• Rahul Mahesh



The past few days I have been listening to a lot of the music that came out of the Belfast punk scene thanks to the wonderful movie on Terri Hooley called "Good Vibrations". The idea of "punk" and its very culture is something that has fascinated me since my pretentiously angsty teenage years. Something about the chaos of the loud guitar and the harsh words and the simplistic everyday lyricism spoke to me more than any of the more polished and remastered tones of some of the pop music that plagued the billboards. Punk is not for everyone. That is the point. It was born out of the need to make you uncomfortable. There is a reason why when you listen to the Outcasts or Sex Pistols, it makes you wonder what the fuck are they even talking about!

Punk does not need to make sense, it is not looking to be a role model to anyone. It is the culture of misfits and the unheard like any music that makes you stop awhile and think. The Ramones is not made to just make you groove to "Sheena Is A Punkrocker", it is made to portray the everyday movements of the faceless and push that into the forefront of conversations. It is not about the structures, it is about breaking them. It is not based on the established agenda of the suits; it is to disregard them at their very essence. The smallest of actions that would make you stand out from the norm, disrupt the status quo. That is punk.

There is a reason why when Zack de la Rocha screams into the mic on "Bulls on Parade" brings chills down your spine, it is in the vibrations of Tom Morello's blistering solos and more importantly, it is in the message that it tries to send us which we often miss out! I often wondered why punk barely flourished here in my country. It is the perfect storm of a scenario that we have. The powerful mock at our problems and miseries of the unfortunate and the businesspeople's wanton ways make a mockery of what is ours. If you think not, then look north to Kashmir or turn on the news and find people with placards screaming for rights! The media tells you all that the powerful want you to know and keeps away what might in any way destabilise the power dynamics. Regardless of which political side you pick they do not stand for you, they stand for their agenda. Never in a million worlds for the people of a nation. Hell, even your building's committee doesn't care about you if you really think about it.

The punk in you is not found in the cafes where you smoke cigarettes and talk obscure philosophies or behind the screen like I am, talking my self-righteous jargon on a blog post. It is in the willingness to think and critically deconstruct everything around you. To talk back, to push back, to confront. All within the reason that you are not brackets, statistics, political pawns or picking up weight for what the celebrity on your Instagram feed tells you. Punk is to think for yourself, to educate yourself. Silly as it may seem, punk is found in the rising hip-hop scene in the streets of India even though I do not exclusively adhere to or even listen to the genre. It is there. It is a voice seldom heard. If you pick your artists, if you think a bit harder and go where they take you in their music.

Maybe our world needs a bit of the loudness and the chaos. Maybe that is what is missing today. Maybe I am just another idiot rambling before a screen in the middle of the night talking to shadows and maybe that is as punk as I can get?


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