The voice which made radio listening fashionable in India – Ameen Sayani
AmeenSayani is one of the most popular radio announcers who accomplished prominence in South Asia.
The program BinacaGeetmala of Radio Cylon gave him this fame. He used to address his crowd as "BahenoaurBhiyo" with the melodious touch of his voice which is still famous. In his successful career path, his number of contributions as a producer and an announcer of programs was more than 54000 since 1954.
AmeenSayani was born in Mumbai on December 21, 1932. At the age of just 13, he amazingly worked as a broadcaster for AIR Bombay and took part in broadcasting programs for children in English.
He comes from a family who are multilingual. His schooling was completely in English and Gujarati in New Era School in Mumbai. Later in 1954, he shifted to Gwalior and studied in Scindia School.
After Independence, he returned to Mumbai and by then he had worked as an English Broadcaster in several programs. But during that time, he wanted to switch to All India Radio's Hindi Section. After the audition, he was rejected as he had an accent that had a hint of English and Gujarati. But he was not the type of person that would give up so easily. He managed his way and went on to become the most loved announcer in All India Radio.
Sayani asked his brother for an opportunity within the Radio Ceylon's Hindi section however his brother denied as he was already rejected altogether All India Radio for his accent. During then, Ameen got a job as an announcer in the ‘OvaltinePhulwari’ program. One day, he came to know about the ‘BinacaGeetmala’ program for which he grabbed the opportunity in 1952 and never looked back again.
He helped to make All India Radio famous. Some of the most famous programs in Radio which he produced and compered are CIBACA, GEETMALA over Radio Ceylon and later over VividhBharati since 1952 for a total of over 42 years, S.KUMAR KA FILMI MUQADDAMA and FILMI MULAQAATfor 7 years over All India Radio and VividhBharati, SARIDON KE SAATHI for 4 years over All India Radio, BOURNVITA QUIZ CONTEST for 8 years, SHALIMAR SUPERLAC JODI for 7 years, MARATHA DARBAR shows SITARON KI PASAND, CHAMAKTAY SITARAY, MEHEKTI BAATEIN for 14 years, SANGEET KAY SITARON KI MEHFIL for 4 years and more.
Other than as a broadcaster, he worked in many movies like BhootBungla, Teen Devian, Boxer, and Qatl along with working in various events. He also worked for Tata Oil Mills Ltd. during 1960–62 as a brand executive.
He has created a number of sound highlights on cassettes and CDs. He had a significant contribution to the export of Indian radio shows and commercials from 1976 to the U.S.A., Canada, England, UAE, Swaziland, Mauritius, South Africa, Fiji, and New Zealand.
The series "GEETMALA KI CHHAON MEIN" (CD) became very talked-about all across the Indian nation and abroad.
His quality wasn't restricted to the Asian nation. He was a locality of such a large amount of international radios shows like thirty-five installments of "Mini Insertions of Film star Interviews" airing on the ‘British Broadcasting Corporation’s Ethnic Network’ within the United Kingdom, half a dozen episodes for "Music for the Millions" on BBC’s World Service Radio, four and a half years for "VeeteeKaHungama" airing on the ‘Sunrise Radio’, London, "Geetmala Ki Yaadein" airing on ‘Radio UmmulQuwain’, UAE for four years, "Ye BhiChangaWoBhiKhoob" over ‘Radio Asia’, UAE for eight months, "Hangamay" over ‘ethnic radio stations’ in Toronto, Washington, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston for a total of two ½ years, "SangeetPaheli" over ‘Radio Truro’ in the South African nation Swaziland for a year and many more.
AmeenSayani was honored by Padma Shri in 2009. Other than this, he went on toreceive many awards like the Living Legend Award from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry in 2006with the India Radio Forum, Kaan Hall of Fame Award in 2003 from radio Mirchi, Golden Abby by the Advertising Club, Bombay in 2000 for the Outstanding Radio Campaign of the for his "Binaca GEETMALA", Hall of Fame Award in 1993 from the Indian Academy of Advertising Film Art, Person of the Year Award in 1992 in the Limca Book of Records, a Gold medal in 1991 from the Indian Society of Advertisers bestowed by Mr. K.R. Narayanan, then Vice-President of India.
According to AmeenSayani, radio is "cheap, accessible and wonderful" and he took the popularity of radio to another level and was able to get more than a million people tuning in to his programs. In this age of FM radio, so many radio jockeys will come but Ameen's contribution to India's radio lover audience will never be forgotten.