RED FM RJ Malishka - I was destined to be in radio
If one goes by the yardstick of a casual conversation with Malishka, the lady doesn't have too difficult a job at RED FM.She's witty, spontaneous, loves to talk, always has a range of topics to hold forth on and flits glibly from one theme to another - just as smoothly as she does on her show Morning No 1, which celebrated its second birthday on RED FM on 1 August 2007.What differentiates Malishka from the rest of her tribe and endears her to the man on the road is her candid, easy-to-approach style that's completely sans pretensions. Her fans also include the city's celebs, movers and shakers, but Malishka's halo of fame sits lightly on her crown of curls, as she makes light of her popularity.For the last few days, Malishka has been even more actively involved in pushing her radio station's tag line 'bajaate raho' - visiting different areas in the city, listening to citizens' woes, lending a sympathetic ear and reflecting the angst of the people. From 'bubbly' RJ to 'the voice of the people', Malishka has traveled a fair distance. She shares the experience with radioandmusic.com in a conversation.
How has your stint at RED FM thus far been?
At the risk of mouthing cliches, it's been wonderful. After my earlier stint with radio, I was not very keen on returning. I was scared they would be expecting as much or more after that. Also, I wasn't ready to return to the rat race. But then, the people at RED FM convinced me with their philosophy, and things somehow just fell into place! As the station tag line goes, it's a station for 'expression', which can take many forms. I have realised in the last two years that there are people dying to raise their voices over several issues. The station has now become a platform for them, but the tone remains fun. Also, we don't promise solutions, we try to connect our callers to those who can make a difference or we try to get replies from people concerned.
At any given point of time, who knows just who could be listening in?
You have always valued your privacy. Are you still as anonymous as you would have liked to be, with all the outdoor stints you are doing for the Bajao campaign?
(laughs) To a limited extent, yes! I have enjoyed my anonymity for a long time, but gradually I am losing it! There are people who come up to me and say, "Aren't you Malishka?".The latest 'Bajaao for a cause campaign' has further increased recognition, but it's worth it!
Are you also flooded with TV offers?
Strangely, in the last few months, I have been getting quite a few TV offers. But at this point in time, I have no wish to quit radio in favour of TV. The offers usually revolve around utilising my personality on screen, be it on youth oriented shows, or on programmes that have people raising their voices on issues, or would have me
venturing into the field myself. But I haven't really thought about the offers seriously.
Do you work out of a script? How do you keep yourself abreast of all that's happening?
As a RJ, one cannot really work from a script, one needs to be spontaneous. All that may help are a few bullet points you jot down for reference, but otherwise, you have to play it by ear. I always maintain that on radio, 'necessity is the mother of invention'. You may be expecting an interview to happen, but it may not work out, or a caller may just take you on a tangent. There are several occasions that call for firefighting measures, and a script just doesn't work!
Yes, I read a lot, watch as much television as I can, interact with my listeners as much as possible and generally try to keep myself up to date with what's happening in the outside world.
A radio station is known by the RJs it has, particularly in these times when all stations sound alike. Would you agree?
Not completely. Radio jockeys are key to a station, but they are not everything. There's a lot of stuff that goes to make up a station - the music it plays, the attitude it portrays, and its priorities. A station is the sum total of these factors.
Were you the inspiration for Vidya Balan's character in Lage Raho Munnabhai? How did you train Vidya for the role?
I guess it was Vidhu Vinod Chopra's idea. You know, Raju Hirani (Munnabhai director) called me once and said that Chopra is a huge fan of mine, and wanted to mould a character in their next film on my personality. After that, Vidya would come over to the studios to learn the ropes and the mannerisms that go to make an RJ. I wouldn't say she copied me, because I stretch the 'gooooood' in my greeting, and she did the 'mooorning'!
Where do you see yourself a decade from now?
I enjoy being on air, and I enjoy ideating for my show. I basically enjoy being creative. Hopefully, ten years down the line, I would be doing something that enables me to keep doing that in the creative, entertainment sphere.I had a fan calling in today, who's been listening since I started out on radio, and he said that I should continue RJing since I will not be able to do anything else! Perhaps I was destined to be in radio!
What do you do when not RJing?
Spend time with family, friends, read, go for drives, watch movies in theatres....all this, in the precious little time I get to do it in!
What's your own favourite kind of music?
I do like bollywood music.I play some of the fun,popular hindi numbers on full blast in the studios in the mornings sometimes.I love the English golden oldies and I could listen to the hindi oldies any ol' day :)
Anyone you yourself like to listen to?
I listen to radio when I travel and I try to listen to know what not to do on air! But I think there is a lot of talent and spontaineity out there, waiting to be discovered.
If not an RJ?
a rocket scientist..just kidding...can't think of anything else i'd rather be doing!I believe radio came along exactly when I was ready for it...just for me :)