Bengaluru: Don’t stand near the door. Mind the gap before you alight. Take care of your belongings. The next station is…
No Metro ride is complete without that ubiquitous voice directing users through the journey. While passengers may be familiar with the automated announcements, few would know the faces behind them — Aparna Vastarey and radio jockey Sudhindra. While Aparna, a television anchor, has lent her voice to the Kannada announcements, it is Sudhindra’s baritone which greets passengers in English.
It was her impeccable diction that prompted Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) to rope in Aparna for the project. However, what she thought would be a mundane assignment has made her quite popular today.
It has been an exciting journey, said Aparna, who has received a barrage of calls, especially after the east-west corridor was thrown open to the public. “Recently, a senior citizen told me he felt as if I was present in the train to guide him through the ride. I have never expected such a reaction. It was overwhelming,” she added.
Aparna, who is currently busy with Maja Talkies, a sketch comedy television show, said the recording procedure was not easy. She had to spend five long hours in a KR Puram studio. “It was a marathon recording of sorts. I was told to name all the stations at a stretch; even other announcements were made. But later, I felt proud to be associated with one of the main transport projects in my hometown. Since I have been brought up in Bengaluru, I am at an advantage when it comes to enunciating the names of areas,” she added.
Though Aparna has hosted almost all inaugural events of Namma Metro, she didn’t get an opportunity to hop on to the train until last year.
RJ Sudhindra, who is also into filmmaking, recalled how an expert from Japan, who was associated with Namma Metro, appreciated his work during the recordings. “Extending Namma Metro connectivity to different parts of the city will be a game-changer as it will help reduce pollution levels. Commuters’ will stop relying on private vehicles,” he signed off.
Feels good to be appreciated
It was only on last Diwali that I went on my first Metro ride — I took the train from MG Road to Byappanahalli with my family. A security guard at the station was elated to know that it is my voice behind the announcements. He said they hear them every day but don’t get bored. That felt like music to my ears
Aparna Vastarey, TV anchor
BMRC officials from wanted a sample of my voice. I obliged and forgot about it. After many days, I got a call and agreed to be part of the project. It was a good experience. They recorded ending and non-ending sentences according to their needs. Hearing my own voice while travelling is a different feeling; it feels good when people recognize it and send appreciation messages. BMRC officials keep coming back to me whenever station names are changed so that a fresh recording can be done