Drop into the nearest upmarket retail store and you are greeted by the lilting tunes of the sitar. Visit the petrol pump and fill up your car to the feet-thumping rhythm of the latest Indipop album playing on the FM channel.

At the friendly neighbourhood bank, the melodious lines from your favourite film of yesteryear help to ease the pain of standing in a queue. Amid the hustle and bustle of the bill payment counter at the `Friends' citizen centre, clients keep their ears tuned to the soft notes of a raga emanating from carefully concealed speakers. And the uniformed workers in the automobile garage can hardly resist the temptation to swing to the beat of the heavy metal band on the piped music system.

The welcome sound of music is invading almost every public place, including Government institutions. In a city, where the FM revolution is yet to happen, the craze for music is largely driven by individual choice and the booming market for music cassettes and CDs. Pop, instrumental, rock n' roll, classical, western or fusion - the options are many. For the supermarket, music may be a value-addition while for the bank or the bill payment centre, it is more of a diversion from hassles. Apparently, music is a great leveller and a tranquilliser of sorts.