CUFFE PARADE to Andheri SEEPZ! Metro will reach in 50 minutes,” intones the jingle that has been playing on loop as part of a promotional display at the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) office. Listing out the advantages of the under-construction Metro 3, the 2.16-minute song in Marathi is an attempt to build a positive consensus for the 33.5-km underground Metro route.
The jingle with catchy tunes was commissioned by ‘Mumbai Underground’ — a group of city individuals formed in 2015 — when they noticed that the project was receiving flak from activists for its plan to enter Aarey. Spearheaded by Rajan Vernekar, Avinash Gupte and Michael Pereira, the group has been working towards promoting the idea of modern transportation systems.
“We want to get into the public opinion space and mobilise it in favour of the Metro 3. It is the only solution to the current stalemate in the city’s transportation system. We want the city to be better for the next generation,” says Pereira.
Earlier, the group had also installed a model of the Metro at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival and gifted a tabletop version of the model to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. They further plan to release a fortnightly newsletter on the making of the metro.
The song was released during the Ganpati festival last year at 140 Ganesh pandals. The jingle has been making waves ever since it was being played at the MMRC office in Bandra Kurla Complex, which is visited by an increasing number of stakeholders.
The idea, they say, came from an old Marathi song about the Indian Railways. “I recall a poem from my school Marathi textbook on the Indian Railways and I thought we should have something on those lines for the Metro as well,” explains Avinash Gupte.
The group approached composer brothers Tanmay Bhattacharya and Alok, who have a band ‘Mauj Maharaja’, to compose the tune to lyrics written by Prahlad Jadhav. Tanmay also lent the voice for the number.
“We were approached with the concept and we thought it was a great idea as songs always help people connect. We suggested we make a rap and then I went on to sing it,” says Tanmay.