"Dangerous" was my first English album. I was 9-10ish. Papa had this knack for planting surprises at unlikely places and since my now pea-sized brain was rye-sized then, I could never guess. So it took me one whole day to sniff down that small packet of three cassettes - Baby Doll Alisha's Superman, Suneeta Rao's Dhuan and Michael Jackson's Dangerous.
While I went bonkers catwalking to "Paari Hoon Main...mujhe naa choona" [timed well with my crush on my school's Computer Sir] and hopping and jumping to "Supa Supa Supaman, udke aana" [with a bunch of curly false hair on my head as prop], I listened to Dangerous just once and thought the singer had some vocal-chord dysfunction and hid it away, lest Papa finds it, plays it and develops a liking.
It was not until I was in my 10+2 when with my roomie, Ashmita, I developed a taste for English music and movies. But that went no further than MLTR, Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie, Richard Marx and George Michael. Grads saw my debut in to the world of 'love' and 'tears', drug and dope, pubs and late nights, and with these a 'queer' liking for loud, head-banging, ear-jarring music, of which I did not understand a word. I still don't. Nor could/can I differentiate an Iron Maiden song from a Black Sabbath's. Not that I care. But I started liking listening to them (fav. being PINK FLOYD - I dote on them, Marilyn Manson and Rammstein) everytime I was mad. Pop also came in round about that same time and Ruby Ba ('Ba'=elder sister in Assamese), our Imitator Queen, would entertain us with Mike-a-laal-Jaikishan (a nick we picked from some C-grade joke on MJ) acting.
I particularly love MJ's voice modulation in "Do you remember the time" (found the video quite interesting), the rhythm in "They don't really care about us", absolutely love the lyrics of "Heal the World" and the Thriller's video (his turning into the werewolf was quite funny but). And love him doing his phenomenal moonwalk and thrust-the-hip-up move. I repeat, 'love him' doing it. The world's full of (inferior) imitators and tell you anybody else doing it (including my dahling D.) make me imagine it's some ritualistic move to make people ROFL.
I could not really gulp down his paedophile controversy and even if it were true (though I consider child sexual abuse and rape the highest and the only form of SIN), it would not have affected my admiration for his music. We love an artist for his/her art and we should keep it at that. Wanting to be him/her or castigating him/her when he/she doesn't live upto our expectation, is being overtly emotional, don't you think?
Like a book, every song too has a life of it's own - like I'd keep wondering what Saleem Sinai's mother would think if she read about how her son so unabashedly talked about her secret love for her ex-husband, like "Padi hoon main" is a virgin in her mid-teens who I see struggling with her new-found sexuality, like "Hello" is a lover pining to say the words to his lady and I love his hesitation, even though it is so obvious she'll say 'yes'....
This morning, when D. read aloud "Michael's dead", it did feel like a shaft through my heart. But that was it. In no time I started humming "Dangerous..." and has been doing that ever since [usually one song glues on to my tongue and remains there the entire day].
If he's listening, I'd like to tell him that I love him for being the great Showman he had been and that he looked lot better in his natural dark skin. And that he'll live on in me and many like me.....
I wonder what you guys think of MJ...
Added later: When I read "Ode", I got very curious --- how would it read...Mister 'funny' blogger Rajan writing serious stuff: http://ouchmytoe.com/archives/2009/06/28/an-ode-to-michael-jackson/