radio. songs. moments.

every time i listen to some old song, every single time i hear some vaguely familiar tune, i am taken back almost 20 years from now.

it’s seven in the morning. aai baba both are up and getting ready for work. the sounds of them shuffling about the house, of steel vessels clanking on the gas, the smell of tea, of lunch being prepared, and the distinct chill in the morning air that is not felt anymore. i am lying there in the bed, with a successful stomach ache keeping me out of school! the sheet on my head, my eyes closed but awake, dreaming but aware.

there was one more distinct addition to this early morning ritual; the radio. talat, asha, lata, rafi wafting out of an old (but the BEST!) onida jvc cassette player. it was more for time keeping than for the music, but it helped the morning become more than just chores. baba left at 730 and aai at 8, switching the radio off.

i started using the deck much later, when its equalisers had stopped functioning. but it served my initial forays into the world of rock tapes from mangesh dada and AIR FM RAINBOW 107.1. whatever knowledge and interest i have in ‘western’ music is all due to these two sources!

as for FM, there has to be one and only one person who made the experience worthwhile, and it is keisha lobo! there is not a single voice i have heard more beautiful, more uplifting and soothing! she put life in her show and the songs that came after her brief introduction. and the selection was tops too! bryan ferry, u2, tracy chapman, dire straits, peter cetera, k d lang, the police…i could go on and on. every wednesday night, i used to stay up till 12 just for keisha, listening to that heavenly voice fill my head through headphones i had purchased just for that purpose! i had written her a three page letter, which she read on the show once!!

and more recently, in the last year, i spoke to her on the show! more than thrice. which was almost like meeting all the songs in person.

and there was fali r. singara too. never liked him much as he read only the girls’ letters and spoke in a very ‘naughty’ deep voice (appealing to himself, i think!). but he played awesome tracks. more towards the popular hits like roxette, paull young, elton john, michael bolton and such.

now, every time i hear a ‘don’t stop the dance’ or ‘more than this’ by roxy music, or ‘someone to talk to’ by the devlins, i am back in my bed next to the deck with my headphones on and keisha on the radio…every word of jalte hain jiske liye or unko ye shikayat hai takes me back to the early morning chill one hardly feels these days…

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16 comments

  1. Yup, totally agree about Keisha. She is the best RJ ever and I don’t think there will be anyone who can come even close to her. I was one of the most regular writer on her Wed. Night Mailbox show- had written almost every week and she too would read out my mails regularly. Can never forget that Golden voice of hers. Still tune into her Thursday morning shows.. buts its not the same. Of course her voice still sounds as charming, as soothing, as Golden as ever but its just that can’t listen with all the attention in the morning while traveling and stuff.
    She is one woman, I would say, I practically listen to. I often used to tell her that if she promises to hast the show upto 3 or 4 in the night, then I promise to stay up that late and listen to her..

    While writing about her, just like you said, I can go on and on… but I guess I’ll cut it here.

  2. well.. no I don’t think we know each other.. just came across your posting and since it was regarding 107.1 FM and Keisha in particular felt like leaving a comment

  3. Hey,
    For your kind information Keisha didn’t ever play Bryan Ferry or U2 and i bet she’s never even heard of the Devlin’s Someone To Talk To or More Than This by Roxy Music – it was only Fali who played that all the time on FM! I admit Singara talked a bit too much in the early days about girls and his love life, but then you have to remember he was only 16-17 years old when he was doing those shows! Fali is still on the radio (where’s Keisha now?) and he’s now the best goddamn RJ there is in Mumbai city!(Listen to him on the nights every weekend on 107.1 FM) He’s the only one who plays many tracks back to back and his playlist is fantastic- from Roxy Music to John Lennon, Van Morrison to U2, Dylan, Elvis, Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Louis Armstrong – nobody plays what he does! I don’t even know him, but through his music i feel i’ve known him all my life… πŸ™‚ Keisha has always been rubbish as an RJ… everyone from Bosco to Alaric have a better sense of music than her

