About ten years ago I started business school and most daily journeys to my classes went by listening to the chirpy baritone of Khalid Malik as he woke up the nation on his Breakfast Show on CityFM89.
As Facebook shared memories of my graduation four years later, the BFS was still going strong. It was what FM89 was known for. It was called the Breakfast Show with Khalid because obviously there can never be a breakfast show without Khalid.
Morning shows came and went on television but nothing replaced the BFS. You could only listen to your playlist for so long but you could never tire of Khalid’s voice as he unabashedly roused people from their slumbers or wished them Happy Birthday with a song you never heard before and never would again.
When I started working, the BFS was the only thing keeping me upbeat on my way to another long day at work in a beat up pick up van. At my next job it helped me bond with my Dad even more as he drove me to work everyday. I was never a regular participant but occasionally I dropped a message in the show and wondered excitedly who would have heard and known it was me Khalid was talking about.
As someone mentioned about Khalid Malik leaving the BFS, I let it pass as a joke. Like come on, it’s the BFS with Khalid! What’s a BFS without Khalid? No way the radio station is gonna let that happen!
I never actually gave in to the idea that maybe it was Khalid who would be moving on. This guy who loves people and loves entertaining them. This guy who has spent ten years as the voice in the ears of thousands waking up in the morning. This guy who has made the mornings better. I never thought for a moment that he would have his own life or aspirations that he would want to fulfill. This person who has inspired and motivated so many to do more would want to do it himself? I was too selfish to assume so.
But when the announcement came, when I played the video of his farewell speech, it hit me hard. He gave ten years of his life to us, his beloved audience. And we truly were his beloved, his sincerity could never let us doubt that. He was the son, brother, uncle, nephew, colleague, mentor and so much more with just his voice. And now he wanted to do more, be more. How could we stop him when his heart was breaking just telling us about how difficult it was for him to do this.
And so we let him go. Happily. With cheers and blessings and a standing ovation as the amazing Saad Haroon humbly took up the mantle, perhaps knowing that he would have to build this show as his from scratch again, as with Khalid’s final goodbye there truly came an end of an era. The era of the Breakfast Show with Khalid.