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Saturday, 11 July 2015

13 Until I Die [Chapter 11: Video Killed the Radio Star]

The Buggles number expires with the role of serving the title ;). Why is radio today the topic?

[Because I heard my voice on air after ages?]

My first VO was recorded for mother's TV campaign for good old Doordarshan. Mother was the first private producer for the national channel in India. I was in the 7th grade then and could mimic the voice that fit a 20 year old. Later, after finishing school and college, I came face to face with VO once again.

In 2002.

"You are born with a radio voice," said Radio Mirchi's sound editor who auditioned me on a random sentence written by somebody in the studio... meant for anyone who came in to record their voices for the first time. Because those days I did not have many voices telling me what to do [as in what job to take or leave etc... career counsellors in form of friends/family basically]... I could simply skip joining the radio without letting them wait for days for a response.

My reason was simple [and compelling to me at least] - I was bag packing to an awaited destination and the travel dates coincided with the channel's voice training period for new recruits. I had to make a very quick choice. It is hardest when there is no influence. I had only to listen to the sound of my soul's music. The following trip was beautiful. The most memorable experience from this trip to Jammu was having watched and followed lines and lines of tall pine trees up close for the first time like a botanist would. I came back to Delhi to paint as many of these trees possible... and still did not get enough of the misty mountains. [As I write this I can almost tune in to Hobbits OST... Misty mountains... wonder why they play all the time in my head!]

Far over the misty mountains cold. To dungeons deep and caverns old. We must away ere break of day. To seek the pale enchanted gold...

[I ask you my lord - in amitah bachachan's lawyer-voice complete with an intense bollywood score playing in the backdrop - Why my lord... why are you as usual lost in translation... why are you carried away into the bluvian randomness while explaining something that could be really simple? Tell me why you do this every time! I urge you in my thunderous voice meant to question every injustice with a pair of blood-shot-pain-indicative-bollywood-emotion-eyes of amitabh bachchan or may be shah rukh khan... I urge you for the last time to give your verdict! I beg you my lord - why is radio today the topic?]

Years later in the UAE, [last year to be precise] I officially stepped into the world of voice overs after a long break [since Star News days in 2004].

I recorded my first radio spot at Vox's BKP Studio in Dubai Media City. It was one hell of an experience. I shall never forget that day for the amount of fun we had while racing tongue-twisting words to fit the 30-sec slot. Somethings people do for money I tell you!! ;) Honestly this hyper-excited super-enthusiastic ad was exactly the sort that usually makes me cringe and change the channel. O-h-O and here I do that which I despise! [That's why probably they said in the energy healing classes that you should be careful of what you hate... because you may just put so much energy into that and attract it right into your life... And for a living! Imagine!!]

The agency was happy and gave some great feedback to the studio. [You would know by now that compliments are always welcome to a Saggittarian who will elatedly gesture 'Hey you can tell me more... am listening'].

I can still remember the retakes like they happened yesterday. The number of times the ad director insisted on pushing up the speed while saying 'hurry up, go and shop'... that one line alone instantly made me a drama queen! [And I could imagine people running, tugging, pushing and fighting all odds... to reach the shops to nab the offer I just announced.]

Looking back... at the making of that ad [those 30 secs on air made after half a day of retakes at the studio]... I promise that it is the only sort of drama I love/accept now.

Caught in a loop of thoughts that went back and forth like scenes on tv when someone else surfs channels... I let past and present take turns to visit me. I was helplessly stuck/stationary as I continued listening to that one radio channel for half an hour... and heard the ad with my vo repeat at least 4 times! Every time it made me smile and think - hah! I didn't know I could sound like that!

I had enough of that loop... and now it was time to get up and change the channel and move on to other things!

[To those who ask how one does so many things! - Hah! says the saggi after the usual chick-chiki-boom-chick-chicki-boom-chick-chicki-boom... the curtains do not fall! And it is not over!]

… to be continued

General disclaimer: Any resemblance to persons living, dead, or reincarnated is not a coincidence. No animals were injured during the making of this novelog although some monkeys may have their feelings hurt. Sorry.

Here is a recap:

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