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As melodies regale the Malabar air

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ON AIR: The FM station of All India Radio, Kozhikode, has caught the imagination of its listeners with innovative programmes. - Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup
ON AIR: The FM station of All India Radio, Kozhikode, has caught the imagination of its listeners with innovative programmes. - Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

Going by the feedback, `Dil Se Dil Tak' is very popular

If you love old Hindi film songs, it may not be a bad idea to tune into the FM station of All India Radio (AIR) Kozhikode at 11 a.m. this Sunday.

Some of you may have already been doing it; for `Dil Se Dil Tak', the half-hour programme devoted exclusively to the melodious old Hindi film songs is a big hit with the FM listeners in Malabar. Launched in September 2003, this unique show is hoping to complete its 150th within a couple of months. Perhaps only Kozhikode - which has always loved Hindustani music could think of coming up with an exclusive old Hindi songs programme in a non-Hindi speaking region.

``It is undoubtedly one of our most popular shows, judging by the tremendous feedback we are getting, from places outside Kozhikode as well, like Palakkad, Wayanad, Malappuram and Kannur,'' says programme producer V. Preetha, who has been working as an announcer at AIR, Kozhikode, for the last 11 years.

``Right from the opening episode of our request programme, FM Choice, many of the listeners used to call us demanding old Hindi songs. So we thought there was probably scope for a show exclusively for Hindi songs,'' she says.

``The first few episodes were presented by me and my fellow-announcer Bobby C. Mathew,'' recalls Preetha. ``We would invite a couple of guests to the studio and chat to them before playing their songs.''

Then the format changed. Now the entire show is presented by guests, who would play six or seven of their favourite songs. Playback singers G. Venugopal, Sujatha and Afzal are among the celebrities who have presented the programme.

Station director C.P. Rajasekharan says he is happy with the way `Dil Se Dil Tak' has shaped up.

``As the title itself suggests, the programme has really captured the hearts of our listeners. And it has never gone on air without a sponsor from day one. I have always tried to create innovative shows at AIR, Kozhikode,'' he says.

Preetha says she has absolutely enjoyed producing the show. ``I have been doing it from its first episode and I feel gratified to know that so many people from different places are its followers.''

On `Dil Se Dil Tak' you can hear Rafi, Lata, Asha, Manna Dey, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar and all other favourite singers.

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