With the aspiration of being a voice that inspires, RJ Shelee from Radio One outlines her path as an RJ to a Bollywood writer.
Shelee Ganguly started her career at Radio One at the age of 19. She had always wanted to study the art of filmmaking but the lack of support from her family prompted her to take up the role of a radio jockey at Radio One. She later enrolled and graduated from the Film School of SRFTI, Kolkata. Beginning her journey as a fresh voice in Radio with nothing to lose, Shelee soon realized the responsibilities that came with the perks. It was when she had no idea what came next that Radio became her strength and a friend. Shelee emerged as the only female jockey in the city of Kolkata who broached political conversations on-air; taking up serious topics that even put her wellbeing at risk. During one such instance, she had to go underground after having shown support for a rape victim. This was when she came face to face with the real strength of her medium. Shelee embarked and ruled the Radio Industry for over 10 years, with the Number 1 show of the city.
"I wanted to become a person with opinions and to have a voice that mattered; a voice that would inspire,"
At 24, Shelee became the Programming Head East of Radio One and stuck to the role for about 6 years. Throughout her 12 years on air, Shelee still held the dream of making films and becoming a director. "It was always there, even with my corporate job with a good salary, I still wanted to do more." She then took a sabbatical from Radio in 2020.
"Here I am, enjoying my Radio Sabbatical, writing for global OTT platforms. I just completed writing my latest project with Anuraadha Tewari, who is known for her movies like Fashion and Heroine. I am crafting characters, writing stories, and building ideas for more to come," Shelee added.
"Writing for Bollywood has been amazing. An entire year was spent on research where I had to go back to the roots and explore. Individuals from Bollywood work quite professionally, where they know what they want and are focused and clear. Hence, working with them trained me to be a better writer and better person. I learned how to write and approach people, while also picking up on their work ethics."
Coming from the peaceful atmosphere of the Northeast and settling in the bustling metro city of Kolkata proved to be a task for her, but the ever-so-friendly and talkative Shelee handled the change with grace. She was soon heading the Programming Squad at Radio One with a team full of men, which was empowering for her in itself. This proved to be her only struggle where she worked hard to maintain a friendly atmosphere and was fortunately blessed with a band of understanding and trusted men.
"There were days when things seemed tough, I too have cried and spent my time under the blanket, but the very next day, I would get up and get going. It was because I knew that the day would not last forever and I had to keep going."
Shelee is a men's rights advocate, who believes in gender equality and has raised her voice against the toxic masculinity that permeates our society. She has also been awarded by the Governor of Bengal twice for her work in the field of Radio and her other social endeavors. Shelee believes that being surrounded by supportive people and having an amazing audience is her greatest achievement.
This was her advice for the readers:
“Just be yourself, for it works. In this day and age of social media, where you have an aware and intelligent audience, it is important to be your true authentic self, on-air and on social platforms. Enjoy being yourself without having to worry about anyone else's opinions."