On this day, one year ago, I came home from school only to hear that the first person I had ever fallen in love with was dead.
‘Ridz, Michael Jackson died.’ were the words my mother said to me that afternoon. Shocked, I had quickly switched on the TV and flipped from news channel to news channel, each of the flashing the words ‘King Of Pop Dead’. My mind went numb and my entire body froze. All I could think was, ‘This can’t be real! It’s a hoax!’ and I didn’t want to believe Michael Jackson, my first love and the very heart of the music world, had died.
Michael Jackson was an inspiration to humankind. He was one of the few individuals on the planet who was genuinely a good person. No matter how many legal problems he had faced, not to mention the effects of plastic surgery and the prescription drugs he was so heavily dependant on, MJ managed to steal our hearts with his thrilling dance moves, ingenious music, and mind-blowing concerts. He was also a gentle person by nature and everyone who has met him can guarantee this.
I remember when I was very small and the video of his song ‘They Don’t Care about Us’ had just been released, in 1996, and I was sitting on my father’s lap and gazing in wonderment at the man on the screen. I was four years old at the time, and nothing else was more fascinating than seeing this tall, pale, wonder dancing around madly with a huge crowd who also seemed entranced by him. Since then, I was in love! I wanted to do that too. I wanted to dance along with him and beat those huge drums and scream in the middle of the street! Now it hurts to think that I never will.
I think it was everybody’s dream to meet Michael Jackson. I have friends who can moonwalk and move almost as well as him, dedicated fans who would spend hours watching him, trying to master his magic. Michael Jackson taught me that its okay to be different. It’s okay to take a risk and expose your true self to the world. He took the risk. And now, he’s a hero to billions, and a beacon of equality and love.
“I’m not a racist person … I could never be a racist. I love all races.”- Michael Jackson
Though the legend himself has left us, his spirit will always remain. I know I’ll be telling my kids about him someday… The story of how I fell in love with a superstar.
If you are in India, you can catch some tribute shows for Michael on these channels:
VH1- Moonwalk, at 8pm
Sony Pix- Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ TV premier at 9pm. :)
We will always love you, Michael.