Monday, June 23, 2014





I remember the elegant room of my mother’s cousin Prof  Surrinder Tiku ( Botany ) on the top floor of their house at Gada Kocha, Zaina Kadal in Srinagar . His radio set was always on. And he was an avid listener of Ameen Sayani’s BINACA GEETMALA on Radio Ceylon. The programme also attracted my attention .

The announcer had a honeyed voice .He would start in his golden voice with words

“Behnon Aur Bhaaiyon ”

And  whenever Kashmiris would buy a radio or transistor set , they would ask the Shopkeeper ' Yathh chhaa radio Ceylon iwaan . Talaah Haav "  meaning  “Does this set catch Radio Ceylon. Just show.” That was all meant to listen  Ameen Sayani 's voice and Binaca Geet Mala . .
That was the magical effect of Amin sayani’s presentation .

I believe this programme had the largest listeners base in the subcontinent even after the name of was changed to CIBACA GEETMALA in 1983.

In between you had advertisements .To quote one

The programme continued till 1988 on Radio Ceylon where after it was broadcast from AIR Vividh Bharati till 1994. Adds Ameen Sayani..

“ Believe me , BINACA GEETMALA  was the only Radio  programme that  has received  highest number of letters from listeners  uptil now.’’

Ameen  Sayani ( born 1932 ) became the most loved radio broadcaster in the country . He was also associated with films and journalism. Ameen belongs to a nationalist family that was associated with country's freedom struggle . His mother was a Gandhian . She edited fortnightly RAHBAR, published in Hindi , Gujrati and Urdu , dedicated to education of the  underprivileged . The magazine was started by Gandhi Ji .

On being awarded Padamshri,  Ameen Sayani has this to say:-

"Thankfully, my spirit remained as strong as when I started out as a Naye Bharat Ka Naya Naujawan, as I come from a family actively involved in the freedom struggle. It feels nice that broadcasters are being recognized  and I am grateful and happy because it is more of a feather in radio's cap than mine. And when I say radio, I mean both those who make radio shows and those who listen to them. For in my case , by God's grace,  I always had a very large family of dedicated listeners - I use the term 'family' because they considered me like a son .”

Ameen Sayani had a happy marriage with Rama Muttu . Rama  ji was from a kashmiri Pandit family  and  died some years back .

This is what  Amin Sayani says about his wife and his close friend Roshan( music director )  :-

" Meeting my wife Rama Mattu had an interesting prelude.Quite remarkably, the New Era School principal, MT Vyas, had told my parents, "Your boy will marry a Kashmiri girl." Written in gold letters in my heart, that line turned reality when I met Rama Mattu, a Kashmiri Pandit girl and  a voice artiste and singer, whose uncle headed Hindi music at AIR. 

The only time I ever broke down was after the demise of the closest person in my life – composer Roshan. He was like an elder brother. He and his wife Ira Bhabhi (mother of director Rakesh Roshan and composer Rajesh Roshan) and my wife Rama and I formed a group. We went out for New Years and other festivals. After Barsaat Ki Ek Raat (1960) and Taj Mahal (1963), Roshan’s career skyrocketed. His songs topped Geetmala. He gave such soulful music.

Once when he was creating the music of Chitralekha (1964), he called Rama and me over. Before playing the tunes, he insisted, “Tumhein ek peg lena hoga.” Not being fond of drinks, I pleaded, “Roshan bhai mujhe nahin chahiye.” But he forced me to have it. My head started spinning. As he started playing song after song, all I could say was a lukewarm ‘theek hai’. The next day the incident was forgotten. Of course, I publicised the music of Chitralekha, in fact, I rate it as my favourite. Man re, Sansar se bhaage phirte ho, Cha gaye badal... all these are embedded in my heart. " 



 ( Rama ji , Amin Sayani and Rajil )

( An article published in 1983 shows how busy he was with his work and how he spent his day ) 

He lives with his son Rajil and daughter in law Krishna in Mumbai . He has still enough to deliver to his lovers .

( Avtar Mota)

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