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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Obituary: The Legendary Ameen Sayani, “Binaca Geetmala’s Soul,” Bids Farewell


<p>After suffering a cardiac attack at the age of 91, the renowned radio presenter Ameen Sayani, who dominated the airwaves and reigned over the hearts of millions of “Behno aur Bhaiyon” across the Indian subcontinent and neighboring nations, became quiet forever.</p>
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<p>Rajil, Ameen Sayani’s son, and a number of grandkids survive him. Sayani passed away at the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in Nana Chowk after suffering a heart attack late on Tuesday. According to a statement from Rajil Sayani, “His mortal remains shall be kept for people to pay their last respects at Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi followed by the funeral.”</p>
<p>Prominent figures from the political and entertainment worlds, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur, Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and others, paid their respects and expressed their condolences to Sayani’s family.</p>
<p>The famous words of the nation’s first famous radio host, “Namaskar Behno aur Bhaiyon!” Ameen Sayani bol raha hoon main aapka dost..! got ingrained in the hearts of millions of people across many generations, and it’s still the best radio welcome to this day.</p>
<p>With the debut of the nation’s first well-liked countdown program featuring the best Bollywood music on Radio Ceylon (now Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation) and later All India Radio (AIR), Sayani rose to national prominence.</p>
<p>“Ameen Sayani, one of the best radio hosts, has gone away. In an homage to the well-known radio host on Wednesday, AkashvaniAIR said, “He was the iconic presenter of the popular radio show ‘Binaca Geetmala.’”</p>
<p>Sayani was a well recognized communicator, an exceptional voice actor, and an unparalleled storyteller. He also had a remarkable sense of humor. His voice became associated with the heyday of Indian radio throughout the years.</p>
<p>This occurred long before youthful RJs took over the studio mics and the airways were freed.</p>
<p>He was schooled at St. Xavier’s College after being born in Bombay on December 21, 1932, and he began working for Radio Ceylon in 1951. Sayani went on to set an enormous record by presenting and hosting more than 54,000 radio shows, more than 19,000 commercials or jingles, and many roles as himself in Hindi movies.</p>
<p>He began by assisting his mother Kulsum Sayani in editing the biweekly multilingual periodical “Rahber,” which Mahatma Gandhi had started. His older brother Hamid Sayani was also a well-known English broadcaster.</p>
<p>Beginning with “Binaca Geetmala,” which was then renamed “Cibaca Geetmala,” “Hit Parade,” and “Colgate Cibaca Geetmala,” the show dominated the air for 42 years, from 1952 to 1994.</p>
<p>There, Sayani entertained listeners with a countdown of the best Bollywood songs of the week, accompanied by his captivating voice. The big conclusion of the song, “Aur pehle paidaan par hai,” had them placing bets, yelling, and celebrating when their wagers were correct.</p>
<p>In addition, Sayani worked on several English shows at AIR for ten years before focusing only on Hindi shows. Despite the pitiful compensation at the time, Sayani left a lasting impression on his viewers.</p>
<p>Sayani also contributed to the widespread popularization of Hindi cinema music via the “Geetmala” series, particularly for those without access to record discs or pricey phonograph players. This was done through the modest medium of “family radio.”</p>
<p>After his brother’s death in 1975, Sayani continued to host popular shows on AIR and Vivid Bharati, including “S Kumar ka Filmi Muqaddama” and “Filmi Mulaqaat.” He also took over the Bournvita Quiz Contest and created a 13-episode public awareness radio series based on real-life HIV/AIDS cases.</p>
<p>Other notable programs were Sardon Ke Saathi, Shivam Superlac Jodi, Sangeet Ke Sitaron Ki Mehfil, and subsequently multiple volumes of the “Geetmala” program series, such as “Geetmala Ki Chhaon Mein,” which were also very well-liked.</p>
<p>In addition, he produced radio shows for the BBC’s ethnic network in the UK, Sunrise Radio in London, Radio Asia and Radio Ummal Quwain in the UAE, as well as a number of radio networks in the USA, Canada, Africa, and other countries.</p>
<p>As a result of his fame extending beyond national borders, Sayani hosted over 2000 live stage performances and events in India and other countries, including international film festivals, fashion shows, and beauty pageants, where the crowds eagerly anticipated every word he spoke.</p>
<p>In addition to receiving several honors and prizes, Sayani was given the Padma Shri (2009), the Hindi Ratna Puraskar (2007), and the IAAFA Hall of Fame Award.</p>


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