Suddenly, secrets are tumbling out all over radio and TV. Two way talking is on, cajoling the young to pull their ghosts out and get talking to the world, pouring their pain, seeking solutions.
Switch on your local radio or some debate forum on TV… they all seem to be encouraging young India to talk of their love lives, social problems, personality disorders, career issues. So is 'private' increasingly becoming 'public'?
Let's get talking
Even though some of us might cringe at the idea of discussing or revealing our relationship or sexual problems to the world, there are many gutsy souls (or maybe tensed enough) who pick up the phone and pour out their intimate problems for the world to listen, react & think solutions to.
Heard Love Guru take on obvious problems on My FM 94.3 or RJ Minakshi hooking people up with each other on Nau Baje Ki Setting (Big FM 92.7)?
The callers must be courageous! Take Sonia Ahuja who teaches English at a school in Sector 46: "I was facing many problems & my marriage was literally on the rocks. I was feeling all choked up with all that emotional baggage biting into me and that's when I called up one of the popular radio shows on Aakashwaani to seek some solution".
Ditto was the case with a popular designer who runs her fashion parlour in the thriving Sector 8 market, "I was dealing with many problems in my love life and my boyfriend was really getting too demanding and I couldn't trust anybody out of relatives or friends to discuss my problem.
But discuss I just had to, to keep sane. And I called up an RJ on a local channel & opened my heart". She admits that ini tial embarrassment and hiccups do exist but the need to talk to a third person overcomes the hesitation.
Save my love, my life!
The reassuring voice on radio or the comforting presence of a relationship counsellor can make a world of difference to a person all pent up. The factor of anonymity adds to the comfort.
Agrees Meenakshi Bhojwani, RJ with Big 92.7 FM, who hosts Nau Baje Ki Setting: "I try and create a comfortable rapport with my listeners who then treat me as their confidante and share their innermost secrets. It's the trust they place in us RJs that brings our listeners even to our offices to discuss their problems further. These problems could have to do with relationships, sex life, family & even social issues. Many times, listeners come to me saying they want to commit suicide! At times, girls come to me when they are passing through a low phase after an abortion or being ditched by boyfriends. That is when our jobs become much more than just being agony aunts. We have to connect with the listeners & empathise at a personal level".
Not telling thy name
At times people call under fake identities, tells Anubhav Kalra (PhD) who hosts Chak De Chandigarh on 92.7 Big FM, "most times, identities are kept a secret & not revealed to maintain a person's privacy. These fast-paced times, complex relationships necessitate the need to confide in somebody readily available anytime. When friends & family don't get the time, it is the reassuring stranger on radio or a relationship counsellor who fits into the picture & is generally just a phone call away. That is why people are increasingly turning to mass media to express & seek solutions to personal problems".
Relationship and shaman counsellor Renu Mathur from Panchkula is available for her clients even at odd hours. Says she: "it is basically the need for an unbiased viewpoint & solution that makes people call upon relationship councellors & RJs. Also the fact that this neutral person will always be there to help or is just a phone call away to help at all times makes people turn to us for help".
Add to that the fact that one gets talking without the fear of losing self-esteem, respect & maintaining his secrecy while confiding… and this option is all the more viable.
An open book
Even though a majority thinks that making private lives public at times is not harmful, but this shouldn't become a habit, they add. Anuradha Virk, a homemaker from Sector 44 says, "going on air with strangers once in a while for a solution is okay, but one shouldn't condition oneself to revealing innermost secrets because not everything is meant to be revealed. It can cause humiliation & disgrace at times".
Agrees Vimmy Khosla, assistant manager with a private bank in SAS Nagar, "certain problems are delicate and it becomes impossible to speak about them while revealing one's identity. And in any case, one's private life should be restricted to just one or two confidantes and I think almost everybody has at least one close friend to turn to. So why subject yourself to ridicule by shouting about your problems from the rooftops? I don't think problems can be solved with just a phone call to a stranger. They call for a personal touch & time to heal".
We also found that most people feel that RJs or counsellors generally have stereotypical solutions that are generally laced with frilling statements and Bollywood songs.