(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) We chat with city 101.malavika (left) and sid (second from right top row) with the rest of the city 101.6 team
years ago the world was very different. there was no facebook no justin bieber and no jersey shore. they were good times. and they got even better for bollywood music fans in the uae when city 101.6 was launched. true to form its trajectory has followed a typical hindi movie plot – begin with a bang and just get louder. 12 years later and if breakfast no 1 show hosts malavika and sid are anything to go by things aren’t likely to peter out anytime soon.
from cash and holiday giveaways which elicit almost 650000 responses to the latest celebrity gossip to dubai residents’ issues their programme aims to pack you off to work energised and a little bit happier.
here we speak to the duo about what makes them tick.
what do you think your breakfast show offers that others don’t?
malavika: it’s a combination of bollywood music and the relationship we have developed with our listeners. both they and we regard each other as family. we are part of their lives from when they get up to when they go to bed. we’ll get communications through the day with things as fun as: “hey i’m cooking palak paneer today” with a photo attached. we are connected. our listeners know everything about our lives but more importantly we know pretty much everything about theirs.
sid: we get messages and photographs about fog! people were warning other drivers. i think our listeners care about each other. i speak a lot about my son and my wife and people will always email in advice. i got a step-by-step guide on how to deal with a pta meeting recently. it was very helpful.
when you started out in radio did you ever foresee it being such an interactive experience?
sid: i started in the time people used to send messages with pigeons! for me it has been mind blowing. i think it will only continue to grow as more ways to communicate become available.
malavika: we have always had the phone. with this digital revolution though it has gone through the roof. it is now free so people will send in jokes messages of support- anything!
do you regard yourselves as celebrities?
malavika: i would say well known. we host the major celebrities from bollywood who come to dubai.
have you built a relationship with the film stars?
sid: it is more to do with the comfort we offer. we have seen interviews go haywire because of the kind of questions that some journalists and the audience like to ask. they will press buttons for no reason or just to try and get a reaction. we don’t do that. every star who comes in knows where to go in our studio they sit down and we have fun.
you get up at 5.30am every morning and have been working together for two and a half years. you must have learnt a lot about each other in sometimes stressful conditions. what are each other’s best and worst characteristics?
sid: malavika’s best attribute is her energy. i can bounce off any question to her and i’ll get an awesome reply. it keeps me on my toes. the bad part of working with her is that she has a lot of energy! i have to keep up with that. our age gap is about 10 years so i need to be high on red bull and vitamins.
malavika: we know each too well! the best part about sid is that he has an incredible sense of humour. you will never see the joke coming. i never know what the punch line is going to be. he is also always calm. nothing shakes him. that can also be slightly annoying. he’s calm when i’m flapping around.
what do you believe are the important issues for your listeners?
malavika: i think it can be anything like salik increasing or traffic on shaikh zayed road. everyday dubai stuff. this is our city and we want to know about it. this is closely followed by bollywood. it’s in our veins. we can’t escape it. we live our lives according to what is happening in bollywood.
sid: our clothes are based on what people in bollywood are wearing! what we wear to our cousin’s wedding is determined by films. david?khaleejtimes.com