By Durga Chakravarty
New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) The world has come to a standstill after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus outbreak, but there’s no stopping FM radio. It’s a medium that reaches out to the maximum number of homes, where people eagerly tune in to the comforting voice of radio jockeys — or RJs as we popularly call them — as they search for assurance and hope.
As the entire nation works from home in the time of pandemic, the radio jockeys too are staying in but keeping their job of entertaining their listeners first and working round the clock for content.
RJ Mallishka, who is popularly known as Mumbai Ki Rani, has been working from home for the past one week.
“We realised that we may not just put ourselves at risk but other people at risk as well because we work in little studios people are constantly moving in and out. Celebrities keep coming in,” Malishka told IANS.
She added: “There are several ways people did it — like I have a laptop, with a software on it, mic and headphones. I can also access my logs in the radio station but we do it in a 3 way access basically I send my link, my producer goes through it edits it puts in the music. It is being done across many radio stations.”
She finds work from home more “process driven”.
“It (working from home) is not difficult. It’s more processed driven. People are at home so it takes one step extra but I feel the way technology is helping and the world is going I think it is a good idea to look at this because otherwise radio people are coming 5-6 days a week to work and its difficult to take that off unless its pre-decided,” she said.
However, sweet-toned RJ Aakriti begs to differ. She says working from home is not as easy as it seems.
“It’s very difficult to work from home. As work gets doubled up. The feel of a studio is different from than that of a home,” Aakriti told IANS.
But she found a silver lining amid all of this.
“A lot of my listeners are actually listening to my show while staying at home. Trying to give them motivation through radio and music of course,” she said.
Love guru RJ Rahul Makin told IANS that he is working through a laptop and a remote access has been given to him.
“We are using a laptop and have got an app installed which controls all the songs and logs and whatever we have to say from the station. The IT people have given us a remote access where we can control our programme from our laptop only,” Makin told IANS.
RJ Lucky, who is famous for taking out various sounds of several Bollywood stars, says he too has a set up at home but live interaction with his listeners is currently on hold.
We have been provided with laptops and have remote access to the system. There’s the mic. So, we have a dummy set up at home now. So we record it and package the links then we upload it. It is easy. We just have to coordinate with the producer. Only the live calls we used to have, we are not taking them currently. We routing that traffic on our social media handles,” Lucky, whose real name is Nitin Pahwa told IANS.
The mellifluous-voiced RJ Aditi feels social media has played a major role at the time of social distancing.
“The thing about radio is not about what you can say but it is also about what you cannot say. You cannot create panic. The thing is for the people who are still on the road, I think we try and speak to them. Morale boosting happens a lot. Social media is playing a major part here.
“We are constantly giving out the handles of our stations, personal handles and we are getting a lot of direct messages. People are sending in their stories and we are giving them shout outs. We are encouraging everyone as we are all in this together,” Aditi told IANS.
(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at email@example.com)