Well, you may confront yourself likewise if you happen to switch to 92.7 BIG FM at 9 p.m.
At dot, you are seduced to walk down the memory lane, by a voice so very own.
This is the time when India’s first ever radio show of its kind is heating up heartbeats in 35 cities – Monday to Friday – as Neelesh Misra begins telling stories of the imaginary cities that he’s created, for you. The programme is called Yaad Sheher wherein you are promised some favourite numbers for one full hour. Simply ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫
I asked Neelesh, “9 p.m. Prime Time !!!” “Yes”, he replied with confidence, “I’m trying my best.” He indeed is; and people are responding too. At 9, when they have hundreds of TV stations to choose from, viewers are turning into listeners, to hear some beautiful, intoxicating narrations, to re-live nostalgia.
And you feel so content and composed as Neelesh takes you back in time, narrating stories of his childhood, growing up in a small town, leaving home, making it big, his isolation and the pain of migration. He shares his experiences with you and strikes a chord with the individuals who have led similar lives. He says, “All of us, in some way or the other, are part of the imaginary city Yaad Sheher.” Yes, this town indeed is a world of some golden memories; memories that every individual wants to relive and hold on to.
Having covered war, tsunami, militancy, flood, earthquake and naxalism, Neelesh has personally felt the rock-solid conscience of the nation and here, in ‘Yaad Sheher’, he tries to take the magma out to comfort his listeners.
His narratives cascade through times and cities as he emerges as a fine story teller, an art he learnt while working with the American news agency Associated Press, while the background simply freezes the watch, mesmerizing you with matching themes… as if everything is happening before you… before your eyes.
Also, Neelesh’s voice has both jaadoo and nasha, a combination that led him to pen the famous Jism number ‘Jaadoo Hai, Nasha Hai’. Certainly, he is a man to be watched — a man who understands the aspirations of small towns, a man who dreams of the metropolis, a man who feels the pulse of the new India and a man who respects values.
“With three-fourths of Indians under the age of 35, I find these dreamers at every corner when I travel across the sidestreets and village squares of this country. They are the stories of the changing India. They are India. This is the face of the young Indian living out a new freedom – to dream, to aspire, armed with the reassurance that it is now OK to dream bigger in the new India – and those dreams could well come true,” he says.
And yes, it is none other than Neelesh who can liken a barber with a painter or a classical singer. It is Neelesh who sees old grandmothers laugh like schoolgirls with two plaits. And it is also Neelesh who can hear rains. It is this Neelesh which India is listening to at 9, the prime time.
“Small towns exist in each of us. We carry a small town as we make our journey through the mazes of the metropolis. And hidden inside me too, is a small town guy,” he adds.
Neelesh calls himself a writer at large with dreams in his eyes and dust on his shoes. But since I started hearing him on the radio, I feel he is a Pied Piper. A Pied Piper who has become a sensation drawing fans and listeners now from 16 other countries also who are visiting him through social networks, to hear him. “This is a totally overwhelming response, way beyond expectations. Don’t know what to say, except: Thank you … keep listening!”