“Tough times are the biggest lessons in life and what I do is I take a deep breath and wait for the right time”
You may take Nilam out of Kolkata, but you cannot take Kolkata out of Nilam! That is how much RJ Nilam is a part of the city. This radio jockey (RJ) from Red FM is fondly called ‘ Kolkata ki GPS’. But surprisingly becoming an RJ never crossed her mind “I never planned on becoming an RJ. Countless people have asked me about why and when I decided to become one, but it was not a conscious decision on my part. I had dreamt of becoming a civil servant during my college days.”
Nilam effortlessly lapses into her journey towards becoming an RJ, “One fine morning we were listening to Vividh Bharati and the presenter suddenly announced that there are ten vacancies for temporary radio announcers. My mom got very curious and asked me to give it a try. Although I told her that it is not my cup of tea, she believed that I would become a good radio announcer. Back then, there was no position called Radio Jockey, it was either radio presenter or radio announcer. She literally pushed me into trying so I went ahead and auditioned for All India Radio, Kolkata. There was an interview and then rest is history.”
Nilam has been working with Red FM for the past 16 years.
As an advice to her younger self who is freshly stepping into the field, Nilam says, “Don’t be shy, know your worth and believe in yourself.” Nilam, however, admits that she is a shy person in general, “But when it comes to my radio show I am not a shy person,” she says.
When quizzed about how she managed to stay cheerful and upbeat everyday she says, “We are entertainers and even if we are in a bad mood, I believe we have no right to spoil the show. The audience is listening to us and spending their time for entertainment and most importantly I am in the studio, in front of the console I know that I have to put up a good show, that’s it and this thought makes me forget about whatever worries I have. However, if the city is facing a difficult situation, that affects me as well as a fellow citizen and that reflects on the show.”
Speaking about how she landed the name ‘Kolkata Ki GPS’ she says “ My show is called Kolkata Cutting, that concerns people and everything that touches our lives. So I explore the subject, I explore the city on the show, that’s how I got the name. Of course the credit also goes to my show producer and assistants.”
Throwing light on how she manages difficult tough situations that comes as part of her profession she says “What keeps me floating during such a situation is my love for the work. If you love your work and believe in the almighty, then I think one can face every challenge. In the past 20 years in the radio industry, I think God has been kind to me and he has blessed me with a great supportive family as well. Tough times are the biggest lessons in life and what I do is I take a deep breath and wait for the right time,”she sums up.