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The enticing, faceless voice

SWATHI KRISHNASWAMI

People who listen to Radio City are familiar with radio jockey Chaitanya Hegde. His `Chow Chow Bath' programme is a big draw.


Chaitanya Hegde

THOSE WHO tune in to Radio City are familiar with his voice. Chaitanya Hegde, who has interviewed various personalities, shares his experience as a radio jockey. Disco jockeys and video jockeys have rocked Bangalore for years. Now it is the turn of radio jockeys to take the centre stage. Some months ago, being an RJ was not considered glamorous. But, the advent of Radio City, changed the entire scenario of Radio being considered as a substantial means of entertainment. And the credit for this goes to the RJs.

Chaitanya Hegde is the latest to join the RJ bandwagon. Listeners of Radio City are familiar with his voice. But this RJ started as a freelancer for Radio City and later became a producer. His job was to make commercials and local promos for the 91 FM channel. Just then, Radio City was looking out for a person who had a good voice and was fluent both in English and Kannada. That was when he took charge of the Chow Chow Baath show, aired on Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Talking about his academic career, Mr. Hegde says that he was "never definite'' about what he wanted to do and always drifted from one field to another. A mechanical engineer from the Karnataka University, he worked in Bhoruka Steel for a short period. Then he ventured into the field of advertising and had a brief stint with Leo Burnett and Oye India. Radio City came his way after this.

According to Mr. Hegde: "An RJ should be able to connect to the listener.'' Initially he was careful about what he said and whether he should or not, but then he realised that "being oneself'' is the main thing. "Once I have the basic outline of the content of the show, I let spontaneity take over,'' says the RJ who loves the excitement and tentative feeling before every show.

His interview with Sihi Kahi Chandru, famous Kannada theatre and cinema personality, is his personal favourite. "I was awestruck by Mr. Chandru's sense of humour and wit. He, in a way, changed my notions of a celebrity.''

His recent one-minute capsules on the various RJs have become quite popular. And Mr. Hegde says that personally it demands immense creativity, and he enjoys every bit of it.

He feels that radio is a "non-intrusive means of entertainment.'' Implying to the fact that it can be heard anywhere, he feels that it will surely ''get popular day by day.''

Mr. Hegde has a craze for two things -- movies and fitness. He makes it a point to go to the gym every evening. According to him, workouts are the "best way to destress oneself.'' And he watches films in either English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil or Malayalam. When he not doing either of the two, then "reading is what I do.'' Be it Taranga, science fiction, thrillers, or even comics, Mr. Hegde has a large collection of books. He likes to listen to soft rock, trance, or Hindi films songs, and does not like to listen to heavy metal or hard rock.

Mr. Hegde describes himself as "the boy next-door''. He sure proves it by replying to 90 per cent of his fan mail. Instead of planning way ahead into the future, this RJ is content to live the day by the moment.

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