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Kannada’s own voice

RJ Vinayak Joshi chatters away professing his love for the land and language to SHILPA SEBASTIAN R.

Photo: Bhagya Prakash K

HERE AND NOW Vinayak Joshi: ‘I’m a pucca Bangalorean. A typical N.R. Colony type’

It’s a reversal of roles. He starts by asking questions: “Why is your mom’s cooking better than anything else in the world?”, “Which is the bird that flies backwards?”, “Did you know that coffee bean was first smuggled into our country?”

And then he smiles and explains: “You see being a radio jockey is not just about songs, one has to be well-informed to keep the listeners glued to your show.” Anyone who has tuned in to Radio City 91.1 FM will recognise these questions and the voice that asks them. It’s none other than RJ Vinayak Joshi.


His face always wears a smile and he talks about even simple things with great passion.

In his early twenties, the youngster has carved a niche for himself in films and theatre, before venturing into the world of radio.

“I started acting at the age of five. My father ran a film banner called Joshi Chitra,” says Vinayak, who has acted in Kannada flicks like “Nammora Mandaara Hoove”, “Amritavarshini”, “Appu”, “Kanti”, “Nanna Kanasina Hoove” and “Minchina Ota”.

He has worked with directors like Nagabharana and Sunil Kumar Desai. Yet he is down to earth and says: “I like being myself, no flaunting for me.”

So will his next destination be Bollywood? “Nothing is a cake walk in life. But, yes, if I do get a chance, why not?” More than being on screen, he wants to be a director.


“I know I have the potential. I don’t want to be a ruler but want to be a rule maker,” says this RJ, who is keen on directing a Kannada film, for, he nurtures a great passion for the language. “I’m a pucca Bangalorean. A typical N.R. Colony type. I think I share the passion for this language and culture with my father. I also got fame from my language,” he says.

Vinayak studied in National College, Jayanagar, and says another of his passion is “to counteract with any Bangalorean.”

And radio gives him ample opportunity to do that. The programmes he airs on Radio City 91.1 FM are “City Sunrise” (an early morning show), where “I am waking up the whole city at 5 o’ clock in the morning,” “City Space”, a mid-morning show, and an evening drive called, “City Maatu”.

Does he get unsettled by the wide competition in his field? “Every RJ is unique. More than competition I think we have respect for each other. My strength lies in conveying serious messages with humour,” says the youngster, who has also won a National Award as the best director for a play, “Shraddha”.


“Though the play had a serious theme, I handled it with loads of humour,” and Vinayak was one of the youngest directors to win the National Award at the age of 19.

Does the switch to radio mean goodbye to films and theatre? “I took to RJing because I wanted to take a break from films and work on my personal shaping. Today, I get my daily bread from my shows on radio. I want to thank Radio City for giving me a chance to explore this new dimension in myself. And it’s not at all stressful. I love my job. It’s exciting to work here, for people do not see me, but they hear me. Radio is a strong medium and I get to talk with so many people,” says this RJ, who also loves interacting with children.

“There have been some touching moments in my profession too. The most touching moment on air was when I hosted the Father’s Day show just after I lost my father. It was a call made by a three-year-old girl, who came on air and told her father how much she loved him and the man was so touched by his daughter’s love that I was moved to tears remembering my own father.”

Before he goes on air he prepares for at least four hours and gives credit to his producer, Manikanthan Sharma, with whom “I design one prank a day. The pranks are more situation-based. The aim is to make people laugh with us and not to take a laugh at their cost. ”

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