Television anchor, theatre personality and comedian, Cyrus Broacha who is in ‘Old School Romance’, an Audible original audio series talks about the advantages of audios shows which increase the power of the viewer’s imagination
‘Old School Romance’ is an Audible original audio series, created by Pankaj Dubey about love stories of the pre-digital dating era. In the age of millennial dating dynamics, the real conversations, letters, books and roses, holding hands and long walks still paint the canvas of love and make it beyond beautiful. The show explores interesting tales from the love life of people who believed in the magic of flowers, proposals and love letters. Each and every love story is unique and written with different inks of emotions. In conversation with Cyrus Broacha whose episode in ‘Old School Romance’, not just talks about tackling the relationship, the couple believed in tickling the relationship. Cyrus and his wife Ayesha Broacha embarked on the journey of companionship to laugh out loud. Excerpts:
What did love stories in the pre-digital dating era mean? And how has it changed today?
Firstly, thank you for that question. It just explains that I am 75 years old, so I could go through many different generations and eras and yes, it was much more challenging for me(laughs). I worked very hard to get a date. We had to use telegrams, we had to wait for replies on letters. I mean, it took five to six weeks to get an answer from someone who lived next door with all the different modes of communication. But now everything has changed. Thanks to Shaadi.com, Tinder and all the other things that my friends use around me. You can set people up in just five seconds and get your rejection quickly. So, the whole difference is speed and to some extent, poetry. There is not much poetry in the way people conduct themselves now. My generation was more poetic.
Do you have a special love story that you would like to share with us?
When I was seven years old, I fell in love with my teacher. She was 49. I told my mother that I want to marry her and we should go talk to my teacher’s parents, but she just flatly refused. Now, many years later, I saw the same teacher and realised that I may have made a mistake because he just had long hair, I just mistook the gender but you know you are seven and impressionable and you know you’re reading Mills & Boon and Jane Eyre and all these things and your mind is all crossed up. So, I made some wrong decisions on that. But yes, I have had many love stories, many unrequited love stories. For me and for many Indian males, it’s the same thing. We think we have love stories because we see her and like her and that’s the love story. It doesn’t go beyond that. So, in that sense, there must be hundreds and hundreds without actually becoming a stalker. I was part of one of the stalking tribes where you stare, fall in love and then don’t know what to do. That happened and it still happens. In fact, I try to avoid women because I never developed good enough skills to take it to the second point which is actually saying hello.
Tell us about your experience in working on this Audible show and how is it different?
The Audible show was very therapeutic for me. My wife and I don’t talk much, we have been married for 21 years. It’s very difficult to have a conversation beyond aa, oo, ouch (not in a sexual way). And so, this was beautiful, because we went back to the memory lane and realised we made several mistakes and we really could have done better. It was a real eye-opener because we remember lots of differences like her perspective and my perspective are completely different like two different marriages. It was another marriage in a marriage.
For me, I am way below average in romance and for an average Indian man like me, it does get very lonely sometimes. It is because you are very low on self-esteem so basically have a very little spot on sexualizing the fact that they will be taken seriously. With the amount of correspondence, the mistake becomes heavier as things develop. So, in my personal case, it is a very lonely existence and I speak for lots of Indian males. I think the biggest problem is greetings. The Internet has allowed them to have fake avatars but the reality is different.
Tell us about the method of preparation for your Audible show.
For the Audible show, I did a lot of preparation. I was checking if the Wi-Fi was working fine. I made sure that my wife and I were in a good mood because we are talking about romance characters. Husband and wife relationships can escalate very quickly. So, I made sure my wife was happy so I could record this. I took my medication; I brushed my teeth and I smelt really nice. And for the first seven minutes like the first ten minutes of marriage, they worked.
What are the advantages of audio shows?
Well, audio shows are more romanticizing in ways. For some of you who are good-looking, it’s easy but if you are not, then this is the show for you. And if you are low on self-esteem, on looks, then there is a show for listeners as well. The thing is they cater to different lobbies, and different people and everybody out there and I think the visual stimulus is overrated, in any case. It’s better to imagine, just like in the old days when you read a book, the character comes to life in your imagination because you recreate the story and the place in your imagination. The audio show lets you enjoy the creatures of your mind or the thoughts of your mind and takes it to another level. Of course, my mind is creepy, So I won’t tell you what I thought. In fact, I think visual stuff should be stopped for five years now.
Why do you think audio shows are gaining popularity?
Audio shows are gaining popularity due to the pandemic. What happened is that the sale of makeup went down completely and the market died. Less makeup in the market as the world is reviving itself means that people don’t have access to makeup. And hence don’t feel comfortable showing their faces. As you know when you turn 41/42, you need heavy makeup. So, in the meantime there is not much else you can do. Thus, most people are turning away from the visual medium. Until we solve the problem of how people look and the aesthetics of it all. So, audio comes to our rescue.
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