper. 

About a year later in April 1988, right after my HSC board exams, a letter came home with All India Radio printed on the envelope. As I opened the letter curious to know what was inside. The letter stated something like this: 
Dear Mr. Sunil Pinto,

We think that you may be suitable to present Saturday Date on All India Radio. Kindly contact the undersigned for more information.

Programme Officer
English Section

The very next day, I made the trip to the Radio Station, right next to Dad's office, and that was my entry to the world of professional entertainment. 

After a week of orientation with the studio equipment I was on the airwaves as a Casual Announcer saying"
This is All India Radio Bombay broadcasting on 287.3 metres corresponding to 1044 KHz. The time is 
I presented Classical Music shows, read the Commercial Bulletin, the Program Highlights and Weather. But the icing on the cake was the 'Music On Parade' on Wednesday nights and 'Saturday Date' - the request show at 10pm on Saturdays. 

Over the next decade or so, the Radio Station became my favorite hangout. Whenever I wanted to pass some time, listen to some music, or just meet new people - there I was at the Radio Station. The attachment continued after college into the early years at work, and then in between jobs, right until the time I left town. 

Radio opened up a whole new world for me. From voice-overs and jingles, to live events and celebrations, I discovered the new me. The shy boy had given way to a confident, mature individual. 

Radio has moved by leaps and bounds - from MW and SW to FM stations, from transistors to car radios to the radio on mobile. Today we are in the world of internet radio where you can tune in to absolutely any radio station around the world. 

Today is World Radio Day.

As we remember Marconi - who invented the radio, I would like to say a special Thank You to all the people who made radio such a wonderful experience for me. The programming teams, fellow and future RJs, production personnel and most of all the wonderful listeners who support the show. 

Do you have any special memories of Radio? Share them here...  

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