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I am sure we all have grown up either listening to his songs, or imitating his dance. Or just reading about and envying him. Here is a wonderful tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. It is composed by a good friend Anand Balaji.

I thought it would be appropriate to publish it on Muktabalaga as a tribute to this legend of our times, just on the verge of his funeral. RIP Michael Jackson!

– SRIK.

MJ

“Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight,
Here one day, gone one night;
Like a sunset,
Dying with the rising of the moon;
Gone too soon…”

The Rise
How poignantly these lyrics describe the rise and fall of the departed King of Pop, Michael Joseph Jackson. Little could anyone have predicted that this hugely talented boy from Gary, Indiana., would one day take the music world by storm.
Starting his career as the lead vocalist in the Jackson 5 along with his brothers, Michael, came into his own in 1982 when he stunned music fans across nations with his pathbreaking album ‘Thriller’.
For those of us born in the late 70s and early 80s Michael Jackson was a staple diet on the music front. His “hoo, hoo!” “Aowwww!’ and vocal hiccup were imitated by almost everyone I knew – not to mention poor attempts at trying a hand at his impossible dance moves!
His songs have become a major part of the soundtrack of our lives. “Thriller”, “Man In The Mirror,” “Black Or White,” “Billie Jean,” “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough,” “The Way You Make Me Feel”. The list is endless!
Michael Jackson was the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. In fact, he was the first coloured artist to be featured in an MTV video (Billie Jean).
Michael was larger than life and yet appeared unassuming at awards functions, interviews and performances, such as the Grammy’s, which we got to see, courtesy Doordarshan. Those were times when the world hadn’t woken up to the wonders of internet technology, so whosoever was lucky enough to own a television set would invite their neighbours and relatives to watch late night programmes of the master weaving his magic on stage. Michael mania was all around.
Every song that Michael sang raced to the top of the charts in America and elsewhere. This coupled with his phenomenal dancing prowess steadily earned him fans from as far away as Japan.

