Shammi Narang

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Shammi Narang
Shammi Narang's Profile Image.jpg
Born 25 November 1956
Delhi
Residence New Delhi, India
Nationality Indian
Education Post graduate degree in Metallurgical Engineering
Alma mater YMCA / IIT, Delhi
Occupation Voice Artist, Emcee, Entrepreneur.
Known for National News Presenter, Voice of Delhi Metro, Director of Studio Pindrop
Spouse(s) Dolly Narang
Website
www.studiopindrop.com

Shammi Narang is a voice-over artist, ex news anchor, emcee and entrepreneur based in Delhi, best known for raising the standards of news-casting in India.[1] Graduating with an engineering degree,[2] Narang first got into the voice-over profession by working in the Hindi division of Voice of America.[3] Later he was selected from among 100,000 candidates into Doordarshan, which was then the only channel in India,[3] and became the 'face of Doordarshan news reading' and Indian Television in general during the 1970s - 80s.[2] His rendering of Sarab Sanjhi Gurbani has become the voice of Sikhs globally as well.[1]

After the advent of Satellite television which brought down the TRP ratings of Doordarshan, Narang left the channel and instead started training upcoming and budding news anchors, journalists, voice-over artists and emcees.[2] Even today,the country's top news casters hail him with great admiration, with many of them having been personally trained by Narang.

All in-train and in-station voice prompts and announcements of the Delhi Metro are also recorded in Narang's voice, thus ensuring yet again that his voice is heard by millions on a daily basis .[2] Narang is also the Managing Director of the well-known Delhi-based 'Diversified Media' solutions company - Studio Pindrop - and is into making corporate films, providing corporate audio solutions besides issue based documentaries and infotainment packages for kids.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Narang's grandfather was a Sikh of Pakistani origin.[2] His father served the Indian Army.[2] Narang graduated with an engineering degree and was motivated by his father to indulge in hobbies such as stunt riding.[2] He worked as a stunt rider for Escorts.[2] He did his post graduation in Metallurgical engineering with the intention to take up a 'sarkari' (government) job. Narang is also a 'semi-trained' singer.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Narang is married to Dolly Narang, who hails from Chandigarh.[4] Dolly is a disciple of music composer Jaidev and gives Ghazal performances.[5] The couple have a son and live in a posh locality of South Delhi.[2]

Pre Doordarshan days[edit]

Narang made his foray into the voice-over industry with Voice of America. Flanager, a technical director of The United States Information Service (Delhi), spotted Narang in the then newly built IIT, Delhi campus auditorium and asked Narang to assist him in his sound testing. Flanager smelt the potential in Narang's voice, and promptly referred Narang to Shastri, a Hindi scholar,[2] who groomed Narang to take over the Hindi division of Voice of America.[6] After his post graduation, he joined Larsen & Toubro as a marketing professional and was working there for a while.[2] Later, his love for adventure made him join Escorts as a stunt rider, inspired by Rishi Kapoor, a character from the film Bobby. While at it, he met with a terrible accident in the late 1980s which is the reason behind his misshapen nose.[2]

With Doordarshan[edit]

In 1982, Narang attended the auditions for selection into Doordarshan in a T shirt and tattered jeans, where he had to compete with around 10000 aspirants. Devki Nandan Pandey, a veteran news broadcaster, praised his performance.[2] Then started his 20 year association with the channel. Narang developed an exclusive style for himself, with his baritone of a voice.[3] With the newscasts of those days having significantly fewer visuals and more of impersonal, restrained vocal illustrations,[7] Narang became 'the face of Doordarshan news reading'[2] with his correctness in pronunciation and diction.[3] People even regarded news readers to be powerful enough to influence the Government for them.[7] Narang recalled once, in an interview, an incident after he had read out a new pension scheme for ex-servicemen, wherein an elderly havaldar had turned up at his door two days later, pleading him to update his pension scheme.[1] Referring to the allegations on the then news casters of reading out lies in favour of the Government, Narang said that they don't read lies, but just hid the truth.[7]

Doordarshan lost its acclaimed spot after Cable and Satellite television entered India as it just couldn't stand the competition, with its refusal to adapt to the age of live telecasts.[8] The crew in the competing channels was also comparatively younger, as against the predominantly middle aged Doordarshan crowd.[8] Initially regarded as an expensive novelty, Cable television gradually picked up, eventually pushing Doordarshan to become a 'dull-as-ditchwater propaganda machine' of the Government, despite initiatives taken by its professional Directors General.[8] With the trend then demanding the old newsreaders to switch to the roles of news anchors, not many were able to adapt and instead changed their pursuits. Referring to this, Narang said that he would have been a misfit in the current era.[7] On the current scene, Narang observed that it has become 'trivialised' and added that 'the young reporters, fresh out of college, in vogue now would be good in interviewing filmstars but wouldn't be an appropriate choice before Dr Karan Singh or Manmohan Singh'.[7]

