Day 7- Radio

We never listened to radio in our home. This I am talking of my parents home. There was a radio of very old model, which my nanaji gifted to my mum in her wedding, but by the time we grew up, it was mostly defunct, and barring when I was really very small (in nursery I guess); I do not have any memory of it being played at home. In 1990 I guess, my dad bought a 2 in 1. Yes this is what a cassette player was called back then. this was only used for listening to cassettes, and I do not remember ever playing the radio on it. (there was no FM back then, and Akaashvaani was never that interesting!).

I actually listened to radio when I moved to Noida in 2004. I was here for job, and since it was a very low paying job, we did not have a TV in our flat. I was sharing the pad with two other girls, and one of them had a small radio, with a wooden frame. I still had a Nokia 3315, which did not have radio in it. So I would get a chance to listen to FM on my way to work, whatever the bus driver played, and then in the evening after coming back from work, at home. Before going to bed, I would listen to the late night edition, where they played old Hindi film songs. It was a beautiful experience. It was a daily ritual for me, to listen to “Purani Jeans” (this is what the program was called), before dozing off. I remember, they would play this song almost every alternate day, and I would never get tired of listening to it…it is one of my all time favourites:

After an year in Noida, I moved to Chennai for further studies, and radio was gone from my life for another two years (The hostel in Chennai had a 24 hours internet, so those two years were dedicated to sitcoms and movies!). I again began listening to the radio when I moved to Bangalore for job. While commuting the headphones were always on, and I would savour the latest music on FM. Somehow, when I moved to Delhi 5 years ago, FM suddenly vanished from my life. the work here was so stressful, that I would never switch to FM even while commuting. We did not have a radio at home, so practically, I lost all touch with music on radio. When i switched jobs, I was a given a Blackberry from office, and though I would do a two hours commute each way every day, I did not have the option of listening to any FM. BB is a totally professional phone with no radio!

All this while, I always missed the presence of radio in my day to day life. While one can listen to music on a music system also, or these days through a pen drive on a computer/ in a car as well, but there is something about listening to music on radio that none of these experiences can match. Radio lets you go with the flow, you can just relax and listen to what is being offered to you, rather than channelling your mind and deciding what to listen to. There is a different kind of fun in that. You set your mood according to the song. You do not know what is coming next, and that keeps the interest on. Sometimes a totally forgotten number would play, and you are transported to a different world altogether; sometimes something dhinchak would play, and for a moment you are relieved of all your tensions. That is the magic of radio. It creates for a good background while going about your household chores. The mellifluous songs, just fill in the empty spaces and you feel you have someone to give you company. For me, its a big stress buster. And I got back this happiness in my life, when a month back, husband bought home a new set of speakers, which has radio as well as USB port in it. When I switched on FM, I realized that I had been missing such an important thing in my life. These varied genre of songs throughout the day, give me so much happiness. The sound of music has made our living room so much more lively. The first thing I do after coming from office is switching on FM. The music starts, and so do my household chores, all in sync with the beautiful music in the background!


Gaane Anjaane

There are certain things which lift up my mood in a second. Good music, nice earrings, pretty dupattas and well fitting skirts are few of them!

There was a time when I would spend hours listening to my favourite songs in a loop! Every day of the time, every season of the year and every phase of life was marked by some songs. I would listen to music all the time, new, old all kinds of songs, mainly bollywood numbers filled my mind and collection. A good song would just take away all my worries away and transport me to a different world altogether. For those 4-5 minutes while listening to a song I would be like floating in air, lighter in head and happy in soul. If I remove the time I have spent till now listening to songs, I guess I would have removed 1/3rd of my time on earth!! Such is the mood lift which songs do to me. However, now i do not have the luxury to have music around me all the time. I cannot afford to sit in a place and listen to my favourite numbers back to back. Infact. I come to know of songs, only after they have penetrated well enough and are being talked about a lot. Then also, there is no time to sit and enjoy a melody. Now, the only kind of music which plays in the house is kids’ rhymes and bollywood numbers with chanda, and lakdi ki kaathi in it. While K is very fond of music, she has only developed taste for these kind of songs till now. Whenever I try to sing any other bollywood number to her, she immediately switches to eeaa eea oo…indicating that pls change the song and get me my rhymes!!

Anyway, so now that I am talking about songs, I would share some of my favourite songs which I can associate with a time period in my life and which still remind of that phase when I use to listen to them…

These song from Khamoshi and Masoom, were my constant companion during my class 10, way back in 1996. Khamoshi had released that year, and I spent the whole summers listening to the melodious songs back to back. I loved this one:

Then during the winters when it was time for pre-boards and crazy studies, I saw Masoom on Doordarshan one day and got hooked to the songs. Tujhse Naraaz Nahi Zindagi would play on my system back to back. I so love this song…Another song which caught my ears from this movie was – Huzoor Is Kadar Bhi Na itra ke chaliye… I love the poetic way in which it is sung. I remember, I use to study whole night during the later part of the year, and would keep listening to these songs.

