When Meow FM104.8, India’s first radio station for women, wanted to create compelling content for their first week of existence they needed a delicious chunk of hunkhood with seductive voice and flirtatious temper on their show, whose rich dulcet baritones would make ladies listeners swoon, go “sh-boogie bop” and come back purring for more.
Instead they got me.
It all started when I got a mail from Ginnie Mahajan asking me if I would be interested in coming on her show, which fortuitously was just when I was going to be in New Delhi. Being a shameless publicity hound from the Mamata Banerjee camp of self-effacement, I hastily agreed.
As I reached the 8th floor of the Videocon towers (Jhandewalan extension) and stepped into the offices of Meow FM104.8, I was struck by the overwhelming sense of felinity in the office decor, which combined with the name “Meow” and the fact that this was Delhi led to a voice in my head repeating over and over again that famous line from “Gunda”: “Abhe o kafanchor neta, mere naam ki qawali gaana chor de aur kaam ki baat bata. Jiske liye tu Delhi se Billi ka dudh peeke aaya hain.”
I was under the impression that my choice of music would be played and that does not have to be of the “latest” hits type —it just had to be in the library. I had thought of “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja” (the seduction song favoured by Mrs. Mohinder Amarnath to get Jimmy Amarnath hooking and pulling), “Ho Jata Hain Kaise Pyar” (one of my favourite 90s songs –from “Yaalgaar”) and for all the ladies out there the sensitive romantic ditty “Pyar karo to aise ki udhar ki udhar khabar na ho” from Ikka Raja Rani (in theory only, no library of music would ever have this) and two English songs: “Billie Jean” and the eternal hit “Mysterious Girl” by the exquisitely abbed and nippled Peter Andre, if only for women listeners to make a subconscious connection between the visual appeal of Andre and me. (Note to self: Have to write post on a radio channel I intend to start: 100.0 FM Bow-wow , India’s first radio channel for men, with the motto: “Every doggie has a style”).
However I was told that because this was the first week of the channel, there was no choice for me—it was all pre-set. Hmph. And I was also told not to mention brand names on air and was asked to use an euphemism for the genre of the site Desibaba was ( I suggested “exotic”). Evidently Howard Stern is still many years in the future. Maybe Bow-wow FM will change that —once I launch it.
Anyhow, the show got on air and we were flooded with calls from Delhi-ites discussing blogs, Web 2.0 and how groovalicious RTDM and most specifically I am. Ahem. Not quite. There was one caller who wanted to know how he could blog on my website and another person who informed us of this blogging machine the person has from the US which, if it is used by anyone else, administers an electric shock to them. I really wanted to believe that the person concerned was BS-ing but the sincerity in the voice was disconcerting. And another caller disconnected while on hold. That in a nutshell was the audience response. Thank you New Delhi.
So in the absence of extensive audience participation, the rest of the one hour was made up by music I did not recognize (except one from Main Hoon Na), Ginnie’s very cheerful and energetic questioning, and me being made to say “Meow” multiple times—something I endeavored to do as masculinely as possible in addition to the answering of some whys and hows and WTFs. And several times during the recording, the realization that I was in a studio with a headphone standing in front of a boom microphone, triggered a desire to stop talking and start singing “Loote koi man ka nagar” in demure Jaya Bachchan style, a desire that I fought off with much mental control.
Well anyhow the show went through without any major snafu and while offers of other radio appearances have not been exactly flowing in since then, the first step had been taken in the path to the fruition of my evil plan: domination of the airwaves.
In other words, my radio career is not roaring like a tiger yet. But definitely meowing.
[Picture courtesy http://warnewsradio.org/]