A presenter with an alluring voice | Sunday Observer
Bashini Samarasinghe

A presenter with an alluring voice

14 November, 2021

Her dulcet voice, flowing through the ears of an ever growing audience of listeners has been one of the most sought after voices of the radio personalities in the island. She is Bashini Samarasinghe, a radio presenter with a magnetic and iconic voice which often catches the attention of a large audience. Bashini is surrounded by an overwhelming popularity.

Apart from being an acclaimed presenter of Shree FM, Bashini plays a vital role as one of its managers. Her programs, notably a drama, aired daily from 1- 3 PM and “Bashi with stars” on Sundays are fondly embraced by an aesthetically conscientious audience. Finding time to speak to the Youth Observer amid her usually tight schedule, Bashini went down memory lane and recollected delightful, exciting and emotional memories of her upbringing in the company of her devoted and protective parents who have been her source of inspiration and the tower of strength. Rathna and Palitha Samarasinghe, both well recognised and versatile radio personalities are her amazing parents. “My mother was a news presenter, as she was pregnant with me”, Bashini remarked. Radio is the synonym of the Samarasinghes whose only child is Bashini. Both Palitha and Rathna had been working at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) and are long service presenters. Palitha held various positions and among which his contribution as a director and a presenter of SLBC is rather notable. His initiation of drug prevention programs and a radio magazine had a huge impact on the young listeners in particular in moulding their characters and leading an exemplary life.

Prefects’ conferences

He also had a stint at the Ministry of Education as a Coordinating Secretary. During his tenure here he had organised the prefects conferences around the island with the participation of the late maestro Amaradeva and Samaraweera Weerawanni, to mention a few. Bashini noted “My father enjoys immensely writing too and these days, he is writing a series of books, called Amathaka novana mathaka satahan - memories, unfading. It is rather significant to note that Palitha, being a giant in the domain of media is also a former Senior Superintendent of Police. Rathna had been a presenter, producer and director of the Commercial service of the SLBC and her tremendous versatility notably as a news presenter is praiseworthy. Bashini noted that it was during the time that her father was working at the Hindi channel of the SLBC, a considerable number of Hindi songs, frequently played on radio had a remarkably great audience.

Arrival into limelight

No hyperbole is noticeable in declaring that Bashini’s arrival into the limelight of the electronic media did not happen with a sheer magical spell overnight but through an abundance of hard work involving constant sacrifices, proper training and education. Bashini had her primary and secondary education at Vishaka Vidyalaya, Bambalapitiya. She is a graduate of Curtin University in Australia while having a diploma in Sociology from the University of Rajasthan, India. Apart from academic excellence, in recognition of her outstanding skills and smart professionalism, demonstrated in her selected field of media, Bashini got adjudicated as the Best Female Presenter seven times. She is also a recipient of the Young Asian Broadcasters Scholarship of the BBC 4. Bashini is rather passionate about the film industry where following the completion of related studies, she has tried her potential in film directing and editing. Bashini also got a rare chance of getting selected as a ‘Young Parliament Member, in Hyderabad, India. Commenting on the procedure of getting selected, Bashini noted, “In India, in view of the birth anniversary of Mahathma Gandhi, young parliament members are selected. An exam is held and you get eligible for this position once you get through the exam. I too got through this particular exam. The outstanding young people around the world are selected to sit for this exam”. She further said “I learned an array of new disciplines there. There were workshops, held on history, the world and Indian politics to name a few/ It was a great opportunity to meet a lot people who are exceptionally remarkable in their selected fields.”

Bashini said that it is a durable platform which can facilitate and mould the blossoming young leaders for their future endeavours. She noted that back home, while being a presenter for a fairly long time with an exceptional training and outstanding experience, she has been privileged enough to share her valuable experiences while giving a some training for the upcoming young radio presenters. Amid all these interesting comments, Bashini had some remarkable comments on the actual nature of radio presenters. She said, “Being a presenter, you are held responsible for every word that you utter. Presenters are of a rare breed and they have a distinct and remarkable career where you need much potential, talents and skills”. She also said “a many presenters may wrongly assume that their job is simply an act only. At the very outset, you should understand the difference between the TV and the radio. If you were a TV presenter, you are visible which is of course otherwise, if you were a radio presenter. On screen, you don’t hear the presenter taking a breath. But it is entirely different on radio where the listeners can even hear you taking your breath”.She said that she has received an invitation from the Philippines to hold Miss Tourism, Mr. Grand International and Mrs. Universe in Sri Lanka.

Creation of imagination

Bashini further said that the the present day person while being excessively exposed to the outer world and with the ever enhancing smart technologies, is well informed and aware of as to what is happening across the globe as you live in a global village. Bashini declared further “As you go on air, your audience feels you by the words that you utter. As a radio presenter, you should have the knack of facilitating the creation of imaginations on the mind of your listener. This is simply using your words to draw the pictures of your imagination. I often believe that presenting on radio is just like a meditation; you should have an absolutely remarkable command of attracting your audience into your speech”. In the meantime, Bashini brought out a rather fascinating and crucial element where she has her true concern on making the people aware of the true spirit of actual communication.

She noted that in any society, unless there prevails a sound communication, such a society may be engulfed with a vast number of issues due to the sheer misunderstanding among people. George Bernard Shaw once said “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”. Similarly, Bashini said that the misunderstanding that comes into being due to the mishaps within communication may give rise to some sensitive issues, particularly within the family circle and even the political setup of a country. She said that the misunderstanding risen due to miscommunication may bring out many unfortunate and disastrous situations which would even pave the way for the affected parties trying committing suicide perhaps”. You may have seen in some families, parents and children tend to misunderstand each other since they are not frankly interested in talking to each other and sort out their issues, she concluded. It is said that no one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.