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Interviews |  17 Jun 2008 14:54 |  By RnMTeam

Radio One RJ Prithvi - 'I have lost my inhibitions; now my bosses tell me to shut up!'

An ace tennis pro who's also an award winning radio jockey, RJ Prithvi lives each day as it comes. One look at him and you're sure that he's about to come up with a wisecrack. Yes, that's RJ Prithvi for you - live and fresh, as Namita Gupta catches up with him just outside Bangalore's Radio One studio, post his daily Breakfast Show.


What was your life like, pre-RJing?

I have always loved tennis. I spent 18 years playing in national as well as international tournaments. I was ranked 42nd in the country, sixth in the state (Karnataka). And then one day, I had a wrist injury and had to give it all up.

How did radio happen to you?

I always pulled my friends' legs, cracked jokes and was always in a light-hearted fun mood. I still am. My friends told me to make use of my wit and voice. I hosted a whole lot of corporate events, club nights, and was an emcee before I got into radio. One day, about seven years ago, I found myself auditioning for All India Radio. For almost four years, I did two shows a week for AIR called Sakkath Sunday with a renowned anchor, Aparna.

So radio came naturally to you?

No, it did take a little while for me to get comfy on air. When I started, I used to write all the scripts-almost word by word. Now my producer Rakesh sits with me to plan the whole show. He chalks out the headlines and suggests some funny jokes and wisecracks and the rest just takes its own course during the show. I have slowly lost all my inhibitions. In fact, now my bosses have to tell me to shut up.

Have you also done production or would you like to get into it? How difficult are the live links and what do you do for your voice modulation?

Birthday Bakra and Tring Tring are mostly producer Rakesh and Rajesh's production. I was part of the planning. I have not done independent productions. I don't think I want to get into it now, as my hands are too full. Live links are done with the co-ordination of OB jocks (outdoor broadcast jockeys). Voice modulation comes completely naturally to me. It's been a trial and error experience. I have not taken any formal training in it.

You have just returned from Mumbai with some awards. Which ones and for which categories and how was the whole experience?

We got the India Radio Forum award for the Best Breakfast Show, which Rakesh and I plan together. In fact, he comes up with the whole sequence and plans the flow. We also won the RAPA award this year for the Best Programming for Birthday Bakra, which is our way of wishing people on their birthday on our Breakfast Show.

You have also won the RJ of the year award as a Kannada jockey?

Yes, I got the RJ of the year award this year. My language is Kanglish. I like to sometimes go into very total, typical local Kannada and being a kannadiga helps me get the local flavour and the connect is higher.

What's the real Prithvi like? How are you as a human being?

It's funny you called me a human being. I'm quite flattered. Well, people have made me believe I'm funny. I consider myself just the same. What you hear me on air, is what I am off air. Sometimes, a little more cautious on air, because the bosses are around (grins).

You also host a programme on a real estate TV channel. Are you open to more such TV shows?

Yes, the show is called Space Harmonics. We get musicians who create music for a living space. It's a programme where music bands come together to a corporate space, to a home or an office or a restaurant and bring out the flavours of that place with their music. I host the show every week. I love TV and would love to do more shows.

Are you a party animal? How do you unwind?

I party only for work. Otherwise I'm only an animal. I host a lot of corporate shows - have done for several big companies like IBM and Microsoft, across all their departments, even family get togethers and award ceremonies.

Delving a little more into your personal life, are you married or still single?

I've been married for three years now. I've known her for a long time. Made friends with her through tennis.

What are your aspirations?

Whatever I had planned, never happened. I wanted to continue playing tennis and become a tennis pro. I'm doing something, which I had never planned or thought. But I love doing it and am happy the way things turned out. I just take it all as it comes.