Chester.. “In the end , it does matter”

For the past 10 hours or so, I’ve been scraping every bit of news off of the internet, about the apparent suicide of Chester Bennington. In the shock, didn’t know what else to do, or how else to vent.

Chester and Linkin’ Park holds a significant part of my coming of age, the days when I didn’t know if I am a teenager or an adult. His words ran deep into my veins, and his songs drilled right into my heart. And it was so easy for him to have that effect on me, like many others I’m sure, because such was the power of his music, and his voice. I had all of LP songs in my playlist most of the time, their wallpaper and screensavers on my computer desktop. In fact the best way to concentrate while I study was to listen to LP loudly with headphones and then read the textbooks. Chester was my go-to-person during my ‘not-so-bright’ days at college, imbued with adulterated friendships, broken relationships and tattered hearts. And then the image that comes to one’s head would be me taking a long drive in car, lulling my head to music slowly. But no, the only way I knew to vent was to drive like crazy, screaming his songs out loud and that was my healing process. And it worked like magic, every single time.

When I decided to go abroad for higher studies, the very first article on top of my ‘to-do list’, was to watch LP live before I come back to India. And I made it happen, even though I had to drag friends who knew absolutely nothing about the band. To my surprise, they too enjoyed the concert quite a lot even when they had never heard any other songs than ‘In the end’. That was the charisma of Chester running all about the stage like a rabbit, singing and screaming, throwing water all over his face intermittently and never taking a proper break in the whole 3 hours. He really was born to perform, an absolute superstar, in every sense of the word.

I am sure many like me understand it when I say LP gave me the will to go on. To an extent, it is better to face things with rage than with depression. With rage you fight it out, you don’t give up. I don’t know how to explain feeling connected to a person whom you never knew in person. But I felt it. And I know for many my age, his songs helped fight our demons, and he literally was part of our growing up. I felt he dragged me out of hell holes and pits of darkness, while singing to me that he’s been there too, and I am not alone in feeling what I felt. I remember feeling that if he could fight the devils inside him and rise up in life, so could anyone. And through it all, I changed, transformed, and I learnt one more way to vent and cope – write.

But I think I still need to take a drive now. For, no amount of words seems to heal this pain.

He sang,

I want to heal,
I want to feel,
What I thought was never real
I want to let go of the pain I felt so long (Erase all the pain ’til it’s gone)
I want to heal,
I want to feel,
Like I’m close to something real
I want to find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong

Chester, I hope you are in a place you feel you belong, and you find the peace you wanted all along. Nothing can ever deter the love and allegiance I feel to you and your music. Love you forever and ever.


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