Michael Jackson is dead….

…and so is a part of me. How do I even begin to explain the phenomenon that was Michael Jackson to my son? Of course, there are parts of this said phenomenon I would prefer not to have to explain to my son, but since the man is recently dead, I will gloss over them like the elephant in the room, as mentioned by Randy Pausch.

The fact remains that Michael Jackson was the music I grew up to. The Way You Make Me Feel was the official love ballad for my generation, raunchy, aggressive, and full of great dancing and MJ, us with the one shouldered oversized tees, hair scrunched up into untidy messy high on head ponytails, legwarmers (for God alone knows what in the heat of Mumbai and no dance classes), the then to be spouse perfected moonwalking and breakdancing for the express purpose of impressing the squealing girls and did a mean headspin and backflip in his time.

I knew the words backwards to Thriller, Billie Jean, Black & White, I Just Cant Stop Loving You, Man in the Mirror. Dammit I worshipped the man. He was the ultimate in coolth to me. Of course, like the rest of my generation I watched on in shock and disbelief as he changed from a cute black boy to something I still dont know what yet. I watched his courtroom appearances with sunken nose and lipsticked and eyemakeupped eunuch persona and tried to reconcile it with the face of the oh so fabulous dancer who had me sitting on the edge of my seat whenever his songs played on television.

And I would think back to the I Want You Back of the Jackson 5 and wondered what had been so terrible in his childhood lost that he never ever could grow up. I watched the documentaries done on him, recoiled in horror as I heard stories of how he had been slavedriven to perform professionally at the age of five. It was heartbreaking to hear him speak in his whispery fragile voice, and say that opposite the recording studio there was a fairground with a carousel and all he wanted to do was to ride the Ferris Wheel and the Carousel and he wouldnt be allowed to. And he had to practise practise practise. He was a child. Five years old. Thats how old my son is. I watched clips of his Neverland mansion, his taking of the Peter Pan personality he had created for himself to the ultimate extreme. I read the stories of the child abuse, the sleepovers, the manic spending, the bizaree appearances at the trial, and even to an untrained non clinical mind the inferences were obvious, the man was trying desperately to get back his childhood. At times I even felt terrible for him. Haunted, an object of ridicule in his later years, a subject of jokes and wondered about the children he had chosen to have borne for him, and wondered what type of a gilded cage they were growing up in. The fabulous music he made in his hey day was forgotten. Newer singers and musicians came on the scene. But the phenomenon that was MJ could never ever be replicated.

Perhaps it is appropriate I am in black today. Of course, you and I know that I am in black every other day, but today it seems particularly appropriate. A part of my youth has died forever, and I am in mourning. Keep his private life aside. That is none of my business, except as a voyeuristic fan. For the music he gave us, I bow to him on bended knee.

“Why not just tell people I’m an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They’ll believe anything you say, because you’re a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, ‘I’m an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight,’ people would say, ‘Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He’s cracked up. You can’t believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth.'”

Michael Jackson

The King of Pop is dead. And an era is officially over.

About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral is the bestselling, award-winning author of ten books. She was a journalist at The Asian Age, The Times of India, features editor Cosmopolitan, India Cultural Lead and Trendspotter at Gartner Iconoculture, Senior Consultant at Vector Insights and Ideas Editor, SheThePeople.TV. She currently consults on independent research and media projects. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards for Literary Contribution in 2017. The Indian Council of UN Relations (ICUNR) with the Ministry of Women and Children, Govt of India, awarded her the International Women’s Day Award 2018 for excellence in the field of writing. Her novella, 'Saving Maya', was long-listed for the 2018 Saboteur Award, supported by the Arts Council of England in the UK. Her novels 'The Face At the Window’ and ‘Missing, Presumed Dead' were both long-listed for Jio MAMI Word to Screen, and ‘The Face at the Window’ was also shortlisted for the South Asian Film Festival 2019 . Her books include 'The Reluctant Detective', 'Once Upon A Crush', 'All Aboard', 'Karmic Kids-The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You', 'A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up', 'True Love Stories', 'Saving Maya' and ’13 Steps to Bloody Good Parenting.’ She also has published short stories in various magazines, in acclaimed anthologies like Have A Safe Journey, Boo, The Best Asian Speculative Fiction, Magical Women and City of Screams.
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30 Responses to Michael Jackson is dead….

  1. Lakshmi says:

    Hey Sweetie..

    I absolutely adored that man and can’t stop crying. I so wanted Chinni to listen to him too. And now he’s no longer here. 😦 Super sad.


  2. monikamanchanda says:

    i know what u mean… i just did a post on that too but u did it so beautifully

    he will always live in our memories…

    i am really sad today


  3. sowmya says:

    R.I.P. MJ.


  4. soulmate says:

    Couldnt agree to this more.. An era of music has come to an end with his untimely demise.. I dont think that the void created by his death will/can ever be filled by anyone.. He was The Michael Jackson : King of POP. We all will surely miss him….


  5. artnavy says:

    i saw it on rediff early this morning

    i liked his music
    even upto Remember the time and History which many did not like

    but music never dies . . .


  6. Poppy says:

    Oh yes. RIP. He was a wacko at the end but his music was top class. Am a big fan too, feeling really sad, I think everyone is going to be dusting off the tapes and dancing to Dangerous tonight.


