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Real Life Top 5 Divakar Shukla 

We've been wanting to do this Top 5 ever since we got rid of that Samir Shukla guy. (OK, Samir got rid of us, actually. He wanted to go further his education or some such nonsense.) At any rate, the only reason we haven't asked Samir's brudda Divakar Shukla -- Charlotte's No. 1 music fan -- to do a Real Life Top 5 for us until now is ... well, we like to think we try to follow No. 4 on Divakar's list the best we can. Since Charlotte's No. 1 music fan (Divakar) is da brudda of Charlotte's No. 2 music fan (Samir), and since Samir worked for Creative Loafing until January 1, we didn't want you readers to get the impression that we're a bunch of incestuous dweebs. (Right, we think too much about these things, don't we?) So, anyway, now that we've sacked Samir (I know, I know, he sacked us -- GOSH!), we're happy to have his brudda participate in our little Top 5 game. (Maybe if Samir's nice, we'll let him Top 5 us one day, too.) Here's the deal: Both Shukla brothers are hugely important to Charlotte. They've single-handedly exposed the city to some of the great, adventurous music, movies and other arts of their native India. And Divakar additionally has exposed you and me and everybody else out there to some of the best local and left-of-the-dial music for the past two decades on his Sunday 106.5 (The End) showcases, "90 Minutes" and "The New Music & Indie Label Show." So if Divakar gets a little schmaltzy in his list yonder, give the guy a break. He's cooler'n Jack White, John Lee Hooker and God combined. So ... tell us what floats your cork, D:

1. Music. "No particular genre, no particular style -- just music. It's the one 'language' that transcends all cultures, religions and geopolitical boundaries. In my car CD player/changer, you will find the Swades soundtrack (Bollywood music), a local band (new one every week), space sounds (yes -- just random space sounds), a new rock compilation CD (provided by various record labels), Rush and Enigma."

2. Radio. "My love for radio grew out of my love for music. I've had the pleasure of hosting a radio show for the past 20 years that focuses on local music and new music. Clear Channel continues to support my love of radio and local music by letting me program three hours of it on Sunday nights on 106.5 FM 'The End' (9pm to midnight).

3. Television. "Two and a Half Men, My Name is Earl, Scrubs and The Apprentice. Classic Television: MASH and Cheers. Sports: College football and basketball (ACC -- especially NC State Wolfpack) and NFL."

4. Honesty/integrity. "Qualities I cherish."

5. Family/friends. "Four most important words in the world: Hearing my daughter say, 'I love you, Daddy!' Nothing is more important in my life than family and friends."

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