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  #1  
Old June 26th, 2003, 07:16 AM
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King of radio listeners

When Freddie Mercury sang ‘Radio Ga Ga’, chances are he was referring to Phiroz Siganporia, Mumbai’s liveliest radio enthusiast – a 50-year-old with an ‘Eighteen till I die’ spirit.

Siganporia’s energy and enthusiasm have seen him write letters and sending listener requests to radio stations every single day for the last 40 years, a love affair that began when he was just 10.

“Radio was the only source of home entertainment then; Radio Ceylon was a hit and Ameen Sayani’s Binaca Geet Mala was my favorite show,” he reminisces. “In fact, it was everybody’s favourite show.”

Even for Gen X listeners of FM radio, the words “Hello, my dear friend, this is Phiroz Siganporia reporting from Marine Drive” would sound familiar.

What drives him to write letters and call radio stations every day? In one word, the answer could be ‘passion’. And no, he is not crazy; it is just that music has always been an integral part of his life. “Music has always been my love,” he says.

So much so that, in 1996, he won the Listener of the Year award from All India Radio’s 107.1 FM station.

His other “passion” is collecting LPs. With more than 2500 gramophone records collected, his favourites are the ones that are not available anywhere, including an LP that was produced in 1932.

Collected after frequent trips to Chor Bazaar, Mumbai’s celebrated flea market, his LPs include voices of Lata Mangeshkar, Surendra Nath, K L Sahgal, Mohammad Rafi, Noor Jahan, Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt, Hemant Kumar, Kishore Kumar, among Indians.

His western classical collection includes everything from Mozart and Chopin to Beethoven and Mantovani.

He also boasts of a humungous collection of classic oldies from Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Pat Boone, and Jim Reeves. Actually, the list could go and on.


Siganporia has a large and rare collection of LPs and CDs
A pride of place in his heart is accorded to Lata Mangeshkar’s 78-rpm LP ‘Aye mere vatan ke logon’, which he says no one else possesses in Mumbai.

This is the same song that brought Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears when Lata sang in front of him. The song is a dedication to all the martyrs and freedom fighters of India.

His Parsi roots are quite evident in his Parsi wedding songs collection, again a rarity in Mumbai.

But his biggest achievement could well be the 5-Star Listeners Club, a voluntary organization he set up in 1965 for visually impaired persons.

“My aim is to spread the message of good music. I record their favourite songs for them free of cost.”

He adds: “For them, music is the only source of entertainment. This is my way of helping people who share my passion.”

The good deeds have paid off.

Siganporia has won himself a place in the Guinness Book of Records and the Limca Book of Records for a 24-episode live series on Lata Mangeshkar on AIR 107.1 FM from December 1, 1998 to February 25, 1999, which included his personal records collection.

The show has won him several accolades from several persons, including Lata Mangeshkar herself, musician Naushad, and Ameen Sayani.

As much as he loves the music he has collected, he reflects what most from the previous generation feel: “There is no soul in the music they play today. If you listen to an old Lata Mangeshkar piece, the emotions still stir the feeling of the Golden years. Today, I feel no emotion.”

His feelings are quite the same for FM radio. “Every station plays the same music,” he says. “Originality is at a premium.”

Several people may predict that the killing licence fees could put the radio industry under a cloud, but with loyal listeners like Phiroz Siganporia, video would never kill the radio star.

“Radio will survive,” says Siganporia. Because, as Freddie Mercury put it: “Someone still loves you.”


____________________________________

I remember this guy very well. There used to be a time before MTV, Channel V and FM that the only english radio music was on saturday nights at 10 pm called saturday date. And every saturday, you would hear a request from this guy.

There also used to be a program called "santogen ki mehfil" from 9 to 10 on sat night, and this guy used to have requests in there too.

Over the years, folks at the radio have become well acquainted with him. Phiroze also has a brother, and even his brother jangu siganporia is used to giving requests.

Good job sir......with you around video sure cant kill the radio star.
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  #2  
Old June 26th, 2003, 12:15 PM
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Oye Padhu

You have dug up old memories..

I remember Saturday Date, Also "Santogen Ki Mehfil"

Then I can never forget "Binaca GeetMala" though I was a kid, I used to like listening to it. The fact that it came from a "foreign" place called Ceylon was quite thrilling to a young mind.

Then the regulars like "Hawa Mahal", "Bhule Bisre Geet" and "Bela Ke Phool" were also favorites. Doordarshan used to suck big time with their signature tune "Tee dee daa daa deen Tada daaa.. Dhunk ka tika dhunk a tika .. Taa daa daa dee dee.. "

Radio was fun. My mother's maternal uncle Ramkrishna mama was very much a part of my childhood and he used to listen to radio at night. He introduced me to radio at a young age.

Thanks for such a wonderful news item.. Brought back the memories..
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Old June 26th, 2003, 02:47 PM
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yeah..i remember doordarshan used to suck big time in those days. Every day there used to be that lousy program "aamchi maati, amchi mansa" and follwoed by "apan yahna pahilat ka".

This used to be followed on tuesday and thursday at 8pm by tanasum in "phool khile hai gulsha gulshan".

jeeezzzzzzzz...it does bring back old memories.
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Old June 26th, 2003, 03:18 PM
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KRISHI DARSHAN rocked
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Old June 26th, 2003, 03:18 PM
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speaking of memories i remember the crowd of relatives, friends gathering faithfuly every sunday morning to watch Ramayan at our place. and my grandma even used to distribute "prasad" after the progamm
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Old June 26th, 2003, 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by pakkidost
speaking of memories i remember the crowd of relatives, friends gathering faithfuly every sunday morning to watch Ramayan at our place. and my grandma even used to distribute "prasad" after the progamm
Sunday subah 9 baje TV baahar laani padti thi garden mein... Usual attendance 100 to 120... galli ke poore bachche, bade (there was a big slum area near our place) sab TV ke saamne ... sometimes even used to get their breakfast along
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Old June 26th, 2003, 04:48 PM
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I can never forget that DD tune

"Tee dee deee dee deen Tada daaa.. Dhunk ka tika dhunk a tika .. Taa daa daa dee dee.. "

and that test pattern that used to come up before TV transmission started.. Some neighbours used to come to our place on Sunday evenings for a movie and used to even like to watch that test pattern
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Old June 26th, 2003, 05:08 PM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally posted by YedaAnna
KRISHI DARSHAN rocked
ROFLMAO ...
I am glad we had no TV.
But eventually when we did, I enjoyed 'Pancha Tantra', and the
initial music 'yeh pancha trantra hai' it was fun. Mahabharat
was still running, and our neighoring daadima used to break a
coconut just before programme started.
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Old June 26th, 2003, 06:42 PM
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There used to be some cool programs too like nukkad, yeh jo hai zindagi, and then a desi soap opera called khaandaan with neena gupta inside.


I used to hate that bullshit humlog.....man it was one painful serial to watch.

I forget the name but there used to be this serial which used to come about a woman cop.....that was kinda nice...later she came in the surf jingle "lalita ji, aap bhi"....hehehehehhe

Sunit...that doordarshan start was painful...i always thought of it as two half boiled eggs coming together. Actually even vivid bharati start in the old days at 6 in the mornign was painful.....a person would easy wake up listening to that music just to get to that radio and turn it off....it was that lousy.
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Old June 26th, 2003, 06:44 PM
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ne1 rememba INTEZAR...it had a cool title song
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