  4. thanks for the comment, though i do not agree with your views! difference of opinion, i might add.

    keisha has in fact played the devlins quite a lot of times, and u2 as well. i came to know of ‘someone to talk to’ only from her show. and as for roxy music, she used to play a bit of them as well. i’ve been listening to 107.1 my entire teen years, especially keisha’s show. sad that i haven’t had a chance to listen to her as i am in the UK now for the past year or so. when i go back, i will definitely search if she’s still around. and if possible, i will go down to AIR and meet her.

    as for fali, no doubt about his choice of music. just that i can’t stand his excessive and pointless blabbering.

    i am not challenging your knowledge or sense of music. just thought of making a point! especially about keisha being a rubbish rj. she is not.

    keep the mails / comments coming.

  5. @ Avantika-
    ‘Keisha rubbish as an RJ’??!!
    Have you ever heard her shows? I seriously doubt that you have, otherwise you’d have never made that comment. And if you have heard her and still if you are making that comment then there is something seriously wrong with your sense of music. In fact if you ask “Fali” or “anyone from Bosco to Alaric” about her then I am sure they too will admit that she is great.

    @ surhudd
    well, she is very much around. She is on air on Thursday mornings from 8 to 11. And her shows are just as rocking.

    Yea Mrigank, she totally rulz!

  6. the blog, the comments, all remind me of ‘dazed and confused’- linklater.
    i mean like you’re from that era…
    jsut felt like saying it.

  7. I know this is a late comment πŸ™‚ One sp. abt. Fali. He used to somehow fit “With or without u” – U2 in every show πŸ™‚

  8. Hi I reached here searching for Fali Singara. Was telling my beau how I liked to hear him when I was a teen, but if I heard to his show now, I would cringe except of course for the songs he played. I can relate to this post so so so much its astonishing, the happiness of listening to Keisha every Wednesday, I have made very good friends through her show πŸ™‚ so much of my musical inclinations come from the music she introduced me to.

    This post made my day. Thanks. I will pronto run and post on this.

    • thanks!!
      i have not heard FM in quite some time. all they play is the same old mindless film music.

      good to hear from you! keep in touch πŸ™‚

  9. i too reached here while googling Fali. hm i think i heard Keisha but she never held my attention somehow. Fali on the other hand was just too cool. Sure he dedicated songs only ‘to all the beautiful women out there’
    I was one of them , hehe πŸ™‚ I always wrote him requesting for songs like Someone to talk to, Ultraviolet light my way (u2) The Pretenders, Slave to Love, We Belong – Pat Benator.
    I used to record the Friday Im in love show and play it all the while when i went to vacation in Goa. My friend and I would crack up everytime Fali spoke between the songs. I wish AIR would bring back his show again ..

    • hey! thanks for the comment. AIR still is the best FM channel out there. no one else plays good english music.
      keep reading πŸ™‚

  10. Hey i cud connect to the post so wel…. wel i was one of the those ppl who used to stay awake till 12 am just to listen to keisha n fali… they both intruduced me to western music…

  11. Gosh, must admit that despite the fact that he played good songs, it would irritate me everytime Fali would say “it doesn’t get any better than this”, and I would scream in my room, “thats what you said the last time as well!”
    Well all that aside, I do think every RJ on AIR knew good music. Although Al, seemed to be playing songs only for a couple of people.
    Does anyone remember Joji? Wednesday nights, what was the show called? Hearbeats, i think… quite some time ago, more than 14 years I guess… Where is he now? I used to write to him almost every month, think I had a huge crush on him…. :/

    • i faintly remember joji. i was totally in love, and still am, with keisha lobo’s voice! i went mad when my call finally connected and i got to speak with her. i had figured out a way to get in the call queue, and called up quite a lot of times after that. don’t listen to much of FM these days, given the crap reception in mobile phone, and also horrid work hours!

      thanks for your comment, though πŸ™‚


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