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When I get time, I listen to music, or read books. If any is left, I blog!

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

If It's Wednesday, This Must Be...*

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.

20 comments:

  1. I used to regularly listen to Binaca Geetmala on every Wednesday during the seventies. It was a very popular program in those days.

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    1. "Jee haan Behno aur Bhaiyo. Main aapka dost Ameen Sayani bol raha hoon. Aur aap sun rahe hain Binaca Geetmala".
      Who can ever forget these welcoming words, which were as sweet as the songs that followed?
      Thanks.

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  2. 'YAAD NA JAAYE BEETE DINO KI'...... 'Nostalgia' is the actual meaning of the famous song of the '60s.
    Songs may pour out of a hung 'Panasonic' transistor or a grounded 'Murphy' radio the sweetness was unending.
    Still wondering why such a popular programme like 'Binaca Geetmala' used to be broadcast from Radio Ceylon and not from 'Vividh Bharati' or any other hindi radio station.
    One needed a short wave enabled transistor/radio to receive the frequency and not medium wave one, which was less expensive.
    Good things were always dearer!

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    1. "Binaca Geetmala" used to be broadcast from 1952 to 1988 by Radio Ceylon, and then from Vividh Bharati from 1988 to 1994.

      Yes, it wasn't easy to catch Radio Ceylon on 11800 KHZ (SW 25M Band) and 7075 KHZ (SW 41M Band) because of low power transmission. But the struggle was worth beyond any stretch of imagination.

      You made me think of my radio as well (coincidentally a Murphy) and the cumbersome antenna erected atop my house! Thanks Partha Deb.

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  3. Absolutely .. Dear Rajan. Iam with you and the feelings fuse. ... Wednesdays were made special those days and remembered even today on the same note ... and still waiting for the missed melodies .. and the joy of listening ... thanks for making memories of music and its magic ! .............a friend

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    1. True Chandramohan. We listened to songs, which one can only refer to as immortal. We are indebted to Mr Ameen Sayani for giving us years of joy and fond memories which even time cannot erase. Thanks

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  4. Very true Rajan! Beautiful memories!

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  5. Nostalgic feeling........ Nothing more.

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  6. Hi Raj,
    After reading your post I searched and listened to old recordings of binaca geetmala.There is no wonder why you are admiring Ameen sayani.Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Glad on both accounts - That my post made you listen to old recordings of Binaca Geetmala, and you appreciate the admiration people like me have for Mr Ameen Sayani. Thanks



      .

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  7. Bhasi, Mumbai9:33 am

    Your post made me feel younger. Ameen Sayani's contribution in popularising Hindi film songs is priceless.His well modulated voice, its grace and warmth, and his unique style of addressing the listeners were without any parallel.

    Thanks Raj for bringing back those sweet memories.

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    1. Thank you Bhasi. Hope to see you again soon.

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  8. Sruthi11:34 am

    I am only happy that modern technology has made it possible for us in this generation to enjoy such magnificent programmes.I also have no hesitation in agreeing with you when you describe the programme as immortal. Look at the numerous cover versions of many of those great songs. Are we creating anything new except recycling or copying?
    Thank you Sir, for a well written account of lovely memories of those times.

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  9. Agree with you Sruthi. These copied or recycled cover versions demonstrate creative deficit. To anyone who disagree, I invite him or her to create something original, instead of cannibalizing time tested masterpieces. Thanks for your input.

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  10. Dear sir,
    This is beautiful article which brought those musical memories back on surface of every music lover.

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    1. Thanks Mandar. Glad you liked my post. Hope to see you again.

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  11. Madhu S9:14 am

    Spot on once again. Topic selection excellent. To one generation it is pure nostalgia. To today's generation it is an opportunity to know how masters of yesteryears as you rightly said "moulded our musical taste".

    Good writing Raj. Keep going.

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    1. Thanks Madhu. Words like these keep me going. catch me in a fortnight with another post.

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