Tryst with Wednesday: Magical voice of Ameen Sayani lives on - Hindustan Times
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Tryst with Wednesday: Magical voice of Ameen Sayani lives on

ByDr Gulbahar S Sidhu
Feb 23, 2024 09:48 AM IST

Those were the days when film and song promotions were unheard of, and, so were, the multitude of FM channels with their cacophony of loud music and effervescent RJs. Sayani sa’ab was almost always the last word on the relative popularity of newly released movie songs.

Wednesday evenings in the early nineties were synonymous with Cibaca Geetmala and the magical voice of Ameen Sayani. The generation older than mine might just correct me and say that it was Binaca Geetmala but they, too, would stand up in unison, when it comes to the spellbinding voice of the maestro.

Your legacy lives on Ameen Sayani. So does your wonderful voice. By sheer coincidence, we lost you on a Wednesday. May you rest in peace. (HT File)
Your legacy lives on Ameen Sayani. So does your wonderful voice. By sheer coincidence, we lost you on a Wednesday. May you rest in peace. (HT File)

Those were the days when the quintessential radio occupied a pride of place in every household. The radio, in those days, happened to be much bigger, almost the size of the microwave today. I remember I would sit next to the radio by 7pm, albeit with my physics and chemistry textbooks, and wait with excitement for the Ameen Sayani magic to unfold.

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Those were the days when film and song promotions were unheard of, and, so were, the multitude of FM channels with their cacophony of loud music and effervescent RJs. Sayani sa’ab was almost always the last word when it came to the relative popularity of the newly released movie songs.

My memories take me back to 1991 when the film, Lekin, was released. The song, “Yara seeli seeli” composed by Hridaynath Mangeshkar and sung by the nightingale of Indian cinema, Lata Mangeshkar, was my favorite with its haunting music and mellifluous singing. Being from an off-beat movie, no one expected it to top the Cibaca Geetmala but it did make an appearance in the top 10 soon after it was released.

It was, indeed, satisfying to know that good music could also be a chartbuster. This speaks volumes of the objectivity and the ear for music that Ameen Sayani had. Many a discussion in college canteens would centre around speculation as to which song would be the Baadshah next week.

The teachers in school would ask us to listen to Ameen Sayani and imbibe his pronunciation and diction when compering for an event. Try as much as we did, our efforts never matched up to the high standards set by the radio personality.

Clearly, his magic went far beyond the talent that he was endowed with. It must have taken hours and hours of toil to hone his voice to that level of excellence.

Your legacy lives on Ameen Sayani. So does your wonderful voice. By sheer coincidence, we lost you on a Wednesday. May you rest in peace.

The writer is a Jalandhar-based psychiatrist and can be reached at gulbaharsidhu@rediffmail.com

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