Life’s a song…and dance! With our September ReWo star RJ Radhika – it’s also joie-de-vivre and tonnes of positivity. A youth icon in her right, this petite diva is a charming blend of girly mojo, innocent freshness, feminine classiness, ageless beauty and inspiring confidence – a true representation of the modern woman. Her love for fashion, life and design sensibilities resonates closely with ethos – close to our hearts – at Saree.com. She chose us, because she shares our deep love for ethnic and Indian dressing.
In the course of her work as a successful Radio Jockey with a leading national station, Radhika meets innumerable people. Vivacious and full of life, she has a considerable fan following. Generous compliments from these loving folks fill her days. And, in her own words, they admire her the most, when she is dressed in her favorite sarees, salwar suits and Indo-Western quirky kurtas.
Witnessing her hand-pick elegant handloom sarees from Asopalav’s mammoth collection, as we discussed looks, themes and locations, was a treat in itself. And, we couldn’t help but feel a swell of pride, as she looked marvelous, in two finalized subtle drapes – one a modern-day, no ostentation, limited-edition Kanjeevaram saree in off-white and black with bright yellow stealing the limelight – and another a heirloom, traditional temple weave Pattu saree – in Radhika’s favorite colors – emerald green and turmeric yellow. The results were bound to be spectacular – and are here for you to see, as Radhika ambled and posed majestically, amidst teeming crowds, against the stunning cultural backdrop of the heritage city of Ahmedabad.
What we found most endearing about her were her natural comfort and grace – a feeling of being 100% secure in her skin. Warm and positive, she always believes that one must follow one’s heart – and mind – instead of bowing down to societal demands or diktats – be it for dressing, choosing a career, living life or anything else. “Live your life for yourself.” – is her mantra!
On the whole, there’s a lot to learn from our spirited ReWo icon – not to forget her adept eye for aesthetics and ethnic Indian fashion. But, it would be best to tell it all in her own words. Hence, here are the excerpts from the fun interaction we had with the pretty lady –
Saree.com – What has been your life journey like?
Radhika – The journey has been lovely, and every day I try to make it even more worthwhile – for myself, my loved ones and for the society as a whole. I grew up in Ahmedabad in a loving family.
Saree.com – What kind of a person are you?
Radhika – People often mistake my public persona to be same as my personal one. However, I am a private person, and when a workday ends, I am in my own cocoon. My close set of friends comprises of my group from theatre and college. Making new contacts is not my forte. Please don’t mistake this for arrogance – but I am chilled out; I don’t feel the need to socialize or network aggressively.
I stay relaxed, and closely follow the advice of dear friend RJ Nehal – who had once told me to ‘leave behind my RJ tag’ – when I go out. Well, that keeps me grounded!
Saree.com – And, what is your personal style like?
Radhika – Always willing to see the bright side of life, I am not complacent and believe in reinventing myself. As for my personal style – well, there’s nothing set. I love to experiment and curate new, ‘different’ styles and looks – almost everyday. People around me are used to this, and on days, when I don’t make an effort to dress up – they are left wondering what’s wrong!!
Saree.com – Are Indian outfits and sarees a part of your routine?
Radhika – Oh, absolutely! I am often told that “I have an Indian face” – I enjoy these compliments. I am smitten by Indian textiles and sarees, and often wear casual sarees, on regular workdays. I create fusion looks with modern linen, cotton and plain sarees. I am sharing a secret with you – I drape my sarees over leggings, and I feel super comfortable! I hardly need a few minutes to dexterously drape one.
Kurtas, Indo-Western ensembles – and for festivals like Navratri, chaniya cholis and lehengas are super favorites. I love accessorizing and Indian, tribal and folk jewelry are a huge draw.
Saree.com – What style tips you have for our readers and your followers?
Radhika – For me style is a very personal thing, and I wish to give the same advice to others. Have confidence in yourself – anything looks great when you wear your identity, personal quirks and individuality. Insecurity and lack of self-belief show through our body language. “Be confident of yourself!”
