A Tribute: Nirvana Forever

ImageRe-posted from Yours From India

I have to admit one thing first. Fully guilty, I am not an 80s child. I was born into the arms of the revolutionary grunge scene, but never was I old enough to be an appreciating individual of the magnificence around me. It is something I regret, but am in no position to change. That’s it.

Secondly: I freaking love Kurt Cobain. And I freaking love Nirvana. And no matter what decade I was born into, nothing will change those two facts. But why? Why do I admire all of this today? Because it’s been 20 years since Kurt Cobain was found dead with a shotgun pointed to his ear, a stash of heroin and cigarettes placed gently beside a pair of sunglasses and a pink lighter. If I allowed my imagination to wander, I would see a placid image of serenity and resting, perhaps a flicker of a smile on Kurt’s face for finally escaping the harsh world encapsulating him. And despite the years that pass, his death will never be forgotten.

I have spent innumerable hours debating with fellow rock-loving friends on why Nirvana is so much more important (to me, at least) than bands like Guns N’ Roses and Metallica (or even Black Sabbath, anyone?). I guess it’s all your point of view. Sometimes it confuses me how teenage girls (and even boys, don’t get me wrong) are comforted by the harmonics of One Direction and Justin Bieber. To me, their music is deceiving and far-fetched. I need something more in touch with reality to cling to.

It turns out that once these rock fan friends progress into true teenage life, they seem to turn into Nirvana-diehards and forget completely about their Axl-Rose-loving pre-teen selves. At times, it really ticks me off, but hey, I should be spreading the peace here.

I don’t think Nirvana will ever stop with one generation. Their ability to connect with power-hungry adolescence isn’t some formula that can be replicated as you see with pop stars and boy bands. Their momentum is sacred and unattainable. With them, time is irrelevant.

But what makes Nirvana an anthem for any generation of teenagers? What do we get from listening to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at an extra high volume? I think the reason why we listen slowly fades from our subconscious as we progress into adults. As of now, my reason is the energy. My father in his happy-go-lucky ways always says, “You’re emitting negative energy around here, it’s awful.” (Maybe that’s a teenage tendency.) Nirvana has always empowered us with raw energy. Energy that is so stripped down to the basics, so real and veracious, that our experiences as angry, moody teenagers are finally shallowed by a moment of truth. A moment of silence. It’s ironic how something so emphatic and boisterous can be a silence to someone’s ears, but to me, truth is silencing. It heals.

Nirvana is so loud, so messed up; it’s just so brilliant. I finally feel connected with a group of people who see the world around me as I do and are gifting me with an emotional extension of their own hearts. Being plugged into that type of music brings out the best of me: I see the world as a better, more understandable place, and I too am a better human being.

So I want to thank you, Kurt Cobain, for being an amazing individual. I know you’ve attained your nirvana, and with that, I don’t think our relationship will ever end.


“Punk is musical freedom. It’s saying, doing, and playing what you want. In Webster’s terms, ‘nirvana’ means freedom from pain, suffering, and the external world, and that’s pretty close to my definition of Punk Rock.”

– Kurt Cobain

(Image Source:  www.mtv.com)

Laiqa Shariff About Laiqa Shariff

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