This is about the highest security zone of the national capital. This is about New Delhi – 110001. And, the building that forms the periphery of this narration is at the heart of not just New Delhi – 1, but also the heart of the nation’s radio network.
Dear friends, I am talking about All India Radio, Akashvani Bhavan – the Broadcasting House.
My main characters are the permanent occupants of the broadcasting house. Station Directors come and Station Directors go. But these folks have been here since several generations; round the clock, all year round.
Loyalty is what this breed is known for.
Friends, let me introduce you to two canines – a dusty brown mongrel and another that is white with black spots. They haven’t been named as yet, but lets call them Dusty and Spotty for now.
Dusty and Spotty were born here and they will die here, just like their countless ancestors. They have always been collectively adopted by the folks that frequent the historic corridors of AIR. They have been unconditionally accommodated by all staff members irrespective of whether the staffer has a regular or a casual status with AIR. Mine being the later category, I meet Dusty and Spotty only occasionally.
Spotty is usually found sleeping in the corridor of the old building (there is a new building also); while Dusty is mostly idling around Madan’s corner.
Now, who is Madan?
Madan is a synonym for chai, the magic potion commonly known as tea which is pivotal to the functioning of all government offices. Madan makes tea extremely well. The official subsidized canteen has never ever cared to compete with Madan’s proficiency.
Where there is tea, there is bound to be some snacks which we folks often like to share with Dusty & Spotty. Who can ignore those expectant looks? Anyway, the nation survives on sympathy (and at times empathy) and so do the pets of the nation’s radio station. We all accommodate each other.
Dusty and Spotty have also accommodated themselves to the way the station functions. The other day I was thinking over a cup of Madan’s tea, that how come I’ve never heard either of them barking. Then I realized. We are still not supposed to talk or make any kind of noise in the old building even though the studios have been shifted to the adjoining new building that houses state of the art broadcast equipment. Good doggies!
Now the doggies seem to be trying to value add further. Today I was scanned by Dusty at the security gate, with an extremely respectful and dignified demeanor and subsequently validated with an enthusiastic wagging of his tail. All this while, Spotty was manning the deserted transport department.
Wonder what’s next on the agenda for Dusty & Spotty.