In 2014, I was on a no-money walking pilgrimage with one of the designers of my life. I walked more than 300 kilometers from Ahmadabad to Udaipur; without any money on me. Isn’t that awesome!

On our journey, we’d been lined up a radio interview in the beautiful hill station in the western state of Rajasthan. O, dear Mount Abu, you took my breath away and you do it every time I visit you. I’ve been here many times in my life, as a student, as a traveler, as a lover, and this time, as a pilgrim — messenger of peace.

Anyway, coming back to our story, I met this man in the All India Radio office. He was supposed to take our interview on our peace pilgrimage. I was excited, not because of the interview, but because I’d never been to a radio station before. This man-made it so simple and comfortable for us.

Meet Neeraj Sharma, a middle-aged man. As soon as we opened the door, I hear a voice singing a popular Hindi film song:

This is one of my favorite songs from olden times.

I entered the room and immediately my eyes got hooked up to his hair. At first, it looked unreal but then I accepted then to be real. He made my entry so comfortable and then we started talking all about our journey and personal introduction. We talked for a while about all the stuff that he wanted to know before the interview.

After, a while, when we got acquainted, he requested us to talk to the people in another city for the interview because they had shut down relay in that center.

We do the only transmission here.

Hoodwinked! But, I requested him to show me his studio. And, guess what? He agreed happily. He took us all around the studio and I witnessed all the antique equipment and processes that go into a radio program. That station was empty and he was the only commissioned officer on the property, except the guards outside the huge gate.

I was so excited and thanked him a million times and he did the same. Probably, no one comes there nowadays. We took several photographs and discussed various subjects about our pilgrimage and his work at the All India Radio. I asked him about his interest in radio, whether it was a deliberate choice or out of nothing.

I always wanted to get into radio.

He was an engineer by training and had a craving for radio since his childhood and he’s currently serving his 25th year in All India Radio.

It was wonderful meeting someone so passionate about radio. I’m grateful to the universe and All India Radio that we met. I’ll always remember this man and his wonderful 1980s hairstyle, and I still think it’s a wig?!

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