Living amidst a world that, at the time, was dominated by Himesh Reshammiya singing Jhalak dikhla ja, I felt something that moved within me, I clearly remember, when I heard Numb for the first time. I did go numb for the time when I was listening to the song, and I heard that voice – cold, broken – as if there was something that wasn’t in its original place and that is what exactly had led for it to be even more beautiful altogether. That, is how I knew Chester Bennington.
For me, Linkin Park practically was Chester, with Mike Shinoda hanging around in the background, definitely crucial but not the one grabbing the limelight of our ears. No! That special place would be occupied by only Chester, and he wouldn’t even want it! From the Inside was a song that I heard with one of my mates during college. He would sing Chester’s part, and I would more than happily love to take Mike Shinoda’s vocals for our play. Even though Mike has more words sung in the song, Chester’s voice would tempt me to sing even my friend’s part. There was something in it, right from the start, and I was shocked this morning when I read that the same voice had now fallen silent forever.
What I’ve done, In the end and Faint were like echoes of my own heart singing out, as I could link myself with him in one way or the other, and so could other friends of mine who listened to LP. They all could relate to his words, it pains me to think what would a man have experienced to be able to recollect everything to which everyone else can relate at some point? I read he was abused as a child and fell in heavy for alcohol and drugs, but that was all the past, right? He had reached a point where he only need to point out someone as bad and the people might have even branded them in public! Who knows? The point is, it was all done and now, he was having a chance to tell others that no matter how screwed up your yesterdays are, your tomorrows can still be bright!
Maybe, he was strong, all these days. Maybe, he indeed tried, tried and tried again to jump and grab that ledge so he could drag himself out of that unending pit of sorrow, but after his close friend – Chris Cornell – also gave up and hung himself, it all crumbled to pieces. Even when we are at the heights of prosperity after having gruesome and abusive experiences in the past, we still need one human heart to cling to, to motivate us from time to time, to tell us that we are not okay when we answer them ‘I’m fine’ to their question, ‘How are you?’. When that single heart is lost as well, there is truly nothing left for us to live for, since you decided to live on previously at some time in your life because of that heart, that person!
It was sad, very sad, to get to know that such a talented, inspiring, motivating and energetic voice will now never speak again, but still will be heard forever. I am unable to picture LP without him.
Deepest sympathies with Chester’s family and with Linkin Park.
Rest in peace, Chester. We love you and will definitely miss you.
Long live Chester! Long live LP!