At about this time, Michael co-wrote the charity single “We are the World” with Lionel Ritchie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US. He was one of 39 music celebrities who performed on the record. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief. In 2000, Jackson was listed in the book of Guinness World Records for his support of 39 charities, more than any other entertainer or personality.
The early 90s saw a different Michael… his facial features and skin colour had changed, making him look almost effeminate. Naturally, people speculated on this and arrived at the conclusion that the pop star was bleaching his skin a lot and that he went under the surgeon’s knife in a bid to change his looks. While the latter was true, Jackson gave a 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey in February 1993 during which he explained that his pallor was due to a skin condition known as Vitiligo. Fans sympathised. But with Michael one couldn’t be too sure. After all, he’d claimed in the mid-80s that he slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow down the aging process. And what can you make of a person who shared his bed and bathroom with a Chimpanzee?
Despite being the superstar who commanded worldwide attention and respect, Michael Jackson was a loner at heart with severe traits of eccentricity, which nobody could quite comprehend. He recounted in an interview about his troubled childhood and adolescence. The confusions and depressive things he had to endure when those of his age were living a carefree life. Images of his brutal father who thrashed him senseless for the smallest of mistakes, haunted him even years later.
Thus, Michael chose to live in the secure confines of the fictitious world of Peter Pan… a place where boys never aged nor shed their innocence. He even named his 2,500 acre ranch Neverland in honour of the author of the book J M Barrie. This vast place with its train rides, zoos and giant wheels would prove to become a symbol of Jackson’s success and excesses.
The Fall
Neverland welcomed one and all; in particular, children. Michael took personal interest in catering to the needs of the (often unfortunate) kids who visited his ranch. It seemed that the super singer who donned the role of Peter Pan took care of the boys with kindness and immense love. He organised “sleepovers” and entertained droves of kids who flocked to his gates to savour the magical world called Neverland. But the supposed dark and seamier side of the place got exposed in 1993 when Michael was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13-year-old boy named Jordan Chandler, who was a regular at Michael’s home.
The press tainted the image of the pop icon by likening him to a lecherous predator, who exploited the vulnerability of visiting children… a paedophile. These stories inspired the pejorative nickname “Wacko Jacko”. The tabloids in particular were ruthless in their reportage. The “revelations” shattered Michael a great deal. So much so that he began taking prescription medication in large quantities. His health deteriorated to the extent that he cancelled the remainder of the Dangerous World Tour and went into drug rehabilitation for a few months.
However, in 1994 a 22 million dollar out of court settlement meant that no criminal charges were brought against the singer. The question arises – If Michael Jackson had been sexually exploiting Chandler for a period of time wouldn’t his parents have been in the know of it, and wouldn’t the boy have protested the first time Michael (allegedly) laid his hands on him? Whether it was a strategy to finish Michael financially and professionally no one can say. It seems to me, it was. Stranger still is the fact that the boy’s mother vehemently denied that Michael had ever behaved inappropriately with her son. You be the judge.
In May of 1994, Michael married singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of King of Rock n’ Roll Elvis Presley. Their marriage (of convenience, as the newspapers dubbed it) ended less than two years later. Amid all the controversy in 1995 Michael released the “HIStory” album. During the Australian leg of the HIStory World Tour, Jackson married dermatologist nurse Deborah Jeanne Rowe, with whom he fathered a son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (also known as “Prince”), and a daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. The couple divorced in 1999, with Rowe giving full custody rights of the children to Michael.
The “moonwalker” performed a gig in India at the insistence of the Shiv Sena in 1996. When he left he wrote the following message on his pillow cover: “India, all my life I have longed to see your face. I met you and your people and fell in love with you. Now my heart is filled with sorrow and despair for I have to leave, but I promise I shall return to love you and caress you again.
“Your kindness has overwhelmed me, your spiritual awareness has moved me, and your children have truly touched my heart. They are the face of God. I truly love and adore you India. Forever, continue to love, heal and educate the children, the future shines on them. You are my special love, India. Forever, may God always bless you.”
Jackson’s third child, Prince Michael Jackson II (also known as Blanket) was born in 2002 to a surrogate mother.
In 2003 in a Granada Television documentary titled ‘Living with Michael Jackson’ the singer was seen holding hands and discussing sleeping arrangements with Gavin Arvizo, who would later accuse him of child sexual abuse. It seemed like someone, somewhere was out to get Michael and his millions, but who and why remains a mystery. The trial lasted five months, until the end of May 2005, he was acquitted on all counts. Jackson then relocated to Bahrain as a guest of the ruler’s son, Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Reports are now emerging that resorted to doing one-night gigs for private parties for Arab sheikhs and Russians in London. These gigs apparently commanded up to 2.5 million dollars for an hour performance. Oh what a mighty fall the King of Pop had suffered!
Upon his return to the United States, Michael announced a series of 50 concerts in London in a comeback tour ironically titled “This is It”. He worked hard every day to make sure the shows, which were to begin from July 13 this year, were a success.
However, on June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson collapsed at a rented home in Holmby Hills in Los Angeles, and died shortly thereafter leaving a void that nobody can ever fill. His funeral is scheduled to be held on July 7.
@A tribute to MJ by Anand Balaji (First time online after his “greatunknown” blog shut down).
Anand Balaji, had been a Journalist with leading English newspapers in Bangalore, and later worked as a senior copywriter in an ad firm. He was a successful blogger in 2007. He quit his profession to pursue work as a freelance writer. Mukthabalaga wishes him the best in all his endeavours.

It is high time India wakes up to its challenging enemy. What we saw today was a direct attck on the Indian spirit. It is not enought if we just wake up tomorrow morning and live normally. It is also essential for us to avenge for the death of our National pride. Lets be more reactive.

Muktha Balaga prays for peace and honour be back with this amazing country. We also pray in God for peace to those departed souls in today’s attack.

Peace

Let peace prevail....... For ever!

Also read:
1. One captured terrorist speaks.
2. Speechless in Mumbai.
“The chirping birds are heading home
The wind is howling less,
The fiery red of the midday sun
Is now in pale contrast . . .”


The rays of the setting sun convey such a profound knowledge – if only man were attuned enough to recognize and realize it. The fiery red gradually dims into a pale orange, the orb glittering like gold is next surrounded by a yellow halo and this magnificient orb changes colour – from orange to yellow to pale red to violet – till it gradually merges as one with the skyscape.


