100 days of happiness, 100 days of cheering up each other, 100 days of being your own true self, 100 days of falling in love over and over again. Wow, what a journey it was, unique, strange in itself and yet the feeling of oneness I experienced here is like no other.
How it all started?
Well, how well do we know our next-door neighbour? How many times do we reach out to know how someone is doing? Do we give or receive smile generously? Do we care enough to pick the phone and make a call to check with a person who we got to know was unwell (or had “THE” virus)?
Well, well the sad reality of our world is we just love to mind our own business. And that’s what I was also doing till July the 5th. But then one after another stories of depression and suicide started pouring in and the helplessness started increasing… and then someone suggested after listening to the chirpiness of my voice that I should be a RJ and that’s how the idea of Radio on zoom was borne… and then there was literally no looking back. (being a TV journalist and now a freelance script writer, the idea of Radio or just being heard didn’t resonate or strike). The happiness of doing this was so out of this world, that the first few days of starting it, I was sleepless, overwhelmed and ecstatic… and gradually for me and many others it became a habit of sorts.
So, what is Radio Diva?
It’s an online platform where we connect on zoom everyday… mostly on audio but since it’s our platform we do take the liberty of switching on the cameras every now and then to see the faces behind those giggles and witness the stories that only eyes can narrate.
So, on Radio Diva we talk about anything and everything under the sun except the C word (I mean covid here and all other places I mentioned “THE” virus). Topics range from anger, childhood, to the right usage of words, body- shaming, JOMO/FOMO, showing off to expectation/reality, to virtual trips to mountains and beaches…Almost 100 days (after 3 days) has elapsed and this little happy community is spreading its wings with every passing day.
The best thing about this platform is that the communication isn’t one way…all get ample opportunity to express their opinions and vent out their emotions, and many times just agree to disagree.
What are the highlights of the show?
We have dedicated days for-
- Real heroes – (real people doing some real stuff) like a doctor serving “THE” virus patients free of cost for the last 8months risking his and his family’s life, to a man who left his high-profile central govt job of training IAS and IPS to dedicate his life to educate people on how important it is to take up a career of passion rather than giving in to pressure.
- Bindaas Singing sessions– Then a day is dedicated to singing, where one sings their hearts out in the language of their preference (Believing that singing is a magical stress-buster and has the potential to create happy hormones in our brains).
- Counsellor speaks- Then we also have days when a renowned counsellor joined in and spoke about staying happy or how guilt is a trap and how important it is to resolve mental issues.
- Story sessions- stating that everyone has a story to tell and no lesson can be more important than the ones that life teaches us effortlessly.
- Mushairas- And some of the days we just do our own “mushairas” by borrowing shayaris from google baba 😊.
- RJ of the day: And last but definitely not the least all here have the chance to be a RJ and speak their minds on the topic of their choice.
But not to forget the most important element of Radio Diva i.e the soulful songs(4-5/day) that all get to listen. Like good old times, people request for a song as well on this platform.
Who attends these sessions?
We have all kind of people…right from Twinkle who is a college student, to Nita Verma who is a senior History professor from DU, to professionals, to housewives, to a Banker called Sunil Sharma who attends it with his wife Charu and 8 yr old daughter Khushi. Besides, people from Delhi NCR we got people from almost every corner of the country including far-flung Arunachal in the east to Gujarat in the west, can’t think of anyone who joins from Kashmir, but definitely we got people from most of the states down south. Then we have knowns from Netherlands, Australia, Canada and an Irish national as well. Few friends and acquaintances joined in and then friends of friends pitched in and the community kept growing!
Well, 100days, feels as if it passed in a wink, days of conversations, of family singing together, of pouring your heart out, to celebrating the good news of the day. Like a Doc announcing 6people left the hospital after recovering from “The” virus to someone clearing an online exam to someone baking the perfect bread we celebrated it all. In one sentence if I have to say- WE CELEBRATE LIFE HERE AND COUNT OUR BLESSINGS EVERY SINGLE DAY! 😊
Now when I look back to these days, I really wonder where do you meet such non-judgmental strangers who made an effort to connect everyday and become one big family and face this faceless pandemic head-on. People talk of isolation and loneliness as the side-effects of lockdown, I can vouch with confidence that all the ones who attended the show on a regular basis surely feel fortunate to be part of this happy community that each one has together created and contributed to!
What future do I see for Radio Diva?
Like every society has an RWA, I want every society to have a radio platform like this. On the same floor there might be a retired professor and a youth embarking on the path of self-discovery, why can’t they connect and listen to each other. Why can’t they be friends without judgements. I want every society to replicate this model and make a platform to meet and greet and learn from each other’s wisdom even if it’s just for half an hour. Let the happy-go-lucky tribe grow, let good things also go viral!