Saturday, June 27, 2009

Remembering the times with Michael Jackson!

The sudden and untimely death of King of Pop -- Michael Jackson -- is something very hard to digest. I was working late last night when I happened to glance at the headline news! Since then, I've been literally glued to the TV till close to 5am Friday morning, when CNN finally confirmed this news, and most of the evening!

I remember, way back in the early 1980s, my mentor, Shankar Ghosh, showed me an audio cassette in Allahabad -- telling me -- this chap is really good! I looked down at the cassette cover, which simply said "THRILLER." And the name of a singer I'd never heard of till then!

Soon, Grammy Awards were telecast, and I caught my first glimpse of Michael Jackson's now very famous videos from the same album.

We kept hearing about the overwhelming success of this particular album for years and years thereafter. No party was a party without the MJ numbers in full blast. No party was a party till someone tried Michael Jackson's signature 'moonwalk!'

The magical "We Are The World" soon came in 1985, a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced and conducted by Quincy Jones, and recorded by a supergroup of popular musicians billed as USA for Africa, as per Wikipedia. Most of us have seen that video! For most of us, including yours truly, it remains one of the best songs of all times!

Came the Gulf War in 1990, which also brought satellite TV to India. That was the first time I saw MJ's "Black or White" video, as well as "Remember The Time." Then came "Heal The World," which, to my pleasant surprise and happiness, my two sweet nieces, especially, the younger one, had started humming!

Then, there was this famous tour to Mumbai, when on November 1, 1996, at the Andheri Sports Complex, he gave a fascinating performance. The Indian Internet sites are all buzzing with that particular visit. I was unlucky to have missed that one! All I remember today is seeing glimpses of that show on the local news channels.

What else can I say? Like many other fans, I mourn his death, but he shall always remain in our hearts, controversies notwithstanding, the one and only 'Smooth Criminal'!

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