The Fremont Podcast

Episode118: The Heartbeat of Bay Area Indian and South Asian Radio with Radio Zindagi

May 17, 2024 Ricky B Season 3 Episode 118
Episode118: The Heartbeat of Bay Area Indian and South Asian Radio with Radio Zindagi
The Fremont Podcast
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The Fremont Podcast
Episode118: The Heartbeat of Bay Area Indian and South Asian Radio with Radio Zindagi
May 17, 2024 Season 3 Episode 118
Ricky B

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In this episode, we explore the evolution of Radio Zindagi, an AM radio station as the vibrant heart of the Bay Area's Indian community. In the control room  of the Fremont Boulevard studio, we uncover a story of skepticism, ambition, and ultimate triumph. Our guests recount the early days of skepticism from brokers, the strategic cultivation of a multi-lingual audience, and the transformation of their platform into a beacon of entertainment, education, and information for immigrants and their families—an auditory bridge between cultures.

We delve into the multicultural make up of the audience, and we tackle the challenge of crafting content that resonates across various South Asian dialects and traditions. With stories of technological innovation—visual radio, multi-channel apps—and a spirit of inclusion, we reveal the secrets to their close-knit connection with listeners. Personal tales weave through the narrative, showcasing how the Bay Area's embracing community has found a home on the AM radio airwaves. In the heart of it all, Radio Zindagi emerges as more than just a station—it's a lifeline.

It’s clear that the power of radio extends well beyond the microphone, fostering unity, empathy, and change—one story at a time.

For more, tune in to 1550AM in the Bay Area or find them on their website here. 

Check out Own It Fitness for your professional fitness solutions. You can find their website here.

Connect with them on Instagram here. 

If you are interested in supporting the podcast, please reach out to us at thefremontpodcast@gmail.com, or you can contact us here. 


Fremont Bank has been partnering with and supporting people and small businesses for over six decades.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

If you are in need of services for design or printing, check out Minutemen Press in Irvington. They have been serving the community for over 20 years, and they stand strong by their work and service.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, we explore the evolution of Radio Zindagi, an AM radio station as the vibrant heart of the Bay Area's Indian community. In the control room  of the Fremont Boulevard studio, we uncover a story of skepticism, ambition, and ultimate triumph. Our guests recount the early days of skepticism from brokers, the strategic cultivation of a multi-lingual audience, and the transformation of their platform into a beacon of entertainment, education, and information for immigrants and their families—an auditory bridge between cultures.

We delve into the multicultural make up of the audience, and we tackle the challenge of crafting content that resonates across various South Asian dialects and traditions. With stories of technological innovation—visual radio, multi-channel apps—and a spirit of inclusion, we reveal the secrets to their close-knit connection with listeners. Personal tales weave through the narrative, showcasing how the Bay Area's embracing community has found a home on the AM radio airwaves. In the heart of it all, Radio Zindagi emerges as more than just a station—it's a lifeline.

It’s clear that the power of radio extends well beyond the microphone, fostering unity, empathy, and change—one story at a time.

For more, tune in to 1550AM in the Bay Area or find them on their website here. 

Check out Own It Fitness for your professional fitness solutions. You can find their website here.

Connect with them on Instagram here. 

If you are interested in supporting the podcast, please reach out to us at thefremontpodcast@gmail.com, or you can contact us here. 


Fremont Bank has been partnering with and supporting people and small businesses for over six decades.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

If you are in need of services for design or printing, check out Minutemen Press in Irvington. They have been serving the community for over 20 years, and they stand strong by their work and service.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Speaker 1:

I'm outclassed with my recording gear. You guys have an incredible setup here and I love, I feel special being here, thank you, thank you. This is a great space, but you were talking about different DJs that feature different shows or different channels. There's not really anybody running the program right now. I can hear the radio running. It's on automation, right, it's on automation, okay. So my question is I mean, when is this space?

Speaker 3:

used.

Speaker 1:

And then also you were mentioning what it seemed to be like remote disc jockeys on different channels and stuff. Where are they located and how do you channel them into your app or into your station, whatever?

Speaker 4:

you're doing. Coming to you straight from Fremont, california, this is the Fremont Podcast, dedicated to telling the stories of the past and present of the people and places of the city of Fremont. One conversation at a time of Fremont one conversation at a time.

