Ye hai Vividhbharti …

vintage-old-radio-set-grunge-photo-musical-background-btac8eAt one time, cricket commentary during test matches kept fans glued to transistors. Akashwani was the only audio news channel that would broadcast news in English, Hindi and other regional languages. Bollywood’s old and new tracks kept listeners hooked on to those jumbo sized radio sets that needed a minute of pre-heating before it could actually begin to play a song. Manually tuning radio frequencies had its own sound and charm. Almost everyone was an obsessed radio listener. There was something for everyone. Bhoole bisre geet, Hawa Mahal, Chaya geet, Ap ki farmaaish, Manchahe geet, Jaimaala, Taraane naye puraane and the traditional tune of Vande Maataram in the early mornings strike a nostalgic chord today.
The entry of private FM stations has undoubtedly swept away many listeners of All India Radio. Powered with a wider music archive, fluent and young ‘Hinglish’ speaking radio jockeys, far better transmission technology, creative program production and concepts, attractive goodies and blockbuster movie tickets to lure callers, private radio channels have been indicatively growing and dominating the radio community increasingly. While many shrug off the casual and improper bytes of private FM radio jockeys by calling their style sleazy, listeners still regard the sober traditional announcers of AIR.
A decade ago listeners never had choices of selecting radio stations. Vividhbarti was the only frequency Medium Wave had to offer. Short Wave frequencies could broadcast Radio Cyclone and Radio Moscow. Even though transmission would close down at 11 p.m. and then resume next morning at 5:53 a.m., All India Radio had a syndicate and national reach.
With four wheelers fitted with digitally tuned radio sets and mobile handsets preloaded with built –in FM, radio has an altogether different and new expression today. Skimming through channels during drive time gets quite monotonous to find the same track playing on all channels followed by a trail of real estate or engineering institute jingles having pathetic English pronunciation. All the latest Bollywood tracks can be heard repeatedly bringing down the charm of listening to a new song altogether. Tuning in on weekend nights would mean listening to non-stop DJ music on the loop. Only on weekdays after 9 p.m. could retro and all –time favourites be heard.
Despite its scratchy and low quality transmission and lack of innovative broadcasts, for many old timers there is no substitute for Vividhbharti !

One thought on “Ye hai Vividhbharti …

  1. Agreed , but it won’t last too long , as the old timers are our previous generations who still chose to listen old hindi songs over english and bollywood , hardly anyone listens to vividbharti these days .


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