It was one of those seasons when completing assignments was more important than brushing the teeth, when the only source of entertainment in our cozy, wrecked hostel room, amidst A4 sized pages and books that weighed more than my birth weight, was that little talking-singing box, my radio walkman. We listened to RJ Aniruddh’s flirtatious voice in the afternoon, RJ Geeta Modgil’s naughty rants in the evening, unidentified, staccato advertising voices, all this in the middle of songs, new and old, that played all day long. I usually stuck to Radiocity 91 FM because they always played Hindi songs and that’s what I loved to hear.
One night, as my pen scribbled out on yet another bundle of A4 sheets, in between songs, a voice spoke out. My pen paused. I sat still, wide eyed, heart beating hard, full of awe and admiration for the voice that spoke. “Mere sunnewalon, aap sun rahe hain Yaadein..”, went the voice. Poetry followed, thoughts followed, listeners called him up and he spoke to them on air... as I sat there awestruck, dumbstruck, just letting the best voice in the world wash over me, the voice of Karan Singh, radio jockey of Radiocity 91 FM. It was the year 2002.
We were 4 roommates and we all listened to him together with a lot of admiration and appreciation (and a lot of shivers and little shreiks from me). We’d write down or record his shers and his panktiyaan.. his lovely writings that he used to recite passionately to all of us, on air. His style of reciting was incomparable, matchless, and that teamed with his deep, husky, heartfelt tone, it was heavenly!! :)
An urge grew within me, irrepressible urge. I wanted to talk to him. But silly me, every time I heard his voice on air, I’d go weak in the knees.. if I heard him on phone.. talking exclusively to me !!!! I’d ... THUD!! drop to the floor!
And so, I remained a craving fool, just listened to him and envied the people who, unlike me, were not nervous to call and talk. Thursday was the day of the week when he used to take calls. On that day, he used to ask his listeners a common question and the callers used to answer one by one. It’d be a question that made people think, analyse and then answer. I always had stuff to say. Everything I had to say filled up within me till I couldn’t contain anymore. That’s when I decided to start mailing him. I’d mail him elaborately about my thoughts, my views. For every little thing asked on air, be it questions or suggestions, I would mail him my replies.
One day, to my pleasant surprise, there was a mail from Karan Singh in my inbox, awaiting to be read. I screeeeamed in joy!! :D :D A mail from the man whose words and voice I admired and whose voice I knew was the best in the world! I'm falling short of words to explain my excitement at that time :). Soon, he started mentioning my name on air, thanking me for my mails, reading out my suggestions and mailing me off and on :)
One Saturday, Geeta Modgil, another RJ of the same radio station, before going off air after her show, announced that Karan Singh would be off air for 2 days because he had got married and was on his honeymoon. 2-day honeymoon?? Karan Singh got married?? :-O Technically, it shouldn't have made a difference to me, but like all female fans, I was.. not a bit happy. Na.. not one bit! It didn't seem fair! I sulked for a few hours, but slowly spoke to my head that I should be happy about it. The next day (Sunday), I sent an e-card to him and distributed chocolates in the hostel. (Everyone there knew that I was a HUUUGE fan of his!)
Monday night came and Karan was on air again. He began the show with, "*sigh* main thak gaya hoon.. Geeta ki harkaton se.. Nainashree aur Shrutiji, thanks for your ecards." (Nainashree was another regular caller). He assured us that there was no marriage and that Geeta was just being a little brat.
The next day, I distributed chocolates in the hostel again :)
(...to be continued...)