Radio a happy accident: RJ Manasa

RJ Manasa in the studio

With traffic being as annoying as always, most people turn to radio to keep the boredom at bay. If you are looking for something to give you a crazy start to your mornings, keeping it locked to all the musical madness and ‘a little bit of Manasa’ is your go-to option.

Manasa, who came to city a while ago, finds the laid-back attitude of the Hyderabadi audience to be very charming. “Initially, I came thinking I’ll give it six months and it’s been two-and-a-half years, and I still haven’t gone back.”

Talking about the difference in the markets, she says, “There is an absolute warmth here. Listeners accept you with so much love and are seldom judgmental. But, the best thing about Hyderabad, according to me, is the fact that it’s so easy to fall in love with the city and its audience and to see that this mutual love was a happy find.”

Talking about the goof-ups that went on air, she says, “There were some epic goof-ups that went on air! Once, I gave the time wrong and listeners started texting to correct me and I took that on air saying ‘thank you guys for correcting me’, and turned it into a happy mistake. This is the kind of interaction you want to have with your listeners because you see it’s a very special relationship.”

Asked about the differences between going live and a recorded show, “I always prefer going live. It’s fun and there is this extra bit of kick in it! If you make mistakes, the entire city can listen to it. Whatever you’re doing, you’re doing live and that makes it challenging,” she explains.
Manasa says she is a little hesitant when it comes to taking on a second voice on the air.


“It is risky because I don’t know what they are going to say next. Sometimes, what happens is when you take listeners on air and they freeze, you’re life and there is nothing going on air and it sounds very awkward.” At times like these, there is something called a ‘deferred live’ that comes in handy. “We record the call literally 3-4 minutes before it plays out on air. That way, we have that one minute to edit, just in case,” she explains.

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Equipped with a Master’s degree in English literature, Manasa dabbled in various things before finding her perfect match in radio. “I’ll complete nine years in radio this year, and I am just as much in love with it as I was after my first show.”

There is a common misconception that anyone who talks a lot can become an RJ. Elaborating on it, Manasa says, “That’s not entirely true. Yes, being able to talk spontaneously is important and so are other things like general knowledge, multitasking, ability to catch the mood of the listeners, etc.”

Radio isn’t some fancy career option, says Manasa when she was asked about the advice she would give to those who are aspiring to get into the radio industry. “There is a lot of hard work involved and the competition is cut-throat. It’s just your personality that is out there, no visual. Therefore, the content you give should be credible enough.”

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