I don't think I have given vent to my frustration here, ever before. But I just decided that I should do it.
Rainbow is the FM channel of All India Radio, as many of you may know. This meagre soul is one of the RJs of its Hyderabad channel 101.9. I have been doing the show Geet Gata Chal every Friday from February this year until now, with a break of two months in between when I went home.
Right from the time I started doing the show, until I left in May for the break, I was handling random Bollywood news and gossips for the content of the show. It was a smooth run and there was absolutely no feedback that came in from anywhere except my lovely listeners who always praised me over telephone calls.
And then, I took the break. And came back. I thought that spicing the show up a little bit by making a more specific format would be a good idea. My programme executive was on leave during this time and I did not get a chance to discuss this with him. So I went ahead and restructured the random Bollywood rattlings into a Friday movie release special. Fridays are the days when movies release and I started giving updates and inside stories about the ones releasing on that day. I made sure each talk I did was information packed and thus was doing the show with much more interest and vigour than when I had left.
Enter my supervisor. He is angry that I did not discuss this with him while he was not available in the first place. He tells me a thousand things about how there is a specific format for the show and that I cannot please my whims and fancies when he and I both know that there is nothing of that sort. He talks to the minute detail of a major theme and a minor theme for each jocktalk while I am grumbling in my mind that deconstructing something as creative as RJing to this level will spoil the fun of it.
It's not that I don't get the point. I do. It is a mass medium and our target is a mass audience. I need to please all of them and not just a small group who thinks like me and likes what I say now. I have to please the lowest common denominator and they are not as intelligent as I think they are. This is what he wants me to understand and I do.
But still, why is it that I cannot speak my mind and make sense? Why is it that the listeners (or audience for another medium) are constantly underestimated by those who are at the helm? I talk sense even when it is about Bollywood and give loads of information that may not feature in the frivolous talks that others indulge in. Yet, I am the one asked to change and not them. Why?
Aren't Hyderabadis mature enough to take any stuff other than pyaar dosti ki bekaar baatein?
Why, Lord, why?