Gurgaon we're listening
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At the headquarters of Gurgaon Ki Awaaz Samudayik Radio Station in Udyog Vihar, the morning broadcast has begun. Jyoti (23) has just gone on air with her popular show 'Apni Rasoi'. Today, in the 15-minute broadcast, she has shared recipes of lauki ka halwa and tirange chawal with her listeners, most of whom are bachelors. "I remember a man who called up after one show for the recipe of nimbu ka achaar. I spent half an hour giving instructions. Clearly, the show wasn't enough," she says with a laugh. Everyone at the station shares her frank surprise that men are more interested in a show meant for women. This is just one example of the numerous contradictions that exist in Gurgaon.
November 1 was a special occasion. Not only was it the third birthday of the community radio, it was also Haryana Diwas.
Minutes later, 'Gurgaon Live' goes on air where listeners call in to debate on subjects picked by the station. Vandana, a young MA student, and Sharmila, an experienced health worker — both from the community — are in the studio, taking turns to talk of what they like most about Haryana — its fields, the haryali and the melas. The topics picked by them straddle the serious and the light-hearted with equal ease — one day they talk of memories of their first photographs and the next day it's a conversation on primary health-care centres. Jyoti is outside, filtering in calls from listeners. Doli Ram, the youngest in the team, is holding up names of the callers on a white board. A green tab with 'call waiting' flickers constantly on the screen, the occasion and subject of discussion are just right to stir up a rousing debate. Callers pour in from Jharsa, Badshahpur, Panipat, Mahipalpur and Gurgaon, offering their takes on Haryana. Proud Haryanvis take on vexed migrants. Vandana and Sharmila, caught in the crossfire, pipe in with development statistics. The regular run time of half an hour has been extended to one hour and soon a listener calls in, peeved. He wants the others to stop talking about Haryana and get some folk music going, much to the amusement of the crew. And this is how the community talks to itself, at times friendly and always opinionated.