Michael JacksonI 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!

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9 Responses to “My Personal Memories of Michael Jackson”

  1. kingshuk says:

    His larger than life image far surpasses his musical ability, in that sense i completely agree with you. Although i must add that i ‘m hearing his voice on more that one PC around me as i write this.

  2. May be it’s the fan’s way to pay homage. I know he was a genius, and whatever I wrote here was an honest tribute from me to this musical genius.

  3. Bhavana Agarwal says:

    I have never liked him. this might come as a shock to the readers, but this is the way it is. I studied in one of the best convent schools, but still I didn’t hear or see him (on T.V. or radio) in my school days. Girls in my school were crazy about his dance steps, but I never had a curiosity to find about him. It was probably because of the fast paced music full of only beats and devoid of the soul of music. Somehow, I cringe to call it music. I am myself a singer and although not atrained singer, I do understand music. I love to hear some Western singers as there is a lot of melody in the music. Michael Jackson never made sense to me. Rather I should say that the likes of him never did. I was not upset over his death. We all are humans. We have to keep the ultimate truth in mind. There are too many immortals in Hindu Mythology to create another one.

  4. I do understand were you guys are coming from. l understand that at times it’s difficult to appreciate music from different culture. I just wanna give you a different pespective of the man in the mirror, Michael Jackson.
    I love MJ and his music and have been listerning to it since the 80s. I didn’t like the what he turned himself into but that is copletely dwarfed by his lifetime achievements and talent.
    MJ was an international Megastar and icon in many ways. He brokedown the barriers for people of colour in America and Europe. He was the first person of colour to be played on MTV. His music broke records, “Thriller” sold more that 100million copies and that record might never be broken. He did with music what Barrack Obama , Murtin Luther King, Nelson Madela, Mahatma Gandhi and many other icons did for people of clour in the political arena.

  5. Hi,

    I am in complete agreement with your statements about MJ. I value his contribution to music, and what he did for black music. I am aware of the fact that he was the first non-white singers (or non-rock singers) whose videos were played on MTV, and I also accept the fact that what he has done to fill the color divide. I really appreciate MJ for this, but I think when you talk about not appreciating music from different cultures, you are missing the whole point. If you have read, I do appreciate your music. In particular I am a big fan of your country songs, western music, folk songs, and who does not love Mozart, and Bach. And why just western music, turn eastward and you will find many good music, and even Arab world has produced some remarkable stuff.
    And, if we talk about the man MJ then I have many reservations. Like getting surgery done to change his facial features, skin colors, his interest in young boys and the list can go on and on.
    I didn’t appreciated his music, though I loved his dance steps, simply because I did not understand, and now perhaps my mind is so closed on MJ that I couldn’t understand him. I like your Rock greats, rather I love them, but MJ or pop music is something I find it hard to come to terms with.

  6. I have begun to listen to Michael a lot lately. I wish i would have started that before he died :(. RIP

  7. Michael Jackson was indeed a larger than life character. It will be a long time before someone like him has such a large influence on popular music.

  8. yarddygirl says:

    if you never like him, why make a comment of your disgust

  9. I am sorry if I hurt your sentiment about MJ. But i am afraid you got the wrong message. Read the last line and you will know what I meant :)

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