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MJ

I woke up to this sad news. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. It’s as if we are all having a bad dream. Why him and why so soon?

I woke up to this sad news. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. It’s as if we are all having a bad dream. Why him and why so soon?

Michael Jackson cannot be gone. It is difficult to imagine a world without him,it is impossible to imagine music without him. He was really blessed,in the sense that even if you did not like his music,you could not help but notice him. Nobody could ignore MJ. His impact on the world is like a phenomenon which cannot be replicated.

The first thing I did after hearing the news was to dig out all my old tapes and videos of MJ. I have been watching Thriller on a repeat loop. Once again I am amazed at his dancing. He was a cult. I considered him as my dancing god. I was so impressed by him that I named my elder son Mimoh after him. His full name is Michael Mohammad Chakraborty after Michael Jackson and Mohammad Ali,my two favourite icons.

There is no doubt that the world has not seen a better performer than MJ. He had an electrifying presence on stage. The kind of energy he exuded was like a live wire. He could connect to thousands and thousands of people with just one dance move or one expression. Trust me,that is not a joke. It takes talent of a very special quality to do that.

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I remember,the first time I was introduced to the MJ phenomenon was when I saw the Jackson Five back in the ’70s. MJ clearly stood out in that group. I remember telling everyone that this guy was gonna rock. And like the rest of the world,my prediction also turned right. MJ became the greatest ever.

I was enthralled by his dancing moves. I used to stand in front of the mirror and practise his moves. I tried hard to copy him but I was never a patch on him. Nobody could copy him because frankly nobody could move like him. I tried to recreate the whole Thriller effect in the song “Jeena Bhi Kya Hai Jeena” in Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki. The visuals were totally ripped off from Thriller with my co-star Salma Agha and me trying to do the zombie dance in a graveyard just like in Thriller. In Avinash,we reproduced “Beat It” in the form of “Jee Le”.

I tried to adopt his dress sense too,especially those sequined clothes and black shoes with white socks in films like Disco Dancer and Dance Dance. MJ was such a strong influence that in Guru we did a song inspired by “Bad” which was inspired by the heroine. While I tried to pay my tribute to MJ in my movies even when my son Mimoh made his debut,he did a small dance piece on Billie Jean in his debut film Jimmy. He wanted to carry forward the tradition. I practised his steps a lot but it would be an insult to him to say I came even half way close to him. He was the ultimate.

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Though I never went for his concert I adored him a lot. I respect him for being a great performer and also for his ability to start from scratch and rise like a phoenix every time the world assumed he was in the dumps. His has been an amazing journey — just see where he began and where he reached.

There will always be one Michael Jackson. He will be a part of history and a part of my family. Every time I call out to my son,Mimoh,I’ll remember MJ.

The writer has appeared in more than 200 films,including ‘Mrigaya’ and ‘Disco Dancer’express@expressindia.com

First published on: 27-06-2009 at 03:38:25 pm
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