The hardest part of ending is starting all again.

When I was 13 and had access to cable television (lost access to it when I was 14 because of "Board exams" even though I was in 9th standard), there used to be a show at 4 pm.
I think it was called MTV On Demand hosted by VJ Chinappa.

It was the 1 hour on Television which was actually "Worth watching". Music which was worth listening.

One fine day, a song called "Somewhere I belong" by this band Linkin Park came on. It was different. It wasn't soft or processed. It felt, "powerful".

Years later, when I saw a documentary on heavy metal, Sam Dunn explained that metal music causes that sensation. Hair standing on the back of your neck, the purging sensation of emotions flowing through your soul.

I was a very angsty teen. I got into a relationship with a girl, at 13. I was one hell of a swimmer at that time, achieving a lot. And years have softened my ego and grown my brain size, but when you are 13, the world is a very tough place to be in. You want things to be you way. Even adults can't handle relationships, I was a teenager. And plus all that success wanted the egotistical me to assert myself even more.

So when from the perspective of a teenager, things were not perfect it meant the whole world was against him. Obviously as I grew up I realised, there are worse things in life than minor disagreements (and some unpleasant stuff which took me years to move on from), but hey, as a 13 year old, that time was hard.

I feared sharing my emotions with anyone. I had 2 good friends but I tried not to bother them with "feelings". I was too afraid to approach my parents( even though they did nothing on their part to "scare" me).

So music became my outlet. This band was my saviour. And their lead singer my idol.

I learnt every lyric. Bought every cassette and played them on my walkman till they faded out. (Yes I come from the "OLD" age). Air-guitared every song. Sang those songs in class with my best friend.

Hell, I even broke up with my 1st girlfriend using a letter with Linkin Park lyrics. (I patched up later, well she did, but those lyrics sure were powerful).

Even in my clothes, I copied Chester Bennigton. Infact I recently bought a green shirt and black trouser combo to wear with Converse shoes which was what Chester wore in Live in Texas concert in 2003.

If I felt down, angry, sad, depressed, I put on my walkman and went into the world of Linkin Park. They were like brothers I never had.

I did battle depression myself, last year. I know what it feels like and even through those harrowing hours it was Chester's voice that got me through.

And when this news broke today, I felt like my teen years just disappeared infront of my eyes. The old memories flashed infront of my eyes with his voice in the background.

My teen years are what shaped me into what I am today: hard headed, strong willed and determined. All because the music of this band kept me going. The voice of this singer helped me fight on.

And now that he is gone, the castle of glass has shattered. What(ever) I've Done and the Somewhere I belong have all become so Numb.

In the End, my prayers for Chester's soul too will be Lost in the Echo.

RIP Chester Bennigton, thank you for the memories.

PS: My 1st Linkin Park song:


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