On: Chester Bennington

21 Jul

From LP’s Twitter

//Cue an incoherent mess of words.

A lot of my favourite artists have died in the last couple of years – Bowie, Cornell, Rickman, Fisher – the list goes on. Today, it was Chester.

I have nothing new to add to the conversation around the tragic circumstances of his death; hell, I didn’t even keep up with his band post-Meteora. But everyone, especially from my generation, will likely have a story on how his powerful vocals drilled through the fog of confusion and angst in our teenage minds – So here’s mine:

I had a tough time growing up – my family, in classic desi fashion, had little in the way of emotional development or support to offer, my company was quite one-dimensional, I was adrift in this confusion and paralysis that I couldn’t quite coherently voice/identify. I didn’t get to explore my interests, expand my boundaries, or be supported in anything beyond The Right Path for a growing boy. In that haze struck lightning – my sister listening to this tape called Hybrid Theory. She was forwarding to the tune she’d heard on radio (In The End, which was literally everywhere then, as it turns out). But she stopped short, WAY too short, and I got my first taste of One Step Closer. Chester’s voice was trying to scream its way out of the old Sony stereo player we owned. 5, maybe 6 seconds of angst-ridden soul awakening later, my sister moved on because “it was too noisy”. That night I took a break from Daastan e Amir Hamza to pop in our headphones into that stereo and devour the entire album. Twice. Epiphany.

Chester’s voice rang in my head for years to come. I can honestly say that the power of his vocals, his delivery, his range, is what led to me to realize how awake my brain was on music, how essential rock and metal would be to my sense of self and sanity. I may have moved on to other bands, other musicians, other artists, but his was the voice that started it all. I know this because I dug up the first two Linkin Park albums today for a tribute listen and it was like I’d Time Turner’d back to 2001/02. Suppressed memories, memories of discovery, the euphoria, the blood pumping rush of adrenaline that I got the first time that angry, powerful voice.

Teenage me really connected with his words – “Yeah! This guy’s speaking to my soul!” Now? Maybe he was actually speaking of his soul.

Goddammit Chester. You’ve gone too soon. May you find more rest now. Thank you for bursting me out of my bubble into the glorious, living expanse of the world.



18 Jul

… Or, how I try to be a productive member of my species for a change. By which I mean: I’m going to try and post some gibberish here in an attempt to not feel so utterly useless anymore. Unless I don’t do that and instead learn to live with the self-loathing and continue being the aimless meander-er(er?) that I am.


6 Apr


Mine your cavity

3 Jul

Guys! You guys! I met a real life miner today! And he was nothing like those burly, barrel-chested hunks of masculinity from the movies; he was so much more!

So I had to make a journey today. A long journey. A bus journey. And since I was travelling alone, there was always the chance that I would have to sit next to a creep/pervert/paedophile hybrid for the entirety of this journey. But from the get go, I knew this one would be unique. He had that smell about him, a strong, manly musk of three day old sweat. It confused me, at first. I thought he was just a unique creep. It was only a bit later, when I discovered he was a miner. Clearly, his scent, wrapped around him like a blanket of testosterone, was an indicator of what he was; I’d just misread the signs.

Some time, and several furtive observations later, I was able to confirm that my first impression that indeed been right. He wasn’t just an ordinary miner, he was unique. Confident, thoroughly unapologetic, he glared at all the passengers around him, daring them to raise a word against his choice of profession. Engineer, doctor, banker, all quailed under his fierce gaze. No one dared say a word, not even me. It was as if he was silently shouting out to the world, “I will dig out everything! Dirt, grime, gold, diamond, copper, your deepest fears, my brain fluid.”

I was, covertly*, able to take a photo of this special, special individual. Here he is, in all his mining glory:

The Hunt For Atlantis

A few hours later, my friendly neighbourhood miner was still going strong. He carried on with the intensity canines show to their own genitals. And then, just when I’d pegged him for a one trick pony, he sighed, withdrew his implements, peered at the passing signpost, and muttered, loudly, “Khanewal… Sahiwal… Soni Mahiwal.”**

Please stab me with the bluntest object you can find.


*Covert, my arse. I came this close to spontaneously evacuating my bowels (and dying). A millisecond after I’d tapped the “take photo” icon, I remembered that I’d set the flash to “Auto”. It was only through the blessings of Odin, the All-Father, that the app deemed the ambient light strong enough to not warrant flash.

**Apologies to non-natives for being hopelessly lost after reading this. Though to be honest, I suspect most natives would be equally bamboozled.

