Editorial: Ameen Sayani, Radio’s Melody Maestro

Editorial: Ameen Sayani, Radio’s Melody Maestro

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 03:56 AM IST
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Ameen Sayani left an enduring legacy | File Photo

Ameen Sayani’s indelible mark on the popularisation of Hindi surpasses even the efforts of institutions like the Hindi Prachar Sabha. His Binaca Geetmala, inaugurated in 1952, wasn’t just a programme; it was a celestial symphony that propelled him to instant stardom. The anticipation of his iconic “Behnon aur Bhaiyon” resonated across audiences, transcending linguistic barriers, as they eagerly awaited his introduction to Hindi film melodies. His voice possessed an enchanting quality, blurring the lines between the allure of his introductions and the melodies themselves. His ability to connect with the young or the old or Hindi speakers or Malayalam enthusiasts was unparalleled. Born a Gujarati, he embarked on his career in English, ultimately becoming a linguistic maestro who taught many the art of Hindi expression. The phenomenon of Binaca Geetmala was so potent that social gatherings paused, and people gathered around their radio receivers to bask in the waves that carried Sayani’s voice.

His programme was not merely about music; it delved into contemporary social issues, championing concepts like gender equality and social equity while tactfully avoiding the quagmire of politics. His enduring popularity shattered the myth that familiarity breeds contempt, proving that the audience’s craving for his voice knew no bounds. In the golden age of radio, no announcer came anywhere near his popularity. As society transitioned to television, Sayani seamlessly adapted, showcasing his technological acumen to remain a stalwart in the evolving media landscape. His willingness to evolve extended to the realm of artificial intelligence, underscoring his visionary approach. However, the call to eternal rest silenced the resonant voice, leaving his devoted “Behnon Aur Bhaiyon” in a poignant state of loss. Ameen Sayani not only serenaded an era but left an enduring legacy in the hearts of those who cherished the golden days of radio.

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