Speaker 5:

Normally I make these little episode number stories and they are totally unrelated to the guest, but we are interviewing a radio station, 1550 AM, and I thought it would be kind of neat to try, unedited, see if I can tune in. I've never tried to do it on this radio and it's not satellite and it's not a digital tuner, it's an old radio, so I'm gonna have to twiddle in with this plastic knob and just my fingers. Oh, I think I got it. You are listening to episode 118 of the Fremont.

Speaker 4:

Podcast. Now here's your host, ricky B.

Speaker 1:

Well, I'm going to go ahead and get started and we'll jump on into this. Yeah, pull that up on you there and I'm going to see. You came in from Pleasanton, your drive. What was your name? Again? Tarish, tarish, tarish, nidaj, nidaj, Okay, okay, got it, tarish, you came in from Pleasanton today. Yes, how was your drive? It was good. Yeah, not too bad. Yeah, you had a comfortable ride I had.

Speaker 5:

That's good, that's right.

Speaker 1:

That's good, that's good. So, um, so, are you got you got? So I'm here in this really cool uh radio studio right in Fremont, on Fremont Boulevard. Um and uh, I used to live I don't know a few blocks from here and I had my phone. I told you I had my phone fixed across the way a few times. Uh, the screen was broken, broken. But I think I walked by this studio a number of times and I just don't think I paid attention to it. But this is really cool, this is really cool. Thank you, yeah, so are you two?

Speaker 2:

uh, you two are co-founders of of this radio station uh, yes, in in a way like uh, this particular radio station was reinvented a couple of years back. Okay, and uh, that, and that's how it was.

Speaker 3:

I'll tell you a little. You know how it started.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that'd be great. I used to work for a company in New York, Okay, and they used to have multiple businesses about media, entertainment and broadcast, okay. So they shifted me to Bay Area and when I landed I saw there is a lot of opportunities here in Bay Area in terms of Indian, you know, entertainment and media. And then one of my friends who was one of the co-founders of a radio station we thought let's start a radio here because there was a big opportunity, big Indian, you know, yes, a lot of Indians were in there. Yeah, so we somehow were able to found one broker who was, you know, getting radio stations for people. Okay, so we had a meeting with him and he said, oh, this market is too small for Indians.

Speaker 3:

I mean radio here, yeah, in the area oh, wow we try to convince him and somehow he was not convinced. Huh, and then eventually there one day there was a radio station in the area and it was streaming Indian songs and eventually that station did very well. People were very excited. It got very popular. In like couple of months we went back to that broker and said see, we told you there was a big market for Indian radio and you didn't listen to us.

Speaker 3:

And then he said then we requested him if you can find something for us. He said now there is already one station and I don't think there is market for another station. Wow. At that time, we were able to convince him and he found us this station, you know 1550. Okay, and we started in 2011. Okay, that's great.

Speaker 1:

That's the story and I thought, I thought the. I thought the hook on the story was going to be it was this guy right here I joined actually like I, I came on board in 20, 21.

Speaker 2:

20 means, uh, everything right now is always Nidhuj's baby. He's the brain behind it. Yes, I do come to look at different aspects of it, but I'm glad that overall, this medium of radio has caught up a lot, not just limited to the drive times. We have audiences who actually tune into the radio, sitting at home listening, and that's the basic reason being that we were able to provide them with a variety of broadcasts which include shows, entertainment. So it's a combination it's education, it's entertainment, as well as information.

Speaker 3:

We have so many lawyers on there, we have doctors on there, we have so many CPAs talking about when the tax season, is there CPAs talking about giving you advice what to do, what? Okay, uh, like that um. And then we have um for kids education. We have like a lot of clients. Uh, we have visitor insurance. You know they're guiding us, you know when somebody's traveling, because a lot of immigrants are from india, right, and their parents or relatives come from India.

Speaker 3:

They need a lot of assistance. So you know there is a lot to you know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely yeah. Well, I mean, I was listening to the radio station on my way over here this morning just because I wanted to hear what you know, you guys do and what I was getting into here, and at first I was listening, listening, and I think the music was something that I probably expected, but then we got into the DJ part or all the transition. It sounded like it might have been like a movie trailer or something, something advertising a movie, infotainment.

Speaker 3:

I call it infotainment, it's entertainment plus the information. Ah Okay, Then all of a sudden I was like wait a minute.

