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News |  20 Oct 2017 09:00 |  By Zinal Dedhia

AIR played an important role in my marriage: Mamta Sehgal

A woman plays diverse roles before and after her marriage and each time with numerous challenges in life. Somewhere between the hustle bustles of the family responsibilities she aims to achieve her goals. Not all manage to do balance it all, but RJ Mamta Sehgal has learnt the art and there is no looking back. 

Today Radioandmusic gets you the story of Mamta Sehgal, a homemaker, a poet and casual announcer at AIR's FM Rainbow. Mamta does an 11-2 show. 

She has a very interesting journey to share with us; radio played a very important role here. Excerpts.

How did radio happen to you?

I was doing my MA in Economics from Mumbai University. One day I participated in a poetry circle competition held in the university where Vijay Akela (lyricist) was invited as a guest. I read the poetries written by me and he loved the way I expressed myself while reading and writing poems. He suggested me to not leave my talent at this stage and move ahead with it. He also went on to introduce me to All India Radio.

How did you manage to get into AIR?

When I first went for an interview, I went through different tests and the entire team appreciated my work. It had been a month and I did not get any call from the team. I was wondering whether I was selected or they just appreciated me as a kind gesture. Out of curiosity, I called the office to check up on the results, they told that the results were pending, but they secretly told me that I was selected.

Tell us about your first show on AIR?

In 2004 I joined AIR with a few more people. For the first 10 days, we were trained how to play a radio and the eleventh day we were given our own show. Anurag Pandey, Siddharth Kannan, Dilip Jain, Anirudh – all the renowned RJs now were my seniors back then.

My first show Chithi Aai Hai was about reading letters. The AIR Rainbow fans used to send us letters. While reading those, I used to smartly fit in my poetries in the form of a reply. That was a completely different feeling for me. It was good to know the responses from the station.

Why did you quit AIR in 2005?

In 2005, I got a call from Red FM that they want me as an RJ on their show. They heard me on AIR and loved my style of talking. I did an evening 5-9 show called Happy Hours with Jose and a countdown show on Saturday with a national show which simultaneously aired in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. Then I quit Red FM after one and a half year because I got an opportunity to anchor for a news channel, something that I always wanted to do.

What got you back to the place where you started from?

It was in 2007 when I got back to AIR. Before this when I was anchoring for a news channel, it was too much hardship for me, with no fixed schedule. Also, I was attacked twice post work. I used to always leave late from work and that did land me in trouble twice. Also, the schedule was harming my health. Thus I decided to quit anchoring and get back to radio talk. The team was kind enough to take me back on-air and since then (2007) I have not taken any break.

AIR has played an important role in your marriage. Tell us a bit about it.

It was in 2006 when I met my husband on Shaadi.com. During those days I was doing a midnight show called Dil Se from 12-2am. He heard my voice and fell in love even before we actually met.

The day we met for the first time he was filled with nervousness and excitement due to which I couldn’t talk much. The same day while I was on-air, he was listening to my show and asking me questions via SMS as how was his impression on me, if I like him and more. To answer each of those questions I used to reply in the form of a Shayari on-air and he understood them. This is how our story began.

What is the procedure for being a casual announcer at AIR?

To be a casual announcer on AIR, one needs to be a graduate. Everyone can be a casual announcer unless you are not a government employee. One needs to go through various tests and if selected you get a ‘Vani Certificate’- a voice training certificate from AIR as a voice artiste. With this certificate, one can apply in any station on AIR across India in languages like Hindi, English, Gujarati, and Marathi.

What is the process of show designing?

The best part of AIR is you are your own writer, presenter and music producer, it’s like you are your own boss. All we are expected to do is submit our script well in advance for approval. There are times when I do not have stories for my show; this is when I travel in local transport and observe things around. I get a lot of stories this way to share with my listeners.

Are there any limitations when it comes to broadcasting content on AIR?

Yes, being a public broadcaster we go through certain restrictions when it comes to playing music and jockeying. We cannot promote alcohol or smoke in any manner. So, we do not play any songs that include words like smoke or alcohol.

How do you feel being an AIR’s casual announcer?

I feel so good and an active woman at the same time. As I have responsibilities of my home and family too, I have opted for an 11 am- 2 pm show because my daughter comes back by 4 and I don’t want my schedule to be hampered on her. 

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