On Air

It was one of those boring summers. I had nothing planned for next forty hollow days when a friend called out of the blue and asked if I was interested in joining a radio workshop.

The workshop was conducted by Roshan Abbas, who happened to be very hot on Times FM during those days. He was a thorough gentleman, extremely humorous, quick-witted, and spoke flawlessly. First session and I was awed. The obnoxious Ritu Paran Thakur, better known as Paran, took some public speaking sessions and taught us how to be nasty on air. Some people from the AIR conducted the other classes. Our recordings were guided by Gaurav Kapoor, who is now with channel [V]. It was great fun.

I traveled 30 kilometers every alternate day and never complained. During those days I was determined to become a radio jockey. Most of the participants of the workshop were exceptionally confident and gregarious. I was the only shy girl who intended to get into public speaking. It is not surprising that I was the most hopeless student of the workshop.

I was the only one who would stand on the stage and think.
I was the only one who would have dead air in the recordings.
I was the only one to come up with least witty sign offs.
I was the only one to get her pronunciations wrong.

But I dreamt on. The workshop came to an end. We all got the certificate and a very-very personal sheet of paper that contained rankings on our skills. The only skill for which I had an excellent was ‘Choice in music’. The sheet seemed as if it was shouting ‘you suck at public speaking’. It was so painful; I never showed that sheet to anyone.

Last month while spring-cleaning I found the ruffled sheet. I read it carefully and laughed my head off. I followed this by listening to the demo tape that we had made and I realized that I actually sucked.

Moral of the story: Things that seem of utmost importance to us at present will end up meaning nothing after a while.


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