Listening to ‘FM Radio’ has been part and parcel of growing up in Goa. Fun fact: the full form of ‘FM’ is Frequency Modulation. Listening to sound of static stop and music abruptly play upon reaching particular decimal numbers on the screen was like sorcery!
91.9, 105.4, 92.7 – all these are not only radio station numbers that we so effortlessly memorized, but also count as the first recollection of math that we had as children.
The radio is one invention that has made life easier. If not for anything else, it prevents the fight for the auxiliary cable. Be it between your brother and you or the generational gap in the taste of music between you and your mum.
All fights are resolved when the DJ for the ride is a total stranger on the other side of the line. Someone other than you, who will be blamed for the song that your mum did not approve of!
The second amusing thing about the radio are the ads that are not only so much fun to memorize but are now older than you. The same ads that all the members of your family mockingly recite together. Needless to say, old may not always be gold.
The radio bonds travellers together. Singing “the tide is high and I’m holding on…” hits differently when the car full of people are holding on for dear life while Mr one-week-old license is driving at the speed of light.
The radio helps you feel less lonely. On the days that you’re driving alone, or just need to go on a long drive, the radio speaks, and you listen.
When we were younger, we did not quite understand where the person who was talking in the car was. These captivating voices that we would listen to every morning on the way to school, were nowhere to be seen!
That was when forming a mental picture of these people helped. This man with the nice voice is probably tall and handsome. And the lady with the cute raspy voice probably has some nice smelling curly hair.
Of course, over time we learned that they were called ‘Radio Jockeys’ or ‘RJs’. The ones behind the mic, the ones with the nice voices, the ones that thousands of people listened to every single day, the ones that sounded cheerful and happy. Even on the days when they did not feel their best themselves.
This World Radio Day, let us reverse the roles for the day and speak to two of the many voices that speak to us on an everyday basis. Sharing with us what it is like being an RJ and what goes on behind the scenes, are Uday Chari and Alroy Fernandes.
Uday is an RJ at Big FM Radio and Alroy is one of the voices that we hear on All India Radio, both well-known Radio stations in Goa.
Reminiscing about his journey with radio, Alroy says, “I've been on radio since 2012 after I finished my studies in Mumbai and it's been a fun and joyful journey this far. From being in the studios cueing up music to interviewing a plethora of famous personalities, I've savoured each and every moment.”
The concept of people calling in and dedicating a song to their loved ones is evergreen. As for the RJs, well although they do not live in a lamp, these musical ‘genies’ use their power to grant song wishes to make people smile, effortlessly.
“I've always been of the firm belief that music has the power to make a change. There's a genre of music for every mood and hence no matter your mood, it can always be altered to something better with the help of gold music. So to have a job which allows me to bring good music to people tuning in was a no-brainer,” he says contentedly.
As for Uday, “I have been attached to radio since my childhood. My mother gifted me a radio when I was a kid and it always played in the background while I did my homework, had lunch or breakfast. Subconsciously, radio was always present in my mind,” he recalls, taking us on his nostalgic radio journey.
It's funny how sometimes the smallest of things stick with us. “I was fascinated with audio and especially admired Amitabh Bachchan. I tried to imitate him but never succeeded. However, during the process, I discovered my own voice and have been developing it ever since,” concludes Uday, whose high spirited voice may still not quite sound like the Big B, but is still one of the voices that people choose to listen to every day.