Speaker 1:

I understand what they. Okay, all right, we call it infotainment. It's entertainment plus the information. Ah, All go together, Okay, okay. Well then, all of a sudden, I was like, wait a minute, I understand what they're saying. There was some, like a bunch of ads that were in English as well and so. And then there was actually one of the ads was an immigration lawyer talking about, like, if you need help with family or you know whatever, then this is what we do and we've helped hundreds of people. But yeah, I think it's interesting and I asked this to you before we got started but how many different languages are there?

Speaker 7:

Because I understood.

Speaker 1:

No, no on the radio station. Like, what is the language base of the radio station?

Speaker 2:

I think we cater mainly to the uh of the radio station. I think we cater mainly uh to the majority of the like the major languages, uh across, spread across india, um, and we try to kind of uh, at least get a bit of a flavor overall, um, and so that we keep them happy, but not just limited to india, I would say well, we also try include other South Asian communities, like from people from Pakistan, people from Fiji okay, for a matter of fact, we've got many RJs who are from Fiji as well. So that is the the beauty of it, that it kind of brings everyone on the same platform.

Speaker 3:

Wow, that's great. Right now we have like eight Indian languages shows going on. Yes, in India we have like 152 languages.

Speaker 1:

You know they say what do you call someone that speaks three languages? Trilingual, Trilingual, yeah, trilingual. What do you call somebody that speaks two languages? Bilingual? What do you call someone that speaks?

Speaker 7:

one language, trilingual, trilingual yeah trilingual?

Speaker 1:

What do you call somebody that speaks two languages? Bilingual? What do you call someone that speaks one language? An American right? I think, I think, yeah.

Speaker 6:

Yes for heavy. I want to also add to the earlier comment that a lot of people ask us why we are playing. Our audiences are not just listening to us or tuning in to us for music. Music today is easily available on so many platforms. I think when we talk about radio, the first thing is nostalgia. And the second thing is, of course, there's a radio jockey, somebody who's traveling with you. You're not driving alone.

Speaker 6:

You know, yeah, there's a radio jockey, somebody who's travelling with you. You're not driving alone. You know, and a wide percentage of our audience want to listen to talk. Radio is a source for them. It's a local source. It's the local connect, because there's no other connect for the Indian community or the South Asian community here that caters to their community. They do have TV stations, but all of the content comes from that home. So, as they do enjoy that, this is what's happening in the locals.

Speaker 1:

I think that's great, that's very, very helpful, because I do think that you're exactly right Radio is a nostalgia media. It is something that I remember. I grew up listening to the radio. Because I do think that you're exactly right Radio is a nostalgia media. It is something that I remember. I grew up listening to the radio and I remember the particular programs that I listened to. There's certain sound bites that they come on. I would know exactly. I mean, it would take me back to my childhood, and so radio is definitely all of those things.

Speaker 1:

I think what's challenging, or what I think is probably challenging and this is the point that I was making earlier when I was saying telling the joke was that I think, as an American, it's hard for me to imagine listening to a station or being being a part of a community where a radio station would engage in multiple languages on on one platform. Like I feel like for an American, I would listen to an English station and that's probably all I would listen to. I think that I don't know what it's like to be in a country where there are 150 languages or where there are different regional languages, and I think that that's something that probably the Indian community is more accustomed to than I'm accustomed to, but it appears that that's something that is also part of that nostalgia. I guess part of the question or what I'm getting at is if you were to go to an Indian station or a radio station in India, is that what you would get is multiple languages on one platform?

Speaker 2:

Not necessarily, oh, not necessarily. Yeah, so it all depends, because out there it could be regionalized, Like you said, over 152 languages across India and the dialect also changes every few hundred kilometers or maybe 100 miles. So they have radio stations or the streaming broadcasts directed to a particular audiences, but primarily it would be one regional language and English. But then you know, thinking broad, I think entertainment or music per se has no boundaries. That's right. You know I could groove on to with my two left foot, you know, groove on to any sort of music, at least you know it is, uh, whether it's american, spanish, uh, any, uh, you know different parts of india or any music per se. You know it's the beats that that kind of keeps you going we'll be right back.

Speaker 5:

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Speaker 2:

And now back to our conversation. Yes, of course we try and kind of merge or kind of, you know, do it in a way that it's the best way possible, where we bring in the information that's required by the South Asian community together on one platform out here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, do you guys? Do you find that I mean what you're doing as far as the bringing the different languages, the different people into one radio station? Do you find that to be a challenge for you as far as keeping the audience connected to what you're doing?

