Commuters on the Airport Line will finally be able to pull those earphones out: the Delhi Metro is set to introduce music at its stations.
The move comes after a passenger satisfaction survey conducted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) revealed that 80% of commuters in Delhi wanted some light music to play at stations. If the idea is a hit, the Metro will extend it to other stations.
While soothing music is the perfect recipe to soothe frazzled nerves, we have a few suggestions that DMRC may want to take on-board.
One thing they absolutely must not play is…
Muzak or ‘mood music’. Yes, the bland music is the preferred background score of elevators, doctor’s offices and department stores, but its popularity has seen a sharp decline as more and more people get turned off by how insipid it is. In fact, though muzak is supposed to calm you down with its temperate tones, surveys have found that more people are likely to leave a store in irritation if it plays muzak. And, what’s more, at least one British MP has tried to get piped muzak banned from public places for good.
What tunes do other Indian public transport systems play?
The Kolkata Metro was the first to hit upon the idea – Rabindra sangeet plays from station speakers. Bangalore’s Namma Metro stations recently introduced piped music, opting for instrumental folk tunes, Carnatic and Hindustani melodies at 30 stations, with plans to include other genres as well.
The Indian Railways also decided to go the classical route, playing a carefully selected list of instrumental and Carnatic music in its Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains.
Should Delhi Metro take some international inspiration?
New York is known for its subway performers who play or sing live. But what you did not know is that the New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority holds annual auditions to select some of them. The ‘Music Under New York’ programme receives a high number of applications from both budding and established musicians. The Paris Metro has a similar, wildly successful programme, where it gives licenses to musicians to not only play, but hold concerts as well. Perhaps the Delhi Metro could set up its own programme to encourage art and music?
Or how about some Bollywood?
DMRC may want to steer clear of filmi music, but you can’t deny that Bollywood has a song for every situation.
Here is the carefully-curated HT playlist:
As your train rolls into the station: Gadi Bula Rahi Hai, Seeti Baja Rahi Hai
Running desperately to catch the metro: Ruk Ja O Jane Wali Ruk Ja
For unexpected delays : Kab se kare hain tera intezar
Missed your train? : Kya Hua Jo Lari Chooti, Jeevan Ki Gadi Chooti
Men entering the Ladies Coach: Aap yahan aaye kis liye?
For the let’s-exchange-longing-glances Metro romance?: Chalte chalte yun hi koi mil gaya tha
When you want to break laws, dance on the roof of the metro and get arrested (for the record, we absolutely do not recommend this): Chal Chaiya Chaiya
And if you’re just looking for a happy, cheery song to cap your Metro ride: Yun hi chala chal rahi
Tell us what music you want Delhi Metro to play at its stations. Write to @htTweets or comment below.