The writer’s dilemma

I have many friends who write very well, and I earnestly read their words. Over time, I have realised though, that my friends write about a lot of interesting and curious things that I have never considered for my blog.

They write about topics that really matter, like Syrian rebels or the Russian government. I have read intellectual views on political agendas and genetically modified organisms. People who write about problems like chemical warfare and global warming and criticise industrialization of healthcare in developing countries. 

People are out there, addressing worries of the bleak reality we are facing and I am here, trapped in my bubble of pink, writing about unicorns and star dust in the wake of nuclear weapons and women rights. My blogs are just a beautiful collection of words, without meaning or result. They feel good to read and maybe they cause a flutter of your heart once a while. But they don’t hold significance on the earth we know. 

In a world where racism and cancer are easier to find than a good library, my words about the meteors in your eyes or the loneliness rising like a volcano from the pit of my stomach, feel trivial. As an able citizen of this world,, Ishould be concerned about the magnetic waves around the Bermuda triangle and the lack of menstrual hygiene in African countries. Instead, I worry about the fondness of the waves on an ocean deeper than my existence. 

I wonder if it makes me a selfish person if I enjoy describing how my mother’s laugh reminds me of a choir in a church on Christmas eve, more than the Olympic games. I wonder if it’s vain to afford the idea of painting the sky green greater importance than the cases of medical negligence in my city. I am guilty of decorating words over a string of meaningless metaphors about the sound of rain on my window sill. 

I should probably invest in writing about things that matter, as they call it, but I don’t want to force words out of my lungs in long ragged breaths. I want them to flow out of my veins like ink from my pen and bask in the radiance they bestow upon my mind. I don’t want to express opinions when I don’t have any, or view this world through the glasses of a common man, too sane to acknowledge butterflies. Maybe this is my refusal to accept our flawed world or a denial of existentialism. Maybe it is my unwillingness to let go of the roar of the ocean or the way a cathedral makes my heart swoon. 

I am not sure if this is immaturity or defiance or contempt, even. What I know is this: I have always preferred microscopes over telescopes, smiles over science fiction and I guess this is how it will be.

Wildflower

I am blanketed in an ink of darkness, my head uncomfortably sucked under. It covers me like a shroud, but somewhere in my heart I know it is the birth.

The tunnel is obscure in it’s architecture but the haunt of gloom hangs heavily. I don’t know how long or deep it is, but I can guess the end is far. I can feel a lot of negative energy, like something is sick or dying or troubled. The air cringes on my skin like the stench of rotting eggs. I have a voice in my heart, and it screams grow.

 My feet, uncertain of the terrain, move cautiously at first. The ground is wet in places. I can see no definite path. The stones and pebbles are the teeth of an ill fitting denture. I fall down and granite scrapes away a part of my skin like an improperly erased drawing. I fall down several times but with each fall, I feel more confident about the place I am in. It feels easier to get up each time. The voice gently sings grow. 

So I do.

I walk for miles, but I can’t seem to reach the end of this tunnel. My calves ache and chips of rocks pierce the soles of my feet. I can feel the hurt. Sweat trickles down my forehead like water from edges of an overfilled jug. My heart grows weary and my will is breaking down. Maybe this is my fate. I will spend my entire life in a rancid drain where algae will flourish over my entire existence like a bad rash of measles. I cry, I beg, I plead. But whilst I am hoping for god’s grace to crack open this devil’s hole, each patient moment makes my faith evaporate a little more. Pain is beating on me like a drum and I wish to give up on living. But then, this voice grows inside me, like a slow growl that converts into a loud roar. It rises from the pit of my stomach like warm bitter bile and leaves only one word on my tongue, grow. But I can’t. I am done. I try to swallow the word back but it rebels like an untamed horse. 

The voice chants grow,grow,grow.

So I do.

