Meet some of Delhi’s funniest RJs as they talk about what makes them tick, on air and off air.
Dipp Bhargava (26)
Bhargava, who came to Delhi from Jaipur two years ago, took his first boat ride at the Purana Quila with us. Initially apprehensive about being on a speed boat, he later confessed that it was fun! Dipp Bhargava never thought that he would be an RJ one day. As an engineering student, he looked forward to a job as an analyst or an MBA. But life had other plans for him. In 2006, Bhargava randomly auditioned for the job of an RJ and was immediately taken on board. “That was the first time I considered this option seriously,” says Bhargava. His first show was at 7am and Bhargava was expected to report to the studio at 6.30 am. “I am not at all a morning person. I was so nervous that I put eight alarms all over my room,” he says. All eight alarms stayed on for the next two years. Now, thankfully, he has an afternoon show on Oye 104.8 and can sleep till late. Bhargava currently hosts a week-long show called Maa Kasam Jeetunga, where he asks some Bollywood-related questions. “Since it’s an afternoon show, lots of housewives call me and flirt with me,” he says.
FAN FRENZY: He says he gets 15-20 visitors at work everyday. They gift him flowers, chocolates, etc. Once, a girl even came to marry him.
LIFE OUTSIDE WORK: He loves reading and writing. He aspires to be a director.
FAVOURITE DELHI SPOT: CP and Khan Market.
Simran Kohli (36)
Simran Kohli is better known by her other names - Chappan Churi, Gulbadan and Chingum. She also believes that she is the grandmother of radio. “I started radio way back in 1995 and I feel I have grown with it,” says Kohli. She started her career with AIR India and was the odd one out in the soft-spoken culture of the radio of that time, thanks to her bindass voice and style. Today, she hosts a daily show on Radio City 91.1 FM and runs an academy for aspiring radio jockeys. Her show, Dhinchak Mornings, is about Delhi and its people. “We get a guest, or do a spoof or an impromptu jingle... nothing is fixed and listeners love the element of surprise,” says Kohli. “It’s the best job in the world, but also the toughest. You are on air almost everyday — even if you are unwell or going through a traumatic experience. The lines between your personal and professional lives start blurring. My listeners know everything about me and my family,” she says.
FAN FRENZY: Once, a fan came to her office with an elephant to wish her happy birthday. “The elephant was decorated and the man wore shiny clothes and wanted me to take an elephant ride with him,” she recalls.
LIFE OUTSIDE WORK: Spends time with her family and seven year old daughter.
FAVOURITE DELHI SPOT: GK -1 and Select City Walk
Swati Sharma (25)
Since RJ Swati Sharma wanted to be a war reporter, becoming a radio jockey was never on her mind. While hosting the annual event at her college, Sharma got an offer to work with a radio channel. “I thought it will be an easy job and went ahead. But now I know that it requires a lot of hard work,” she says. She started with smaller filler shows like cricket updates and went onto host a late night show. Currently, she’s hosting a morning show, Morning No.1 with RJ Piyush, which airs on 92.7 BIG FM. She believes that being an RJ requires no formal training but a lot of hard work and passion for this profession. She is a die hard Delhiite and loves everything about this city. “I even love the traffic jams,” says Sharma.
FAN FRENZY: People get her gifts on her birthday every year, “While a fan made a sketch of me, another wanted to marry me,” she says.
LIFE OUTSIDE WORK: She loves reading and is an active member of a book club. She loves shopping and does not mind picking trendy stuff from Sarojini Nagar and Janpath.
FAVOURITE DELHI SPOT: Khan Market and Saket.
Khurafati Nitin (32)
RJ Nitin’s best kept secret is his name. Nitin, who has been on air since 1999, took on the title Khurafati (mischievous), as that was his identity on air. Today, his I card also has the same name. “My job is to talk to people and play music that makes them happy,” says Nitin. “Once, when I called my friend, his mother told me over the phone that I have a good voice and should apply to be an RJ,” he says. Nitin’s first job was with AIR, and since then, it has been no looking back for him. “Being an RJ is a very responsible job. You have to be very careful about people’s sentiments and not just say anything,” he says. He is on Fever 104 FM every evening for four hours on a show called Khurafati Evenings. He is a big foodie and loves exploring food in Delhi. But, he’s keeping a check on what he eats, as after losing 49 kgs, he still wants to lose some more!
FAN FRENZY: Nitin receives many gifts on Diwali from his fans. “I don’t know from where they get my address. Also, there is a woman who has been keeping a Karva Chauth fast for me for the past six years and calls me on every Karva Chauth,” he says.
LIFE OUTSIDE WORK: He loves travelling, trying out different dishes and cooking food.
FAVOURITE DELHI SPOTS: Chandni Chowk, Saket and Janpath.
Naveed Khan (35)
Since Khan was a prankster since childhood, doing the same work in his day-to-day life was no big deal for him. “I used to play pranks on my family members, neighbours and friends. I used to mimic the vegetable guy, milk man and sometimes call my friends with different voices.” He made it to the world of radio through an RJ hunt, which saw 30,000 applicants. He currently hosts the show Sunset Samosa, on Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM. Khan’s habit of playing pranks has led him to collect prank toys too. “I specially went to Dubai to buy prank toys from a famous shop,” says Khan. For him, the best part about being an RJ is that people only recognise his voice and not his face. “So, I can enjoy my favourite road side Gol Gappe till the time I don’t speak,” he says.
FAN FRENZY: His fans write mails, call him and even come to meet him at his office.
LIFE OUTSIDE WORK: I still love to play pranks. I also visit Old Delhi and spend time with people there.
FAVOURITE DELHI SPOT: Chandni Chowk