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Sitting around a virtual campfire

By November 9, 2017No Comments

Source : The Hindu


RJ Praveen talks about all that goes into narrating horror stories on radio

All of us love stories and if the story in question has supernatural elements, then it is an added bonus as the horror stories on radio, ‘Ek Kahaani Aisi bhi’ prove.

RJ Praveen, the host of the show says, “Storytelling is a form which will never die out. Every one grows up listening to stories.”

Talking from Kolkata, the Red FM RJ says, “When the chance to engage people on radio came up, we felt there cannot be a better medium than stories especially horror stories. The thing about horror is people who get scared listen out of curiosity and those who are not scared listen to find out what happens.”

Commenting that story telling on radio is dying out, Praveen says, “Attentive listening is lost. We decided on the story format and since India is a country of beliefs and disbeliefs, we chose the horror genre.”

Insisting he had full confidence in his narration, Praveen says, “I wrote all the stories. Narrating them on air, acting them on air was challenging as well. We worked very hard on the soundscape, on each and every moment, the story’s high point, the ambience was created, through the use of music and sound effects.”

Praveen worked on the series with another RJ called Dev.

“We worked together on this project—ideation, packaging and getting the sound engineer to give the sound. We completed three seasons with 300 stories in one and a half years.”

The national show was aired across the country across 25 cities. “We are definitely planning Season 4. People’s expectations are very high. The tagline for season 2 was Is baar darr dugna hoga (double the fear) while for season 3 the tagline was is baar darr saat reh jaayega (the fear will stay with you). We have set the bar high for ourselves. Season 4 has to be completely out of the box.”

‘Ek Kahani Aisi bhi’ was awarded best narrated show at the New York Radio Festival in 2015 and 2016. It was also awarded the third best show for innovation. What makes the stories work according to Praveen is the modern approach. “There are no purani havelisbhoot or pret. Here there are paranormal occurrences with modern devices like a sim card, a ring tone or GPS.”

Saying that he believes in the paranormal, Praveen says, “There are energies, positive and negative. If you believe in and pray to a higher power, I am sure there is life after death. I am sure our elders were not talking in the air. Why do paranormal researchers exist? I am sure all this doesn’t happen because of fear. There must be some basis, so it is a definite yes from my side.”

The stories started off being 12 minutes long, but then people wanted more so they grew to be 25 to 30 minutes long. The first Indian radio show that has been adapted into a book, stories from the first season are available as a book and there is an audio CD as well. All the episodes are also available on YouTube and Saavn.

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