-Pratyush Thakur, 2nd Year, COE
“Waiting for the end to come
Wishing I had the strength to stand
This is not that I had planned
It’s out of my control”
If you recognize the above lyrics and feel a tingle go down your spine, then you are one of the millions touched by a single entity – Music that reaches out to your heart. Linkin Park was made of extremely talented individuals, but a band is defined by it’s lead singer. Chester Bennington truly defined what it meant to sing directly from the emotions, exposing raw nerves and causing us to sit up and listen. Not just listen, but actually listen. As actor Jared Leto aptly said, “He had a distinct voice, at once delicate and ferocious. It’s the angel and the demon, sitting on both shoulders. You could feel the tension between the two when he sang, and I think the reason so many people connected to his music was because of that balance he achieved between the two”.
When the shocking news came forth, the entire world wept. It had lost a soul to the dark void that is depression. Someone who had helped so many through the darkest times, couldn’t find his way to the light. Many will relate with me when I say, that at times, Linkin Park’s music was the only thing that helped me stay afloat. After hearing about him committing suicide, I played all his songs again. And that’s when each song really hit me, the lyrics started making sense. The pain and hurt in the songs bubbled up to the surface. The 18 second long scream in the single ‘Given Up’ made me sit and take notice. I started thinking of the personal hell he must be going through, the history of child abuse that may have marred his psyche. To turn out songs that inspire the people, that focus on emotions and social issues as well, that does require something. That is indeed the beauty of Chester, his legacy that he has left behind. It makes us think, how fickle fame or riches can be.
Chester’s death underlines the fact that no matter how successful, rich or popular you may be, depression doesn’t discriminate. If it can happen to him, anyone could be the next victim. It becomes imperative to combat this, to accept the elephant in the room, because even discussing about it is considered a taboo in our society. We owe it to Chester, we owe it to ourselves. He will remain forever engraved in our hearts, the light shall never go out.
P.S. In the end, it all really matters.