Speaker 2:

Actually I think it helps the audience right. Audience loves us for that, not just limited to. We also do a lot of events, and Seba can also talk more about that and that is where the communities from different parts and even many South Asian communities, different parts of the world. So we're trying to build that kind of a platform where we are able to first acknowledge and accept the welcome that we got A first generation migrant here, you know it was. So we moved back from India you know calling this our home landed in San Francisco 24 years back, never moved out of here, wow yeah. But then the people have been so welcoming. My elder kid was four when we moved here. My younger one was born here. So we got to give back and understand the other communities that we live together with.

Speaker 6:

I would like to say that I can imagine it's a question for you, right yeah? It's a question of which is challenging, but when, in Jata, it is not a question of challenge. India is a memory form, it is a cognitive, it combines all the cultures, all the languages, so it's not new to us or unknown to us.

Speaker 1:

Hmm, that's great. That's great. I think that you guys, as co-founders, as producers, I think that you guys probably have to put on a creative hat in order to be able to think that way. I mean, yes, india is a melting pot and, I think, probably in a different way, but still similar to the Bay Area it is a melting pot where people come from all over the world. But I think that, in order to be able to produce something that truly reaches people from not just India, but from different places around the world that end up here, being able to really be creative and to think through how do we reach, you know, more broadly, as opposed to like just more narrowly, I think that you guys have to put on different creative hats to be able to do that.

Speaker 3:

Obviously, you know. You know it's, it's, it's. It's a place where we have to think every day what different we should do. I'll give you a very good example. You know, when COVID happened, there were no traffic on the roads, so we thought what should we do? The, you know, the business went down and even the listenership went down, because there are no cars.

Speaker 3:

So then we came up with an idea that you know, people are at home, so instead of going on air on 15, 50 and we should look for an alternative where we can, people can see us, and we should look for an alternative where we can, people can see us. So that's how the idea started. So we started the concept radio. You cannot only listen, you can also see us. Okay. So then we started live on Facebook, live on Instagram. So that's how you know. You see all these gadgets here. Now, from our studio, you can, anyone can see you anywhere in the world sitting, you know, anywhere, yeah that's exactly right.

Speaker 3:

So we made this radio. Not only you know, you can listen to us on 1550 AM, you can also listen to us on Instagram, on Facebook, all the different.

Speaker 2:

You know, I would say Indians, we take pride in moving in from being called a country of snake charmers to people who work with the mouse right. So more in the technology side, right, sure, that's good. So we've controlled that One of the world leaders in the technology side. So what we did was also launch an app where all their different channels which are streamed onto your palm right, so most of the. I think we have over 11 channels that are streamed on our Radio Zindagi app.

Speaker 2:

Wow, you could download and stream different genre of music nonstop. Wow, where the people like the elderly, they like more devotional, or there is a North Indian or a South Indian, or Guzzles, which is a different form of music, hip-hop or the country music, whatever you want to do. We've got 11 different streams which you could, and they were growing as well. So we took the technology part of it and kind of merged that into our overall radio, into our overall radio. So radio is not just the frequency that's aired of the towers. We also utilize the power of Facebook, insta or other live channels where we become more interactive but also reach out to the audience wherever they are. So it kind of delimits us with the coverage area. So people you know 1550 bay area could also be listened to, not just in any part of us. You could go to your uh birthplace which is baltimore. You said baltimore is where I moved from before coming here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's exactly right.

Speaker 2:

Or South Carolina. You could listen to that up there. Rick or you could be sitting anywhere in the world and listening to the broadcast, so that is where we moved out of.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's good, yeah this is really cool to me. I mean, we're sitting in a very, very I'm outclassed with my recording gear. You guys have an incredible setup here and I love, I feel special being here, thank you. Thank you. Different DJs that feature different shows or different channels. There's not really anybody running the program right now. I can hear the radio running. It's on automation, right, it's on automation, okay. So my question is, I mean, when is this space used? And then also, you were mentioning what it seemed to be like remote disc jockeys on different channels and stuff. Where are they located and how do you channel them into your app or into your station, whatever you're doing?

Speaker 3:

So sorry, so let's Seba, you answer this Right, so all right.

Speaker 6:

So it's a mixture of things, Vicky, we do have a production office in India.