I get up and begin my ascent towards the light. Maybe it is an illusion of the tired mind, but I feel closer to the end. Or the beginning. Soon, I start hearing voices echoing through the tunnel. They tremble like teacups in an earthquake. Sounds, unclear in their tone, but firm in their approach. They tell me I shouldn’t go any further. The murmurs grow louder and say no,no,no. 

I probably shouldn’t go ahead. Everyone else is right. It is funny how the human mind is often ready to believe incongruous noises in the dark, just because they are more convenient to believe. The voices rattle constantly like ice cubes in a whisky glass and each one is a distinct criticism of my ascent. I am convinced that I should abandon this stupid idea. We are all meant to live in this hellhole, enveloped in darkness, marching away into oblivion without a cause proved just. I was a fool to believe that I could revolutionize this drudgery. Life is a vicious cycle I shouldn’t break. A path less travelled by?  It is the one that makes a difference because it’s a mistake.

But this voice in my heart? It doesn’t have ears, it only knows how to speak and be heard. I lock it within the chamber of my heart, but the melodious lullaby knocks at my ribs singing grow,grow,grow. The soft music reverberates in my bare bones until it is a tone I cannot disregard. All the cells in my body begin to resonate, chanting grow, grow, grow. I feel the sound leave my skin and hit the ceiling. I wonder if the sound alone will split the sky open.The entire tunnel resounds the blood in my heart, as if in a trance, grow. 

So I do.

I fiercely scrambled through the darkness, towards the light. I soar, sprouting through the tunnel like a seed, watered by the will of a voice that said, grow.

I reached the radiance soon, bursting out through the tiny crack like a wildflower blooming in fresh, violent sunlight. I rise like the hurricane and dance amidst the clouds at edge of the earth and the sky. I am saturated with colour and seared by the light.This earth, my earth, my playground. 

Grow.

Where they say you cannot, when there is no fodder for your soul. The only thing that locks you in place is the only thing that can set you free. Creak open the rusty roads and walk away. 

Fly. And when you start to doubt the slightest flutter of your wings, listen to that voice in your heart.

An extraordinary life?

When I was in high school, there was girl in my class who was good at everything she did. Everyone has probably met one of those prodigies, and enviously watched them excel at everything they did. The people blessed with Midas’ touch in their fingertips. This one girl in my class was as good at math and geography as she was in reciting poetry. In fact, she was an exceptionally good dancer too. There were rumours that she had a white belt in taekwondo, but I never knew if they were true. You see, we were never friends. My relationship with her swinged between unrequited admiration and plain jealousy. She was everything I ever wanted to be.

There she was, standing on the stage before a good two hundred people and sharing her opinion on Syrian rebels and Russian warfare while I was a nervous wreck, thinking twice before asking a classmate to switch off the fan even.

 I have a strange little habit of noticing very insignificant things about people. I always observed her closely, hoping to imbibe the mysterious mannerisms and catch that little insignificant detail my life was missing. I was on the verge of believing that she had a magic potion tucked under her sleeves. How could someone be so good, so good at everything. 

Although, after a few months of following this secret mission of mine, I finally concluded that she led a pretty​ ordinary life. There wasn’t any stardust in her routine, only mundanity. Just like me. But yet, yet, her lowest levels of mediocrity was the edge of my exceptional capacity. I always wondered what kind of woman she would be when she grew up. She wanted to be a graphic designer, back then. I am sure she must have crossed that milestone. In fact, I know she must have achieved everything she had dreamt of. She was that kind of woman, ambitious and clear headed. I wanted to be like her. On somedays, I almost wanted to be her.

What is it, that makes the extraordinary? What is extraordinary anyway?

Maybe extraordinary is a responsible decision, maybe it’s a sensible compromise. Sometimes, extraordinary is an act of selflessness, at others, it is a thought for yourself. Maybe extraordinary is the realisation that life is a staircase with no end, where you climb each day. Then one day when you glance down you can’t see where you started or how high you are, but have grown wings in your mind . Maybe extraordinary is the will to climb despite the understanding that there is no top floor. Or maybe extraordinary is the first flutter of your wings away from it. Extraordinary is not expecting a pumpkin drawn cart or a singing candelabra. It is living the traffic signals in pouring rain and trying to lick a raindrop off before it slid down from the edge of the helmet and onto your nose. Extraordinary is thriving to be a better version of yourself on days life tells you you are the best. 