  7. Pingback: The Legend « Monika's World

  8. anna says:

    i too woke up to this news on cnn, and just cant digest it. they were talking of farrah fawcetts death, and then someting was said about MJ and i thought oh he too must have idolised her and will now comment on her death…instead it was he was dead too…yes really the end of an era. who can forget off the wall, billie jean., beat it?


  9. Childwoman says:

    I am so so so sad. RIP MJ.



  10. Serendipity says:

    …from a cute black boy to something I don’t know yet. I watched his courtroom appearances with sunken nose and lipsticked and eyemakeupped eunuch persona…”

    He had a medical condition called vitiligo…
    Private life apart, that man should be remembered for the music that he gave us!


  11. JLT says:

    Couldn’t believe it when my cousin told me this morn. and uncharitable as it was, my first thought was that he was too weird to die so tamely….:-(
    He gave us some awesome music! May he reach that peace in death he never found living…RIP, MJ


  12. Sumathee says:

    Yes.i agree with you…with him..a part of your youth has also died. I too have grown up listening to him and if i knew pop..western music..it was MJ. Keeping his personal life aside (dont know how much is invented by media..though), he revolutionized music and its very difficult to get another MJ. Rest in peace. I am sure wherever he is..he will be happy to see his fans crying for him. I will always miss him.


  13. Totally agree with Serendipity that he should be remembered for his contribution to music…
    As for his appearance, it was prolly easier for him to get completely de-pigmented and look like a cross-dresser than ruin his image with the ugly vitiligo patches…i dunno…

    and also, there’s the “innocent until proven guilty” thing…

    Anyways, the sudden-ness of his death was esply shocking!!
    A great loss to the music industry indeed!


  14. Dottie says:



  15. Sands says:

    That last quote said it all. The cons of being a celebrity. His dancing gave birth to a wave of young followers not to mention his amazing music. May his soul rest in peace!!


  16. sparklingpinkliquidity says:

    he’s much too much larger than life to die. RIP MJ. We love you.


  17. Shilpa says:

    You are so right. he was really trying to live his fantasy childhood. A normal childhood that he never got. I place the blame for the weirdness that was MJ solely on his family, his father in particular. MJ was singing and making money when all he was supposed to do was go out and play with friends and get that warm hug from his parents. 😦 a very very sad life.


  18. take a bow michael…i sooo loved him, and he was the one who inspired me to take up dancing..i thank him for that..wuuuuuuved his moonwalk..and still do 😦


  19. chandni says:

    my thoughts exactly. But as always, you say it a lot better than I ever could.

    I am unable to explain what he meant to me. I am mourning.



  20. Michele says:

    I agree with you. I had a huge crush on him growing up and have always loved his music and so does the Beast. It is sad how it all turned out. It is like he never really had a chance.


  21. thetaamommy says:

    I am totally shocked. Can you believe i learnt this from your website that the Absolute King of Pop is dead. This is really shocking. And now people are mourning in huge numbers, i wish he knew that so many adored him and he is still the King in our hearts.


  22. Kiran Manral says:

    I’m sure he will. Wherever he is. So much love for him and his music.


  23. Kiran Manral says:

    Laks: Oh Chinni will grow up to her own legends.

    Monika: All of us are in mourning. Some part of oneself seems to have died.

    Somya: RIP

    Soulmate: Yes, no one will ever be able to take his place.

    Art Navy: Remember the Time. Fabulous. I think its difficult to find the few damp squibs in his music.

    Poppy: Did you? Dance to dangerous? I listened to all his love songs.

    Aathira: RIP

    Anna: Farrah Fawcett I can still believe, and honestly I dont feel a thing about. But MJ I am still to come to terms with.

    Childwoman: RIP

    Serendipity: I do know about the vitilgo, but obviously that doesnt change the features of a person. But thats immaterial now, isnt it. All I want to do is remember his songs and his fabulous dancing and his breathtaking shows.

    JLT: RIP.

    Sumathee: Heartbreaking isnt it. Will never have such a fabulous dancer ever again.

    GND: Now, that he’s gone, all I can think off is his music. And whatever the controversies in his life, I think I would like to remember him simply for the music and the good memories I have dancing to his songs.

    Sands: Yes, may his soul rest in piece.

    Shilpa: It is actually really tragic. Hope his children fare well.

    Aniruddhapathak: He inspired so many of us.

    Michele: For the music he gave us, we owe him bigtime. He didnt have a chance did he. Too much pressure.

    dottie, sparkling liquidity, Chandni, sraikh: RIP.


  24. Sue says:

    Yes, an era is indeed over. At least he can’t be hounded any more.


  25. Childwoman says:

    Has he really gone? Is he never coming back ever again to do one last MoonWalk..? 😦 😦 😦


  26. alka says:

    I feel the same. I just listened to his song ‘ You’re not alone’ and cried buckets. It’s like losing a part of yourself. Growing up, he the first rockstar for me and will always be. RIP MJ. We will miss you. 😦


  27. Kiran Manral says:

    Sue: Yes, that too. Poor man. Celebrity is tough.

    Childwoman: Nope. And I think he is in a better place now.

    Alka: I know. And reading this mornings paper about the autopsy findings was just horrifying. A man who had the world at his feet, reducing himself to this????


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