Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Letter to Linkin Park

Dear Linkin Park,

I am writing to you today out of grief and sadness. This is probably something I should’ve done a long time ago. I am so very sorry to hear about Chester’s passing. But to be honest had such circumstances not emerged I do not think I’d be writing to you today.

Even in death Chester taught me a lesson. If there is a poison inside you that is overpowering you - do something about it.

I first encountered Linkin Park’s music in Highschool. I heard Hybrid Theory and absolutely loved it.
I was a shy boy who went to a Christian convent school. Discipline was high, fun was controlled. Your music helped me express myself. Unrestrained, be myself. Scream in the shower on the bad days, sing and dance to the beat on the good.

Before you I was a big fan of Backstreet Boys. In those days I had purchased the cassette (audio tape) of Hybrid Theory and one of the unique things about your tape was the lack of time between the ending of one song and the beginning of the other. The tape virtually played the music like one long symphony. For many days I couldn’t figure out where some songs ended and others began. I used to listen to a bit of Limp Bizkit as well and his songs often had long pauses during or a complete change of beat in the same song which confused me further.

This problem was finally solved when your CDs came out and despite them being expensive I purchased them. Even the font size of the lyrics in the covers were larger so it helped me read the lyrics better.

Even after your success with Hybrid Theory, Meteora and Reanimation, I followed your music religiously. Whenever I heard that LP’s new single or album had released I'd look it up on Limewire (in those days) and download it first thing first. I’d wait till the end of the day when everyone was asleep and then listen to it on my iPod whilst reading the lyrics in perfect solitude. It was beautiful.

Whether it was the beats in ‘Session’ or the words of ‘Little Things Give You Away’, I digested it all sumptuously. By now I had even heard of the success of the side bands like Dead By Sunrise, Fort Minor and began listening to some of their songs as well. ‘Remember the name’, ‘Where’d you go’, ‘Crawl back in’ were some of my favourites. I began reading articles of you - how you originally wanted to name the band 'zero' and then how 'Lincoln Park' became 'Linkin Park'.
But the original LP was the original LP. The music you all made together was far better in my opinion.

In 2014, I had the opportunity to attend your concert in London at the O2 Arena. It was a dream come true. On day one, I attended the concert and sang along with 23 of the 25 numbers you performed. On day two, for which I had purchased the VIP Pass, I had the rare privilege of coming and meeting you all face to face. I was so nervous, I could barely utter out a few polite words. When Chester came before me, all I could do was shake his hand in awe. I heard him talk to the man next to me for the longest time. Just being there was overwhelming enough. Due to which I never got a chance to share with you all just how big a fan of yours I was.

I was studying at Kingston University London that year, doing my masters and used up the money for my graduation (and then some) to purchase those concert tickets. I was in two minds about doing so and it was my father who pushed me into it. He felt it was an opportunity of a lifetime and I shouldn’t miss it. My masters had ended in September and the concert was in late October which meant I would have to book fresh tickets from New Delhi, India to London as well as book accommodation. It was a very expensive trip (and honestly got a little lonely too) but I’ve created a memory that will stay with me forever.

You all do not know how many times I’ve heard your songs. There was a time when the top 5 songs on my ‘Top 25 Most Played’ List were all LP tracks and the No. 6 one was like at least 250 plays behind. 

I should have told you all how grateful I was for it, but I did not. And now, Chester will never know. But you will. 

I am a published author with two books to my name. At one point I even wanted to write a book using different song titles as titles of chapters and dedicate it to Linkin Park. The idea never materialized completely and the unfinished work has found a nice cozy spot in my hard drive.

Below are the pictures of the night at O2 -

 1. Meeting Chester Bennington. 

(I’m the boy in the Blue Shirt.)        

2. Picture of the band with everyone.

The poster you all signed stands smartly framed on the wall in my room. It always reminds me of the sheer bliss I felt those two magical nights in London.

I do not know any of you personally yet I feel so deeply connected to you. But more so to Chester and Mike. There was just something about Chetser, that I know, had we ever hung out, we would’ve simply clicked. The more I read of him, his personality, the way people remember him, the more I relate with him.