Going time travelling with Jess Fink

26 Jun

Things I learned today:

  1. I’m not the only one who thinks self making out would be hot.
  2. Poop jokes go surprisingly well with introspection. Surprisingly well.

Sexy futuristic jumpsuit: Check!

This learning experience brought to you by one Jessica Fink in her fabulous book We can Fix It: A Time Travel Memoir. It really brought validation to my beliefs that no, I would not use a time machine to kill notorious dictators, but to make out with my younger self. Jess builds upon the initial silliness/sheer brilliance of presenting masturbation in a whole new light by taking some remarkably deep looks into coping with regrets and traumas from your past, as she revisits scenes from her life that have troubled her all her life. Armed with nothing but her outrageously sexy jumpsuit (none of her alternate selves can seem to resist it) and a kick ass time machine, Jess goes about trying to fix things in her past, with the “perspective” and “wisdom” she has gained from the experience of age. Hilarious hijinks ensue, amidst flashes of profound insight that left me quite introspective myself.

It’s wickedly funny, rife with Fink’s trademark irreverence and remarkable breadth. The obsession with our past, particularly embarrassing events, or little mistakes we wish we hadn’t made, is wonderfully tackled; Often I found myself nodding my head, “Yes, this is exactly how my stubborn younger self would behave were he to be confronted with this ‘foresight’.

I’d enjoyed Fink’s previous work (Chester 5000 XYV). We can Fix It, however, is now, by far, my favourite work from her. If only because of that stunning poop joke.

So I have mustache dandruff

22 Feb

I think the title pretty much covers it. What’s that you say? Details? You want details? Well who am I to say no…

So I’ve been irrigating the Amazon rainforest via my nasal passages this week, thanks to this lovely, refreshing bout of the flu. Which meant that when I stared into the mirror this morning and saw the little crusty bit on my mustache, I immediately thought, “Damn runny nose” and proceeded to reach up and scrape it off.

“But wait!” screamed my brain, “Something’s not right here!”

And on closer inspection, I realized that brain was right. The crusty bits were not on the surface of the mustache but embedded inside the hair. So I carefully extracted a piece and peered at it all scientist like until a voice rang out “Achievement Unlocked: Acquired Mustache Dandruff.”


(Yes sometimes I talk in Skype emoticons. I like to think it makes me endearing.)

There I am admiring this new (and honestly, unique) way in which my body has expressed its hatred for all things me, when brain orders me to show body who’s boss.

“Dry/flaky mustache skin, meet (beauty) soap and water! KNOW YOUR PLACE.”

I should probably have taken a photo first, spiced this whole thing up. I knew there was a reason phones come equipped with cameras now.

Brain: “There is only one explanation. You’re an idiot.”
Body: “Oh look the Amazon needs some more irrigation. THAR SHE BLOWS!”


So as must be becoming abundantly clear now, work on the blog’s going pretttty slow (stop flashing red WordPress, I know that’s a typo.) which also means, I’m not writing enough. When all the advice I’ve been given says WRITE MORE FOOL. Story of my life in one word: Procrastination. Story of my life in another word: Bone idle. Story of my life in a third word: (see #2).

I’m not even sure if this is the theme I’ll be using, that’s how much I’ve delayed every decision regarding this. … I KNOW! I’ll take a screenshot of what the blog looks like right now, paste it here. That way, I’ll not only learn how to embed images into a post (education, woot?), but if I do change (=(hopefully) improve) the layout, I can always come back here and have a good laugh about it.
Here goes:

Update: IT WORKS.

Brain: “Go write something proper, now. Idiot.”
I hate you, brain.

Wherein our young procrastinator tries his hand at chronicling

20 Feb


Our young procrastinator spawns on a little piece of land. A sea stretches out as far as the eye can see, not a hint of shore on any side. Well this is a monumental suck, decides the young procrastinator, displaying a dazzling array of vocabulary, and a not-so-dazzling command over sentence structure. His attention is suddenly drawn to the sea, which appears to be behaving oddly. Almost as if it weren’t made of…

Really?” He can’t keep the disgust out of his voice, “A sea of words? What, the hooded robe and gem-studded walking staff were taken?”



Our young procrastinator pauses for a moment to reflect on the advantages of the billowing robe that now adorned him. Ah, that breeze did feel so much better now. … … …

“Where the bloody hell did my pants go? SONOFA-”

This was definitely not the auspicious start to his chronicling efforts that our dear procrastinator had envisioned. But things could only get better from here on. Just as soon as he got his hands on some blasted pants….


Let the great (not really) experiment begin.