Speaker 6:

We do have a production office in India. A lot of our shows are also packaged as to be in India and those are the filler shows. And when I say filler shows I mean the non-drive time, because the focus is to 10 am, which is your prime morning drive time going to work. It is being done by local radio job people who come to office. They are not employed full time, they are basically part time. Okay, they come in for the show, so they come in at the time of the show. So, like Nirav said, it looks like it's fun and it's vibrant and if you see our reviews and videos, it looks like, oh, everybody's just having fun. But honestly, every second on radio is programmed, it's managed, it's flagged way back like two weeks in advance.

Speaker 3:

You can imagine the kind of coordination.

Speaker 6:

it means so many teams, local and remote, bring everything together into the radio as one product.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that's amazing. So I'm curious you have all these different people that you have come in. You said doctors, lawyers, different people that have different shows.

Speaker 1:

As you started to explore the different people to have in to talk or to be a part of your radio station broadcast, has there been something that you have invited, maybe a person that you've invited in, that once you had them in, you were surprised at the response or the listenership that has developed from that particular person. So, in other words, maybe you thought let's give this particular you know, a teacher or a lawyer a shot at coming in and doing a show, and then you're like looking at the metrics, thinking, wow, I did not think that that was going to get the attention that it did, but it seems to be something that's really catching on. And, in other words, I think I find that the Bay Area is a place that's always reinventing itself, and I think you kind of always have to be reinventing yourself if you're going to stay with it. And so I'm just wondering if there's things that you guys have experimented with or shows that you've experimented with that you've found to be surprisingly successful. About 10 years ago, when we started this, radio.

Speaker 6:

You know we had a doctor who you know. The initial idea was to do a show around health and medicine, but he turned out to be such a great contributor because his language skills were great, his poetic skills were great, his Hollywood knowledge was great, so it became such an entertaining show, not just an informational show, but truly an all-round entertaining and informational show. That show really took us by surprise and we had a lot of listeners. There were times when you know, we had to play an archive show where people immediately called and recognized that oh, this is an archive show. That means the doctor was not in office. He was an amazing personality.

Speaker 1:

You know, one of the things that you said is that you had, for instance, a doctor come on and you thought that the information that he might give on the show might be a contributing element to to the listenership, but then you found that the way he talked and his ability to communicate, his poetic speech and all those things were very, very were even more drawing to your particular audience.

Speaker 1:

One of the things that I tell people and I didn't say it here, but I typically will say to people before we start our interview is that I'm more interested in stories than I am in data, because, I said, this is an audio, it's an audio medium, and so people they don't have the opportunity of other senses, like visual or interactive senses, to be able to stimulate them. They need to be able to be stimulated by what they hear, and stories stimulate the imagination. The imagination is the biggest tool that we have on our side, and so we need to be able to stimulate the imagination without all the data and I think that's what you guys are saying as well that has proven to be true the people not just the people who have all the knowledge, but the people that know how to communicate what they know and how they know in a way that really, really captures the listener all right, and as a radio station we also have a responsibility to you know.

Speaker 3:

Uh, give back to the community, that's right. So, in fact, when you know we had a meeting, you know a few years back that we only are into radio, let's do something for the community now. So then we came up with an idea. Let's do some events which bring culture uh back to the area, because there are so many kids who are born here doesn't know much about india. A lot of people here doesn't know much about india. So we came up with an idea and we bought an event called ganeshutsa. Okay, I would like to, you know, request RAG to talk about it.

Speaker 1:

Let's hear that.

Speaker 3:

Which is our annual event now and one of the biggest in the area.

Speaker 2:

Okay, wow, let me hear about this.

Speaker 2:

So, ganesh, see, ganesha is a god that is I'm sure you would remember him more as elephant god, okay, okay, and he's supposed to be the one who is, like, the first to be worshipped and that event is celebrated majorly across all of India, okay, majorly across all of India, okay. So what we found was like we have different temples, different places where people do some part of it, but it does not bring together the community at large, bringing them together and closer, and also looking at the grand overall scope of events that's supposed to be done at this particular event, and that's where Neeraj and his team got together. I think it's the 7th, 8th, 10th year. The same, yes, no, but we were not able to do it for a two day. Well, yeah, one year, because of covid right had to scale it down. Uh, 10th year, we have um, ganesha's uh idol, which is almost about 16 feet of the idol, and um spread over two, uh, two. Okay, you know, weekend we get a crowd of almost about 50,000 visitors at the very minimum.