These changing colours seem to be saying – WHY??? WHY??? Why are you ‘Oh ! Man’, God’s most beautiful creation – burdening yourself with these earthly glories??? For after all, they too will become dust sometime in the not so distant future. They seem tomock our attitude of today of “ALL FOR’I’ and ‘I’ FOR NONE”!!!


Just like the various colours of sunset, so too does man’s life melt away into the darkness – each after having experienced the different colours – of joy, sorrow, jealousy, anger, fear, surprize, tenderness, greed – and finally melting away into nothing . . . where nothing exists but “peace” – profound and absolute.


Even when the sun is about to slip away, when total darkness is, but just a breath away, thentoo he tries to light up a weary traveller’s long and lonely walk, back home; provides just enough light for the mother sparrow to put the feed into her delicate baby’s mouth – before melting away to darkness, but always always always with the promise of a better tomorrow.


So too in life . . . Let bygones be bygones and learn to rest all troubles and sorrows alongwith the sun . . . Let them all melt away into darkness and forever remain buried there.


Can’t the beautiful spectacle of sunset serve as an example to enable today’s self-centered, egoistic, material human to rise above everything petty and superfluous to regain the place at the top of God’s creation???!!! Or is it already too late?!!


Is it that today’s man has passed way beyond the point of no return?!!? Is there no way, no hope, no inspiration to bring him back?? Is man going to become so self-centered that all his claims of being the ultimate of all of God’s creations will be brought to nought??!!


Let the fading twilight be your inspiration Ye Man . . . To learn to accept your own foibles – and those of your bretheren – and let this light illuminate your path back to goodness, to human-ness . . . let the setting sun bring you back to the old ways of humility, humbleness and humanity . . . . . . .


“The fiery rays of the setting sun
Were softened by the approaching hour of dusk
And ’twas in this enchanted hour
Man was back to being human!!”


– DIYA

India celebrates

A cricket crazy world in India celebrates its team’s superb victory over their Arch rivals Pakistan in a nail biting encounter at the finals of T20 World cup that was held in South Africa.

Team celebrates

And the team…..in a frenzy mood! Now all the cricketrs who were a part of this team will be busy walking all the way to bank to count the millions that are offered on them!

 Mukthabalaga congratulates the team for having achieved this sensational feat.

bleeding heart

A white soul with a bleeding heart? Do we have any shame about it? We may look beautiful from outside, but the heart bleeds…. Hyderbad blasts are the fresh example of our living. Are we left with any dignity? Any emotions? Any values?

Condemn the Act of terrorism outrageously.

Let there be only peace all across………………………………….Shanthih! Amen! Inshallah!

Must be a part of Bangalore, I had thought….had never got a chance to visit that place.

Nandini Layout first came in news headlines when Dr. Rajkumar was buried near there, in Kantirava Studios, last year…and it was in news for all the wrong reasons, choc-o-blocs witnessed then…. Moving onnn it was on headlines again…but for all wrong reasons…a dog sends an 8 year old girl packing to heavens….

 

And I visited Nandini layout yesterday….not for anything else, but to spend a nice Sunday evening in the company of nice friends at a  sweet friend’s place!! I found no violence, no violators as it was in the headlines about Nandini Layout…!

 

We(Its We) had promised Shruthi, who hallucinates, aka our Professor, to be at their home by 4 PM. But something delayed my destination hunt to Nandini Layout. I was in a temple participating in Shankara Jayanthi celebrations… So, left home a bit late.

 

Picked Usha from Uttarahalli (180 degrees away from Nandini Layout) and were on road for about 45 mins when we reached Nandini Layout without any hic ups. We found the hotel as instructed by Shruthi thru e-mail the previous day….and we found the temple without much difficulty….then started the hunt…In the e-mail we were asked to continue on the same road till we reach a dead end…and we hunted for a dead end which was not to be found…and we roamed around for some time, called Shruthi that didn’t help…Shruthi’s dad instructed….which suggested we were on the right path!! And we decided to find a dead-end….and sure…there it was…but it culminated into a slum L

We came back to the temple, and searched for some hint, and found an area map at the corner. We laughed at our ignorance and headed towards ‘Dharitri’ with Girish who had just joined us.

