From sports to space

Harsha Bhogle narrates the story of Indian space programme’s unbelievable journey in Mission ISRO, a Spotify authentic podcast

There is one thing nice about Harsha Bhogle. Most followers of Indian cricket would agree to this. His bespectacled face, typically discovered with a smile, exudes a boyish allure. His presence evokes exuberance — it most likely explains his success as a motivational speaker. But it’s his voice — a glittering reward that he has well-burnished — that endears probably the most. It is, undoubtedly, the star of Mission ISRO, a Spotify authentic podcast that recounts the extraordinary story of the Indian space programme.

But the podcast doesn’t start with Harsha’s voice. It begins with this whistle-worthy dialogue:

Upar se Bharat kaisa dikta hain aapko? [How does India look from above?]” Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asks Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma.

Sqdn Ldr Sharma, the primary individual from this nation to be in outer space, replies, quoting poet Sir Muhammad Iqbal, “Saare jahaan se achcha! [Better than the whole world!]”.

This second from 1984 is taken into account seminal in Indian space historical past. The story, in actual fact, begins a lot earlier. The seed for the space programme, we be taught from Harsha, was sown earlier than India was born. The first episode tracks the tales of two males who planted it: Vikram Sarabhai and Homi Bhabha.

“Names like Bhabha and Sarabhai, and later [Satish] Dhawan, were heroes when we were young,” says Harsha. Growing up in Osmania University, Hyderabad (each his mother and father have been professors) maybe explains his admiration for achievers in science.

He, nevertheless, admits he isn’t a space geek. “I was aware of what was happening around the world. I used to read about Gagarin, Sputnik, Apollo 11, Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins. So, Rakesh Sharma’s space mission was a wow moment.”

It isn’t just his love for science that made him join Mission ISRO; it’s his fondness to work in an audio-only medium. Harsha’s voice was acquainted earlier than his face. He was a star radio commentator (with stints within the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and British Broadcasting Corporation amongst others) earlier than coming into tv.

“[A podcast] is intimate. It is sort of a good friend telling you a narrative (at the least I hope we’ve got managed to obtain that with Mission ISRO). Remember we’ve got that custom in India and I hope this continues that. I like the heat of an audio-only medium. It would not have particular results to depend on and should depend upon the story being properly written and properly instructed. It is barely tougher however simply as satisfying.”

He reminisces concerning the early days of his profession in AIR Yuvavani studio. “I love being in recording studios. Playing around with your voice, seeing other people do it. The early announcers on air were fantastic and we travelled the world through their voices. It has always held a fascination for me. And, I don’t distract people with my face.”

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