Extraordinary is in the living, in the breath escaping your lips and in the stars in your eyes.Extraordinary is you. Extraordinary is me. 

I want to be.

I was eleven, when my grandmother asked me who I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her that I desired to be a mother just like my mother, charming in every wrinkle on her forehead and the elegant crow feet at the corner of her eyes. I told her that I wished to raise beautiful children like me. I would dress up my daughter just like I did my Barbie. She’d be my princess and I would give her a dinner full of M&Ms, unlike how my mother doesn’t. In my world, there would be no dental carries or diabetes.

I was twelve, when my favourite teacher organised an elocution competition at school where we had to speak about someone we’d aspire to be. I spoke about how I must be like her. I would win hearts with impeccable English and teach proses about kings and queens and princes and paupers like they were bedtime stories. I would orate poetry, loud and clear, hold every child in rapt attention and finish in a whisper, only to leave the pupils wondering if the secret of this universe was hidden in the air between my lips. I would give them As and decorate the blackboard with a different coloured chalks.

When I was fourteen, I told everyone that I yearned to be rich. I would buy those sexy convertibles with automated voice control that I saw on TV commercials. I would buy a penthouse in San Francisco and build a library in my attic. I wished to buy fancy clothes and furniture where I’d sit all day and eat seven meal courses they offer at high end restaurants. 3-D video games and home theatres would be my reality.

I was fifteen, when life had finally started knocking some sense into me. I decided that I wanted to write. I learnt to push syllables out of my veins faster than words out of my mouth. Similes and metaphors became my best friends. I read books like a man learning how to fly, letting idioms fill in my lungs like air. I learnt to be a thousand lives at once. My characters, my ideas, my phrases. I had so many words in my head that I could live my entire life putting them down on paper.

At sixteen, I fell in love and all I wanted to be is, his. Love bubbled up my throat and made me giddy. It bounced between his dimples and the angle his lips make. Love made me a teacher, an astronaut and a writer, all at once. I wrote poems about the meteors in his touch and the constellations in his eyes. Love taught me how you could gloat through the galaxy in someone’s breath. Cosmic dust rested on his eyelashes. I wrote love in cursive handwritings and Times New Roman. I felt oxymorons escape my fingertips everytime his touched my skin. Stories, ideas, characters became him.

At seventeen, love faded and left behind a disease without a cure, loneliness. So I decided I wanted to become a healer, for if a broken heart could cause such pain, then there was no measure of the agony inflicted by a physically broken bone or cut arteries. I wanted to master it, pain, in every form and shape. I wanted to suffer in the suffering of others and be able to change it.

At twenty, I wanted to be so much more than I was. So much more than what people expected of me, what I expected of me. I wanted to a be teacher and the pupil, the mother and the child, the lover and the loved. I wanted to be the meteor and the stargazer, the poet and the poem.

 I crave to touch the sky and paint it green. I want to eat like a rhinoceros and sleep like a log. I wish to learn ballet and how to play the guitar. I hope to be the person people turn to for help. I apsire to be the woman my sister idolises.

But for now though, I am just being me and hopefully that will be enough.

Depression -1

/Reading an excerpt from a depressed friend’s journal.

