We begin a new column on different careers. These stories give you a glimpse of people who’s jobs are different from the run-of-the-mill ones.
Meet Kaushalya Rathnam aka “Kamarkat” Kaushi – RJ/ Assistant Manager at Hello FM. A Masters degree holder in Electronic Media from Anna University, Chennai, Kaushi’s entry into Rj-ing was as unplanned as her unscripted shows on air — spontaneous and fun!
“A related qualification is not a must but what you will need is a basic urge to connect with different kinds of people, share and listen to their stories and something unique about yourself — style of speaking, delivery or the way you see or put things across,” she says.
I met RJ Kaushi (that’s one of the perks of the job, she says. “If I were in say IT you wouldn’t call me IT Kaushi, would you?) at the Hello FM studio to get a peek into her day…
Being an Assistant Manager I am required to come into office by 9. For most RJs, the timing depends on their shows.
Currently, I host a show for our Dubai station — Radio Hello Dubai — which is a light-hearted programme based on current affairs of Tamil Nadu and India in general. Kind of keeping our people in Dubai updated about what’s happening back home.
Around 9.30 a.m. I scan through all the newspapers and pick out interesting news on politics, cinema and human-interest stories.
After that, I collect my playlist — the songs that will be played during my show. It is packaged by a programmer along with station jingles, commercials and slots for the RJ.
Scripting is an option. I used to do it when I was new to the field. I would write out every word I was going to say, right from Vanakkam, and time it to fit into our given slots. But now, I just gather my thoughts before a show, think of interesting points or things to say and leave the rest to my spontaneity.
I do a recorded show, so I can record my programme anytime the studio is free. Sometimes I do live shows too, which will have to coincide with the time of its broadcast.
On days when I am asked to fill-in for my fellow RJs, I do that too, besides also helping with the calls during live shows.
Sometimes, we get invites to events like product/audio launches, press meets, shooting spots. So we head out to cover the events or meet people for interviews.
I once remember co-ordinating for an interview with Sunita Williams through a random mail to NASA and was so sure I wouldn’t even get a reply. But they replied with the day and time of the interview and much later realised we were the only media house in India to get an exclusive with her after her space mission!
I get to travel outside the city too on work. I once covered a paragliding festival in Yelagiri and Taregana village in Bihar during total solar eclipse — one of the best places to view the celestial phenomenon and also known for its connection with astronomer-mathematician Aryabhatta.
Hosting a show for the Dubai station, I also get to travel to the city once in a while.
Post the show, the team discusses the content and the RAM (Radio Audience Measurement) reports — the radio ratings.
Being an assistant manager, I involve my self with the branding activities and CSR activities like “Petralthan Pillaiya?” initiative for which actor Kamal Hassan is the brand ambassador and trustee. I even wrote the PSA script for him!
I also pitch-in for in-house jingle and ad creation for which we ideate and provide the voice as well, if required.
“The best thing about being an RJ is that you can be a part of everyone’s life and impact it, one way or the other,” says Kaushi who won Vikatan’s Best RJ award in her debut year.