Nestled under the blanket in our dark room at night, nursing our fragile teenage heart after the first break up, it was KK that carried us through gently when it felt like the world had collapsed into a singularity. It was KK when we achieved something and needed a happy hug that he waltzed his way around with just about the perfect song. It was KK that inspired generations of school and college students to say that hard, final goodbye on the song whose tune you are already strumming in your hearts.
KK touched everyone with his soothing voice in our private, most visceral moments. He understood our pain, listened to our naggings, and yet healed us. He was ubiquitous with every single one of us. So, it hurts. And it hits hard when you come to know that the person who has been an indelible part of your life, since the moment you could hear the notes and octaves of a song has passed away untimely.
Last night, Krishnakumar Kunnath, more fondly called KK, departed for the higher abode after suffering a heart attack, immediately after performing a concert in Kolkata. The singer complained of uneasiness while returning to the hotel and even during the performance. He was declared dead on arrival at a city hospital.
Voice of our nostalgia
He was 53. We barely had enough of him and yet he was taken away so soon. They say one cannot time travel to the past. Scientists give explanations like the Grandfather paradox and what not to back their claims. However, have they ever tried listening to a KK song? The moment you hit play on a KK song, you are exported to an alternate reality where you hit the brick wall of nostalgia. This is the utopia people dream about. KK created it through his golden voice.
It may sound blasphemous to even mention any other song or a singer when the subject of this article is KK. However, the stinging pain is such that one requires an outlet, an outlet where we can control things and imagine a reality with him, still in it.
An American indie-pop song named Berenstein by The Band Camino talks about the concept of the Mandela effect and how we all have collective false memories. These false memories are attributed to our alter-egos in a parallel universe. The song effectively conveys that in a parallel universe, everything would have been alright with your loved one. And with KK gone, we all long for that universe.
In a day and age where music is often corrupted by the glitz, glamour, and violence – KK kept it pure with his astral voice. More than a singer, he was a great human being. Uncomplicated, sweet, charming, and most importantly genuine at heart.
Tributes pour in for KK
From singing over 3500 ad jingles before making his Bollywood debut to singing in over 11 languages – KK was a phenomenon and an institution in himself. Such was the magnitude of the shock of KK’s demise that every big and small personality of the country descended to pay their tributes to the singer.
Fellow singer Mohit Chauhan who was set to embark on a tour with KK tweeted, “KK… not fair man. Not your time to go. This was the last time we were together to announce a tour together. How can you just go??? In shock. In grief. A dear dear friend, a brother is gone. RIP KK. Love you.”
KK… not fair man. Not your time to go. This was the last time we were together to announce a tour together. How can you just go??? In shock. In grief. A ear dear friend, a brother is gone. RIP KK. Love you. pic.twitter.com/lCdwIRf3W6
— Mohit Chauhan (@_MohitChauhan) May 31, 2022
Acclaimed singer Shreya Ghoshal also tweeted her pain, “I am unable to wrap my head around this news. Numb. #KK Why! This is too hard to accept! Heart is shattered in pieces.”
I am unable to wrap my head around this news. Numb. #KK Why! This is too hard to accept! Heart is shattered in pieces.
— Shreya Ghoshal (@shreyaghoshal) May 31, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first to extend his condolences to KK’s family. The PM wrote, “Saddened by the untimely demise of noted singer Krishnakumar Kunnath popularly known as KK. His songs reflected a wide range of emotions as (they) struck a chord with people of all age groups. We will always remember him through his songs. Condolences to his family and fans. Om Shanti.”
Saddened by the untimely demise of noted singer Krishnakumar Kunnath popularly known as KK. His songs reflected a wide range of emotions as struck a chord with people of all age groups. We will always remember him through his songs. Condolences to his family and fans. Om Shanti.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 31, 2022
KK was our childhood, teenage and adult years. Hence, this loss feels incredibly personal and the grief is insurmountable. However, we should never stop talking about this grief. This grief is all we have. It is the unexpressed love that will stay with us until our time on this planet is up.
We never had enough time with our beloved KK so let us be part of it and talk about this grief openly, after all, what is grief, if not love persevering.
We will continue to honor his memory by listening to his timeless songs on an endless loop and ensure that this grief drives us and makes us remember the impact he had on our lives. Om Shanti KK. You will forever be in our hearts.
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