We all used to wake up to songs on the radio until some years ago. Many of us still do, though change has come in the form of the choice of multiple radio stations, the programming format, the style of presentation, and the radio anchors and deejays.
Radio was the sole source of entertainment until television, and then laptops and i-pods took over. There was a time when owning a radio was a matter of pride.
India’s national radio broadcaster, the All India Radio turned 80 today, and a Quora post reveals how people used to send in letters to dedicate songs to their friends and loved ones, and how time has passed and radio has changed for better.
Imagine, instead of making a call and scheduling a song, putting the effort to write a letter so that you could dedicate a song to your loved one. That used to be something else entirely.
In her post, RJ Simran Kohli recalls how AIR used to receive bunches of letters every week.
Here is her post:
I have become nostalgic just reading about your question. I was there when the letters were there! AIR used to get sackful of letters, 10 to 15 every week. (Each sack=15 kg Atta Ki bori)
I joined AIR FM Rainbow in 1995 as RJ & started doing shows from 96. We used to get letters everyday to the PO box address we mentioned on our shows. The junior duty officers in various AIR sections used to sort the letters according to the show & keep our bundles aside. Every Friday, we could collect our lot & it used to be the make-or-break day for us. I even bribed the peons to hand me letters earlier than that.
I used to wait the entire week 4 my letters & nothing compared to the joy of holding the fan mail in my hands or the shattering feeling of doom when the RJ of some other show got a bigger bundle than me!
The ethereal warmth and love of the written word, the emotions in the cute drawings, the feel of the dry roses encased in the letters even the cheap Chameli ke flower type perfume deliberately sprinkled on the lined copy ka torn paper was a high beyond any I have ever known.
At the peril of sounding really antiquated, I must admit Facebook/Twitter/Instagram or mail can never match the personal connect in the power of the letter!
I am are lucky to have experienced the golden age of this so very personal exclusivity!
Thank you for refreshing my memory…….I can smell the Chameli…..
Initially known as Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS), the state radio broadcaster was renamed the All India Radio on 8 June, 1930.
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