With a name like hers, it was fated perhaps that Melodee Austin would choose radio as her raison d’être. Today, she is a decade old in the business and has a well-informed overview of the growth of FM radio in India. She says, “FM in India has grown tremendously from the time it started. But I have been to Paris, Dubai and Dublin in the recent past and radio there is a bit different. Some of those features, I think, can be incorporated here. There should be more freedom of speech, better programming strategies and more openness when it comes to discussing taboo topics.”
She began her love affair with radio almost 10 years ago with All India Radio and she has been with Bangalore’s Indigo 91.9 for the last six years. She says, “Radio was always a dream from the time I first heard a request show on Radio Ceylon as a child. And that’s when I decided that come what may, I will one day be a radio presenter and here I am and I love every second of being on air, chatting with listeners and playing music.”
She realised the power of the medium the day she dissuaded a depressed listener from causing harm to himself. She adds, “Once a listener called in to say that he has to travel for work everyday and my show was his only solace across those 50 kilometers. It means a lot when listeners consider you as their best friend and guide and form a personal connection.”
The other great aspect of her work she says is that, “We get to break new music first and we are the first and the only 24 hour English radio station in the country.” Though she loves to talk, the one thing radio has taught her is the art of listening, because as she says, a good RJ does not just talk but knows when to let a moment be.
— Reema Moudgil