Monday, June 26, 2023

The Bard Radio Project: India

The current stop, in The Bard Radio Project, is India.

I asked Google's AI assistant to name me a couple of stations to listen to. Here's what they are and my thoughts on them.

The first station on the list was Radio Mirchi. 

Radio Mirchi

Bard claims that it is the most popular station in India. It plays Bollywood music along with news coverage and talk shows.

When I first tuned in, the station had just started playing a song called Saathi Mera Pyar Bhi Tu Hai by Mukesh. I found this out by using Shazam.

The music sounded quite dated (not that my ears are well-versed when it comes to Indian music!) but it sounded like something from a Bollywood movie's soundtrack.

Upon further research, I found out that the female voice in the duet is Suman Kalyanpur who - according to Wikipedia - is 'one of the best-known and most respected playback singers in India'.

My dive into the history of the song revealed that I was correct in my assumption about it being dated.

The song appeared in a Bollywood movie named Saathi, which came out in 1968.

A female DJ appeared after the song finished. She, I presume, introduced the next song. Shazam failed to retrieve any information about it, so all I could do was listen to it. Just like with the first song, it sounded like it came from an old Indian movie.

The show ended after that song played. The lady closed out the show and even said part of her farewell in English. 

That threw me off. I wondered for a split second if she knew I was listening!

Next up, I tuned into Radio City. 

My radio picked up a number of versions of this station - I opted to go for 'Radio City - Punjabi'. 

The first song I heard was what I guess was a modern Indian tune. Or, to put it best, it felt more modern compared to those on my brief listen to Radio Mirchi.

But that's when things turned peculiar.

The song was reaching its conclusion when I landed on the station. Once it ended, a voiceover came on with a station identification. That was followed by what I believe may have been the start of the song I had just heard the end of.

The music then cut out. The closing part played on again followed by the station identification.

The loop continued. And continued. It turned into my own Groundhog Day. Bollywood style.

Bard's other suggestions were mainly news or talk stations, so I thought I would end my visit to Indian radio there.

It is always interesting to listen to music from other cultures, but I cannot envision going out of my way to visit both of those stations again. Especially the latter due to it seemingly being on a loop.

* * *

The next country that has now been recommended to me by Google Bard is.. Senegal!

Aaah, good old Senegal. The country which made my betting on the 2002 World Cup start off very well.

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