My heart grieves for Chester. The world seems a little less brighter after he has passed on. Not only because he’s gone but also because of the way he went out. I idolised him. He inspired me. I never thought he’d be one to commit suicide. I related that with Jimmy Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse but never Chester Bennington. Just never expected him to do something like that.

It is this reason that drove me to write to you all.
I do not know you, but please believe me when I say, I love you.
Your music and your expressions will be etched in my memory forever.
I stopped being ‘just a fan’ long ago. If ever you feel the desire to share with someone - a random stranger who will listen you non-judgmentally or want some advice or even a place to come stay where you won’t be disturbed. Please look me up. My email ID is I stay in New Delhi, India. I won’t share my contact no. here because I intend to share this letter on the internet. Hopefully it will reach you and even if one of you does read this, its purpose will be served.

You were wrong about one thing, In The End, It Does Matter. Everything does. Chester’s legacy will not be tainted by the way his life ended but it will affect how many in the world saw him.

Please learn to love yourself, more than anything in the world - find happiness within. If what your doing is not helping you be that way, drop it - it is of no use.

Thank you for the music,
It was my companion when I dint have anyone else to share with. Still is sometimes.

Thank you for making the dreams I had dreamt as a little boy come true and sorry I did not share with you sooner. Had I known it was going to be the first and last time I’d meet you, I would’ve handled it very differently.

Stay blessed, stay alive and as my mom says ‘keep drinking water’. Apparently, its good for health or something …

Yours always,
Anirudh Vasdev.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

On Ode To Your Lips

The slender eyes can play tricks,
The tiny nose can draw you in,
But the lips, Oh these lips, when thrown into the mix,
will make you commit the original sin.

On that beautiful face, shrouded amidst the hair,
they stand out like a cherry on a souffle,
Oh so juicy, oh so sweet,
Right there for the taking, ripe to eat!

If The Rolling Stones had seen this, their emblem would have been slightly different,
the tongue would go in and just the pout would remain,
For your glorious two would create such a predicament,
that despite a tongue and cheek effort all would go insane.

I wish I could kiss your lips,
the ones between you hips, I mean.
Those are the ones that no-one has seen.
And that just makes me more keen :*

No but seriously, Your lips are so delicious,
If I could I'd take them out on a date,
Just the lips, buy nachos and extra dip,
So I can watch it drip, from the stiff upper lip.

Then I notice! You don't like to share,
Trust me, I'll take care of them, I swear!
But Alas! You prefer to hold back & put me at unease,
Haa! Who knew you'd like to tease.

I've been drawn into the game but you've underestimated the player,
I may seem gullible but lying within is a dragon-slayer,
brave and strong I'll wait till the teaser tires,
then snap! I''ll grab you and kiss you igniting the passionate fires.

We both like a challenge but hey, its not a competition,
its not like 'beating the opponent' is the mission,
I'm just glad we got to kiss,
because it truly felt like bliss.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

On Turning 25...

To my friends,
& Azmaan

(Kamy, Addi, Mrinal & others I'm currently failing to mention - You guys are very special to me too and don't think I don't count you guys :P This one is just more relevant to these top 4 than you)

On 15th June, 2016 I will complete 25 years of being.
Some may say its a great day to celebrate. A momentous occasion which must be earmarked by a grand party inviting hoards of people, getting drunk, making memories and dancing till the sun comes up.
As appealing as that may sound, I will have no part in it.
My entire life barring a few tough months of depression in college and definitely the board exam years - has literally been one big party for me guys.

