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Offbeat: Indira Rangarajan - A Zoya Akhtar fan girl spreading tinsel magic on-air

Adgully’s special feature section – ‘Offbeat’ – seeks to give a peek into the lesser known facets of our very well-known industry leaders. We present, in the industry leaders’ own words, an interesting read on areas that are not usually highlighted in regular media coverage – be it about their childhood days, secret skills that they possess, how they unwind from their hectic schedules, and much more.  

Indira Rangarajan is the National Programming Head for Radio Mirchi’s second frequency, Mirchi Love. Rangarajan has spent the last 12 years of her life across various roles in Radio Mirchi – from heading programming across various cities to managing and curating music across multiple stations in India.  

She spearheaded creating celebrity hosted shows like ‘Calling Karan’ that broke the boundaries and stereotypes around love and relationships. This was hosted by Director-Producer Karan Johar. Her latest show that’s currently on air is called ‘What Women Want’ with Kareena Kapoor Khan. The show features conversations with celebrities and women to break barriers and pre-conceived notions associated with women.  

A precious childhood trait that you still possess?
Blowing spit bubbles! It’s very useful, especially in long-winding meetings. 

Ever wished you had superhero powers?
Who doesn’t? Mine would be to reduce hate mongering politicians into vapour. Poof! 

What is your biggest fear and how do you face it?
My biggest fear is not being relevant anymore, and I work doubly hard to be ahead of that curve. And yes, closed spaces too. 

A secret that you have which no one knows about?
If I tell you then everyone will know. 

What would one find in your playlist?
Wholesome mainstream Bollywood fare, Indies, some Tamil kutthu, Carnatic and Hindustani classical, Indian Folk, Coke Studio and whatever weird stuff that comes out of TikTok. I am not sanctimonious about my music choices. I give every song a chance. 

Your go-to activity to relax?
Used to be dancing, now its podcasts. 

What is the greatest lesson that you have learnt from life so far?
That Stick-with-it-ness can make all the difference. 

A social cause that you are most passionate about?
Mental- health awareness. 

What’s the one thing you would like to change about yourself?
I’d like not to second guess my own creativity. 

If not in your current designation, what would you have been?
If not a National Programming Head, I would have been a dancer/ actor/ poet/ writer. Actually, I am doing all of it now at my work right as well, so it’s all worked out. 

What are the three apps on your mobile that you couldn’t live without?
Just three? Head-Space, Stitcher and a whole lot of Music apps. 

Any content/ film or book you saw or read recently and why?
I am a Zoya Akhtar fan girl, so I loved ‘Gully Boy’ and ‘Made in Heaven’, the web series – it is layered storytelling at its best. I am also currently watching ‘Delhi Crime’, which has been a nerve-wracking watch. I recently finished ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama. She is such an inspiration. 

Which two organisations outside your own do you know the most people at and why?
Thanks to Whatsapp, can one ever lose touch even if one wanted to? Jokes apart, I am connected to my work buddies from Ogilvy, SSC&B Lintas and a whole lot of School and College groups. 

Two things about this industry that you don’t like or don’t understand?
Sometimes we look at short-term results and don’t give enough time for long form ideas to marinate. We cater to the lowest common denominator and can’t look beyond mainstream Bollywood content. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
New York or Amchi Mumbai.

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