Hyderabad: Ajay Sounds keeps old Bollywood classics alive at Numaish

Hyderabad: The All India Industrial Exhibition popularly known as ‘Salana Numaish’ (annual exhibition) is more about nostalgia for old timers, than it is about purchasing things.

However, one of the annual fair’s (or Numaish) integral aspects in Hyderabad is the radio station rendering age-old Bollywood classics and announcements of missing children or advertisements of various products.

Going by the name ‘Exhibition Radio’, it is managed by Ajay Sounds owned by Ajay Kumar Jaiswal who has been running the ‘Exhibition Radio’, continuing its legacy, from nearly four decades.

The radio station at the Numaish, with its handful of announcers, helps in publicly promoting different stalls and products. Missing children announcements are made from the station to help the public. More often than not, young boys and girls often stray away from their families or sometimes tend to get distracted and end up getting lost.

“At the strike of 5 pm we start the radio station. The renditions of Bollywood singers continue till the closure at 10.30 pm,” said Ajay Kumar from the Numaish.  

Songs from Bollywood’s ‘golden era’, like those of Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar tear through evening air, as Ajay Kumar carefully selects each song from his collection of a few thousand songs for the Numaish.

Rafi’s songs are played more followed by Kishore, and Lata Mangeshkar. “No we don’t play new songs, it is played and heard everywhere,” said Ajay Kumar, who is a third generation member of his family associated with the radio station at the Numaish.

Some of the visitors to the Numaish are also music adherents who come to listen to the old Bollywood numbers and drop in at the radio station with a request.

A team of announcers in English, Telugu and Urdu are seated at the radio station every day. Among them is Rashid Khan, of Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad. Rashid, an NRI has been lending his voice for the radio announcements for 34 years. “I come to the exhibition every year no matter where I am, be it Sharjah, America and (now) London,” he sai.

His father, Hakim Ragi, used to compose ghazals and slogans for the advertisements at the Numaish and Rashid is at the same place every year in Hyderabad to continue the legacy.

The signature song from the film Pakeezah i.e. ‘Chalte Chalte yunhi koi mil gaya tha, is the last to be played before the day’s business winds up at the Numaish daily. The last few lines from the song comprises ‘Chiragh bujh rahe hain’, which is apt as the place slowly shuts at night.