Driving your car with the radio on, jamming and listening to the programmes, making your journey smoother? Well, radio wasn’t always for the entertainment. With the advent of radio came serial programmes which were replaced by serious reportage or playing music resonating to that time. or as a must in households. Before 1920, radio was used to contact ships or were based on morse codes. In world war I, the significance of the radio grew and it became more useful as armies started using radios as a way of communication amongst themselves to send out messages. Post 1920(s) civilians started purchasing radios for private use especially in European countries and USA. During the World War II radio was used as news outlet and was often used by politicians or governments to reach out to public. Today, with the fast-paced developing technology, radio has so much more to offer while just not being restricted t homes but also as a staple in the cars. Radio has music, talk shows, storytelling etc. One such example in India is storytelling by Neelesh Misra
Neelesh Misra also known as the storywallahhas never failed in bringing excellent storytelling on radio. He has made audiobooks fashionable again. One such story is ‘Badlaav’ where the story not only made audiences experience the challenges faced by women in workplace but also commented on the social hypocrisy and different reactions of different personalities in the same situation. The audio starts with Neelesh’s gripping voice and is beautifully supported by the background music of the birds chirping. As the story progresses, Neelesh plays every character of the story and never disappoints the audience with his oration and skills of transition to a new character. The music changes according to the situation like birds chirping in the morning, the voice of the crowd while they walk on the street. The story is set up in a typical middle-class environment where there is an old uncle who lost his daughter, a young neighbour called Piya and her mother. The story emphasis on the specificity like ‘3 doorbells’, ‘9pm ritual to come in the balcony’ etc. the language used is proportional to the character’s age. For instance, Piya had certain dialogues in English and the uncle spoke a mixture of Hindi and Urdu dialect. The story has a philosophical angle to it and Neelesh rightly sends the audience on a guilt trip in lives like ‘jo maan nan ahi chahte, vo dekhte tak nahi’ and ‘jinke mann shor karte hain. Unki xubaan shaant rehti hai’. At last, the story also brings the societal hypocrisy which can be seen in the police station’s scene where the officer asks the uncle to warn the daughter to be in her limits since she is a girl, totally disregarding the fact that the accused had 20 cases filed against them already and also, Piya was portrayed as a modern young girl but due to eve teasing switched to Indian outfit perfectly showing our shallow mindsets as a society. This rightly portrays the corrupted minds of our developing society.