Houston’s Masala Radio units the Indian community
Updated: Jun 26
Masala Radio, a Hindi radio station of Houston is a hub of prime-time Bollywood station, known for featuring continuous quality programmes, including music and talk shows surrounding Bollywood, with a simultaneous approach to promoting and hosting events in view of celebrating Indian festivals. Established in 1993, this station has been able to captivate the audience so far, given the interesting programmes they come up with. The channel is hosted by Sunil Thakkar, a comedian who rose up to popularity in Star One's The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. Sunil is an Indian origin settled in the US and had initially worked as an RJ for Masala Cruises. This was followed by the inception of Masala Radio, an attempt to create a miniature form of India within the States.
Settled in the United States, Sunil had a bit of the Indianness in him, which he evoked out by starting the radio channel, meant for the Indian Americans to come together. Although a virtual platform, NRIs who are really missing out on something, could ease their heart by attaching themselves to this particular station. As mentioned earlier, Masala Radio not only connects people through music, but it also specialises in organising events from time to time. It successfully organises festivity related events like Diwali events, encompassing people who take delight in the celebration. Diwali being the joyous festival is celebrated with ecstasy among the Hindus, marking the return of Lord Rama post his vanvaas, and celebrating the victory of good over evil. People lit up their houses with diyas and candles. The Indian people in Houston get an amazing opportunity to unite together to begin the celebration of Diwali, with the team’s efforts. The radio station team make the best possible arrangements by setting up the stadium for the event. Almost all tickets are sold out to witness the decorations, dancing, Indian fashion, and lights circling all around. They try to create a space that could make the Indians feel their home being physically away from India. With sweets in demand for the festival, Indian sweet shops get inundated with orders for the festive season.
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The other festival which has been the talk of Houston is the festival of colours, that is Holi. Sunil Thakkar and his team give their best effort to organise the Holi fest and Sandhya Thakkar, the wife to Sunil, is an equal contributor in organising the event. This is not restricted to the Indians only, anybody could join the fun. Provision of colours and food is done.
These manifestations are a testimony to the fact that irrespective of settling in a foreign land they haven’t given up on their roots yet. They still cling to their Indian roots and with this aim of staying intact to their roots, they make efforts in uniting Indian in America through the radio station and festival celebration events. This platform gives each Indian an opportunity to embrace their identity, and even get rid of the loneliness or homesickness which many would come across.
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