I write now for all to read.
In my 25 years of existence,
I have traveled to over 15 different nationalities as well as traveled well within my own country.
Ironically I've never been to Bangalore :P - but that too will change later this month.
I have had the pleasure of eating the finest meals ranging from Pizza at Michelangelo's in Singapore, Sushi in Japan, Fish n Chips in Oxford to Cheesecake in New York.
I have watched Disneyland being constructed in Hong-Kong and gone on rides in the original one in Florida,
From Cruises that took us to pristine beaches to watching fascinating thunderstorms from a business class seat on a flight,
From watching 'Phantom of the Opera' at Her Majesty's Theatre to watching the latest X-men movie in 3-D,
From being present at the President's Bodyguard Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan to attending an active session of Congress at the Senate,
From watching the heartbreaking loss of Ganguly's team in 2003 to being present in the stadium when Dhoni hit the exhilarating winning six in 2011,
The god lord has been kind in ways no 25-year old can imagine.

He has provided well for my family. He has given my father and mother strength and sensibility.

Despite being well provided for, I am grateful that my ego is well within limit and to a large extent I remain grounded, jovial and amicable.

Good values go far in life.

Money comes and goes.

I have tasted fame, publishing a book at 17 being claimed a prodigy as well as the 'Next Big Thing'.
I have had the pleasure of falling in love and being loved in return.
I have tasted the warmth of a woman's company in my bed on many an occasion.
I have stayed in 5-star hotels with views overlooking oceans and yet the cool breeze that blew on my face there wasn't nearly as soothing as it was when I slept on the open terrace on a chaddar in the small village of Hamira under hundreds of stars on my own soil.
I have seen landscapes of mountains that looked like they were waiting to inspire an artist for his next painting,
and I have also seen the sunset of the horizon on the beach as if clearly marking the world from the Skies.

I have been blessed with reasonably good looks,
wealth, fame, popularity and love! All of these have at some point or another been in my life!
The band I listened to devoutly (Linkin Park) - hearing every lyric as if it was a sermon - I have had the pleasure of shaking hands with them in person.
What more can I ask for that I haven't got already?
So rich and fulfilling has been my life! I feel like I've lived more in these 25 years than most people live in lifetimes!  

Yes there have been shortcomings too,
I have lost in love,
I have faced embarrassment in trying to reach out to people,
People have taken advantage of my coyness and used me.
People have made me doubt myself and taken me for a ride.
I have been angry and stubborn leading to much pain and discomfort for not only myself but the good people who tried to help me.
I have hit such severe lows that I wanted to end it all. 

But I am grateful that the universe gave me the courage to push through and learn from my mistakes rather than live in regret and repeat them.

Forgiveness is a lesson we all should learn as soon as we can. Especially when you need to forgive yourself, forget and move on.

Somewhere the hand of fate played its trickery upon me. Teaching me certain bitter truths through bitter experiences but in retrospect I realise that the price I had to pay was far smaller than the value of the lessons I learnt in return.

After many a wrong turn, I found faith and patience. I found spirituality and happiness within.
There are five senses in the body - eyes, ears, nose, touch & taste; yet the one sense which is the most important - as some have called as 'The Sixth Sense' is the one we explore the least. For it is this that accounts for intuition, for peace from within, for spontaneity, for creativity.
All senses are controlled by the mind. The brain records and registers and through it we feel, we taste, etc. But when we direct our energy inward, when we become self-aware - we don't feel the need for anything. We are one. We are complete.
When we live completely in the present moment, we empower ourselves to be our best!

I am grateful to the universe and my grandmother for granting me this knowledge to practice and enjoy.

Always remember, the person who will give you the maximum sorrow and the maximum happiness in your life is you yourself. That guy in the mirror? Don't take him lightly. But not too seriously either.

It is said in our Shastras that upon reaching the age of 25 - one fulfills one part of his/her life i.e. the aspect of being a student. Now one's purpose becomes to live the life of a family man. In order to do this to the best of one's ability, one must be conscious of his time, manage a routine, care for his health and the happiness of others around him. Unless we start practicing this now how else will we form these good habits and be ready to teach them forward to society as well as our own children upon their arrival in our lives?

We are young and our future belongs to us.

Our challenge now becomes balancing the responsibility being bestowed upon us as well as enjoying the game of life as we do!

