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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thank you for the music.

Those were the days The radio was a constant companion
Sangeeet Sarita announces a voice and I start. The last time I heard that was many, many years ago. It was my cue to groan as my Dad fine-tuned the radio, increased the volume and waited expectantly for me to guess the raga of the song playing. The programme picked one classical raga every day and played a filmy song and a pure classical number based on it. I got the raga wrong every single time, but Daddy did not lose faith. Now it is back in my life. Not just Sangeet Sarita, but Vividh Bharti. So if you drop in home in the mornings, we will serve you good coffee and a blast of music. Raju has downloaded the Vividh Bharati app and, as we have gifted ourselves a Bose speaker for our anniversary this year, we are stoked. Such a wonderfully civilised way to start the day. And I swear I am less cranky with all the singing I do along with Rafi, Kishore, Asha, Geeta Dutt and of course Raju. Then we managed to catch an interview of Ameen Sayani on television and Raju and I are still talking about that. Remember Binaca Geetmala? Wednesday nights and Ameen Sayani would start with his signature greeting of “Bhaiyon aur behenon...” Binaca Geetmala was broadcast on Wednesdays at 9.00 p.m. on Radio Ceylon and the entire family huddled around the radio set. One of us had to hold the knob of the radio firmly so that it would not shift and change the station. There were heated discussions and guessing games on what the ‘sartaj geet’ was going to be (the top of the charts of those days) that year. Hearing Ameen Sayani’s voice brought back glorious memories of simple pleasures. Raju remembers how, during Pujas for the evening entertainment programme, an Ameen Sayani sound-alike was hired to conduct the proceedings.

I wish the radio as I knew it as a child would back into my life. I was thrilled when WorldSpace started and heartbroken when it stopped. I enjoy music floating through the house. Love it when I can sing along loudly from the kitchen. I have bought iPods, and MP3s and earphones but abandoned all those because I hate something stuck into my ears with the wires getting tangled with my spectacles, buttons, etc. When ‘Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hai’ is playing, what is the point if only I can hear it? Raju has to be in on it too, along with our neighbours. The unpredictability of what song will play next on the radio is thrilling. It is not some playlist which we know by heart. There are days I am swept away because each song played is a favourite. From Guide, Amar Prem, Teesri Manzil... I remember the other programmes like Man Chahe Geet, Fauji Bhaiyon Ke Liye, and Manoranjan. I always waited to know song what the fauji bhai from Jhumri Talaiya would request this time. Sometimes, the film song programmes had a theme. On Independence Day and Republic Day there were stirring patriotic songs. Sometimes they played songs from a particular music director or a film director, or a film star. So when it was Guru Dutt, Geeta Dutt’s mellifluous voice filled the air. Dev Anand meant songs from Guide, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Asli Naqli and S.D. Burman meant some more heaven. Bhoole Bisre Geet, Chaya Geet...

“We finished dinner by 9.00 p.m. just so that no one had to get up and go into the kitchen while Binaca Geetmala was on,” says Rani who says they also had certain chores that were done only while sitting in front of the radio. She remembers Geeton Bhari Kahahi and other radio skits on Hawa Mahal. Even now, when she is alone, Rani puts on the radio full blast. “I feel there is someone else with me at home,” she says. Binaca Geetmalastarted in 1952 and Ameen Sayani curated the programme until 1988 when it shifted from Radio Ceylon to Vividh Bharti. Sales of records and listeners votes decided which song made it to the top. The first Sar Taj Geet was ‘Yeh Zindagi Usiki Hai’ (Anarkali) sung by Lata Mangeshkar. The year Raju was born it was ‘Hai Apna Dil To Awaara’ (Solva Saal) sung by Hemant Kumar. The year I was born it was ‘Teri Pyari Pyari Surat Ko’ (Sasural), sung by Mohammed Rafi. In 1988, when it was still Binaca Geetmala from Radio Ceylon, the top song was ‘Papa Kehte Hain’ (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak) sung by Udit Narayan. That was also the year my son was born.
By :- PANKAJA SRINIVASAN

Source and credit:- http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/on-a-nostalgia-trip-with-the-vividh-bharti-app/article9036224.ece 
Forwarded By:- Shri. Jainender Nigam, PB NewsDesk prasarbharati.newsdeskgmail.com

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