After Doordarshan[edit]

Narang switched to doing voice-overs and compering shows post Doordarshan. He has done theatre with artists like Sheila Bhatia.[2] Narang has been compering the Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Awards ceremony since its inception in 1997.[9] In 1998, Narang founded Studio Pindrop, Delhi's first digital recording studio, which is popular among voice over artists and musicians.[2] He is also a visiting faculty at MADarts,[6] Jaspal Bhatti's film school, and has done voice-overs for its award winning two minute animation film, Nanhi Chidiya.[10] He has lent his voice to the audio guides on heritage monuments in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Mysore.[2] He also compered the Guinness record breaking tea party in Indore.[11] Narang was in one of the four two-member teams that undertook a journey from Delhi to Haridwar as part of the TV show, Be Positive, that was on air on Pragya TV, a spiritual lifestyle channel.[12] The Jai Ha! campaign of Bharatiya Janata Party during the 2009 elections used Kaka Hathrasi's satirical jingles sung by Narang.[13] On the potential of the voice-over industry, Narang spoke in an interview that 'voice is the biggest asset of communication'[6] and it can get one a very decent pay even at the starting level.[14] He noted the importance of a good and clear voice. He believes that everyone is capable of voice modulation, though one realises it only in front of a camera or microphone.[6] He recommends a 3 minute recitation session of 'Om' everyday, steaming the throat without gargling, yoga, meditation and avoiding abusive language for a deep and young voice.[2] He is the male voice with a deep baritone that guides the passengers on the do's and don'ts and the Hindi version of the courteous 'Please mind the gap!' announcements[15] inside the Delhi Metro trains everyday and night.[16] He has composed music for a number of ad films, like Tata Tea's Na jaane kya rishta.[3] He was also seen in a couple of films.[2]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Language Role
1986 Uttejna Hindi Lead role[17]
2002 The Web of the Witch Hindi/ English Guest appearance (as himself)
2003 Maqbool Hindi Mr. Bhosle [17][18]
2005 Sahibzade : A Saga of Valour and Sacrifice (2D Animation film) Punjabi Voice over [19]
2009 Nanhi Chidiya (Animated short film) Hindi Voice over [10]
2010 No One Killed Jessica Hindi/English Justice Jain

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Nair, Dhanya Sankar (April, 2011). "The news, according to...". Harmony India. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Zaman, Rana Siddique (Aug 8, 2009). "Hello! Mike testing 1,2,3,4". The Hindu. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Singh, Harneet (Jan 17, 2003). "Shammi Narang : Always in the news". The Times of India. 
  4. ^ Zaman, Rana Siddique (Oct 1, 2009). "Cooking stories and food!". The Hindu. 
  5. ^ "Ghazal concert". The Hindu. June 25, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d Tribune News Service (June 22, 2008). "Narang talks on voice modulation". The Tribune. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Ghosh, Avijit (Jan 6, 2008). "The Doordarshan Divas". The Times of India. 
  8. ^ a b c Mitra, Chandan (June 22, 2011). "Does life begin or end at 50?". The Pioneer. 
  9. ^ Mathur, Siddhartha (April 12, 2010). "Voice Over". The New Indian Express. 
  10. ^ a b Bhatia, Sheveta (Mar 10, 2009). "Here's to you girl!". The New Indian Express. 
  11. ^ Jha, Paras K (Feb 25, 2008). "Indore stages largest tea party enters Guinness". DNA. 
  12. ^ Ghausia, Afroz (Feb 11, 2008). "Be Positive : the mantra of success on Pragya". Merinews. 
  13. ^ Jha, Shobhana K/ Suman K (Mar 18, 2009). "Jai Ha! campaign : BJP turns to Kaka Hathrasi's satire". The New Indian Express. 
  14. ^ Purkayastha, Damini (Jan 31, 2009). "More on voice artists". Hindustan Times. 
  15. ^ Kapoor, Coomi (Jan 9, 2006). "Mind the negativism, please". The New Indian Express. 
  16. ^ Salman, Mohd. (Feb 2, 2010). "This train won't stop at Rajiv Chowk. Please mind the gap". MiD DAY. 
  17. ^ a b K, Kannan (Feb 21, 2004). "Bollywood sojourn of Shammi". The Hindu. 
  18. ^ Shammi Narang at the Internet Movie Database
  19. ^ Nayar, Aruti (Nov 6, 2005). "They had a dream...and they realised it". The Tribune.