I think there is something wrong with me. A few days ago, I was driving down the street while listening to a song with very sad lyrics, and two minutes into the song I started imagining how it would feel to die. I imagine a bomb blast on the streets two feet away from where I am or a plane crash right into my nose or a brutal traffic accident with my legs amputated in the impact. I was so deep in thought that I almost couldn’t hear the song through my earphones. I imagined how I would feel if one of my parents or sister or one of my best friends died. I almost thought of stopping the car and calling every person I love and ask them if they were alright. Because I was having omnious thoughts

I started crying right there and I didn’t know what to do.  I was a paradox in the moment, on one hand I was constantly consoling myself and telling me that I was being stupid, I changed the playlist to alternative rock to convince myself that the outburst was merely an auditory stimulation, on the other hand, I was sobbing like a baby. In the back of my head, I was ridiculing myself for the same. I feel like two persons at once. And this has been happening a lot lately.

I feel sad all the goddamn time. There is a voice in my head that keeps telling me how worthless and insignificant I am. I get upset over the fact that I assume no one likes me. The worst thing is I know it is not so but yet I am not sure. I am the hand pushing myself into an abyss.

 I know it’s the depression coming back, I can feel it’s hollow laughter slowly creeping up my veins but I am afraid, too afraid to acknowledge it. I live in denial. Everytime I open my mouth to speak, there is a voice in my head that says stop no-one wants to listen to you. 

Yesterday, My best friend went to watch a movie with her boyfriend that she’d planned to watch with me. And she lied to me about it. I feel like a piece of shit right now. There are very few people in this world who really matter to me and these few days I’ve been feeling like I don’t matter to anyone. It is almost like, it doesn’t matter if I were alive or dead. The sun’d still rise and shine and the moon would still raise tides like every other night. The earth would still rotate and birds would still chirp. When such thoughts cross my mind, the sane part of me that is still in control wants to give me one tight slap and tell me I have other important stuff to do. I have snowballing backlogs and my schedules are adding up, my efforts are failing to keep up with the required results and I feel awful about it. I want to stop thinking about death or loneliness or disease but I can’t. I can’t. 

I can’t seem to concentrate enough on things that require my attention and I waste time thinking about trivial matters of little value. Like how my crush didn’t text me back for four hours or how my mother didn’t kiss me goodnight like she always does. I don’t know what to do and nothing I do seems to help.

I feel tired all the fucking time and I never have the enthusiasm to do anything new. It feels like I am dragging throughout the day and there is no end to this misery. Everyone I know is busy in their own life affairs and I am here, having too much but nothing to do at all wondering if they don’t care enough for me.

I feel sick. Like some real physical sickness. I google symptoms for everything from vaginal candidiasis to cataract to diabetes to goddamn renal carcinoma and check if I have any. And believe me , I am paranoid about everything. I feel like god is giving me signs, I had two accidents this week but I didn’t tell anyone about it believing it was karma and I deserved it. I feel like I have done something miserably wrong, I constantly feel guilty for it yet I have no idea why or what I have done. I want to correct it so that I can have some peace of mind. Moreover I feel like I’m repeating the same mistake everyday, probably every morning when I wake up or every night when I sleep because everyday seems to be worse than the previous. 

God is punishing me everyday, for living is my sin. 

Everything’s out of my hands and falling to the ground and I know it will shatter but I don’t want to catch them. Because maybe I goddamn don’t deserve them. I hate my entire existence, had it been for another human he would have lived his life far better than I have.

Everything is my fault. Even goddamn Al-Qaeda. That’s how I feel all the time. I need a way out. I don’t know what to do, where to go, and I can’t tell anyone about this.

I have seen people in my life face worse situations than this, people who have actually lost their loved ones or have been cruelly slapped in the face by fate, and I feel like I have been so privileged all my life, never facing any real problem except for this monster in my head. I have seen so little of life and there is so much left to explore, I don’t know why I am getting tired of it at such an initial step. I have just started climbing and there is a long way to go but I am already panting like an overweight lady at the top of a flight of stairs.

 I want to be more. I want to be more than just this. This monster in my head and it’s clutches. Then why can’t I help myself? Why can’t I live my life the way I want to without being shit scared of my own brain all the time? 

Maybe I can, maybe I will but until then this piece of paper is my only friend.

Godman

A godman visited our home recently. My interactions with him were least, but I learned a lot within that short span.

