RIP Chester Bennington


 

Image Credits: Linkin Park Official Facebook

I didn’t know this would be a shock. After all, I hardly listen to Linkin Park anymore. I ‘outgrew’ their songs as I tell everyone. I have moved on to songs where the singers isn’t shouting or the guitar sounds don’t hurt my ears. Yet when I opened Facebook today, I saw a lot of my friends posting ‘RIP Chester’ and I was shook.

I started listening to their songs again, all of them. ‘Numb’, ‘In the End’, ‘Leave out all the Rest’, ‘Breaking the Habit’, ‘Castle of Glass’ and kept going discovering songs I haven’t listened anymore. Their new single ‘Talking to Myself’ was released just hours before his suicide ( I am not going to say demise. He committed suicide, there is no way I can soften it it up).

His voice sounds different now, I hear his voice with a new clarity now and I get a bigger shock now. How did I never see this coming?!


Linkin Park introduced me to Western rock music. I was in school and at home, we had cable channel which played songs on demand. My brother and I would wait to hear songs that were popular at the time. We enjoyed Backstreet Boys and Nelly Furtado because the lyrics were understandable, the music groovy. I was young, my command on English wasn’t that strong.

We heard ‘In the End’ the very first time. We loved it. My mom definitely didn’t cause she told us to change the channel. After a while she stopped telling us to change the channel when she realized that we loved the songs.

I could only articulate the chorus. It didn’t matter much to us, we were hooked. It was only a matter of time that we were glued to the channel and we heard more of Linkin Park’s songs. VH1 started running in India and we heard more of Linkin Park’s songs. They were really popular in India, anyone who heard any Western music knew them. They were many hardcore fans who had heard every song.

Navin and I were headbanging to ‘Faint’, watching their ‘Breaking the Habit’ video in cause of anime video, we loved ‘By Myself’ because the video was a montage of Dragon Ball Z and I felt really bad for the lead actress in their ‘Numb’ music video. I was too young to understand what their music was.


A couple of years later, when my brother was in College/High School he and his friends formed a band. They would sit in our house because it was 5 min away from their college  and listen to songs. At that point we were deep into rock music, we would listen to Metallica’s “One”, Foo Fighters “Pretender” and so much more. My brother had burned an entire CD full of rock music and he would turn it on all the time.

Linkin Park songs made their way into the CD even then. One of the friends was a hardcore fan. He spoke in length about the band members but I don’t recall him talking about their song’s meaning. I guess it was something that no one really spoke about but left it to interpretation. We should have. Around the time, they had released a new album which wasn’t all that popular but still good. One of their songs ‘Shadow of the Day’ was completely different from all of their previous songs.

Navin’s friend Rajesh commented on the song and I paraphrase: It sounds so peaceful, you can listen to it and fall asleep but when you listen to the lyrics you realize that it is the completely opposite of that. It has been 8 years or more since. The memories have suddenly been surfaced from their long sleep in my brain since I read about Chester’s suicide this morning.


I still have some of their songs. I am no longer oblivious to their meaning. When I listen to their songs, I am teleported to my old home sitting in front of the tele and watching their videos. I realize that even back in the 2000s, they sang about mental issues and yet were mainstream artists. I don’t think that happens anymore.

I have read people talking about Tupac, Chris Cornell, Alan Rickman, Prince, Micheal Jackson’s death but I never really UNDERSTOOD what they meant. I do now. It is not a good place. He sang about his issues and I never heard that.

I could quote their songs, I am listening to their songs now and I could use ALL of them to tell you what I feel like now. It isn’t fair that I riding nostalgia and guilt listening to their music, when Chester is no more with us. It isn’t fair I realized the meaning behind his lyrics and the strength of his voice ONLY after he killed himself.

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Rejections


Imagine yourself on the penultimate step of the staircase. You are almost at a new level, representing a new world in itself. How you reached that spot is another story, worthy of its tale. However, if you don’t reach the final step, something which often happens in my life, it can be because of two cases.

One case: the last step gave away as soon as you put your weight on it, and you fall through the crack into a dark viscous pool of depression. You don’t have time to take a breath, in less than a second you are choking on something that feels like tar and struggling against a liquid that solidifies as time passes.

Second case: the final step is there, but it is beyond your reach. It has grown into a wall, and you have to climb it. You can’t do it alone, and you want someone to haul you up. Only there is no one to haul you up to the new level. You can see people up there, but no one can see you. Slowly your legs feel stuck, then your torso and eventually you have a stiff neck. It is the depression tar again, only, this time, it is creeping up slowly.

I would prefer the first case over the second one every single time. I would rather be a victim of circumstance than be rejected by people who can’t see me. I would rather have the power to save myself than to rely on others to it. While one case I can be free even by any firm ground, the second requires a huge recovery period filled with comfort food, lack of motivation and lots of stupid TV shows. Because rejection hurts, more so when no one can see you.

