'If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with'
The King of Pop is no more.
My day began with the news of his death via sms and I jumped out of bed to watch the news and see if it was really true.
All that I felt for Michael when he was ridiculed the world over was pity. Pity that such a great star was reduced to this. To being called Wacko Jacko and a pedophile. So much so that he left the US to settle in Bahrain.
How can you feel hatred towards someone who never wants to grow up. Who spoke of incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling as a child. Who cried from loneliness and vomited every time he saw his father. Who was made to perform from the age of five.
One night while he was asleep, his father climbed into his room through the bedroom window. Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting, wanting to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterward, Michael had nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom.
But in the end, all the media scrutiny focused on his pet chimpanzee Bubbles, his Neverland mansion, the rumours about the purchase of bones of The Elephant Man, his surgeries, his debts.
To all those born in the 80's, Michael meant roots, their base for music. I might deny listening to the Backstreet Boys and Boyzone, but Michael Jackson, I will gladly admit to. For as I told a friend, his contribution towards my musical influences has been significant.
He was the one who made music videos almost an art form. Who introduced a whole new style of dance. His dressing sense from the flamboyant hats to the military jackets to the white sequined gloves to the aviator sunglasses.
And my greatest sorrow is for a generation who will never know him and those who only think of him as a child molester and a pedophile. For they will never know what they missed.
To the one who introduced us to the moonwalk, the one who's videos are ingrained in our minds. To the man who wanted to be Bad and Dangerous. Who warned you to Beat It and who told us if it didn't matter if we were Black or White. The man who told you They Don't Really Care About Us. The man who wanted to Heal the World. The man who changed the music industry and brought millions of people across the globe together.
Maybe now as you sang, they'll leave you alone.
And while Bal Thackeray and me rarely find ourselves on the same side of anything. I have to agree with him when it comes to Michael Jackson, "Jackson is a great artist, and we must accept him as an artist. His movements are terrific. Not many people can dance that way. You will end up breaking your bones."
It really is the end of an era.
RIP, Michael, I hope you've found your Neverland.