He was sitting on the chair, wearing a saffron​ dhoti and had a white cloth over his shoulders. He smells of sandalwood and has the same smeared on his arms and chest. The sacred thread of Hinduism is doubled up around his abdomen in a loose loop. I bow down to touch his feet and he blesses me. While I am getting up he catches my hands. I am caught unawares. He looks at my bare hands and asks me where my bangles are. I look at my mother and she smiles awkwardly at him . She hurriedly removes two of her own bangles and slides them down my wrists.

Watchin my mother’s chagrined eyes, I sit down cross legged before him. My mother smiles nervously, his validation of her daughter’s upbringing is important to her. I know this, all to well, so I just obediently follow everything she says. She tells him my age and mentions my sister. 

Two daughters? He asks, with a hint of resentment.

My mother says yes and he nods cynically.  He then turns his gaze towards me and asks me if I will sing a devotional song for him.

 I don’t know any. (I do maybe, they used to teach us prayers and songs about goodwill and karma at school but I hardly think he is asking for those.) I remember all those times my mother played the regional prayers, one volume too loud hoping that I could memorize them by the ear. He stares at me for one full minute and I uncomfortably shift my thoughts from I should’ve learned them to who cares? I know anatomy and biochemistry, of course he doesn’t, to my mother is ashamed of me. 

I look at my mother and she is embarrassed.There is an awkward silence and I look down. He breaks it and motions me to come to him. He gives me the Prasad and I touch his feet again. My mother, asks him to bless me well. She tells him that I am soon going to become a doctor, in the hope that he understands how hectic it would be for a medical student to sit  I and memorise mantras. He nods and ordinarily pats my back. When I am about to turn around and go , he asks me if I will promise him something. There is so much sincerity in his eyes that I say yes at once. 

You must keep this promise, no matter what, he says.

I nod earnestly because it appears to be something of importance.

You must never marry a boy of another caste, he says, that is very important.

I am surprised and disappointed at the same time. This is everything wrong with India as a community. He could have made me promise him academic excellence or a lifetime of service to the poor or betterment of healthcare in India or women empowerment or any one of those million issues in our country that need attention. Instead, he chooses to warn me against defiling his caste.

It is ironic for a man yielding so much influence in religious spheres and drawing support from larger sections of the society, should make such a petty demand. He has atleast four to five hundred followers who could be sent into a frenzy at the drop of his hat. With such kind of power and money there are so many unresolved issues towards which a conscious effort can be made. Instead, he is here telling me how important it is to marry the boy from the right caste. As if that is the one problem threatening world peace. On a very basic level, it wouldn’t be wrong to compare the godman with Adolf Hitler himself. He is a well read religious devout, thorough with scriptures I haven’t even heard of. He knows of a hundred mythological stories that I have missed.

 But what I know is this, devotion to god cannot be built over a heart full of hatred for another. 

Everyone of us is god’s child and if all the scriptures haven’t taught him this, I wonder what he learnt. It’s a pity however, that a man of such stature, in whom people have blindly placed so much trust, who are ready to follow any and every thing he says, would put reinforce ideas of casteism in their head. An idea that should have been eradicated long ago.

 And this is just one of them. There are millions of godmen in India, claiming to be what they are not, teaching people how to gain God’s favour by sacrificing an animal or how to impress Him by fasting every fifteen days. Because in India, people put more faith in people like them than they put in doctors or policemen. A religious leader is an incarnation of God in our country and it saddens me to think that those gurus inculcate very few things of real value or significance into the common man.

We are a world spinning out of control where everyone is looking for directions. I wish there were religious leaders who would show a faithful man the right path instead of misleading them for their own interests. A leader who stands for what is right in the changing times. A leader who leads people in true sense.

But here I am, learning Sanskrit shlokas that my mother wrote down, lest he visits us ever again, and wondering how long it will take for someone to open their eyes.

Love reveals you.

