The Young Vision caught up with RJ Lokesh to ask him some questions about life as a RJ.
What made you think of becoming RJ?
The Radio Box always fascinated me. I wondered how that man, who only spoke, could fit into that little box. I wanted to be that man. I was in school when I first auditioned for All India Radio. It was my birthday and I landed at the radio station, auditioned and walked out with a dream job in hand!
While you were in school, were you allowed to take initiative and produce your own ideas? How do you think such experiences continue to influence you today?
All the time. I studied at a convent school and we were always busy in so many co-curricular activities; be it the school magazine, dramatics, public speaking, sports or art and culture. I was one of the most active students and took many initiatives in organising various days (like Teachers’ Day, Annual Day, etc.) in school. And that instilled a certain confidence that stays with you all your life.
Did any of your most memorable educational experiences happen at school or university?
School! Has to be school. What you learn and experience in school becomes the most cherished memories of your life. The basketball court, the tennis court, the school zoo, the canteen, the bio lab, the art room; there was learning and so much fun in every corner of school.
What memories do you still cherish from these experiences? Have you ever tried to replicate these experiences? How have you shared them with others? Have you ever thanked the teacher who provided these wonderful experiences for you?
I was the Head Boy of my school. And that instilled a sense of responsibility in me that comes in handy, even now. Bridging the gap between students and teachers can be a herculean task sometimes, but it was fun. Honestly, I thanked all my teachers profusely when I was in school. After that, we all drifted and I haven’t even had a chance to catch up with them.
As a RJ, you are always required to be happy and cheerful. How do you manage to be enthusiastic all day long?
You know, people think it’s a good voice, and the gift of the gab that makes a good RJ. For me, the first prerequisite is that you should be a happy-go-lucky person. I am. Basically I am a happy person. I don’t stress much about things and that helps. Clearly we have our bad days too, but it’s only professional in a job like this to leave all your personal problems at the studio door, and give your best on your show.
How has being a RJ changed you as a person?
I think I am outrageously extrovert with my family and close friends and mostly outgoing on regular days. With new people I could be a bit socially awkward. Being an RJ has helped me be a people’s person.
Sometimes, you disagree with a listener about his reviews on a good movie. How do you persuade him that he isn’t right?
I don’t. I accept it. We all can agree to disagree; not only with listeners but with people in general. I strongly believe we shouldn’t force our views down people’s throats. The beauty is in the difference of opinions that lead to a variety of perspectives. I always strive to be non-judgemental about other people’s reviews and view them objectively instead of persuading them to see my way.
Do you rush to the movie theatre on opening day for the new flick in town and do you have an encyclopaedic knowledge of film? We know that you are also a Film Critic Writer, do you have any desire to become a journalist or is it your hobby?
I rush to a movie theatre every weekend! It’s an occupational hazard. I watch every Hindi film the first day, first show, to review it. It started with my love for movies. Our first TV show (where the entire team of City 1016 featured), City Dil Se, had a movie segment called the DVD Store. I hosted it and spoke about movies that are a must in a movie buff’s collection. ‘Masala!’ loved the segment and approached me to share my movie knowledge and review films for them.
Can you share some of your memorable moments On-Air on Radio?
There are so many. Once on my show XXL, I was testing people’s spellings. I took a man on air and asked him to spell- Mississippi and he goes, “Oh jee, very simple. M-r-s. S-i-p-p-y!”
What is that one thing that you love most about Dubai?
The fact that I can afford to drive a sports car here without paying through my nose!
Would you like to share any tips for aspiring Radio Jockeys, with our readers?
NO! Hahahahaha. I am kidding. You know these ‘share-your-tips’ kind of questions kind of unnerve me. It gives enough room for one to sound too patronising. But having said that, I would say: more than the ability to talk, you need to be a keen listener and know when to shut up; that will help you make a good RJ. I always believe in KISS! (not the one you are thinking!!) KISS is an advertising term that means- Keep It Simple Silly!!
Last but not least, do you have any advice or messages for TYV readers?
Well, the only advice I have for young readers is; don’t fall prey to the clichés. Be more receptive in life and be willing to accept everyone with their strengths and flaws!
What’s your favourite pastime?
Cooking, reading, writing!!
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? What profession would you not like to do?
Writing! I am a wannabe author! I shall be a published author soon.
I can never get carbonates, sulphates, inertia and momentum right! So yeah, anything that’s close to Chemistry or Physics is a total no-no for me.
What’s your favourite destination?
Anywhere that offers a bungee jump or a sky dive. Total adventure freak, I am.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at your favourite destination?
Not sure about what I would like to hear God say but I am sure what I won’t like HIM to say- ‘dude take left for hell!’ 😉
Your favourite food
Anything that was not moving on legs/hands/antennae!