August 29th was THE Michael Jackson’s birthday. Even today, he is remembered. Sad that he had to go the way he did. Why is it that most creative people suddenly pop off? History is proof of the fact that many people like artists, singers, dancers and other people related to the arts field tend to live full lives and then, suddenly crack under pressure. Why is it that you need extreme emotion and all kinds of paraphernalia to live a globally fulfilling life only to be cruelly snatched away from it all?
Having been exposed to English music early in life due to the social atmosphere surrounding me, in school, in the locality where I lived and my friends, I was happy listening to Abba, Boney M and the like. When I jumped into my teens, the light soft music of my childhood years suddenly got usurped by the sensational moonwalk music of Michael Jackson. Wow! I remember thinking then. How does he manage to do this singing and dancing so well? I was hooked. I tried dancing like him. I sang his songs. I remember purchasing my first Michael Jackson audio cassette (there were no CDs then, remember?!) for my first audio player way back. It was fun. I would never miss seeing his new albums. My parents wondered what was in this Jackson boy that entranced their girl. It’s not that I had forgotten all other kinds of music. I listened to them too but loved listening to Michael Jackson whenever I was in a great mood.
Time passed. I heard about the things happening in Michael Jackson’s life. I wasn’t impressed but still stood by him. After all, he was such a great singer and dancer, I justified. Don’t all creative personalities have these little strange things happening in their lives all the time? Then, I heard about the little boys – about the ranch where he lived his life with animals and little children, about the cases that plagued him. Why wasn’t he straight like the others, I asked myself. Why did he not get into a relationship, some relationship, even a gay relationship would be okay? Why was he so queer? How could he be so strange when he was so talented? Why was he allowing his personal whims and fancies to spoil his world famous musical record – too many questions for which I didn’t seem to be getting any straight answers?
I moved on. Tastes in music changed but Michael Jackson stayed where he was. After all, I reasoned, I shouldn’t allow his personal life to influence or prejudice my love for his music. Then, there was a lull in my life as far as Michael Jackson was concerned. I supposed he experienced that lull too or was it a storm that he was undergoing! No family, no emotional security, nobody to call his own. He was lost in his own world which seemed to have started when he was still a boy and maybe, he just got stuck there – time just refused to budge for him. Even with that adult human body and its moves that billions were crazy about all over the world, maybe Michael just couldn’t “beat it!” No wonder, public figures like him who get adulation, fame and fortune early in life without anyone to guide them, experience early burnout, not in terms of their talent but in their ability to interact with the world and more primarily with themselves.
Nobody expected Michael Jackson to die this early. Everyone knew that he was in extreme debt, that he had undergone terrible physical transformation in terms of color, etc. But, he was making a comeback and people, even after these years were expecting the very best from him. They had full faith in his talent and ability to draw crowds. Unfortunately, the Jackson that Michael left behind was a skeleton tortured with needles, drugs and bruises. That he was alive and singing in spite of it all is a miracle. That he was hoping to make a superb comeback in spite of his problems speaks volumes of his desire to become that same Michael he was ages ago. Or maybe, he was doing it for his three children. We will never know. I wonder what they must be undergoing having been under the care of such a different parent.
Lots of speculations run in the air regarding his death. Was he murdered? Was it a freak move on the part of this equally freaked out personality? The world remembers this superb moonwalk dancer and singer.Whatever be the case, Michael Jackson cannot be easily forgotten. Just as he left his relationships and even his comeback venture incomplete, his fans all over the world feel incomplete without his presence. But Michael can be rest assured that his all-time music is here to stay forever.
(A post written some time back. Remembering Michael Jackson, the POP Enigma)