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An RJ at 70!
August 28, 2008 14:23 IST
newA radio jockey conjures up an image of a yuppie, street smart, dashing young person with a flair for articulation and quick wit, but this RJ for a change is a septuagenarian who nonetheless has taken to the profession like a duck to water.

At 70, Bah Besbha (Mr Best in local dialect) from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya in the North East, has seen the return of the radio as a popular medium of entertainment, prompting him to don the mantle of a Radio Jockey after retiring as a director of the Employment and Craftsmen Training Institute.

"Initially, my family reacted with a lot of 'ahhhs' when I told them I was offered a job at the FM station. But later, the reality of me being an RJ finally sank in," Besbha, whose real name is Leslie Hardinge Pde, said.

Besbha has been in the entertainment scene for many years and he has successfully adapted himself to the ever -- changing media -- from an author of several books to a small screen actor and then to an RJ.

Entertainment runs high in his blood. He started off with the Khasi Humorous Society and till date he is the treasurer of the Society.

"I asked myself do I fit this cut-throat profession of most suited to the younger generation? But those doubts were cast aside once I grabbed the microphone," he said.

The septuagenarian says he did feel "some discomfort" at first with the modern gizmos that he has to handle during the show, but things are moving on smoothly with a lot of help from his "young friends" at the studio.

He claims to be the oldest, but young at heart, RJ of the country. His daily show -- the Besbha show -- is full of wisecracks and messages for the audience.
Like his younger colleagues, Pde underwent training. He said the training was easy as he had done several TV programmes and live shows earlier.

"When the reality of being an RJ finally sunk in and my show started to be aired live on FM Radio, my family members began to appreciate my work."

"I received calls from my friends in Mawsynram and from various parts of Shillong city appreciating me for my new role. I feel nice and makes me feel wanted," he said.

Text: PTI | Photograph: Sanjib Bhattacharjee

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