Malishka in her unbeatable style
Malishka’s journey in Radio began with Win 94.6. She joined RED FM 10 years back when Win 94.6 ceased to exist, and has since been the face of the FM station. One of the most popular RJs since FM’s inception in the country, she is known for her witty style, her never say die spirit, her relentless fight for the right and of course her voice. Adgully had an interesting conversation with her, as enchanting as her show on the radio. Tune in..
Adgully (AG): It has been 10 years for you in the industry now. Tell us about a few events that have touched your heart in these 10 years.
Malishka: Radio is a huge place for gaining experiences.But when it comes to throwing light on just few things,it would be doing ‘Bajao for a cause’ and when I saw my hoarding for the first time in the city.They had put up my hoarding after my completion of one year with Red Fm. It was really an emotional moment for me. It feels really good to see your hoarding just at the start of your career.
AG: Tell us something more about Bajao for a cause.
Malishka: ‘Bajao for a cause’ has always been about being strong and giving your own opinions, and at the same time showing the audience a softer side of yourself because we are not politicians, we are people who want to aspire others. For me it is important to give people hope and inspire them to change their city or change the world. I came up with the idea of ‘Bajao for a cause’, and we have done it almost every year.
We started with AIDS affected and infected cases, we did it for Make a Wish Foundation, we have also done it for Chai for Cancer, NAB and the responses that we have got for doing these causes have been absolutely fabulous. Bajao for a cause is a fun event,it doesnot include emotional drama and makes it sound sad. Audiences love it!
One of the best campaigns we have done is Don’t be Horny which made people think before honking on the roads at times for no reason.
Another thing did was Mama Ko Pani Peelao, where I urged people to give water to the traffic policemen who stand in the scorching heat and control the traffic. Bringing the city together has been my aim for a long time.
AG: How difficult and challenging it has been to compete with the other FM Channels?
Malishka: Competition is really good for your health. You get to learn from your competitors what to do and what not to do. I’m not obsessed with competition though and do not believe in following what others are doing.
We have got the maximum awards across networks. Even as per the research my show comes up as one of the most listened shows. I always keep my listeners in mind.
AG: How does it feel to get loved and acknowledged by your listeners?
Malishka: It is absolutely fabulous. They have always been supportive, right from the time I have started my career in Radio to where I have come today.There are always gifts and flowers on my desk. To tell you an interesting incident, there was a listener who came to my office with a huge tray of a variety of desserts.She woke up very early in the morning just to bake those desserts!
When I step out on the road people come up to me and say that they never miss my show, there are kids who have told me the same thing as well. There are no listeners who put down the phone without saying ‘Malishka,I love your show’. If I ring the bell of any household in the city,I am greeted with excitement.
Recently my weight loss has also inspired people.
AG: Tell us about that one driving force which urged you to become an RJ.
Malishka: When I entered the industry being a RJ was not a career option. But everyone has woken up to the potential of what it can be. People initially thought it was my part time job and they wanted to know what I actually do in life. I was always a ‘NAUNTANKI’ and a performer. I found talking on radio fascinating when I was a child.When I got done with my college,I thought of giving it a try. When I joined radio I did not know how I should be or who I should be. But I didnot have any idols as such and that is why I was able to cultivate a style of mine.
AG: Would we get to see you on television more often?
Malishka: If you are a particular kind off a person, people notice you. I didnot go up to the people of Jhalak Dikhlaja, they came up to me because they saw something in me. I am a kind of person who needs to do a lot of stuff. So, I would love do television or for that matter I would love to do anything. After doing Jhalak, I have started taking care of my diet and am on a rigorous training. It is not only important to sound good but also to look good and stay fit.
AG: You have interviewed a number of celebrities on the show. Any particular celebrity moment that left you completely awestruck?
Malishka: I have really enjoyed interviewing celebrities and I am a different person when I interview them. For example, Akshay Kumar came into my studio on my work anniversary and it was very exciting.If that would have been on TV, TRPs of that channel would have touched a peak. It was all about him pulling my leg. We are recently doing a thing where people give me a challenge and if I am successful in doing it they will give 10,000 rupees. As I was telling him about it, he said if I give you a challenge will you do it? I sportingly said yes to it. In my office there is wall in the middle of two windows and he came out of one of the windows holding onto the wall like a Spiderman. After doing the stunt he asked me to do the same.Though I was wearing a dress,I wanted to do it but he did not let me do it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
AG: Now tell us about some of your fan moments.
Malishka: What I love about my show is that it is very real, and liking towards it is very genuine. My listeners like me. They feel that if they get confused they can talk to me. Whenever I have inspired peoplethat has stayed with me longer than anything else.
Once I went for a match, I was a celebrity match watcher. My boys had to go and speak to the audience.Once they were back, I told them that I wanted to feel the vibe of the audience too. As I went to the audience, they started chanting my name. The match got a little disrupted and an elderly person asked me to go away to avoid further disturbance. It was madness!
When I manage to inspire people to contribute 50,000 or 1,00,000 as donation, it is total happiness.During IIFA, there was a challenge called IIFA K Liye Kuch Bhi Karega so a regular office going guy contributed Rs 50,000 for a girl child cause. Such fans are very encouraging.
AG: With recent reports showing that print and radio industry are having a tough time, what is your take on it?
Malishka: Everything has to evolve. Radio that my mom and aunt listened to is not the same radio anymore. TV that you watched 10 years ago is not the same TV that you watch now.Internet has taken the world by storm. I have been hearing that print media will diminish but I don’t think it would. As for radio, it is a game of relevance and it would find new ways as it evolves. Few years ago, radio was just radio but now radio jockeys have become huge icons and that is how it should be. Earlier, film stars refused giving interviews on radio but now things are different.
AG: Your advice to the aspiring RJs out there.
Malishka: Come in to make a difference, come in to make something of yourself. Influence the environment around you and have lots of pride in the fact that you are into radio. People in radio are well respected. Whatever show you are doing, aim to be a personality so that people can easily guess your voice. Try to grow, which you must. Keep feeling proud about being a radio jockey.