Thursday, February 02, 2012

Wavelengths matter

I have loved radio programs from the time I started listening to them and that happened circumstantially. During summer vacations while on the road, Dad would not miss his news updates and so he would turn off whatever music we were listening to and tune into 'News at Nine' on All India Radio (AIR). Trailing past the silhouttes of trees drenched in night light along the road, at times the moon playing spotlight on the farm fields and at other times the stars shining vividly and pointedly on moonless nights. I would gaze out of the window, intently immersing the imagery running past me cocooned in a car with my family.

In college and away from the comfort of home I didn't have much of a choice while living in a hostel/ dorm (nunnery in other words) that had (on purpose) no plugpoints- read 'no music players',  than tune into a radio show. Again, AIR came to my rescue with its two- hour rock show every night. I'd eagerly wait each night. I'd tune in at 10 pm. Only now there wasn't any external imagery running past me nor was I cocooned with my family in a car, I only had with me a gazillion thoughts buzzing in my head. It was merriment when FM got a big leeway, regulations eased and Bangalore and us music- starving/ craving souls got a 24- hour English rock music channel. 

When I went back to graduate school on another continent, who would think radio would come to my rescue! Only this time, it was internet radio. Pandora saved me!

Oflate, I am enthused by community radio and its immense potential. And delightfully, there is a buzz of activity happening in this space to make way for effective and efficient community radios in India. Thanks to a ton of pursuasion from civil sector organisations to open- up airwaves to communities which are infact public property, vetted so by a Supreme Court ruling in 1995. 

And now I find myself in pursuit of Community Radio. I know my hopes won't be lost, you've never let me down!  Long live the radio!

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