Also, every outfit lends you a certain ‘feel’ – embrace that, complement this feel with your personal style and see how others are enamored.
Saree.com – Something about your family and background…
Radhika – I grew up and studied in Kalol and Ahmedabad, and live with my parents and brother. My dad has a background in music. As a kid, I was often put to sleep, with him singing melodious tunes. My grandma’s fondest memories are of her humming and teaching me regional and folk Gujarati songs – some of which, by the way, I still remember by heart. Music runs deep in my veins! My mum’s my best friend; we talk about everything under the sun. I am close to a few select people.
Saree.com – Did you always want to get into Radio Jockeying, or another creative career?
Radhika – I am a creative person, and a dancer. I love singing, and though I have not had formal training, people tell me I am good. Thanks to my family’s influence – I know Ghazals, Sufi music and endless regional, folk and devotional songs – some really ‘different’ ones too. I have learnt Western and contemporary dance forms; I was in the special potential batch at Shiamak Davar’s dance academy. I also dabble in theatre. As a vocation, performing arts were an option – but believe you me, thoughts of a career in Radio had never crossed my mind. Instead, I fuelled my creative passions, by dancing and getting myself a degree in fashion design. I briefly worked as a designer with a fashion house. I have also learnt Kuchipudi, and am now learning Kathak – from the renowned dance school Kadamb.
Saree.com – Then, how did you get into this field?
Radhika – I have to thank my mom for this. She had heard about this upcoming RJ training by a leading channel. People used to compliment my diction and expression, and she wanted me to give this a try. I joined it, but I kept bunking my classes during the training, until one of the instructors (who liked my performance) sternly told me to be regular. I was one among the 15 people (out of 65-70) selected for a 2 weeks internship, and then 1 of the 2 who received offers as RJs. And, the rest is history! It has been 4 years that I have been into this hugely fulfilling role, and I love it.
Saree.com – What is your schedule like? And, how do you manage it?
Radhika – Well, many people feel – all we have to do, as an RJ, is come, chirp and go – but no, that’s not the case. There’s a lot more to this role, which involves scripting, campaigns, planning, back-end work, events, long hours and lots of commitment and emotional involvement. It’s not easy, but it’s awesomely stimulating. As far as managing is concerned – I have one fundamental that I abide by – “Do what you love and you will never have a dull moment!” – and that is how everything fits in. There are difficult, bad days, but there is always some satisfaction at the end of it. That is what matters!
Saree.com – What makes your work memorable?
Radhika – Every day! My passion and so many little ways, we are able to touch people’s lives – and small incidents – during events and such – where we get immense love from people. Once, we were doing a fashion show for an NGO for blind girls. No one had announced my name, but a girl Nikita approached me – and asked me if I was RJ Radhika. She could not see – but she had recognized me by my voice! It was ‘the’ moment that made me realize how beautiful my work is. Likewise, once I was at a skin clinic, and had a face-mask on, a girl walked up to me, as she too had recognized me. She told me she was inspired by me! I was speechless – it made my day.
Saree.com – How do make a ‘difference’ with your work?
Radhika – I always tell me listeners to “Be what they are!” I tell my women listeners to support each other – and compliment each other. You never know which little praise or gentle gesture of affection will make someone’s day. I never stop myself too from praising someone – with absolute genuineness. Through our campaigns like ‘Amdavad Chup Che’, ‘I don’t care’, ‘Guys, it’s okay to share’ etc. – we try and spread awareness on important issues.
Saree.com – Your parting message…
Radhika – I immensely enjoyed my shoot with Saree.com and Asopalav. Sarees are a great way to express your individuality and just don’t feel apprehensive in wearing them. Like me, find novel ways to reinvent sarees, suits and everything else. Smile a lot – as others will smile at you that way – for positivity brings positivity! For women in relationships – do not put all your eggs in your relationship nest – keep growing in your work and nurture your hobbies, self and talents.