Ameen Sayani, Iconic Radio Presenter and Voice of Geetmala, Passes Away at 91

Ameen Sayani, the voice that echoed through radios for 42 years with his iconic style, has bid farewell. At the age of 91, Ameen Sayani passed away in Mumbai due to a heart attack.

Ameen Sayani’s son, Rajil, revealed that his father suffered a heart attack on Tuesday evening, after which he was rushed to the hospital. Despite efforts, he could not be saved. Rajil mentioned that the final rites of his father will be conducted on Thursday, with some relatives awaiting arrival.

From 1952 to 1994, Ameen Sayani hosted the immensely popular radio show “Geetmala”. It was through Ameen Sayani’s voice that this radio show gained popularity nationwide.

PM Modi expressed grief at Ameen Sayani’s demise, acknowledging his contribution to Indian broadcasting. He wrote on social media, “Ameen Sayani Ji’s golden voice carried such beauty and enthusiasm that connected him with people across generations. Through his work, he revolutionized Indian broadcasting, creating a special bond with his audience. I am saddened by his departure. Condolences to his family, admirers, and all radio lovers. May his soul rest in peace.”

Ameen Sayani commenced his career as an English broadcaster. Born on December 21, 1932, in Mumbai, Sayani began his career with All India Radio, Mumbai. Introduced by his brother Hamid Sayani, he initially worked for English programs. After independence, he shifted towards Hindi. Sayani’s true recognition came with the start of the radio show “Geetmala” in December 1952.

The show, initially named Binaca Geetmala, was broadcasted on Radio Ceylon. Its 30-minute program became a sensation in 1952. Renamed “Cibaca Geetmala“, then “Hit Parade”, the show continued to be broadcasted, garnering immense popularity across South Asia. Due to its success, “Geetmala” ran for 42 years. Later, it was revived with minor changes in 2000-2001 and 2001-2003.

Ameen Sayani set records as a voice-over artist. He hosted over 54,000 radio programs, lending his voice to many. His name is listed in the Limca Book of World Records for the most voice-overs and jingles, totaling over 19,000.

Sayani also appeared as a radio announcer in several films, including “Bhoot Bangla”, “Teen Deviyan”, “Boxer”, and “Kaatil”. His interviews with personalities like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, and Raj Kapoor significantly increased his fan following.

During his struggling days, Ameen Sayani once declined to meet Amitabh Bachchan, who visited Mumbai’s radio studio for an audition without an appointment. Sayani rejected Bachchan without even hearing his voice, saying, “People will be scared hearing your voice.”