I never knew Michael Jackson, nor did I hear much of his songs (almost none), still I liked him (I am not sure why). And the news of his demise shook me. Like many of his fans, I too never thought he is a mortal, and couldn’t associate death with this Pop Icon. He is dead now, or is he? I am still finding it hard to believe. Was Michael Jackson a mere mortal like you and me? I find it hard to believe; rather I never thought that way. Like me, there are millions of people out there who never thought Mike is just another mortal. He was not.
As written above, I was never big fan of his songs, but I was always in awe with his fairy-talesque life, of his rise to greatness and the numerous faltering in the way. But I still have my share of memories of Michael Jackson.
I was a kid when I first heard about this (then living) legend. I heard people talking about him. Being from a small Indian Town of 80s, English songs and Hollywood movies were not something I was very much aware of. I was 6 or 7 then. The name, Michael Jackson, itself overwhelmed me with awe, though I knew nothing about him.
It was the time, when there was no Internet, no cable television or FM radio, and in a small town finding an English audio album or a Hollywood (non-dub) movie was a luxury, but fortunately, after months (2 or 3 perhaps) of searching I found one of his album. I, somehow, managed some money to buy the audio cassette. I was not very excited, was just happy to find the prize I was looking for. I went home and played the song. You got me right, I did not understand even a single word; rather I was unable to figure out any single word midst the deafening beats. The music seemed noise to me. It was complete nuisance for me.
I scolded (not really) myself for wasting money. On the second thought, I felt proud for having an English-songs album in my living room to show off to visiting friends, relatives and family friends. Despite the fact that none of them had any idea about English songs and Hollywood movies (even dubbed). They were ignorant of anything outside their immediate environment, and that included Hindi newspaper, All India Radio and DD1 news, along with other things. This was my first encounter with the legend.
Either to understand Michael’s music or just because I studied in a good boarding school then, I started indulging in Hollywood movies, not really good one, Rambo-type action flicks. Time crawled, yes it (time) never actually flew for me, may be because I was a dreamer, homesick, friendless and very observant of even smallest of thing in my surrounding, and I again found Michael Jackson’s song waiting for me in the audio cassette shop.
Despite my previous bad experience, I didn’t flinch; rather I faced the great man and bought his second cassette. This time, I listened to it and pretended to like it, but I never did. He was not like Beetles, John Lennon, Dean Martin, Don William, Johnny Cash, Eagles, the King, Kishore Kumar, Rafi, Mukesh or Geeta Dutt.
Many years and many Jackson albums later, I met a friend during my masters (Masters of Marketing and Advertising SHIT), a great guy who still is very passionate about music (particularly guitar). This meeting ended up in a friendship that still endures. We respect each other, and I learnt a lot from him about music. In short, he reignited my love for music (listening only), and I again attempted to like Michael Jackson, but failed miserably.
Before today, this was the last time I consciously thought about this great guy. And now, he is dead. Have I missed something? Meeting him or listening to his interview, etc? No, I don’t think so, but still I am sad for this (now fallen) legend. For the “Billie Jean” star.
I am not a believer to say, may god bless his soul, or his soul should rest in peace in heaven. All I can say is: I never thought he was a mere mortal, and still do not like to think so!