MJ: More Sinned Against than Sinning…

26 June 2009

No, I am not a fan. But, I still think MJ was a man more sinned against than sinning. And, now, he shall sing no more.

A celebrity hounded. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people remember him for the wrong reasons. Enduring physical and mental abuse by your own father for years is not a simple thing. Growing up branded in a cruel world that thinks nothing of you if you ain’t white or rich can be psychologically devastating.

But, MJ not only made it, he made it like no other! His was THE breakthrough. He is the reason other African-American singers were noticed and recognized.

Not for nothing was he described as, “an unstoppable juggernaut, possessed of all the tools to dominate the charts seemingly at will…” He had star power and that fact is undeniable. Remember him for his music, his songs, his voice, his dance moves…forget the rest…he was human, like us. So what if he got a nose job/other surgical treatments? Don’t forget – he grew up believing black was not beautiful. Isn’t that something the society needs to feel responsible for? What’s wrong in wanting a better nose anyway? He was just another human who wanted to look better than he thought he did. Is that a crime? Any one else would go unnoticed; but, just because it’s “MJ,” people badger, attack, stab, gibe, mock, twist, distort.

Limelight does strange things to people. Maybe he was weird or a rebel. So what? He was a man who could not only hold but arrest your attention. And, for decades! How can you forget his path-breaking work?

Let him be…let's not judge...he made mistakes…we all do. Life is complicated. Let’s celebrate him for what he was: a singer, a dancer like no other, a song-writer. The rest does not matter. As Auden once wrote for Yeats, so it is for MJ:

You were silly like us; your gift survived it all;

Sing of human unsuccess

In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart

Let the healing fountain start,

In the Prison of his days,

Teach the free man how to praise...


Of the Divine...random thoughts...

24 June 2009

A rather controversial and interesting topic: the Divine. Is it essential to bow down to a higher power? Different takes, different strokes, some pale, come coloured, few accepting, many severe…

I, for one, cannot believe that the Divine doles out scrolls of punishments and rewards according to what it thinks is right or wrong. That, indeed, is a VERY human behavioral pattern. If it is the DIVINE, it should be without ego, pride, wrath and other human attributes, if you know what I mean. After all, that’s what makes it divine…that’s what gives it power. I cannot believe the D is divine because it has the power to strike plagues and smote people out of sheer vengeance. Anyway.

The point is, the yogis’ (NOT THE HINDUS!) standpoint has been this: optimize the body to reach to the highest level a human can reach physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. From nothingness to nothingness. With a world of a difference, of course between the two.

Coming back to the main topic, given the divinity of the D, would He/She want servile, subservient, begging, toadying, apple-polishing, cowering 'devotees' or would the D want each soul to rise to its own height and scope, irrespective of praise or censure? I think, tis the latter.

Leads me to another aspect. Think it’s easier for people to act subservient, grovel and denigrate themselves, be so-called sinners than to take charge, sit themselves down and ask: what went wrong/is the problem, what can ‘I’ do to change it. Was I responsible for it in any way? I think very few people are brave enough to take complete responsibility for their actions, words and life. We'd much rather live with passing off responsibilty on another force than accept the harsh, brutal truth. Juvenile, but there it is.

I personally think the D would like a human more in tune with itself, more wanting to be 'in-charge' despite the given condition, work/slog it out than give in to the ‘kismet’ bit. I go to a dentist, he screws up my mouth coz he didn’t have enough expertise/right knowledge about the medicine…that ain’t kismet. It’s a human fault, not justice meted out by the D for a probable past life. The doc should have been more ethical, he should have made me aware about the possible side-effects of the medicine before venturing into treating me. Control what you can- each one, not just me.

Kismet ain’t punishment. It’s learning. Learn and you grow, fail and the patterns will keep repeating till one learns.

Returning to the point: prayer isn’t asking…it’s a dialogue between you and your higher self, which is the Divine. The D ain’t a separate entity…we have separated Him by moving away from the Centre…



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