What are you listening to on the subway?

March 07, 2023

Dr. Rahul Rangan (he/him/his), from India, is a medical practitioner by profession, an over-thinker by force and a musician by passion. He believes in healing through kindness. An extension of which is his self-produced album focused on tackling social issues, an orchestration through catharsis. He wants to build a world where kindness is palpable, love is embraceable, and acceptance is breathtaking. A world where open and honest discussions will help alleviate anxiety. A world where a flood of people come together to celebrate love and identity. A world where bravery highlights the importance of community and togetherness. His Anchor: “You like because, and you love despite. You like something because of all of its qualities, and you love something despite some of its qualities.” You can follow his journey of self-healing and acceptance on Instagram at @rahulrangan And learn more about him via his website: https://rahulrangan.com

This story took place in United States

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It was a cold Saturday morning, colder than usual. A lady sat next to me. At the start, all I heard was melodious cacophony, only for my attention to draw closer to her curated symphonies when I heard Mariah Carey whistling through her headphones – priming herself for the holiday season.

There was a man, who didn’t look a day over 30, listening to the blissful tunes from Rishabh Rikhiram Sharma’s latest single on the Sitar. Each note resounded his internal balance. Its calming effects drowned out his vertigo during short shuttles through The Big Apple.

A boy in the corner looked sullen and withdrawn. My comprehension of his state was one of pain and anguish. I believed that guided him into a boisterous subway to sublimate his suffering. A sly glance led me to recognise the music playing via the Lock Screen. Joji’s – Glimpse of Us was helping him reminisce about those moments of lost love.

Walking barefoot with her heels in her hand, last night’s dress and running makeup – we find my last muse on this crammed subway. I heard her humming a familiar tune. Katy Perry’s – Last Friday Night! It could be that she used it as grounds for her fragmented memories from the past night’s haze and doesn’t regret a thing.

This journey made me realise the music we listen to, for the most part, portrays our state of mind. Influenced and reaffirmed by our emotions around recent events.

The majors and the minors delineate the joyous and desolate. The crescendos and diminuendos illustrate our highs and lows. The lyricism expresses poetic catharsis.

Now, if you were to ask me what I’m listening to, I would shy away. My eyes, the windows to my soul, are enough for you to figure out that it isn’t one of those good days. I embarked on this journey as a coping mechanism to overshadow the hurt.

This morning I received some painful news. It shattered me to my core. So, on my playlist, you’d hear – “a day’s walk” by Woodsman – subtle and sombre piano keys in a repetitive fashion – meant to hold my tears back as I look out for more distracting muses entering and exiting this crowded cold Saturday morning subway.

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