It’s been a while since my last post. I pretty much took off without a trace and without really a conscious decision to stop blogging. My apologies to those who have been checking in to see if anything’s been happening at the Realm. I knew that if I wrote a ‘this-is-my-last-entry’ post, that would really have been the end to blogging, so I just left things hanging. It’s been an interesting year since my last post, and though I do not know if I’ll be continuing with new posts regularly, I do know that events like the death of a legend like Michael Jackson cannot go by without an entry in what can now only be described as my online diary ( considering I must have lost most of my readers over the year! ) .
It’s July 7th, 2009 and I watched the memorial service online after getting back from work today. Needless to say, it was truly heart breaking watching the family and especially his children go through this. There are only two types of people in the world today – MJ fans who are really taking this personally, and non-fans who are wondering why this is such a big deal. Considering the title of my post, it’s obvious which of those categories I lie in. Over the last few days since hearing the news first on Jun 25th, I’ve been trying to piece together why exactly this is a big deal to me and the millions of other fans around the world. While I don’t have answers for the rest, I can surely speak for myself.
So what was Michael Jackson to me? Here’s a taste of it.
Michael Jackson was being 7 and singing ‘anna-manna-bokkay’ not knowing the true lyrics ‘Annie are you okay?’ from Smooth Criminal. He was being 10 and watching Moonwalker over and over again, wishing I could turn into a car or a robot too, or dance the way he did. He was singing with my brother in the backseat of our Toyota Corolla in Saudi, each of us having a photocopy of the page of lyrics that came along with the ‘Dangerous’ cassette. He was begging my cousin abroad for a tape of his tour when I returned to India and couldn’t find any new videos or music of his. He was the subject of so many of my drawings and paintings that I think I can sketch him without reference to this day. He was that day in ’95 when we paid 180 Rs to get the two cassette HIStory album. He is the distinct feeling of sadness about something I can’t pinpoint that I feel listening to Stranger in Moscow. He was being urged by the class to sing a song on the last day of school in 9th grade and being terrified of doing it since I never did it before, until I remembered the lyrics to ’Keep the faith’, my long favourite song. I did keep the faith, and went on to join the music band in 10th grade, and haven’t stopped playing since. He was the thrill of coming home after school one day to see a new video, ’You rock my world’ playing on MTV after years of absence from the music scene. He was the warm feeling inside I got thinking of my then crush while listening to one of his most beautiful songs, ‘Speechless’.
Michael Jackson has never been just about the music. He’s always been about the memories. He was alive and kicking when I was born in 1982, and was breathing and making music till two weeks ago. In his death, us fans don’t see the death of a person or even a legend. We feel we’ve lost a part of our own selves, and it is something truly hard to explain.
It’s tragic that the memories stop here, and that all we have is the music he has already made and that there will never be a new album to look forward to, or a new video of his to watch. We won’t see him redeeming himself and getting back to his glory days in the concerts that were to come as early as this month in London.
For one last day though, the world is united again in MJ. When I see fans on TV crying in Hong Kong and London and New York and the Philippines, I am glad that I know how they feel. It’s up to us to carry on his legacy, and tell the next generation what it was like living in the same world and growing up with the greatest entertainer of all time.
Goodbye, Michael Jackson. Thanks for the memories.