Remembering Ameen Sayani through the airwaves

‘Bahioyn Aur Behno’ – Ameen Sayani is no more. The voice that echoed behind the radio broadcast for many decades, enthralling listeners, has left the mortal world on February 21 into another journey. He was 91. For the entertainment world, this is a sad day.

In the melodious panorama of radio broadcasts across the vast expanse of Asia, there emerged a luminary whose voice resonated with the hearts and souls of countless listeners, weaving an enchanting spell that endured over time.


Sayani, a maestro of the airwaves, etched his name indelibly in the annals of Indian broadcasting, spanning an illustrious and impressive career of 42 years. With each dulcet tone, he wove a unique blend of nostalgia and joy, captivating generations with the entrancing melodies of Bollywood.

Like a timeless symphony, his voice became a cherished companion to those who tuned in, a beacon of warmth and familiarity in the ever-changing currents of life. Through his dedication and passion, Sayani emerged not just as a broadcaster but as a custodian of cultural heritage. His legacy is a testament to the enduring power of music to unite and uplift the human spirit.

Sayani’s journey into the enchanting world of radio began at the tender age of seven, mentored by his elder brother Hamid Sayani, a commercial broadcaster, who introduced him to the captivating medium. Radiating passion from his very core, Sayani’s early footsteps echoed drawing his fans to him and marking him as one of the pioneers in the realm of broadcasting. Graduating from Mumbai University with a degree in history, he embarked on a transformative odyssey that would redefine the landscape of Bollywood music presentation.

The year was 1952. Sayani unfurled the iconic Binaca Geetmala on the storied waves of Radio Ceylon, (what is now Sri Lanka). As the curtains rose on his illustrious show, Sayani’s mellifluous voice became a beacon, drawing multitudes of listeners into a harmonious reverie. Initially a modest half-hour rendezvous, its resounding success soon propelled it into the realms of an hour-long extravaganza, a testament to the magnetic allure Sayani exuded. His endearing greeting, “Hello, sisters and brothers,” instead of ‘Ladies and Gentleman’ uttered in the language of the heart, became not just a salutation but a cherished emblem of camaraderie, weaving a timeless bond with his devoted audience, casting ripples of nostalgia that endure through the sands of time.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while expressing his grief on X (earlier Twitter) wrote: “Shri Ameen Sayani Ji’s golden voice on the airwaves had a charm and warmth that endeared him to people across generations. Through his work, he played an important role in revolutionising Indian broadcasting and nurtured a very special bond with his listeners”.

Similarly in a post on X, President Droupadi Murmu wrote, “The demise of Shri Ameen Sayanji marks the end of an era for radio listeners in India and many countries. He had made a special place in the hearts of people with his natural style of presenting radio programs, impressive voice and unique flow. He made a special contribution to the popularity of accessible music and cinema. I express my condolences to the countless radio listeners who loved him and to the family members of Shri Ameen Sayani ji.”

Renowned for his mellifluous voice, Sayani has etched his name in the annals of broadcasting history by hosting and comparing over 54,000 radio programs, each delivery, proving his mastery of the craft.

Additionally, his indelible imprint on the advertising world is immortalised in the Limca Book of Records, where he is celebrated for lending his voice to approximately 19,000 jingles, infusing each with his unique flair and unmatched professionalism. Ameen Sayani’s contributions transcend mere numbers, embodying an enduring legacy of excellence and innovation that continues to inspire generations of aspiring artists.

Renowned film director and producer, Mahesh Bhatt, once remarked about Sayani’s influence, stating that “Ameen Sayani’s voice was a bridge that connected a nation. His iconic show ‘Binaca Geetmala’ wasn’t just about music but about bringing people together through the shared experience of listening.”

Indeed, Sayani’s impact transcended mere entertainment; he became a cultural icon whose voice resonated with listeners of all ages. His ability to evoke nostalgia and transport listeners to a bygone era earned him a special place in the hearts of his audience. Even in the age of digitisation and DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), Sayani’s recorded voice remains etched in the hearts and minds of generations of listeners who grew up listening to the unforgettable gestures of “Namaskar bhaiyon aur behno, main aapka dost Ameen Sayani bol raha hoon.”

This will remain with us for many more years. Farewell Ameen Sahab!

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