I don't need yet another party inviting hoardes of people to honour me. For me, turning 25 is a change in mindset - nothing more, nothing less.
It may empower me legally as a citizen of this country but for me its just 'A Wednesday'. (Coincidentally also one of my fav movies.)
Its the age I can finally sign my name as a 'Member' in the Vasant Vihar Club and no longer be a 'Dependent'.
Its the age I can legally drink anywhere in the world!
Its the age I feel I need to be brave and take many an independent decision rather than relying on mom n dad.

My happiness no longer lies in satisfying my own egoistic desires alone. It lies in building a future that's bright for others.
How can I help others achieve their dreams?
How many people can I bring happiness to and in what way?
Wouldn't it be great if I could build a company that would employ a large no of people? So many people would get jobs and earn a livelihood, a roof over their heads, money to spend and live life!
What good can I do to build my nation and put it on par with global leaders?
Our motto in school was 'We Care'.
Somewhere along the years amongst the pressure of getting a good job and the crazy things that happen in this great but distressed nation this motto seems to be fading.
There was a doha by Kabir I remember that went something to the effect that 'Happiness grows by sharing it whereas sadness burdens one less by venting it.' So integral is human company for one another yet we often delude ourselves into only thinking about oneself. 
Well, the future belongs to those who take it.
Let's grab the bull by the horns guys!

Then one day when we are satisfied that we gave it our best, we can drive our Ford Mustangs down the well-constructed asphalt in our own cities and toast to Coronas together ;)

Turning 25 is just the beginning!

Plus, its not like I'm doing NOTHING for my b'day. I'm going to Manali for a 5 day long Trek! A much needed break and hopefully a trip that will rejuvenate me to handle the amount of tension and pressure I'm gonna face in the upcoming heavy months of business!

I am touched however at all of ya'll efforts to want to celebrate this event with me. Your enthusiasm has been heart warming. It is the reason I am writing today so as to prevent hurting your feelings and sharing with you man-to-man.

I love ya'll and I hope we stay such good friends forever. In this life and the next.

Goodnight guys,
Sweet dreams.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

As A New Journey Begins!

Its been sometime since I last wrote here,
Welcome back! To you my dear reader and to me for penning down thoughts here.

I have been working for the last three months in a firm called DesignForUse on a project as a content specialist. The nature of the work has been satisfying, the environment has been creative and stimulating - in short; I have been loving it. Made a few new friends, met some new interesting people. Its been a good ride.

On the 7th I will complete three months here and that is also the day that my month long vacation will begin. Yes, I have taken temporary leave from work for a month to attend to my body, mind and spirit. To start with, my physical health hasn't been the best. Much pain has arisen in my back, lots of weight loss due to bad sleeping and eating habits has resulted in weakness and soreness. Hopefully, in the span of some serious effort and dedication over this break I will regain some strength.

On the mental fronts, I feel depleted of vitality as friends have become fewer and those good ones whom I consider close barely meet due to being busy with their lives. Routines of work and Delhi traffic don't help our cause. So in part loneliness, but more so a lack of company to share with. Any job at the end of the day, no matter how much you like it, does wear you down.

On the spiritual front, I have been running away from taking inner responsibility and facing myself. Foolishly searching for the bubble reputation in parties, drinking myself away. Yes I have found some pleasure occasionally but evidently that has been momentary, nothing more. (Did sleep with 2 different women in a span of the same week though .. That was cool :P) This month I have restarted meditating and have been reading this book called 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari' which is providing good insight and reflection. Let's see where the journey takes me.

On the writing front! I have been reading more than writing honestly, more so because I am searching for inspiration on a subject to write about. Now the time has come to put aside the waiting process and just throw myself into the deep end to stumble upon something rather than wait for it to come to me. This won't be the best strategy of course, but since you have to make a start somewhere - so be it.

I am looking forward to new challenges, new experiences almost as if I am young and fearless all over again! The renewed vigour to live, strive & conquer are returning faster than expected.

I heard this song of Nickleback the other day in which there was this line - 'The Right Thing To Guide Us is Right Here Inside Us.' It made me realise that all the power I'll ever need to make it happen - I already possess. Just a matter of taking that leap :)

So, why wait?

Sometimes the only stopping you from being you - is You.

