Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day vs SAD (Single's Awareness Day)

Writing after AGES and hence, let us start with a few confessions first.

- Yes, I was guilty of holding a cynical opinion about blogging at first.
- No, over the past six to seven years, I often debated the idea of starting my own blog and mostly refrained from it, not just because I was badass lazy, but also because of my personal ideological conflict.
- Yes, I am married to this 'veteran blogger' but that never influenced my decision to blog or not to blog.
- Yes, I first felt compelled to write post-marriage, when I had to talk about 'marriage' (okay okay, now you don't have to remind me that my profile reads "India's not-so-well-known feminist"! I know that already!! :P)
- No, I could not blog since I started two years back for a reason that I am not comfortable sharing in this post. I might be comfortable sometime in the future, if you stick around that long with me. :D (Now, did I already lose readership of the curious cats? Mewwwwwww! Aww you are so cute, wild and adorable. Now, please purr?)
- Yes, I am writing about relationships again! Whenever I feel compelled to talk about relationships, my hand itches really bad.

"So ladies and gentlemen, we will be taking off shortly. Please make sure that your seat belt is securely fastened and be aware, we have no emergency security exits. The use of all radio transmitting devices is strictly banned at all times unless you are tuned into '(blah...)FM'. All portable electronic devices such as iPods, computers, cell-phones must be turned off during take off, landing and in between, unless you are listening to us there.
Welcome aboard Weekend Live with Bunty aur Babliiiiiiiiii..!"

This is how we often started our radio show which was aired on the weekend drive time hour of 'the largest South-Asian radio station in North America'. But more than the radio frequency, the important point here is, this was our show. My husband and I used to anchor as RJ Bunty and RJ Babli. We were 'recently married' then. No one on-air knew about our relationship with each other. But being a real-life couple, we had no inhibitions. We made passes at each other. We were humorous and funny. We laughed and sang together; pulled each others' legs. We flaunted our 'boldness'; thoroughly enjoyed our liberty to make flirtatious comments towards each other, our license to encourage a fan's caller's fantasy about ourselves! Everything - 'ON-AIR'. Goes without saying, listeners loved our chemistry. Fan following was clear in the number of calls our show received on or off air. Fan emails! Kind messages! Sponsors lining up! We soon became popular. We had one hell of a time! That is what you'd think.

We were very popular and loved - yes; but in reality, we also had one hell of a time. Errrr.. In the sense of one heck of a time! We were this perfectly sweet fun-loving couple at home. The drive to the station was beautiful if we took the bridge across the bay (read the longer route) avoiding the regular boring freeway (the shorter route). We were always up for such random romantic drives. These, like many others, were things which we always agreed on. So, we cherished the drive on our Audi Cabriolet with the hood open; loved the ride on (flaunting) my hubby's terrifically hot motorcycle to the radio station. But all our fights used to start once we stepped inside the studio. Since we were in an actual relationship, we had high (and often unjust) expectations of each other. So, we often quarreled over the 'fun-topic' (yes, we used to have one on each show for discussion with the listeners); you speak slow / you're too fast; you talk too much / you don't let me talk / you don't talk; your song / my song; you start / I start; you take the first call / I take; to have a script or no-script; etc. This used to go on all the time! On-air we were this cool relaxed lovey-dovey co-RJs but off air (mostly when we played songs or ads) we would throw paper balls, empty water bottles, cellphones, wallets etc. at each other (in a very serious manner, to fight). The topic of fight was always such trivial and silly, that we normally would not have fought over, if we had any other co-RJ and not a life partner hosting the show together. Thankfully, we used to take care of the board-ops ourselves during our shows and we mostly interviewed our sponsors over the phone. And during the 6 mins we had to interview an advertiser live in our studio, we behaved ourselves. In case if ever any doubt arose, the guest might have assumed: 'oh he flirts with her (or the listeners) all the time! RJ Babli (the decent single lady) must be showing him some attitude - that's all'! :P So, we were never caught red handed.

Years later, the hubby became busier in his career. We stopped doing the show together (for several unrelated reasons whatsoever - may be a separate blog post for that) and a weekday drive time show was offered to RJ Babli alone. We said we will miss each other on radio and all, but we (well, at least I) actually breathed a huge sigh of relief. Oh now we have one less thing to fight over!

When I started doing the show in reality I realized what missing him really meant. How much I missed those moments; how much I missed his pathetic PJs; or how much having him on my show really meant to me. Listeners often called and said I was brilliant but they missed the Bunty aur Babli chemistry. I don't blame them. The show lacked it's magic. RJ Babli was still bubbly, sweet and pleasing but she lacked her USP. She was missing her weirdness, unpredictability, fun and natural humor that he could successfully encourage in her, perhaps unknowingly!

No, I do not have the show any more. But I am really blessed to have him in my life.

And here speaks "India's not-so-well-known feminist", thank you, stupida! Now should I say wish you a very happy valentine's day too?! :)