Speaker 3:

One of the biggest events in the area.

Speaker 2:

Where is this held? So we started First we wanted it to be floating. Okay, the first year we started at New Park Mall, then the second, the the year next we went to mill peters, okay, um, then the year after we were at the great america parkway, then we went to santa, south san jose. Um, then, uh, we came back to icc and then we brought it back into new park mall and, uh, this year again it's. It's a two-day event in September which is going to be held at the New Park Mall, towards the AMC side, so we take the entire parking lot there. There are at least hundreds of booths where not just the cultural part, see, it's about the entertainment, it's about bringing the kids, the second generation, second or the third generation kids, bringing them closer to the culture which the parents or the grandparents would so want. So we try to bridge that gap for them and they're happy because their cultural performances, their kids getting involved, uh, there are different. Uh, 1500 plus participants, correct, right and wow that's all packed in it's uh power pack performances.

Speaker 2:

Energy is super, super high. Uh, you know the teams, especially seba. Seba has a close bond with this particular event because she comes from maharashtra, mumbai, where this is the most. It's celebrated at the grandest level. Okay, you could even imagine, yeah, and seba puts in endless hours of work, uh, trying to make it happen and so this particular, this particular event is something that you guys started, yes, yes, and in the bay area.

Speaker 1:

In the bay area, and this is something that you guys have grown and and just just done better and better every year, oh, yes it keeps getting better and better year on year and different challenges and different solutions to that you know it is interesting because I think you can be the stereotypical radio station or whatever it is.

Speaker 1:

I could be the stereotypical podcast in some ways, and there's different ways that you can just kind of do things the way that everybody else does it. But I do think you have to analyze the local community, the audience that you're connecting with, and you have to figure out what it is that they you know, what are the challenges or what are the topics that are coming up where you are. That may not exist anywhere else but they exist here. And two things. So one of my more recent episodes that I had on the podcast I think it was two weeks ago it came out there was a lady who's an actress and a filmmaker who wanted to um abuse in the home and that sort of thing and um and the uh, the, the community that she's from is an Indian community, and so she she also coming to the United States um really wanted to create something that may be connected with people that they wouldn't necessarily um receive that sort of like attention or that sort of empathy, uh, you know, in other, in other places, but that you know if you get to, if you, if you become aware of, like, the type of abuse that's in our community. Um, it's not just tied to one particular community, it's tied to like, it's, you find it everywhere, you know. And so I think that what she did was she found something that was, um, something that she had gone through personally, but then she found a way to communicate that would, that would span, um, the you know, a bigger audience, um, across a variety of people.

Speaker 1:

One other one that kind of touches to what you guys have been talking about, which I like I don't remember what episode it was, but I think it had to have been over a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago I interviewed a kid. I see a kid right now. He's in college. He's probably out of college now, but he grew up here in Fremont and he's a second-generation Indian immigrant, so his parents moved here and then he grew up here, um and uh. Then he wanted to go and become a filmmaker. So he, I actually interviewed him over I don't I don't interview most people on zoom, um, I I like to do it in person, since it's a Fremont based podcast. If I can't get there, you know I w I want to kind of do that there.

Speaker 1:

But anyway he was in school at NYU in New York City, going to school for filmmaking, and the film that he was doing for his main project was on what it's like, what it was like to grow up in Fremont as a second generation Indian immigrant. So he wrote this film that he also came back to Fremont and recorded, filmed it and produced it here. It was called Dreamline and it was his journey as somebody who wasn't from an Indian family but did not grow up in India, did not have all the culture and all the other things in his life firsthand, had to experience it through the lens of his parents, being involved in the. No doubt I'm sure if we were to talk to him he'd probably been to your festival or your big event that you've had growing up. But he wanted to write this movie and produce this movie about what it was like growing up as a second generation immigrant, trying to learn and adapt to the culture of his parents who grew up in India.

Speaker 1:

And so in some ways you guys are really tapping into. I mean, this is something that's unique here and I'm not saying it's not unique somewhere else in the United States like New York or wherever. We have a lot of other immigrants coming together from a particular area. But I do think that what you do and how you analyze the local audience here is going to be different than what you might get in another melting pot, in a different country or even in a different part of the United States. And so I think what I'm hearing from you guys is really great.

