None of us are alone. Something or someone always keeps us company. Few stay on to ruin our happiness; few others take away happiness as they leave. The one that I cherish steers clear of both.
Those were the days when Television, Mobile Phone or the Social Media weren't there to disturb or distract us. We had ample time to stay engaged. In between, we tuned in to the radio to unwind. The programmes were entertaining and diverting. One perfect example was the 'Binaca Geetmala'.
Many in today's generation might wonder, what's so special about 'Binaca Geetmala'. This was the programme that introduced us to the melodious world of Hindi film songs. We heard the best of songs in a weekly countdown format. We also learnt about the geniuses who created them. Such was its mass appeal that the raging linguistic differences prevailing in certain parts of India were forgotten. Slowly and steadily, 'Binaca Geetmala', a habit by then, was beginning to mould our musical taste.
The credit for launching this most popular Radio programme in South Asia must go to Radio Ceylon. It readily and promptly grabbed the opportunity, All India Radio squandered through an incomprehensible ban on film songs. The prime mover behind this incredible journey that went on for a record breaking 45 years, was the show's anchor, Padma Shree Ameen Sayani, 'the man with the golden voice'. He gave a new definition to Programme Hosting, galvanised Radio Advertising, and set a benchmark for others to follow.
Years have passed. The nostalgic feel is still alive. And the reason can best be summed up thus:
“My listeners are like family. I may be reaching out to multitudes, but I speak as though I am talking to just one individual.”
- Ameen Sayani -
*A take off on the 1969 film, 'If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium' by Wolper Pictures/United Artists.