It’s inexplicable. Maybe it’s the three hours I just spent winding through clogged streets of Mumbai trying (unsuccessfully) to find a way to office. Apparently, 30 minutes of rain is all it takes to stuff up the daily operations in this metro. But it’s not that. If anything, it served to delay the realization. Michael Jackson died today. I’m surprised at myself to be thinking about it. Even more that it’s caused me to blog here after a gap over three months.
As I stood in bumper to bumper traffic, I wondered why I felt a sense of loss. I hadn’t looked for Michael Jackson song on my hard disk in over a decade. Yes, I did pause the fm channel surfing in the car when the familiar opening to ‘Beat it’ or ‘Thriller’ came on, but didn’t everyone? But then it also made sense. He was one of those rare breed of freakishly talented superstars who didn’t blend into pop culture, but defined it for quite a while. My first album was ‘Dangerous’, gifted by my parents on a birthday, along with a Sony Walkman. Way before itunes and napster, before Vh1, Channel V or MTV, I remember Michael Jackson songs. Before hair bands and rock became my preferred music, Michael Jackson was the original cool performer. It didn’t matter that there were a million other ‘artists’ doing similar things. There was none more original than Michael.
One can’t help but like a superlative performer in a field they make their own. Just like you don’t have to be a basketball fan to know Michael Jordan, or old Hindi music to know Kishore Kumar, or golf (god forbid!) to know Tiger Woods, you didn’t have to be a fan of pop to know, and love Michael Jackson’s music.
S summed it up perfectly, when she called to say that it seemed like we’ve lost a bit of our childhood today. Suddenly it wasn’t so inexplicable, I’m sad because the King of pop died today.