Track 1: Numb. Too late, I know. But your biggest fan, was born right there, staring at the CD player, wondering..who were these people? Why did this song simplify everything I was feeling and how I wish I could have a portable CD player to listen to Numb on loop.
Track 2: In the end. It was so good!It made my heart sink to the ground every time I listened to it. It’s 2017, I still feel the same.
Track 3: Breaking the Habit. Clutching my cure
I tightly lock the door
I try to catch my breath again
I hurt much more
Than anytime before
I had no options left again
yet again, you took your pen and wrote down everything I felt and made a song out of it. How?
Years passed, I was here. Listening to every album release, every press interview, your concerts, all of it. Everyone I know gifted me everything, Linkin Park. I personally took the onus of your integrity. Nobody badmouths Linkin Park as long as I am here. I was here, branding for you, promoting you. Writing down the lyrics of every Linkin Park song I know by-heart in the last page of my notebook. Rewriting them over and over, in lectures both interesting and boring.
I contemplated too long. If I should get inked, and if it should read ‘Linkin Park’. I fought with way too many people who ever joked, you guys would split. I had way too many people testing my love for you, while they asked if I would spend whatever I have and more if you guys ever came to perform.
Also, for me, it never was an ‘IF’. Let me tell you something. I am a believer of dreams. And with the conviction with which I believed Linkin Park would come to India. I would prebook tickets, travel by flight if I have to (I have a phobia of Flights) and be on the first row while the crowd is lunging at you (I panic in overcrowded places), you would look at me. You would look at me for a micro milli second, and you would not even realize what you had just done. You would have just weaved my best memory, with those eyes, that voice, a million lights and billion fans.
I would come for your meet and greet backstage, you would be sitting there with the rest all of whom I love, you’d be as sassy, funny and humble as you’d always be. I would come up to you, my hands shivering, my voice quivering, because have you ever experienced your biggest most magnanimous of dreams come true? You would take my book, sign across it and talk to me while I cried. Because we met. I would rant (if I could speak) about how you’ve just met you biggest fan. You’d smile politely because you’ve heard it way too often. You’d murmur things which were all crystal clear in my head. Now only a blur. I would hug you and you would hug me back because you have always loved your fans.
So when my best friend comes barging in a 12:15 am, 21st July 2017 waking me up, holding my face and telling me ‘Chester committed suicide’. I was sitting upright before I knew it. ‘It is a hoax’ I said. While my heart pounded against my chest. No No No No No.
I checked my phone. googled. twitter. It was true.
There was a deafening silence. Has anyone ever told you? that the shattering of your biggest dreams is the most penetrating silence you can ever hear? It feels like a loud thud on your chest, a punch and then numbing silence like someone is skillful tearing me apart while I watch, wait there’s a word for it, HELPLESSNESS. My Life Fell Apart. My head couldn’t grasp, my hands were frantic, my eyes were moist, my gait- resigned.
In that moment, my dreams fell apart, slow enough for me to feel it being ripped to shreds and fast enough for me to not catch a breath. Shaken, bruised, betrayed. But. I would not understand you.
You were there, all those nights, blaring through my headphones telling me everything I was feeling. Making me feel, I was never alone. You, Linkin Park, were always there. And when the world got too much to handle, all I had to do was turn the volume to full and listen to you. I hope there were enough people in 41 years of your life, who told you music heals, yours especially.
You saved way too many people. You changed way too many lives. You were there as I grew up, changed bit by bit from the person I was to the person I am. You meanwhile changed from ‘I am one step closer to the edge and I am about to break‘ to ‘And you’re sure you’ve hurt in a way, That no one will ever know, But someday the weight of the world, Will give you the strength to go’ to ‘Can I help you, not to hurt, any more?‘. Our worlds, Criss-crossing at every step, every junction, every path. You were there for me. I would not, could not let you go. You cant let legends go right?
I brought a T shirt for every new album. I attended three Linkin Park tribute concerts because, for me, they were the closest thing to you. I cried when they played ‘I dreamed I was missing, you were so scared, but no one would listen, cause no one else cared’.
I could not wait to hear it from you. But to the man who had a billion fans, all of them like me or better. We weren’t enough. We weren’t enough for you to stay. And no, I am not mad at you. I could never be. I just wish we were enough. I just wish you’d tell us. And you would have one fan write to you every single day to tell you how why you should survive today, maybe just exist. You’d live 100 years Chester Charles Bennington. For every fan you helped, you’d live a thousand years, love. But I guess, that’s not what you needed?
I want to understand, I want to make things better, I want you back.
‘Can I help you, not to hurt anymore’ I wasn’t there to make it stop, it hurt so bad, didn’t it?
Can you help me, not to hurt anymore?
Because, I care if one more light goes out, in a sky full of million stars, it flickers.You left, the void is the fucking gaping hole in my heart. I want to heal, but then again your music healed me. How do I listen to your voice without hurting, When will I stop wearing all the Linkin Park T shirts I own? How will I go to my diary today and write those words? How will I listen to One More Light, my love? How will I listen to ‘Sorry for now‘. How will I ever come to terms with the fact that my dream, the dream of all dreams, the dream that needed no motivation to follow or inspiration to go on, the dream that I was most unwaveringly sure of, seeing you guys live, was snatched away from me 12:14 am, 21st July 2017. One min before my world came crashing down.
I believe in signs, and as my puffy swollen eyes were aimlessly staring into an abyss, trying to get through the day, trying to make sense of everything that happened, I read ‘He has a much bigger and better place now‘, the sign board across the street read. I believe they spoke about your mind. I believe you are free from your demons, I believe you now can wander in your thoughts without being a prisoner to it. I believe you let go because you had to. While I will never ever ever agree this was anything close to the right thing you did, I wish you’d ask for help, I wish you’d stay, I wish I ‘d read ‘Linkin Park coming to India, 2018’. I can forgive you because I love you way too much. I wish you found peace, the one that you craved so much.
I wish you are at peace while the world is robbed away from you. I wish you found everything you needed, while we the Millennials aimlessly are walking like zombies trying to make sense of why you did, what you did. You changed a generation, Sir. You changed lives, you changed me.
And in another world, I hope you are happy. I hope you are smiling, I hope you are sassy, witty, funny. I hope you write brilliant songs, I hope you sing them too. But please don’t release new albums there until we have fought all your wars here until we have helped all those people who need help. Until we continue to wade through life each day because you taught us to.
Sometimes, the students surpass the teachers. I never thought a day would come, when I would have to go on living, knowing that my hero has faltered. But it has. You could not go on, but I need to because you mean too much. So, I take you ahead in spirit and I promise you, you will always live, unendingly in my heart.
So, Chester Charles Bennington, I will not say my goodbyes. Because for me you live on and will live on through the generations. Until my kids and grand-kids sing’ It starts with one thing I don’t know why’. And I will be there senile and toothless, smiling, knowing you help me survive and how 100 years later, you continue to live on.
Because souls do not die.
Chester Charles Bennington – You will always be my ‘forever’.