Speaker 1:

I think it's really cool to hear, because even on my street I was telling's really cool to hear uh, because even even on my street I was telling you earlier that most of the people live on my street are from India. Um matter of fact, I could probably remember them going to your festival or your uh, your, your event, because they all got dressed up and they were all headed out and they and they were like this is the biggest event in the Bay area. I had no idea what they were talking about, um, but but they must have been going to that particular uh event. Um, and, and we've worked really hard to try to, I've worked really hard to try to get to know um them and get to know that your culture through my interaction with them as well um, but these are all things that are very, very helpful and I think that you guys thinking through all these things in the way that you are is is really really good for our area.

Speaker 3:

Thank you.

Speaker 6:

And that's why I think the music is important. But talk is important too, because it's through talk that we can have a big change. It's through talk that we can open dialogue and it's through talk that we can bridge this cultural divide and make that gap smaller and smaller.

Speaker 1:

So talk is really important to us. Yeah, that's great. What were you?

Speaker 3:

going to say I was talking about. You know, you were talking about that domestic violence thing. So in fact, we, a few years back, we found that there are a lot of cases happening in Bay area, especially in our community. So we approached a you know, nonprofit organization who was helping these people and they came up with an idea. They started giving us stories of different people. So the idea was not only to get those stories on air, but the idea was that through those stories we can educate people. You know, you are not alone. Yeah, there are people who are ready to help you if you are in that situation.

Speaker 3:

That's cool yeah, we only don't think commercially, we also think, you know that we have a responsibility towards that's right. You know people, yeah, do you know? Give them, you educate them with different things.

Speaker 1:

Well, I can totally sense that you guys have. I mean, you guys are about making sure that this is a successful business, but I think, in some ways, I can already feel it from you guys that the reason you want this to be such as a big success is for the betterment of the community. Yes, to make the community a better place.

Speaker 2:

This is all the community, yes, to make the community a better place. It's all about community, yeah, and also try to, you know, get an acceptance to, you know, from different parts. So no community, no sub-community in a society be left out. Yeah, so we try get them involved in one place or another. What Neeraj mentioned was, like you know, we wanted to get that word out about domestic violence so that at least you know people are not left alone, they have a friend in need when they need it to be. You know. So, and that's what Sebo also mentioned about voices. I think we covered that covered. One part of the broadcast was dedicated to DV as well. That's great, that's great.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Well, this is really cool. If people wanted to know more information, I guess they could probably find you guys on social media as well as website.

Speaker 3:

Radio Zendagi. Okay, everyone you know, especially in our community, knows us, but for other people who doesn't know us, you can log on to wwwradiosindiggycom. And we are on social media too. We are on Instagram. We are on Facebook very active now. Not only through radio you can listen to us, you can listen to us through app also. You can see all our podcasts on our Facebook too.

Speaker 2:

Rick, I just wanted to add on. I think most of us do know the meaning of Radio. Zindagi Radio, obviously radio, but Zindagi is life Okay.

Speaker 7:

Thank you, that's cool.

Speaker 2:

And that's why a tagline is Radio Zindagi GHR. It's like GHR means live, live your life. That's why a tagline is Radio Zindagi GHR. It's like GHR means live. Live your life. That's great. So that's very important. Like breathing is not just living. Ensuring that you're able to do what you want to, to be able to enjoy each and every moment, that's great and that's how you live. That's great, that's great Seva.

Speaker 3:

any parting? No, absolutely. Thank you so much.

Speaker 6:

Sometimes it's just nice to hear your own thoughts about your own product.

Speaker 1:

I completely understand that. I think sometimes you ask me what is the Fremont podcast? Or tell me a little bit about it before we get started. Fremont podcast, or tell me a little bit about it before we get started. Um, you know, and I, I do say a lot of the same things, but then I find myself maybe I've thought about it a little bit differently, or I met somebody and we had a conversation about it, and then it just just verbalizing it allows me to be able to express maybe a different facet of it that I don't normally think about or that I don't normally say. So I I do think it is helpful, especially when you're on the back end of things. You guys are the ones behind all of this making it happen.

Speaker 1:

I think that sometimes, for I'll, I'll, I'll back up just a little bit and I'll say this I've had, I've had moments, especially recently, where I just wanted to give up on the podcast because I'm just I'm just like I, I it's a lot of work, it's not, it's not a, it's not my main thing, and I think, chasing down sponsors and trying to find the financial support and the just all the other support that I need, I have an, I have an incredible team. I have two that work with me and they schedule and they edit and they do all that stuff. But it's just sometimes it's just a lot of work and sometimes you're like I just want to. I'm call it quits. It was a good run. You know, we had over 100 episodes. But then you run into somebody and you're like they're like I heard your episode and this, it changed me, it did this and this and this for me, and you're just like, oh my goodness, like if, if everything I did was to help that one person, it it feels like it was worth doing it.

