Sucharita is a Mumbai-based Radio Jockey and Senior Producer with Radio City. She has been setting the radio waves on fire since 2007, and has interviewed practically every celebrity including Amitabh Bachchan, AR Rahman, Farhan Akhtar, Sunny Deol, Vidya Balan. You can follow her on Twitter @Su4ita
Q. Tell us a little bit about Sucharita?
A. A born and bred Delihite, I’ve been associated with the voice industry for about 9 years now. Prior to that, I studied medicine till high school level, for reasons undiscovered by man. It quickly dawned on me that Science really wasn’t my scene (flunking the Chemistry board exam could have been a hint, one can’t be too sure). I shifted my talents to Communications studies, for a Bachelor’s Degree and that is when I fell in love with broadcast media. Eventually, I started voice overs at the age of 17 and started Radio two years after that, in 2007. Since then, it’s been a tumultuous way forward. I’ve worked with some of the top most Radio brands in India, and have loved every bit of it.
Q. When did you realise you wanted to be an RJ? More importantly, why the radio?
A. I’ve loved Radio since the dawn of time (that might be a SLIGHT exaggeration). As a kid I would record mock radio shows on a portable stereo we had, much to the dismay and disappointment of my parents, who really thought all that time should have been spent concentrating on ‘An introduction to Algebra’. Ha, who’s laughing now, mathematics?
Though honestly, the radio job started by accident, when someone casually suggested I go audition at this station that was looking for people. So I went, didn’t tell my parents, got the job, and well, had to tell my parents later that day that I’d be making Rs. 8000 a month now, so, thanks don’t need your meagre excuse of an allowance no more.
Q. What was it like at home? Did you face a lot of opposition from your parents or were they supportive of your endeavours?
A. Initially they were sceptical of my decision, because in the voice over job, there was very little money, but I WAS 17! Rs. 5000 was a fortune! When I started Radio though, their concern was different. I worked late hours in Noida, so naturally any sensible set of parents would hear industrial strength alarm bells go off. But I guess the disapproval melted away when people started to come and tell them they’d heard me on air and you know, wow.
Though it’s strange how ANYONE would recognise me on air, considering for the first 3 years of my radio career, I went under the alias of Jiah, but oh well.
My parents did ALMOST convince me to quit, after one unruly eve-teasing incident while returning home at night, because it’s Noida. But thankfully, we spoke about it as a well-knit middle class family (again, LOL) and decided against it.
Now, I am extremely proud to say mother is my biggest strength. And my father is the only person who is allowed to pamper me.
Q. What kind of hurdles did you face along the way? How did you overcome them?
A. The biggest setback to my professional career was when I decided to quit on a day’s notice, in the year 2010, for reasons better not spoken about. But turns out that was a blessing in disguise too because post quitting radio, I decide to study further and got accepted at St.Xavier’s in Mumbai for a Post Graduate programme in Film Making and Television studies. Again, no one’s ever asked me to produce the diploma, so I could have just lied and people would have believed me.
But anyhow, I moved to Mumbai in 2010 and started afresh. After a year of studying, Radio called me back. I’d like to believe it was a divine intervention kind of moment, where the heavens opened up and it started raining, with a heavy cello solo in the background. But that would be utter BS, because 1. its ALWAYS raining in Mumbai. 2. I needed the money and radio was my best bet. I really don’t have any other monetisable skills. So since 2011, I’ve been on air as RJ Sucharita in Mumbai.
Q. Did you ever feel like quitting? What kept you going?
A. An unhealthy number of times, to be honest. Sometimes because the money was too much, I felt like I had enough and wanted to take a break, sometimes because the money was too little, sometimes because co-workers weren’t being too nice, sometimes when a boss was being a little TOO nice (If you get my drift. He wanted me to do things we didn’t discuss in my contract).
A couple of times I DID quit, but always to return to the medium, on a new frequency, with a new team, but ALWAYS back to radio. The medium is IN me man, I was created to do this, it’s written in my destiny, the gods conspired with the universe and kept me going, Ameen Sayani appeared in my dream and sang the best parts from the Gita, to the tune of Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
Also, did I mention, I REALLY don’t have any other marketable skills?
Q. How do you balance your professional and personal life?
A. By wearing Pajamas and flip flops to work. For real.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. FREE COFFEE!!!
Q. Your favourite celebrity interview till date?
A. I love each and every one of them man. It sounds so corny, but its truly how I feel. Every interview, whether it is a Marathi rock band from Pune, or Amitabh Bachchan, has been super special to me. I love meeting new people and getting to know more about their lives and craft. Also, more people you know, more parties you’re invited to. So I’m open to pretty much every one.
But if I had to pick, it would be Ranbir Kapoor, because that’s the story we’d be telling our kids one day, of how we first met.
Q. If you could look back and change anything, what would that be?
A. Every single guy I’ve ever……oh you mean professionally? Nothing, absolutely nothing, all the decisions I’ve taken so far have lead me here, where I host the number 1 prime time show in my slot, on Radio City Mumbai, India’s number 1 radio station. Must have done something right no?
Q. Any words of wisdom for our readers?
A. Don’t make yourself smaller, don’t shrink when you’re being overpowered. Be yourself, be big. All the frikkin’ time.
And ofcourse, always remember, no one round the corner got swagger like us. YES?