For Michael

Remember that the song that takes you back to the first time you heard it is the most powerful. Your song. The moment just flashes across your mind. There’s always that special song, or many for some. Songs that remind you of your childhood- the first song you danced to, the first song you sang in front of a large audience, the songs you listened to in full blast when you got your new music system or in your car while driving on a perfect day with the perfect company and just smiled, listening to every lyric. I was listening to ‘The Earth Song’ by Michael Jackson and remembered the time when my parents, my sister and I would watch the video on MTV at home with all the lights off. My mum would turn up the volume and we would listen to MJ sing. I was what, 10 then or younger. I remember the time when we bought the 3 cassette set of the ‘History’ album. Cassette players! From cassette players to CDs to mp3, MJ lived through all of it. I remember how fascinated I got looking at the ‘Dangerous’ album art. I wondered if I could redraw the graphics on it in my book but I never ended up trying.

I believe and know that the greatest contribution a human being can make to the world is influential music. I am reminded of great moments shared with the people I love while listening to some of my favourite music. Michael Jackson contributed to many of those. It was compelling, meaningful, special music.

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world
A better place
Take a look at yourself, and
Then make a change”

I believed then that he was the person who taught the world how to dance, how to be kind and protect the planet and everyone around us. That will always live on in my memory through his music. There were two six-year-old kids sitting next to me in the theater when I went to watch ‘This Is It’ for the third time, and they knew every word of every song and clapped after every performance. The relevant gem through time. There’s this benevolent attitude and honesty about the King of Pop that you can’t help but admire. My mother made me listen to Dire Straits and the Doors and made me love them. Michael Jackson came much later in my childhood, but I always picture myself in my living room with that MJ record playing fifteen years from now in an ideal, peaceful time.

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