By: Midas Star Weekend – September 4, 2004
Welcome to the Breakfast Show with Sohail Hashmi” he says every morning, expect on Sunday, at 10, but only after he wished his listeners “Good Morning”, not once, not twice but three times. “We are going to have a nice time,” he adds. This is on City FM 89, the radio station which is enjoying more and more listener ship day after day.
Most people like to hear him because he has a fine expressive voice and there is an unimpeded flow in his delivery. There are some, not many though, who without di sosputing his fluency and voice quality, claim that he is a little syrupy. When I meet a suave Sohail Hashmi I ask him what does he have to say about the comment. He looks at me as if I have said something odd but soon melts and adds “Looks, if you make someone’s day, you are not being syrupy, you are merely being nice. If I try to sound sweet and cheerful it is because most of my listeners are driving to their workplaces at that hour and in the morning all of us need to cheer up.
Remember a whole day lies ahead. You think of all that you have to do and not everything is going to be easy. You are worried about the deadlines that you have to meet and the targets that you have to achieve. There are so many things weighing in your mind.”
“But you do use compliments quite generously when you are talking to your callers,” I persist.What’s the harm in paying generous compliments?” comes the reply.
Sohail Hashmi is an RJ( Radio Jockey) with the City FM 89. “I don’t like the term RJ or even DJ(Disc Jockey). When I hear the two terms it seems as if I am sitting on a horse and whipping it. I think they should use the term Radio Presenter or simply RP,” comments Hashmi.
I asked him if he can recall his granddad’s (Late Hafeez Jullunduri ) famous poem Abhi tou mein jawan hoon, he says he does, but he doesn’t like the tune of Malika Pukhaj’s rendition of the ghazal. “It’s so dismal,” he says, them he goes back to his being torn between two different worlds. “We were the time-wrap children, with our feet planted in two diverse soils” says Sohail Hashmi, inducing me to ask him if he misses London, especially whenever there is power outage or when he discovers, to his dismay, that there is no water in the tap?
“Yes, things can be quite difficult here, but then it’s my country. I am more or less a commoner there, here I am Sohail Hashmi, the presenter of a popular radio programme,” he says”, as he smiles from ear to ear.
As for his experience as a radio jockey, sorry radio presenter, he says that he had a stint with Toofan FM in London eight years ago. I was only filling in for a friend of mine for a month. That was also broadcast during peak listening hour.
He loves his assignment with City FM89 so much that expect for one morning when he had to undergo a surgery he has never missed hosting a single show. The following day he was back in harness.
Sohail Hashmi has been very much into different genres of the Western music and his knowledge of Jazz, Jazz Blue, Funk and Soul music is impressive. In the morning he plays songs which fall into this category. “I play Pakistani music also, by Pakistani music I mean film music and pop music, “he hastens to add.
He claims he takes his own CDs with him for his programme. Needless to say, he is quite an impressive collection. “I don’t plan my show completely. It’s a semi-planned mysterious musical journey, is how I would like to put it,”says the presenter about Breakfast Show with Sohail Hashmi for which he has to get up early in the morning, 6 30 to be precise. His Sunday Affair with Sohail Hashmi has more convenient timing—5pm to 7pm, and is also broadcasted from the Islamabad station of the City FM 89. The hallmarks of the programmed are smoothing romantic duties.
He is quite excited about the inroads that FM stations are making and says that the station that he lends his voice to creating waves in not just Karachi but also in Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad.
“Those who insisted that television has pushed the radio into oblivion are now eating there words. No effective medium can replace another effective medium. And you have seen TV could not replace cinema either”, opines Hashmi. Suddenly he stops walking to and fro and sinks into a chair and then continues “Mind you, radio is a very non-invasive medium. You can do ten things at a time and yet listen to it,” he concludes. Just when I think the man is exhausted he looks at his wrist watch and says “Sorry, I am getting late for my next appointment.” And off he goes, only to return after a few seconds. “I have just finished my website- www.sohailhashmi.com. Please mention that,” he added and makes a second exit in less than a minute.