Till a couple of decades ago, if not very long back, many of us in India were accustomed to set our wrist watch by listening to the 8:00AM national news on All India Radio. That sound of Bip Bip Bip before the news was good enough an indicator to make the listeners alert for the news hour on radio. The thunderous voice of news readers like Devki Nandan Pandey Ji or Ramanasingh Prasad Singh Ji or Indu Ramanuj Prasad Singh Ji or Vinod Kashyap Ji are still booming in our ears.
Watch this interview of Devki Nandan ji and it will bring back the radio memories...and read on...my chance meeting with Devki Nandan ji...
I happened to be associated with All India Radio for many years - childhood to be precise. I did my first program on All India Radio in the year 1976, when I was just about 10 years. Beginning as a child artist, I would wait for my name to be called by the anchor of children’s program, to be recognized by my parents. Later I graduated to become a radio artist and did almost 3000 programs. I even wrote and directed many radio programs.
One day I was accompanying my father, who happened to be an established script writer, in the All India Radio building. After seeing a man clad in simple Kurta Pyjama, he suddenly stopped and asked me to touch his feet. I knew nothing about the person, so was reluctant. My father looked at me and that was enough for me to bend down and touch the feet of this simple gentleman.
As I touched his feet, up came his hand for blessings – “Jeete Raho Beta, Khush Raho”. These five words immediately resonated in my body and I immediately recognized this voice. He was Devki Nandan Pandey Ji – the legendry and ace Hindi news reader of All India Radio. I could not believe I was seeing him so closely. There was no relation between his simplicity with his fan-following. Entire India listened to him every morning.
My father told me once Pandey Ji left – “many would come and read news in All India Radio. May be at one point, television will take-over Radio, but there would be none who whose voice could be heard as thunderous as Devki Nandan Pandey Ji or any of the news readers like Ramanasingh Prasad Singh Ji or Indu Ramanuj Prasad Singh Ji or Vinod Kashyap Ji".
It has been years and years and I don’t know when was the last time I switched on Radio to hear the news on All India Radio. We might not be a radio listener any more, but even today, All India Radio news is one of the most authentic news of all times – no sensation and no dramatization - simple news for information and knowledge.
When was the last time you heard Vivid Bharti - “Yeh Vivid Bharti Ka Vigyapan Karyakram HaI...”. Can anyone forget this line ever?
The author, Pavan Kaushik is a Storyteller, Author and Speaker