The delightful Akashwani signature tune is 80 years old!!!


I am sure, like me, many of you’ll must have grown up listening to the radio early in the morning. We used to be woken up by the Akashwani signature tune, with the aroma of coffee or tea from the kitchen. It was the time mother used to start her work, dad used to get ready for his office, and we kids used to get up to a new rising day. The newspaper used to be flinged from entrance of the house, the milkman used to bring milk which my mom used to take in a steel can.

There was a beautiful compound between the two buildings where we lived in my childhood with a small beautiful garden and tall trees, and there was a small pond right next to our house, so we had a lot of birds and squirrels in our compound. We could hear the birds chirping clearly and there were so many different birds, each with a different chirp and sometimes they sat on our window sill and tap the glass with their beaks. It was so amazing!

The morning hustle and bustle used to start with this Akashwani radio tune. With it, the sunlight used to enter our house. It used enter home with stripe through the gap between the wall and the roof. The older people of the house would sit idly listening to the morning bhajan on the radio.

All India Radio’s caller tune has been heard by hundreds of millions of people since it was composed in 1936. This melody is based on raga Shivaranjini, and was composed by one Czech man Walter Kaufmann. He was the director of music at AIR and was one of the many Jewish refugees who found a haven in India from the Nazis.

Kaufmann had arrived in India in February 1934 and ended up staying for 14 years. Within a few months of landing in Mumbai, Kaufmann founded the Bombay Chamber Music Society, which performed every Thursday at the Willingdon Gymkhana.

The caller tune of radio is 80 years old; but still has not lost its charm. Every morning since then, this beautiful tune has been played at the beginning of the morning telecast of AIR, and with time has stamped itself into the memories of everyone who listened to radio in India. Some things never get old…..  This radio caller tune comes as a fresh air every day in the morning. We all still love it and it has become a part of our life. Kudos to this everlasting radio caller tune!!



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  1. So true Vidya, some things don’t get old….and this ever young tune is a very good example of it. Whenever you hum it, it takes it back to our golden and magical days! It’s admirable of Mr. Walter Kauffman to use Raag shivaranjani and create such lovely tune. Thank you Vidya for sharing the tune along with information!!

  2. खरच मला आजही आठवतय त्याकाळी बहुतेकदा सकाळी ६च्या दरम्यान भक्तीगीते व भावगीतांचा कार्यक्रम सादर व्हायचा आणि माझ मन “मुंगी ऊडाली आकाशी” हे गीत ऐकायला आतूर असायच आणि ते हमखास लागायचही,,ही ट्यून बहुतेक घरातून सकाळी लागायचीच ,,,आणि आमची सकाळ व्हायची,,मस्त आठवणी आहेत त्या वेळच्या,,,,