No nonsense. Non stop. That’s RJ Prateeka’s talk stock. The chatty and fun-loving girl chatters non stop as Prabalika M Borah takes notes
“You have seen me in Metroplus, You have seen me in Metroplus..
If you want to go to school, catch a school bus.
Life mein don’t create any fuss.
If I still continue, you will say Prateeka ab baas…”
That’s RJ Prateeka’s limerick for this newspaper.
For regular radio listeners, this banter isn’t new and for those who are yet to tune in, this is RJ Prateeka Nagaraj of Red fm 93.5 from Hyderabad.
Prateeka is popular for her non-stop friendly talk and the poems she churns out on every caller’s name. Off-air, Prateeka isn’t any different. The moment she knows she needs to talk, she goes on a ‘play’ mode and engrosses her listeners with ‘any’ information under the sun or just about herself. Sometimes these discussions might be unrelated but then it’s the presentation that keeps one glued. “Me being a chatter box is a manufacturing defect and everyone including myself love the defect,” she giggles.
Her USP: mixing three dialects, three languages and uniting her listeners. That she says is ‘being her.’ I love to make people laugh and isn’t it a great feeling to have made someone forget their worries even for a moment?” she questions.
Prateeka says, “People think I am intelligent, which I am. But actually I simply give my opinion. The intelligence comes from my reading of any material which I can lay my hands on. I hardly rely only bookish knowledge. Having said that I have also studied a lot of books in the course of my student life. The stuff I read, I did it with a lot of patience and dedication, so it is easy for me to talk on any topic at any time. I don’t need preparation, it is always extempore everyday and I enjoy it thoroughly,” says Prateeka.
As a student at St. Francis college, this bubbly girl says she took three vocational subjects instead of two, “so my gyaan is a little extra,” she giggles again. Getting Prateeka talk isn’t a task but getting Prateeka to pose for photos definitely is, as she is someone who is just too comfortable behind the scenes. Busy preparing for a personal event Prateeka is not just a bundle of nerves but is also in a beauty wreck. “I haven’t had the time at all to visit a salon. I have been shopping and doing last minute arrangements. I am a hands-on person so I cannot leave everything to someone else,” she smiles.
What also draws attention is the bottle she carries along with her. And it isn’t a bottle of water, but a bottle of milk. “It is a milk shake. I love milk shake and I drink this throughout the day. That is one complaint my mom has. She says, I hardly eat any food. That’s because 80 percent of my diet is liquid and the rest 20 percent is divided between dry fruits and ‘real food,’” she says. Ask her what can one find her doing when she is not on air, “talking, reading or chewing gum,” she laughs again. Prateeka isn’t just a college graduate she is someone who cleared her preliminaries for the UPSC and then decided to continue as a jockey and skip her mains. She calls it another service. “After clearing the mains for the civils’ I would have done service to the people in one way so why not do the same as an RJ? And I continued with radio without any regret,” says Prateeka who claims to be the only RJ who receives international calls as well.
Radio wasn’t in the pursuit of things when Prateeka was a student. Her focus was clearing the civil exams and then serving the people as a ‘government servant’.
Recollecting the thread of events which led her to a recording studio and then become a part of it Prateeka says, “I was the college student president and I was looking for a radio partner for our annual day event. None of the channels could offer me what I was planning to do. This is when Red Fm welcomed my idea and let me do the programme. After this I was called for a meeting to see if I would be interested in taking the task of an RJ. I wasn’t averse to the idea as long as I was given a free hand to do my shows like the way I wanted. After this meeting the bosses had a meeting and then gave me a week for a trial. The programme ratings went up and Prateeka stayed back,” she giggles.
What about the news of Prateeka leaving for abroad which was aired a couple of years ago? “Oh yes, I was to go to the US to study. So as a duty and the relation I have with my listeners I broke the news on air. Within hours our radio station had close to 4000 people visiting to wish me luck and some wanted to meet me just like that. What really touched my heart was the man suffering from blood pressure and who came with medical reports and said, my chatter helps him to relax.”
So, for now Prateeka stays on to spread cheer as she believes ‘laughter is the best medicine.’