Sunday, November 26, 2006

radio ga ga...

this had been on my mind for quite some time now. cnn-ibn's (another of my fav channels) "southern verdict" was much like the vigorous shake of a bottle of soda.

there's fm radio in chennai (yes, its time it started behaving like a city if it wants to be called one.) with more channels coming up of late. am told theres radio city as well as radio mirchi. i jumped with joy and clapped my hands with glee when i heard the news... strained my ears with childlike expectation to hear something other than tamil in the airwaves. i have nothing against tamil or tamil radio... but public demand seems to have everything against what is not tamil. radio city as i knew it to be never got to be so here in ammaland... in the days of yore it did have a mix of hindi, english and tamil for about a month; until it wised up and started playing only tamil... its ad revenue probably hit new highs after it learnt the rule of the land :)

makes me wonder if the local populace loves the language truly, madly, deeply or mere hypocritic hatred for something else - am tempted to use the word "foreign" in context of hindi. as a show of hands, i would vote for the latter. hypocrisy? yes, that too. why? heres where we go on air :)

theres this channel whose name i couldnt care to note, where its jingle starts with the schummacher song and proceeds into a hindi intro... it lights up my face... but what follows is a barrage of tamil movie pieces (my understanding of music refuses to let me call what they air songs) its just the jingle... i dont understand this. if all they play is tamil songs, why resort to hindi and english as a crowd puller? seems like the listener is aware of this music but still wants only tamil. a couple of RJs get into what seems like a warzone. i sit tensed. but the crowd seems to be laughing in tandem with the chaos... oh! so thats how their jokes sound!? ok :)

then there is this song which has adnan sami's voice (i think). probably the movie demands it or its this guy's style, the tune had to have a northy feel in it. there seems a desparate desire to ride the populist wave, but also an insecure yearning to look beyond the moat. but this doesnt last for long... what follows resembles a masai hunting song. am sure they have one, if not they might as well borrow it from here. but my fellow passenger seems to be having a gala time lip-singing it... wow! this guy actually likes this!? he even affords me the horror of a jig. michael jackson is put to shame...

this is where cnn-ibn fits right in. it seems the southern states had a golden jubilee month celebrating their "southernhood". i wouldnt comment on the skewed manner in which the research was carried out... nor will i attempt at understanding why rajdeep sardesai felt jolly glad about 36% southies polled wanting hindi made compulsory in schools while "only" 45% wanting it to be a voluntary subject. what i would like to understand is the need for such a program in the first place :P do programs like these hold any water when basic demand for seclusion and exclusivity glare at you in the face?


  1. you write really well dude! :) found this so apt: 'insecure yearning to look beyond the moat'!!

    and in this 'demand for seclusion and exclusivity', its so ironic that lanuguage and music are meant for communication to begin with :)

    I liked this post!!

  2. danke! as ever... you flatter me :)

  3. similar situation in bangalore...they are so proud that FM really 'started here'.
    Some channels even specialize in kannada songs.
    well written.