**Jumps off**

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Present Situation


Here's whats been up with me;

I was working at Bloomberg TV India as a Journalist but have now resigned from my job.

My delightful girlfriend has left India to pursue further studies for a 2 yr Masters Diploma in Canada which makes it safe to say I won't be seeing her anytime soon.

I feel the need to silently rebel against my household and family as they suffocate and deny creativity Q.E.D. I sleep in the guestroom and not my own bed anymore.

I try and stay out as much as possible. Staying at home is an insult to my intelligence.

I want to write stories to entertain minds, make them reflect, possibly ignite new ideas in them. This is my purpose. I need nothing I don't already have to achieve it. For that, I consider myself blessed.

My means are this very laptop for which all I require is a mere charging station and a comfortable chair and table to engage in the activity. There is always this body that one has to manage. Hence food, rest and proper exercise are mandatory - no matter what age or how experienced one is. This is often an annoying task yet a healthy distraction.

But now I aspire for more. For I have tasted the feeling of earning a monetary sum with my own hard effort. I look upon those who are financially independent with awe and admiration. Even though I was never taught to chase money because I always seemed to have plenty; it seems sad but true that in today's times - even if you are chasing greatness and following your dreams, the question 'How much do you get a month?' has more weight than 'What did you achieve with your time?'. Our existence is a subtle compromise between the things that really matter and the things that only seem too.

I started by writing this to inform my friends and those who wonder about me what is happening in my life. But in the process have also stumbled upon certain reflections which could be relevant for anyone reading this.

In the end all I'd like to say is,
if you've had the patience to read this far,
Thank you for having so much interest in me - call me - for it is now more than ever than I need good company to keep me occupied;
And if your stuck in a job that you must do because you must do it - I'm not saying quit it and follow your passion. I'm sure you have your reasons for perpetuating, all I hope for is that you remember the activities that take your breath away like the art of writing does for me and indulge in it even if just for a short while today.

Live it up,

Wish you luck,

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What The Heart Truly Desires

A little rush of passion,
A few sparks of romance,
Intelligence mixed with a little fashion,
A few drinks, music and the element of chance.

The magic in the eyes,
like a beautiful sunrise,
the two bodies collide like fire and ice,
a little love, a little lust, but overall oh so nice!

A concoction designed to appeal,
to the senses and the soul,
like a new hit song full of 'feel',
that makes you wanna Rock n roll!

What the heart truly desires is to love and be loved in return,
but its rare to find that in life so patience one must learn.

But always be on the lookout coz it can come along when you least expect it!
In a dark room or even one that's well lit!

Written at 23rd August, 2014
At Whetherspoons in Kingston while chilling with my friends and classmates - Dani, Max, Roger, Joe, Stacy and Marie. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lets Fall Together

My wish is for you to come to me and take me by suprise,
I want to wake up with you in my arms to every sunrise,
let's walk together through the grasses green,
and discover new lands together never before seen.

Hold my hand and take the leap,
let me hold you when you weep,
let me kiss you, your shiny skin so sweet,
lets dance to the song of love - such a beautiful beat.

Lets drink coffee together and complain about how capitalism is taking over the world,
lets discuss Plato and Socrates while letting our love unfurl,
lets watch a romantic movie together and have a subtle contest to see who cries first,
and when we can't hold it in any longer - let our tears burst!

Let's go shopping and discuss brands like we know the difference,
'Nah Nah Uniqlo's waaay better than M & S', 'No, that's just your preference'.
Let's cook together - I'll show u what I know and then you can show me what your good at,
I can pamper you with delicacies and you can help make me fat!

Lets be lazy together and be ok with that.
'What do you feel like doing today' .. 'Bleh' .. 'We chill in the flat?'
'Yeah' .. 'come here' .. 'I wanna snuggle' .. 'Its a hot day babe' ... 'You don't love me'
C'mon .. no need for a lover's spat.

Lets go for long cycle rides in Richmond park,
we'll see deers in the wild!
enjoy the trees, have a can of juice, maybe even spot a lark!
together in nature be beguiled.