 

Usha went in and by the time I parked my bike and got down, one kid waved at me and welcomed with its sweet little hands and a smile on that adorable face.….I was surprised…Shruthi doesn’t yet have a child…but this child walks and speaks…… then I saw Bellur standing behind…And I was relieved….It was Narayana, Junior Bellur.

 

They were all already there…Sanjay, Vijetha, Bellur, Vidya, Vani, Vani’s Mom, Chaithanya and there was one soft guy who welcomed me…I took no time to guess that it was Sandesh… He laughed out loud when I uttered ”Aren’t you S?”….

 

We started a conference at the gate itself…admiring the calmness of the area and the ‘ups and downs’ on the road…In fact, Dharitri is situated on the sliding edge of that elevated road…must have been a small hill before converting it into Nandini Layout. There was a park just up-side the road from Dharitri, which looked scary….

 

And then Aunty(Shruthi’s mom) came out asking, “you don’t want to come in?”… and we moved in.

It was as if we were all treated with a treasure, every one started talking, end less…. After all… “Harate Hodyakke permit beke?” 😉

 

Then came delicious question….”Yaru pure vegetarian idira??”…. Shruthi meant is there someone who doesn’t want to relish a cake puffed with egg… all answered… And then started Upachara…”Please have more” anta yella….

 

And as expected, after “Come home some time”, it was “Please Have more and Upachaara”…

Narayana was relishing cake for some time until his mom fed him with a dip of sausage (Chaasu)… Then he kept repeatedly asking for chaasu, and left alone keekuu..Meanwhile Bellur presented with a  light number, a distorted version of Annavru’s “Vaara Banthamma” by Gundurao depicting the plight of married men….

 

Then… S received a call from office, asking him to login…poor fellow… had to work from home on a Sunday evening…

 

We had a walk around the house…. Chaitanya and me had a chat for about 15 mins in the balcony, admiring the calm air around the house…and the rest busy talking about some issues down stairs… And Shruthi got us coffee there itself with some upacharaa. 😉

 

And that would’ve gone onnnnn until GH reminded us all to have a look at the watch… It was 7 already and time to bid good night.

 

One by one… all left… Usha had brought DVD of Aradhane held at her place some times back…and Shruthi was copying it on to her system…so we had to wait…being the last entrants that evening…

We waited out side with Shruthi’s parents and aunt, talking of course, and having a look at the clearer sky…by clearer I mean we got to see a beautiful view of sky with many stars on display for us, such sky view is unfortunately not available in other areas of city, owing to the artificial lighting…

 Well.. Thus ended one of the beautiful evenings…another meeting, another get together… no time for anything else…but just a casual chat…. It always fills one with good air meeting good people, spending some time with them… more over…no one felt un-comfortable anywhere…neither at Usha’s place, nor at Girish’s place, neither at Praneshachar’s place, nor at Chaithanya’s place, nor too at Shruthi’s place….  Thanks Muktha for such wonderful evenings… Let such come often…and in every other part of the city….!!

Also Read:
‘Muktha’ fans meet on ‘Friendship Day’
‘Muktha Samvada’ with a difference

Friends,

 I have a very bad news to share with you today. Kannada’s one of the best contemporary writers and son of KuVemPu, Poornachandra Tejaswi is no more. He was 70 when he breathed last, today, a few hours ago.

Mukthabalaga mourns the demise of this great man.

Brief note about him :

He was born in Kuppalli in Thirthahalli taluk of Shimoga district. Although he is the son of “Rashtrakavi” Kuvempu, he came out of his father’s shadow and established his own image at an early age.

He spent most of his days in the company of the beautiful western ghats at Mudigere, which provided the back drop for his works.

His novels :

  • Mayaloka
  • Rudraprayagada Bhayanaka Narabakshaka
  • Chidambara Rahasya
  • Karvalo
  • Annana Nenapu
  • Jugari Cross
  • Swaroopa
  • Nigooda Manushyaru
  • Although his novels are widely popular, his fame is due to variety in his works. poems, short stories, dramas, travelogues, science fictions, incidents related to nature.

    Western ghat’s beauty has been captured alive throught his works.

    We salute and bid adieu to this man of nature thru this small post. Good bye Mr. Tejaswi. RIP.

    Tejaswi

    Click here for more details : http://thatskannada.oneindia.in/news/2007/04/05/tejasvi_nomore.html

     Srik.


    a

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