#10 Depression.com


Fiction:

She hated the cafe. It was so full of people. People with great lives, affluent jobs and loving partners. Sometimes they come in with their children.

Children were the worse. She wanted children. But none of her boyfriends wanted to have one with her. They all cheated on her. And she knew she had it coming.

She was the one who was at fault. Something in her was lacking. That’s why her boyfriends looked elsewhere for their pleasure. That’s why her mother severed ties with her. There was something wrong with her.

She looked at the computer screen in front of her. She thought about what will happen when she bust her head into it. Figures nothing will happen, her head is not strong enough.

But she needed to use the internet. She didn’t have one at home, she couldn’t afford it. She needed a job. Antidepressants were expensive and she was broke.

As she logged in, a pop up ad appeared on the bottom of the screen. She closed it. She opened another tab and the ad appeared on the left of screen. She closed it again. This went on for like five six times. Eventually her frustration took over and shouted ‘Why don’t you fucking close down?!’

Everyone in the cafe looked at her in disgust. The small child seemed to be asking his mom what was the f word. She quickly mouthed an apology and resumed her work. The ad was insistent. It appeared again and again. Eventually she stopped closing the ad.

But she couldn’t help but read the ad. As usual it was about dating. Dating she no longer looked for. She hated it now. No one understood her. No one valued her. Must be her blame.

She eventually gave into curiosity and actually read the ad. It was an different kind of dating.

It was for those people who are not happy. Those who find fault in most things, the pessimists. The remorseful. The depressed.

And the website was catchy itself. Depression.com.

She found that there were about 5 million people profiles on the site. Now that got her interest.

She clicked the ad. And looked into the site. It was amazing. She loved it. Full of people who openly admit they are depressed. That they have undergone therapy. They are on drugs. And an expert session on how to date a depressed person.

She signed in. And with new toy, she quickly forgot about her imminent bankruptcy. She went through potential dates. Spoke with a few of them. She loved this.

But she didn’t know. That the site was a perfect playground for predators.

Thanks For Reading
Itsmayurremember

#1 Drink’s the Father


Fiction:

Her eyes were darting, always returning back to the same shelf on her left. She licked her lips, said “Andrew get me that sauce”.

Another lick of her lips. Andrew knew what was going on. He had anticipated it.

They were in the mall, holiday shopping it is. And the worse time of the year for his mom.

Holidays meant happiness, ideally. But for his mom they were cooking and cleaning and every other household chore that needs to be done so that the holidays all in all becomes perfect.

And the holidays were also the time when He left. His father. Her husband. Two years ago, no warning, no fights nothing. And till today no phone call or any message. Andrew was 11 then.

Mom cried and cried. Then she shouted and threw his stuff out of the house. Then she picked up whiskey. And she drank till she was peeing whiskey and drank more with arms she cut herself. Andrew and his sister Sophia cowed whenever she went into a rampage in the house. He was glad that the day mother cut herself, Sophia was not at home. Somebody called the authorities, it was not Andrew.

Large amount of anonymous alcoholics and anti-depressants later she came back. Sophia cried herself to sleep every night, Andrew used to hold her while she slept. And now while mother is almost normal the holidays are here. And they are standing in the mall with alcohol on the shelf to the left.

Mother pulls herself together and moves forward. They shop, Andrew pleading for every new toy he sees, mother persuading him to buy it the next time he comes there. But he could see her hustle. She wants to leave and drive home and have coffee, have this mall as far behind as possible. So he stops pleading eventually.

Sophia is not at home, at some of her friends place. Its snowing outside, driveway is piled up with snow. They get inside the home, mother whining about having to clean the driveway after dinner. Leaves the shopping bags on the kitchen and just  drops on the couch.

Unsure of what to do, Andrew turns on the TV. They watch a couple of minutes while mother is drinking water, like three bottles of water. She is keeping her hands busy, with remote or with her hair or with her sweater. Anything to keep her mind off.

Sophia is about to be home any minute now, its almost 7 pm. Mother has fallen asleep on the couch. Andrew wakes her up with a coffee.

“You know how to make coffee?”

“Yeah I watched you make them. You were asleep and tired so I made one for you. And no mom, I did not drink it”

She smiled. And Andrew recalled her old smile. There was just a hint of that old smile and laughter now. But it was there.

“Andrew!!” Sophia shouted from the driveway, “come here and help me clean it up.”

Mother looked perplexed, Andrew gave a loop sided smile and said “I may have ordered her to clean the snow. She refused. We had to have a compromise.”

He wore his gloves and opened the door, and there was Sophia with a big fistful of snow in her hands. She threw it at his face.

Mother gasped. Andrew gasped. Sophia laughed and bolted outside.

Andrew ran after her. Mother sighed suddenly remembering that they are just children yet. For now.

(Post inspired by reading Candid Kay’s blog post: Christmas tree left of centre)