Thursday, September 07, 2006

Radio teaches me about the eagle

ABBA’s “Eagle” was playing when I switched on the car radio this morning. It’s a lovely song, an old favourite, and I hadn’t heard it in a long time. “At last,” I thought, “a good start to a morning drive to make up for that bullock-cart episode from yesterday.” But the song ended as all good things must, and the radio jockey came on, as all bad things do. She cleared her throat in that terror-inducing, schoolteacher-ish way the RJs on AIR-FM do whenever they are about to say something Very Important and Deeply Meaningful, and then she spoke the following sentences (this is 95 per cent accurate; I have an uncanny memory for these things):
I love that song, because it’s all about the eagle. There are so many things we can learn from this inspirational bird. I am now going to tell you some principles of the eagle.

First of all, the eagle flies alone, and he soars high in the air, far above all the other birds. He keeps his head high. He flies only with other eagles, never in a flock (sic). From this we learn to keep our own counsel and not to mingle with the lesser birds like the sparrow and the robin.
What an excellent metaphor for the caste system! I was all ears now. No question of changing the channel anyway because there was a Simon & Garfunkel song on.

(RJ returns, clears throat, sound of phlegm being displaced)
The second principle of the eagle is his great focus. When he sights his prey from afar, even if it is a small rodent, he never takes his eyes off it. From this we learn to be single-minded and purposeful in everything we do.
And after the next song:
The third principle of the eagle (ehm! ehm!) is this: test before you trust. When a male eagle wishes to mate with a female eagle, she swoops down and picks up a twig from the ground, and then flies up with the male hotly in pursuit. When she reaches a point high up in the air she drops the twig and the male has to fly down quickly to catch it. She does this repeatedly, and only when she has satisfied herself that he is reliable does she allow him to mate with her.
No wonder the population of these silly birds is decreasing, I’m thinking.
The twig (the RJ continues) stands for commitment. By this the eagle teaches us that we must be sincere and dedicated in all our relationships, both personal and professional.
And then I reached my destination and never found out what else we can learn from the eagle. But arguably the most important lesson of the day has been to stick with the new (radio jockey-free) channel 95 FM. (Except that they play Fanaa songs and "Hips Don't Lie" 40 times a day.)


  1. Jabberwock:The intrepid one who listens to FM radio so you dont have to

    believe me, there's a great blog in this somewhere...


  2. couldn't stop laughing as i had also tuned in to that show and was wondering what that woman was talking about! i still prefer AIR FM for the english songs they play. The other channels play lousy hindi music 24*7.

  3. We know JUST what you mean. The other day, Beautiful Day came on when I revved up my car stereo (and it was that beautiful Delhi day), and since everything was too good to be true, 102.6 FM goes kaput, and Bono sighs somewhere! And then, the annoying-as-hell RJ comes on to proclaim, 'Well, it's a beautiful day as we can all see, but now, let's listen to Shakira!' I mean, I like Shakira too, my hips don't lie either, but but but...
    AND THAT VOICE! nails streaking down a blackboard may scream cliche, but her-painful-ly-slow-ponti-fi-cato-ry tone makes us want to reach through the speakers and pluck out one eagle-feather at a time.
    Somebody stop her Google-ing!
    Axly makes you look forward to Dr Feelgood days!!

  4. Shooting straight form the hip eh Jai….. Couldn’t decide whether the bite or the bark hurt more…. bow wow...
    The DJ could probably have been selectively plucking her Sanskrit essays one had to memorize in school. (Oh yes some have uncanny memory for those things too).

  5. but the caste system happens, it is but natural - how classes are selected can be un-natural. of course, we can get into a debate of natural and un-natural; but i think you do understand what i am trying to say.

  6. @ jabberwock
    well. AIR does have the best music in the mornings and most of their RJs are pretty okay. You shud hear the ones who do the afternoon english shows..there are some real gems there :D

  7. At least in India you have the luxury of multiple options on radio...We in New Jersey are stuck with one ghastly desi channel called EBC radio helmed by a wierd guy called Kulraj...By morning commute takes 25 minutes and my only wish is to hear at least good song before I reach my destination...but no sireeee, the RJs (and commercials) will ensure taht never happens. So its bakc to the same ghisa-pita CD collection, aargh!! Why can't there be a desi version of XM satellite radio? I'd gladly pay the extra money.

  8. Fucking hilarious. As the seventeenth principle of the eagle, I'd like to offer the following venerable poem:

    "Hark to the wimper of the sea-gull;
    He weeps because he's not an ea-gull.
    Suppose you were, you silly sea-gull,
    Could you explain it to your she-gull?"

  9. What an excellent metaphor for the caste system!

    I really doubt my abilities to read between the lines but trust me, what you interpret above might not even be the last thing on the RJ's mind.

    but nonetheless, another interesting read from you

  10. Nitin: that was a JOKE. Get the tone.

  11. This was really hillarious. If one radio channel offers RJs who obviously have nothing much to offer, then on others we have songs sung by nasal sound experts...Thanks to the MP3 cum CD cum radio players, I have been able to spare my ears and mind from this obnoxious form of entertainment...I might sound very typical, but I am really reminded of the good old Ameen Sayani days (at least the music was good).
    nevertheless, a hillarious post, Jai. Am waiting for your review on Lage Raho Munnabhai

  12. The first priciple is to stick to yourself
    The second is to "keep an eye on that rat"
    The third is that "you get to frig if you catch a twig"
    Thank you ma'm

  13. Whereas we in Cal get the occasional decent number (a string of them before 7, when I drive to the gym) and Mir Afsar Ali doing his "Bhappi-da" imitation. Good.


  14. vineetbhagat: is that Vineet from school? If so, get in touch through email, dude!

  15. Most entertaining! Well, at least she was jogging her imagination instead of trotting out cliches... I have fond memories of a local RJ trying to get lyrical after a Backstreet Boys song. Something in a similar vein, sans "inspirational bird". :)

  16. This is why I've acquired a completely materialistic love for my ipod. Good music of my choosing, and no bloody RJ commentary.

  17. HIT 95 FM logo contest is on….

    Please log on to

    & vote for your LOGO….

    Hit 95FM by the logo…… for the logo

  18. 95 fm anyone???? what do you think of the new format of the station???

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