Like so much of Michael Jackson’s life, Michael Jackson’s death has come as a shock to so many. Including many Pakistanis who grew up to the shadows of his soundtracks.
Do you have ‘Pakistani’ memories of Michael Jackson? Do share.
I must say I have been surprised by how many ATP readers have written to me saying that we should do a post on Michael Jackson’s death. I was not, at first, sure what the ‘Pakistan connection’ was. But one was made to reconsider as one heard of the MJ memorial set up in Karachi (photos below)and it was apparent how so many were so influenced by the personage of the ‘King of Pop.’
Indeed, there was a time when – irrespective of your economic and social class – the was to be ‘tich’ was to be like Michael Jackson. From Saab ji’s son to Saab Ji’s driver’s son, if you were ‘in’ you had to be MJ: the hair, the walk, the white socks, the tight pants, the persona at large. And no stage show from Peshawar to Karachi would ever be complete without the ‘performance’ of a Michael Jackson clone.
To me, the immediate memory of the Michael Jackson influence on Pakistan is embodied in the famous Fifty-Fifty skit above. Elsewhere on this blog, I have argued that this may be the funniest comedy skit ever in the best Pakistani comedy program ever. But the point I wish to make today is different. It is a point about Michael Jackson and the deep and varied impacts he has left all over the world in so many different ways!
I must confess, I was never a Michael Jackson fan, never owned a single track of his. But there is no one who has lived in the times I have lived in who could be unaware of or uninterested in the phenomenon that was Michael Jackson. I think he led a sad life, but a life that is worth celebrating becuase it gave the joy of music to so many.
May he rest in in peace.