KKHH released in 1998. I was in 12th, again the year of board examinations. The day I saw the promo on TV, I rushed to buy the audio cassette. I still remember going to visit my mother, when she was teaching in some junior class and asking for money to buy the album. We were the senior most class, and would get free after 6th or 7th period. I wanted to rush to the music store on my way back home and buy the cassette. The album was released by Sony Music and costed around INR 60, which was expensive during those days. I loved the title track of the movie. I must have listened to it innumerable times during that one year.Till today when I listen to this song, I am transported back to my class 12 days.

Engineering days cannot be complete with music. Those 4 years were spent doing only two things. Listening to music and talking to friends in hostel rooms. While there are many songs which mark my engineering years, this particular album- Mujhse Dosti Karoge somehow has stayed back in my mind from those days. We were in final year I guess when this movie released. It was raining cats and dogs in Jhansi, where I was studying, and the songs of MDK would play on my system back to back. I still remember listening to Jaane Dil Mein Kab Se Hai…on a loop in my dingy corner room, which would stink of dampness due to excess water everywhere, with a light bulb on throughout the day!

The first year was dedicated to old songs. We were crazy about songs from Kabhie Kabhie. I guess that was the first time I listened to the song- Tere Chehre Se..and have been a fan ever since. I just love the energy and passion in this song. It invariably takes me back to the winters of first year of engg, when we would all sit in a friend’s room and savour these melodies. While all the song sin the album are fantastic, this one is my personal favourite.

Another album which I exploited big time was a collection of old Kishore Kumar numbers- which had- Maana Janaab Ne Pukaara Nahi- in it. I simply loved the song. Would play this all the time…

The year after engineering was dedicated to radio. We did not have a TV or a personal laptop/ desktop. Every night before sleeping I would listen to radio for like half an hour. They played old hindi songs, and somehow I noticed they played this song from Aandhi almost every alternate day. This song is my favourite since then. Whenever I listen to it I go back to the days of that rented place in Noida and the cool summery nights. This song is my peace song. It reminds me of the disciplined life of my first job, when I would go to bed by 10-10 30 pm, live a simple life with limited means and enjoy the simpler things in life, like listening to radio in low volume in a dark room, before dozing off for the day…

MBA followed this phase. The two years there were also full of music. Every single minute that I was in my room, music would be on my my system. I remember listening to Tamil songs as well. I discovered some amazing songs by Rehman, and this one in particular which I simply love…It takes me back to the best phase of my life- My post-graduation days. I love Rehman’s music, but more than that I guess I love his voice. Divine!! And of course I love Surya!! This song is very special to me. It is associated with the golden period of my life…

Another song in Tamil/ Telegu which I listened day in and out is this…A friend from Andhra suggested that I watch Ghajini. I watched the movie with subtitles and totally loved it. WHile all songs were good, but this particular one got stuck in my head. I would listen to it back to back for days altogether….

Then the songs of Rang De Basanti. The movie came out sometime in our first year, and the songs were a rage. I remember listening to Ru-Baru all the time..One of the singers also came in our annual cultural fest. He sang few lines of the above song on stage, and you could hear the crowd going crazy!!..There were 3-4 “once more” sessions, and he had to eventually say that he would have loved to carry on the whole night but the campus had restrictions of 11pm deadline!!

I have many many more songs to compile as part of this list…but let us consider this as part one and stop here for today…And then there are- dupattas, earring and skirts also to talk about..:)


L is for Lakdi ki Kaathi


which is my daughter’s favorite song these days. Thanks a lot Gulzar Saab for this beautiful creation of yours which has entertained generations after generations. I loved this song as a kid and now K is mad about it. You have to see the smile on her face the moment this song starts playing! and what a wonderful song it is!! I am never bored of listening to it. Sometimes I wonder, why are there so few songs written for children. This song came out way back in 1983, when I was two years old. Today after some 30 odd years, I have only this song from the bollywood list to go to when i want to cheer up my baby. Yes, we do have some odd songs here and there like chota bachcha jaan ke etc…but nothing compares to Lakdi Ki Kaathi!

I am a huge Gulzar fan. Many Many congratulations to him for winning Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2013. I love everything about him, right from his original name (Sampooran Singh Kalra), to ALL his songs, to his voice, his rendition style…just everything! Thank You Gulzar Saab, once again for giving us Lakdi Ki Kaathi. With its takbak takbak, I am sure many more generations are going to relish this  beautiful composition!