You can call her Jammu Di Kudi, or Mirchi Shwetima or just RJ Shwetima. If you’ve tuned in to The Morning Show at 98.3 Radio Mirchi, you definitely have felt her unbeatable energy, her sensational voice and wit.
A Kathak enthusiast, Zumba Instructor, Shayar and one of the most recognized Radio Jockeys in India, read her equally energetic interview with Team Storiyaan.
Questions and answers
How did you get into Radio Mirchi?
It was June 2016 when I got to know about the Auditions conducted by Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM at Jammu. Since I was back home (to Udhampur) after two years of a corporate job in Delhi, I decided to step into a creative field. I went to an audition. I cleared almost 8-9 rounds amongst more than 1400 candidates and got selected. I did not have any background of RJ being a B.Tech, and so I was sent for Training to Radio Mirchi Delhi and then to Radio Mirchi Chandigarh for some hands-on experience. Finally, we launched in Jammu in October 2017, and I got the opportunity to be the first voice to be On Air for 98.3 Radio Mirchi Jammu.
What was your inspiration for becoming an RJ?
It wasn’t planned that I would step into the media line. So, in a way, there wasn’t any inspiration. But surely once I entered the system, I aspire and adore a lot of people. I believe each one is unique, so keep learning from everyone.
Do you ever feel bored talking for so long?
Never. Do you ever feel bored talking to your loved ones or Friends? So, Yeah. Never.
Does an RJ need to be artificial and diplomatic?
Artificial: Never. As anyone faking their identity would not last for long. Yes, Mimicry or taking up characters is a different game.
Diplomatic: Mostly Not. But certain situations / organizational commitments do sometimes force you to opt diplomacy slightly.
We were wondering if RJing is only for youngsters, or are young thoughts enough?
See, every person has a different aura, and that only attracts your audience. Age never matters; your thoughts, thought process, positivity, optimism, Naturalistic approach does matter a lot.
Can you talk to us about the difficulties RJs face, considering the fact that you are not face-to-face with viewers?
Initially, Yes. You are in a Close Soundproof room, all alone, and you need to talk as if you are talking to someone. But gradually, you find peace with it. I think the experience is different with every RJ. I learned a lot about myself, about self-love, different emotions, and dealing with them helped me be better each day.
Have any callers ever caused problems on Air, and if yes, how did you manage it?
Not really. So after certain problems that RJs faced, it was decided that the callers will be taken on a Deferred Live not LIVE directly. So we get time to determine whether the call can be taken On Air or Not.
Do you indulge in any kind of warm-up, before you go live- maybe just a couple minutes prior?
Not exactly a warmup, but a lot of homework does actually involve before we Go On Air. Especially a Morning, Jock has to be up to date with current happenings and what all information needs to go to the listeners with a sprinkle of entertainment.
People who work in the media business are often trolled and are targeted for e-bullying and hate. What are your measures to escape or fight such humdrum of the RJing world?
The decision to escape or fight is very situational. It is obvious that you can’t keep everyone happy and trolling, and e-bullying often remains a part of it. Yet your strong values, ethics, transparency, and being loyal to your people (followers & listeners) always help Get out of it quickly.
Can you give us a peek into your social media life? How long do you spend on apps, and whatnot?
I consider my social media family as my extended family, which should be a part of my everyday life, but at times when it gets heavy, I need to explain to them that I need to be away for a while. Keeping a healthy relationship with them helps. I spend more time being active on Instagram (@mirchiShwetima), from the last few days on TikTok (@rjshwetima), too (around 3-4 hours/day in total for both) and then about 1 hour/day on Facebook and Twitter (@mirchi Shwetima).
What influence Dance/ Zumba has had in your life, and what made you turn into a Zumba-instructor?
I am a trained Kathak Dancer. I learned Kathak for almost five years during my engineering and post-graduation, represented my university at State/ National level, won a National Gold Medal multiple times in different events (Music, Theatre, Kathak, Folk Orchestra, Debates). Long hours of research, meeting people, preparing content for the radio show, and digital content takes a toll on your health (mentally as well as physically), and that is what tempted me to bring dance back into my life. Zumba came to me as a rescue. Family friends recommended that I go for training, so I took up the course to be a Zumba Instructor in Jan 2020.
People often seek support and solace while achieving their goals, as it makes them feel better about themselves. What is your take on the same, and who is your support system?
I don’t think anyone in this world can survive without a support system, be it your family, friends, colleagues, or even well-wishers. For me, my listeners play a significant role in keeping me motivated to be better each day and consistently improve myself. They set new goals for me, give me targets each time, and that helps me to learn and learn even more.
Can you share your mantra to get out of a dark day?
‘Acceptance.’ Accept everything that comes your way. Accept that ‘It’s OK’ to feel low sometimes. Accept that ‘You Need Help.’ Try finding the lesson/ message a difficult time has for you.
If you aren’t able to share with your loved ones with whomsoever, you feel guided and whom you trust. (For me, it is my Papa I share everything, whenever I feel stuck and don’t find a way out and if there is something I feel I can’t share with him, I take help from Nupur Sandhu Ji, who is a Serenity Surrender Therapist and a trained Psychologist) .
Are radio shows impromptu or scripted?
Information is gathered that needs to be delivered On Air, rest most of it is Impromptu; otherwise, it sounds weirdly scripted (Jaise Ratta Maar ki Teacher Ko Lesson sunate the).
Who inspires you, both: in life and as an RJ?
A lot of people do, I believe everyone I meet and interact with. Everyone has certain qualities that I try to imbibe. A lot of people have a positive approach to life, and that inspires me a lot. However, my parents are my biggest inspiration as they have given me life-lessons no one else can give.