Speaker 2:

It was worth it.

Speaker 1:

And so I imagine with you guys, even like on various parts, all the contributions that you give to make this a reality. I'm sure there's times where it's just like exhausting, and you know this is a lot of work, but I can see where you guys get the feedback from people.

Speaker 7:

Yeah, exactly yeah.

Speaker 1:

And then it just kind of spurs you on to do, to do more and to do better. And even having the conversation now, getting you guys all together in the same conversation, to be able to hear, hear you and say, yeah, this is why we're here, this is what we're doing and this is why we're doing it. You know, I think that's really good, very true, yeah, that's great. Well, thank you all you all.

Speaker 3:

We have a lot of listeners who feel that way.

Speaker 1:

What's that? Say that again.

Speaker 6:

No, I said we have a lot of listeners who you know exactly what you said, right, I mean you know, when they call in like almost into every show or they participate in our you know different things that we do, whether it be a raffle or a contest or just call in and tell us your views, I mean we realize some of you listeners take us so you know so seriously they listen to us every day. It's almost like a lifeline for them, you know. And then just one parting thing was that you know music today is available everywhere.

Speaker 6:

You can have your own uh list right like your music, yeah, yeah but when there's a radio job, you're listening to radio, you're driving your car and there's a song that comes up which is not on any of your list, but it's a beautiful song, it's something you love, maybe long ago, maybe when you were growing up, and when you listen to that song and it brings up those memories, it transforms you back into that space and time. The beauty of that is just that natural moment. That nostalgia is amazing. So sometimes it's nice to listen to music that is curated by someone else, because it might have a little meaning in there for you.

Speaker 1:

I like that. I like that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and to end, you know, I will tell you one good story.

Speaker 3:

I want to hear it yeah so you know, a few years back we got a call and a lady she used to call in every show and we were doing I don't remember exactly what was the show about, but she started sharing her you know life story. She said I was about to end my life, I was so frustrated, I was alone, and suddenly I start listening to the radio Zindagi and the way the RJs responded to me. I thought I got a family in Bay area and she used to call in every show and every RJ used to, you know, talk to her and you know give her some advice or you know she used to, you know talk about. You know what she's thinking today and because of that, and she used to demand a lot of songs, you know what she wants to listen. And she said my life changed and I you know that this because of Radio Zendiky. I'm alive now. That's great, I mean, even if we can contribute to one life.

Speaker 3:

I think we are done. That's great. I love it.

Speaker 2:

And it's truly worth it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah it's truly worth it.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you guys. Thank you all for being a part of this podcast. I'm excited to be able to share this episode with our community and, yeah, thanks for taking the time to be here with me.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, Rick, for all the one and good luck for best wishes for all the wonderful work that you've been doing.

Speaker 1:

Thank you.

Speaker 2:

Thank you.

Speaker 1:

I would love that. It would be my honor to do that. So yeah, whenever you have something open or when you have an idea, let me know, and I'd love to try to make that happen.

Speaker 3:

Thank you, Ricky, yeah thank you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you Thank you.

Speaker 4:

This episode was hosted and produced by Ricky B. I'm Gary Williams, scheduling and pre-interviews by Sarah S. Be sure to subscribe wherever it is that you listen so you don't miss an episode. You can find everything we make the podcast and all of our social media links at thefremontpodcastcom. Join us next week on the Fremont Podcast.

Speaker 1:

I just wanted to give up on the podcast because I'm just like it's a lot of work. To give up on the podcast because I'm just like it's a lot of work, it's not my main thing and I think chasing down sponsors and trying to find the financial support.

Speaker 5:

Please consider donating $1 a month on a reoccurring basis to help this podcast that you enjoy. Buymeacoffeecom. Slash TheFremontPodcast slash membership.

Speaker 7:

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Behind the Scenes of Fremont Radio
Multicultural Radio Station Creative Production
Community Radio Station and Cultural Event
Community Impact of Radio Zindagi
Importance of Feedback and Support
Supporting the Fremont Podcast