Q. Tell us something about your early life and family background.
RJ Anjali : I was born and raised in a family of 7 in Patna itself, my father being the single child of my grandparents. We’re 5 siblings in total with a single brother. My father has never differentiated and has always put all five of us on an equal platform. I enjoyed my school life at PCS, where I was the captain of the school and as a result of which I have had a close nexus with stage and mic all through my school life as I was the one who had to conduct the morning assemblies and other important affairs of any matter. I did my higher studies from Delhi University as a correspondence, as I had to be present on the radio. I am a trained Kathak graduate and have practiced the art for more than 8 years. All these factors worked wonderfully to curb out the stage fear.
Q. Why RJing? What inspired you to choose this field?
RJ Anjali : It all happened!
Back in around 2007, there came a show on Zee TV whose name i am not able to recall, based on RJing. It somehow intrigued me but, it went away as it came. Call it a co incidence or what, one fine day an ad came up in The Times of India, seeking young and vibrant people for the newly opened Radio Mirchi Patna, which again opened the windows for me to look into the RJ world. I was writing my 12th cent up exam that time. I, ever so casually, asked my mother if i could take up the auditions. My mother, continuing the casual spree, agreed readily. I went on to take the auditions at Hotel Maurya and that too in my school uniform! The people there gazed at me vehemently as if they were disqualifying me then and there. I went on to Room no 375, where RJ Anant who then hosted a radio show in Delhi was taking up the auditions. Seeing a school girl, he threw various questions at me as to if i could handle all this along with other questions including questions about recent films. I was told that i would receive a confirmation SMS if I get selected. The SMS did come and things started falling in to place and as a result of which, I am sitting here today!
Q. In spite of the fact that you could have gotten better opportunities in metro cities, you chose to stay here. Why is that so?
RJ Anjali : My Baba has always said ” Badey sheher mein jaakar sirf khud ke liye kaam karney se achcha hai ki chhotey sheher mein hi reh ke aisa kaam karo ki sheher develop karey, toh us sheher ki history mein aa jaogey.” I got various calls for jobs, even from Channel [V], but Patna really needed a leader, a voice for change. I could have moved away, but then it seemed meaningless to me. People today know me and often call me as “Bihar ki Anjali” all across the globe, often asking about Patna & Bihar.
Q. You were very young when you started your career as an RJ. How did it go?
RJ Anjali : It went really good. I started from the 3 a.m show which was called as the red hour show and I was free to make mistakes there. Although mistakes do happen even now, but that’s the beauty of being an RJ. I remember that during my training period, I was told by colleagues and seniors to prepare for exams after the workshops. In fact I am one of the youngest RJs in India. I think that age shouldn’t be a parameter to judge somebody’s capability. Why wait to be a grown up when you can perform at your age? We need to stop underestimating people on the basis of their age.
Q. How do you feel getting tagged as a celebrity at such a young age?
RJ Anjali : are superstars without a face. People don’t recognize me many a times as they just know me by my voice. But now social media has given RJs some visibility in the society. I am a reserved kind of a person. I refrain from making frequent public appearances. You get to enjoy page 3 parties but you meet the same set of people in every single party. I have to be politically correct all the time. It has its own pros and cons. All in all it is good but sometimes it can get irritating. Some people keep stalking you on social media but then that’s how it is. I have accepted it.
Q. How do you manage such social media following? How do you segregate the messages as to which one to reply and which ones to ignore?
RJ Anjali : It’s all about your instincts and your gut feeling. We girls have a very strong instinct which we rely upon and which helps us most of the times. Manner of talking also helps in the filtering process. But then, i have to see each and every message i receive as people in need try to get in touch and I just can’t ignore them. I have to lend a helping hand to them on a personal level, if not on radio.
Q. What does Patna really mean to you?
RJ Anjali : Apart from the very fact that Patna is my beloved home town, I love the connection between people here. “Falaan Falaan” can relate you to anyone here! Youth is climbing the ladder of modernization on the grounds of tradition. They’re in a dilemma, swinging to and fro between tradition and modernization. Patna needs change, and I want to be a part of it!
Q. How do you feel being called a Bihari?
RJ Anjali : Honestly speaking, I loathe these regional terms like Bihari, Rajasthani, Bhopali etc etc. I may however sound filmy, but I absolutely love being called as an Indian! I don’t want to be in the regional precincts. If I move to some other place someday, I would continue to work as affectionately as I am doing here.
Q. Apart from RJing, what are the other things that you are passionate about? what else do u love to do?
RJ Anjali : Radio is the theater of mind. You have to express everything just by your voice. This requires a 24X7 involvement in the radio world which barely leaves any gap for other things. But again, thanks to Radio Mirchi, I’ve developed a brand new hobby which is reviewing the films. Watching films from a whole different mindset is somewhat exciting.
Q. Hadn’t you been a RJ, where would you be seeing yourself ?
RJ Anjali : I think I was destined to be an RJ. One can’t be trained to be an RJ. And radio comes naturally to me. I can’t think of anything else. Had there been a course for radio, I would have surely done that. I can do many productive and socially justified tasks to reform the society with my voice and I am really working on that. I have decided to start a series of stories of unsung heroes via radio. My colleagues are helping me with this.I am also working for the upliftment of poor girls. I also want to pass oratory skills to kids who lack in communication skills. I would love to open a cafe some time in the future where litti chokha could be served with frozen mojitos with a soothing madhubani geet in the background!
Q. Your favorite Bihari food?
RJ Anjali : I love Gur ka Lattha (Lattho) and Chandrakala! Golgappey of Maurya Lok, Momos of Chimneys (Boring Road) and Chat at gate no 2 of our zoo are also my favourites!
Q. Why hasn’t Bihari cinema evolved? Why don’t people watch regional films?
RJ Anjali : Food, music, clothes and cinema are really personal things. You just can’t impose your taste over others. I respect Bhojpuri and that I am a part of it, but it still needs to find a place in people’s hearts as far as cinema is concerned. It’s all about the taste.
Q. Where do you take your colleagues and friends from other places when they visit Patna?
RJ Anjali : I take them to Gurudwara, Patna Sahib if they are seeking a peaceful atmosphere. Other than that Bihar still lacks on the entertainment factor. We don’t even have a 5 star hotel here! We have so much of possibilities on the tourism front. We just need good marketing for that. If Goa can market its beaches, if Gujarat can market its barren white land of Kutchh, we too can do it, and that too even better. We need our youth to return. Enough of complains, now is the time to work together for the betterment.
credit: patna beats