Sunday, December 9, 2012

Radio Interview Circus!

A surprise telephone call one day in 2006 gave me some strange moments.  It was from a staffer* of All India Radio [AIR], Mysore, inviting me for a 10-minute interview for a series 'Ello kanda mukha' [A face seen somewhere].  Information of my being an ardent club cricketer with many years standing had been fed by his cricketer-friend* who was in a rival club. [Look for the asterisk at the end]

I tried to refuse the invitation, because of my very high and hard-earned reputation all life of not being able to 'face' gathered people, leave alone speak, despite this one being different.  The staffer on line would neither leave me alone nor would answer my question 'Why have you chosen me?'.

  His friendly tone sounded really true!  He coaxed, but without flattery.  I most reluctantly gave in, but on condition that we must first meet eye ball to eye ball and spend some time talking to each other before thinking of the studio.  To me, it was an alien situation. So I thought that if I met the interviewer-to-be*, a stranger to me at that stage, would ease my communication channel.

Honouring the condition I imposed, he visited our home on two evenings, leisurely chatting various things over a cuppa, while he admired the old house and the ancestry.  He fixed up a time during that week for the recording for which I tried to prepare with some noteworthy stuff.
I must very briefly mention about our All India Radio studio where I was to go.

It was designed by the famous German architect, Otto Koenigsberger.  Sir Mirza Ismail [the then Dewan of Mysore] tours Berlin and witnesses the 1936 Olympics, admires the stadium and dreams of having such a sports complex in Mysore. So he meets Koenigsberger who also had his hand in the Berlin Stadium  and succeeds in bringing him to Mysore in 1939.  But the Mysore project did not take off due to lack of funds.  In the meanwhile there was a requirement for a proper studio for All India Radio.  So in lieu of the sports stadium, Koenigsberger was assigned with the designing of it.  He finds himself living in Mysore and in other cities of India for 9 years.  He visits Mysore in 1977 and AIR interviews him.  At that time, he expressed his pride that he still held on to the Indian Passport also  Such was his fondness and love he had for our country.  

Mysore happens to be the first radio station of the country [1935].   The name 'Akashvani' to it was coined by Prof. M.V.Gopalswamy, a Professor of Psychology at Maharaja's College and whose hobby was 'wireless'!  The interiors of the studio Koenigsberger designed is considered unique and perhaps one of the best studios in the country.

Two years ago, AIR Mysore celebrated its Platinum Jubilee. Its souvenir is a wonderful collectors' item.
Another link: The Hindu

I was now sitting in one of the smaller studio cabins facing the interviewer across the microphone, keeping my elbows on the desk, trying my best to relax.  The magnificent sound-proof walls produced the calmest silence and I could hear my pumping heart.

"Shall we start?" he said.  His visit to my house had helped him frame his questions.  He readied settings on his computer and started the introduction followed by the first question.  I, bla.. ..bbla.. blabberrrd ... and then stopped.  He checked for technicalities etc. but I was blabbering!  He started once more and continued.  My brain suffered frequent 'thought blocks' which were to the extent that he got fed up, decided to abort mid way and asked me to return the next day.

So I went again.  The previous day's bla bla.........bla had stood me in better stead mentally, having got the 'studio feel'.  He had told me that I could pause any number of times and showed me how easily unwanted stuff could be erased from the recording, using computer software!  AIR would have shunted me out, if this were to be 20 years ago which were 'tape-recording' days.   A mere ten-minute work spreading to two long sessions!  It was crazy!

Finally it was over, despite many 'aaaaaa's and 'mmmm's and pauses.  It was funny only for me.  I am sure he would have felt happy to see my back for once!  I was informed of the date of its broadcast which I also intimated to my close well-wishers and friends who were surprised too - 'me  speaking?'! Some of them telephoned after the broadcast saying and I knew they were telling 'it was 'nice' only not to displease me! 

Listening to my own voice on the radio was incredibly funny. I imagined how much time he would have spent snipping those numerous 'thinking sounds and gaps'. I called to thank him for the patience shown in 'handling' me.  I also begged an apology.  As 'his' memento, he gave me a CD with the recording of that programme.  I was not aware of a token remuneration too!

Thank goodness it was not a live broadcast!
*  Click to see who the 'informer' and my interviewer were:
Informer. [Presently Editor of the popular Outlook magazine]
Interviewer. [Presently with AIR Madikeri]

Both of them will turn out to be famous personalities in the near future itself.

I am coming back to the post to add the widget for the audio.  Listen to the first 5 minutes of the interview. It is in Kannada language.  I finally was able to make it using 'audacity' a simple free software which my friend Krishna Rao showed me.

Click here to continue to listen to the remaining part... now it becomes complete:


Kumar Sharma said...

Hey Man!
I was able to listen to this 5 minute 'widget', at last! Well-spoken Dinu!
There's absolutely no sign of any nervousness whatsoever, in your speech. Maybe, you were nervous on the previous day. Your preliminary write up before ending with the interview/ Q-A session is indeed misleading. I am disappointed at the abrupt end....please do load the remaining part also, I beg. You cannot be leaving us -ardent listeners - midway thus, high & Dry!

jothi's jottings said...

Yes! Waiting to hear the remaining portion of the interview!

Dinakar KR said...

I have now added the remaining portion of 10 minutes - the interview.

S.Ananth said...

Dear Dina
Listened the interview,quite honest and apt.Those days we use to play for enjoying,never thought of making any benefits out of that.Game was played for self satisfaction.