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Interviews |  20 Apr 2018 16:19 |  By Zinal Dedhia

RJ Anirudh and his candid moments with the legends

We may be born in their era or not, but we do look up to them for their art. Their movies are classic but seldom do we get to know about their lives behind the camera. We are talking about the yesteryear actors, who ruled the box-office during their good days.

Well, BIG FM and RJ Anirudh now give us an opportunity to know them more than 70mm. RJ Anirudh who has had the privilege of recording these stars during his interactions with the,m will be playing those interviews on BIG’s Hello Hi.. Aye Hi...There will also be interviews of the 90s stars and more.

In a candid interview with Radioandmusic, Anirudh talks about the show, yesteryear stars and more. Excerpts.

Tell us about the show.

The show is called Hello Hi.. Aye Hi.. – a phrase that I commonly use. It contains celebrity interviews on the show – but these will be different than the usual. Because of my intimate understanding of film stars, they talk to me closely and in a very open minded way.

Doing such kind of a show goes with the moto of me being in BIG FM for almost 12 years now. This is an emotional journey for me where I get to meet the legends and walk through a glance of their personal journey. Also this entire show will portray my personal journey too as my voice sounds different in a few conversations. I cherish these as iconic interviews, from which some of the legends have passed away.

The show will begin with Rajesh Khanna’s episode...

We thought of beginning the show with Rajesh Khanna because we realised that he has never been on radio before. At the time when they were superstars – there were only magazine and newspaper interviews while television and radio was very less. 

Tell us something about your interview with the superstar.

Rajesh Khanna shared anecdotes on how women were crazy about him and knowing it all from him personally was so much fun. There were many unheard fan moments too. One of them was that more than 400 women followed his car when he was back from a film shoot and they filled his entire car with lipstick marks on it. Knowing all this from him with his emotions was an amazing experience for me. 

Which other artists will you feature on your show?

We will be featuring Sunil Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Jitendra, Dev Anand. We have a spectrum of legends from Rishi Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor, Kajol to Tanisha Mukherjee. Also we will be having a series of the Kapoor Khandan that includes Randhir Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor.

We also have on show a lot of forgotten stars like the 80’s actors Khayyam Sahab, Reena Roy. Khayyam Sahab who has created some great music is 91 now and interestingly has a sharp memory even today.

There is an interesting feature with Lata ji(Mangeshkar)– it was probably the longest interview of her life which lasted for six hours. She spoke from her first music director to the last.

How was the experience of talking to Dev Anand?

The most exciting thing we did about Dev Anand’s interview was we made him talk to all the industrial women in his life from Lata Mangeshkar to Asha Bhosle to Zeenat Aman on call.

Dev Anand’s interview turned out to be very memorable. I remember patching him to Asha Bhosle and they started having an argument sorts over the phone about the Dum Maro Dum song. As Lata ji got on call she started teasing him as to recognise her and she kept introducing herself as a fan. Such moments will always be fresh in my mind.

You also managed to interview Manoj Kumar, how did that go for you?

I got a special interview with Manoj Kumar. Since he has won the Baba Sahib Phalke Awards, he is completely on bed rest. Physically he is completely down but his mind is so sharp that he remembers many incidents from his life. This entire interview I did lying down beside him. And the best part was despite of him being on bed, he was so keen to share everything.

It is great how BIG FM is honouring the legends and brining a different side of them to the fans ...

These legends have a legacy and it is an honour we can keep them alive. BIG FM has the capability because we are a retro channel with classics. Also it is bad that we are in a country which is bad at archives. Also on Google, there is very less information about such stars.

You surely have had a great experience interviewing the legends. Which one is your favourite?

My experience was obviously amazing as I got to know many things which I wouldn’t have known otherwise. It is difficult to settle on one favourite interview.

Amongst all, my favourite ones were Rajesh Khanna as I did not expect such a big superstar to give me so much warmth with his experience and memories. Lata Mangeshkar being one of the most respected playback singers of India, the long interview was a special one for both of us.

Apart from BIG FM, tell us about your career plans.

I am also into direction now. I directed my first film one and half year back Sabki Bajegi Band. Planning to start my second film, this will be a horror comedy.