Now and after

Ben Breedlove

Ben breedlove

from ben’s video
.

On the last day of 2011, we found ourselves in a cafe in quiet chandigarh, of all places. The power went out minutes after we sat down and stayed out for a good half hour. Once back on, the tv screen flashed bollywood mtv, the radio played a little too loudly, and this song came on.

Maybe my ears hadn’t had a hiphop tune for a while but i was instantly hooked. I bookmarked these lines in my head:

Hey mr rager, tell me where you’re going
tell us where you’re headed
off on an adventure.

Can we take that journey?
I’m off on an adventure

When will the fantasy end
When will the heaven begin?

– Mr rager (kid cudi)

Have you seen the music video? At first it looks like a typical 6-min punch fest. Then you see every man he fights is actually the rapper himself.  Confronting, winning, losing, having to die before being at peace. I think we can all relate to some of that.

.

I got back on 3rd jan, 2012. Google turned up the song for me, along with comments full of a ‘ben breedlove’. I found out ben is an 18-year-old who did a two-part video on youtube to share his near-death experiences living with a heart defect. He died a week later on christmas day from a heart attack.

In his third brush, he mentions seeing his favourite rapper and hearing this song. You see him smile a little in the video, as if acknowledging the quirky surreality of it. He quotes a line from the song.

Maybe it was the unlikely timing and link of these two encounters. Maybe it was ben’s mature insight in his final choice to make this calm confessional–far different from his earlier youtube clips. But i found ben’s candour and thoughts both poignant and illuminating. I may have had the song on loop in my brain as a theoretical question, but he probably had it  in his life as a personal question. He concludes a ‘yes’.

Whatever you believe, or not,

That faith he shows, i think we could use a bit of that in our new years.

I’m on my way to heaven.
Can we tag along,
Can we take that journey?

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