I have always wondered how love changes a person. It is playful and mischievous in it’s manners but carries a hint of permanence that everyone is afraid of. I have understood love only as a dense fog where we walk guided by Cupid’s arrows and nothing else. We trust the sound of our heartbeats more than the sight of our eyes, never once considering the fact that the melody of the world is muted in fog. We emerge, if at all, from the deliciously delusional clouds of tender love, changing into a person stranger to our own selves. 

Over time although I have realised that love never changes you. It reveals you. It is not a dense fog but a tempestuous storm that rains over your head and heart until there is nothing left but you. You, in a form and shape you truly are. The rains wash away any and every facade you have created for this world to watch. Selfish or selfless, courageous or cowardly, gentle or savage, however and whoever you are when you are in love, is who you are in truth.

The curiosity lies in the fact that love refuses a veiled existence. It bereaved you of masquerades you hold and gifts you with a mirror of yourself. And what you see, what you see is spectacularly surprising, because you see someone you have never seen. Love scrubs away the stains of worldly pain and despair.Without deceptive make-up, treacherous lies and majestic masks of inconsideration, you don’t remember who you are. 

So love reminds you.

 It touches you and tell you who you are. It reminds you of a tender heart beating, caged within your own realms of brutuality and fear. You are afraid, your heart is fragile mirror. You are afraid it might break even before it breathes, so you caged it all this time, to protect it and nurture it to suit your fears. But my dear, your heart is a bird of steel meant to fly, even if it means falling a few times. It is stronger than anything you have ever known. 

And when love touches you, it unchains the bonds and sets you free. Love liberates you. It indulges you to believe you are so beautiful, so beautiful within, so bountiful within that grace exudes without a filter.It assures you that the best version of you is the one you have been hiding. The rest of your journey into and around love is the joy of meeting yourself. That is why love feels so good, because it makes you love yourself. It completes you in ways you never thought possible.

Love isn’t a wave of the sea that crashes and ebbs away in the blink of an eye, love is the unrelenting river that cuts rocks into a promise of tommorrow. A shape of joy. And somehow it feels like victory. Love makes you realise the lack  of need of a cover. Who you are is a sword not a shield. Love lets you use it as one. 

Love reveals you. Love reveals all.

In fond memory of the sea. 

You stand by the sea, listening to the roar of waves hitting the shore at sunset. You watch the water from a distance, as it curves itself in despair when the sun threatens to exit the horizon. The sea, my love, is a seductive mistress in broad daylight. It draws you.The tides bind you in invisible ropes and pull you ferociously.  So, as you watch others, who lose themselves to the mighty sea, jumping, falling, drowning even, you wonder how salty the turquoise sea tastes. You will hear it’s roar in your dreams when you wish to dream of moutains. You will smell the ocean in your own words until one day, you decide to take one step ahead. Maybe one foot into the water? 

The sea embraces you like a long lost lover, it’s waves hit you when you are busy looking at the sky, and you will be surprised, fascinated even,by the warmth of the ocean. A warmth that reminds you of a mother or rather, a lover. You can feel it within yourself, emerging like waves in your heart when blood hits it’s walls. You wonder if the sea in front of your eyes is the sea within you. You feel one, you wish to be one. So as your mind decides to take one cautious step into the sand, your heart leaps into the water until you are waist deep in thought. The sea is like that. It is the kind of love that leans in for a kiss but takes a bite instead. Your legs are immersed in water and you wonder if this is what you were missing. The love that appears to touch you in a whispered words but hits you like a tornado. And before you know, it overwhelms you, overpowers you in a way that you never feel you needed another. Love is very much like the sea. It drowns you and fills every space you have. You get used to the moving currents, hiding gasps beneath the waves or screaming of a story in ripples. 

But then one day the waves begin to receed. You panic because you don’t understand a feeling unless the water warms your belly button or salt burns your eyes. You try to catch hold of the water, helplessly clutch at the stream in the hope that your fingers will suffice the limits the ocean doesn’t recognize. The waves receed and the sand beneath your feet slips away into the ocean where it truly belongs, while you are there, sinking, sinking, sinking. You almost want the waves to carry you along with themselves, away from the facades of a gin soaked world of joyless daylights. But it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Because mind you, however lovingly the wave embraced your body and soul, it still belongs to the sea. You wish you did too. 

Your feet are burrowed in sand and a pit is forming in your belly, a void, an absence that you probably will never be able to fill again. You realize your folly, maybe the sea was nothing more than a charm that caught your eye. It is a pity of course, the kind of love that promises to cuddle but ends up choking instead. And you are choking, the sea within you rises in your throat in tides you can’t settle. You run away from the shore, climb a mountain, you build walls and castles so that no wave ever can touch you again. You sit there huddled, in a corner because the sea isn’t the saviour, it is the slayer. It threatens to drown you in storms while daring you to breathe. It is the savage and the elegant. It is the festival and the battle. 

But then, love, one day, a wave will rise stronger than the ones you have seen, stronger than any you have seen. It will break through every wall you’ve built. The moutain peak will bow down to immerse you into the vast sea. Faith will overpower reason. It will overwhelm you, overpower again, and you will be one.  I cannot tell you if this wave will remain or whether it will float away like the rest of ocean in ripples and pieces that were never meant to stay. But when it comes, whenever it does, it will be the most beautiful thing you will have seen in your life. The wave will be worth an entire lifetime even if it washes away your existence in it’s realms. The wave is a world within itself, a world you are meant to live in or lose yourself to. Maybe it will come today, or tomorrow, maybe a year later or ten, but when it does, when it does my love, it will change your life. 

Connection. 

// Q:Have you ever felt a very strong connection with someone you’ve never met? 

I have. I don’t even know how to explain this feeling to anyone without making them think of me like a freako/psycho/weirdo. I love Linkin Park and I’ve never felt so much devotion for any person as much I have for them. Partly because, they were one of the early bands I listened to when I started exploring music for the first time. Angsty songs about being misunderstood and bullied and heart-broken were my respite. For a long time, I felt like they were the only ones who understood how I felt. I began to feel more and more comfortable with myself. 

By myself. 

I remember Googling this band one fine evening and reading every article that showed up. I read about how the band’s frontman Chester’s bad experiences early in life, his battles with addiction, failed marriage and coming to terms with fame after the debut album, were influential in shaping many of the songs. At that time, 16, I felt such a strong sense of respect and inspiration for the man and his journey. I still do today and nothing has given me greater courage than the realization that maybe out there, somewhere, people feel how I feel. Linkin Park became my escape from reality. 

I remember when I started following Chester and Mike for the first time on twitter and tweeted to them about just how grateful I was that Linkin Park existed. It was one of the purest, most sincere form of love I’ve felt for anyone. 

I followed them album after album, fangirling, obsessing over the kind of music they made. I can remember them from the earliest times I started listening to music, I don’t know of my world without them. 

Many people don’t understand fandoms or how they work. They believe it to be a teenage, immature girl’s obsession with a celebrity. I don’t care though. Affection requires devotion and passion, whatever form it is in. There are so many people I’ve met and known for all the years that I’ve lived and yet, I feel no connection with them. If Linkin park songs were a person, I would’ve fallen in love. In fact, I already am. Love is not always a person, it maybe a place or a feeling. For me, it is this feeling, the adrenaline rush that I get when I hear them perform live, or the skip in my heart when one of the guys retweets me. 

And for all those people, who think I am too stupid or lonely for falling in love with someone I’ve never met, or dreaming about meeting them- I don’t care. I really don’t. 

I am the way I am. Falling in love with fictitious characters over human beings. Tripping, crazy, giddy, excited about things I love. I am the way I am. 

This is an ode to the band that made me who I am in a way no one can ever know. This is an ode to becoming, evolving and of course loving.