DailyOh! Did Michael Jackson see the coronavirus crisis coming, to the choice that killed Nimmi’s film career

King of Pop Michael Jackson once got so scared of a mask that he had nightmares for years. Who wore that mask?

 |  12-minute read |   26-03-2020
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Hi you,

How are you holding up? We hope you have been able to figure out ways to stay indoors without losing your sanity. India has 656 confirmed coronavirus cases, 47 of those infected have recovered or migrated and 16 have died. We hope the situation doesn’t spiral out of control. Even developed nations have not been able to handle a community spread of the disease. So, please stay at home.

delhi-police-690_032620032110.jpgThere is a countrywide lockdown in India since March 24. (Photo: Reuters)

The crisis has caught the world unaware. Even America doesn’t seem to have the resources to battle this. They too are short of testing kits, masks and ventilators. Now, we are not trying to say that it is okay if India doesn’t have the resources because even the developed world doesn’t have it. We are just saying this is an unforeseen crisis. Or did someone actually foresee it? If you have seen Contagion, you know what we are talking about. If you haven’t, do see it to know what we are talking about, but more importantly, what this crisis is about. It’s on Amazon Prime. Now, if you do not have the subscription, or don’t want to have it, you can read about it here.

But Contagion director Steven Soderbergh isn’t the only one who foresaw it, Michael Jackson saw it too. That’s not a claim we are making. His former bodyguard Matt Fiddes says so. What’s the proof, you may ask? Well, his face mask. Fiddes says, despite being mocked, Jackson wore a face mask because he was worried he may get infected.

jackson_032620031804.jpgMatt Fiddes says Michael Jackson wore a face mask because he was worried he may get infected. (Photo: Reuters)

Fiddes says when he asked Jackson to not put on the face mask because it looked funny, the singer and dancer said, "Matt I can't get ill, I can't let my fans down. I've got concerts coming up. I'm on this earth for a reason. I mustn't damage my voice, I've got to stay healthy, I don't know who I'm going to encounter today, I don't know what I might pass on."

Now, you do know that Jackson’s mask became the butt of jokes for many, but what you may not know is that the artist was once so scared because of a mask, that he would have nightmares about it for a long time.

Michael Jackson’s father, Joe Jackson, we know, used to beat up Michael and the other sons. Now, Joe told the boys to not leave the windows open while sleeping. Once, maybe on several occasions, Michael forgot about it. So, to teach him a lesson, Joe got into Michael’s room through the window wearing a fright mask, screaming and shouting. For a number of years after that, Jackson suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom. That sure was a bad way to teach a lesson to a child.

But some people don’t follow sound advice. One such has been spotted in Kolkata. In a video that has gone viral, the woman is seen getting into a tussle with police officers as they try to question her over travelling during a nationwide lockdown.

The woman screamed at the police officer, accused him of shoving her and even licked him. She then scratched an old wound, took the blood from there and smeared it on the cop's shirt. If she had any sense, she would have known that the police are only trying to protect us. Even you have to step out for an emergency, you have to follow rules and answer cops who ask questions. She sure had no sense. And you know what we call such senseless people, Covidiots. This Kolkata woman is our Covidiot Of The Day.

If people keep coming out on the roads and the police do not stop them, there is no way we can contain the spread and stop more people from getting infected. India doesn’t have the resources to treat a full-blown community spread of the novel coronavirus infections.

Now, infection has been used so frequently over the past few weeks that we got thinking over the word. We will tell you what we found because infection is our Word Of The Day.

The word comes from Old French ‘infeccion’ which means ‘contamination, poisoning’ and directly from Late Latin ‘infectionem’ which means contagion. Infection is basically the invasion of a person’s body tissues by disease-causing agents. In the current case, the agent is Covid-19.

Many are today telling us that this crisis is a result of how we, by ‘we’, we mean the human population, exploited the environment. But infectious diseases as are old as human history.

Evidence of smallpox has been found in 3000-year-old Egyptian mummies. Egyptian papyrus paintings depict infectious diseases such as poliomyelitis. We aren’t advocating environmental degradation. That impacts us in other ways such as floods and droughts. But infections have been around us since we have been around on Earth.

We got talking about infections because we were talking about coronavirus, you may say what else do we talk about these days? And you are right. This has impacted life like we never imagined (yes, Steven Soderbergh did and probably even Michael Jackson did). If you don’t have a car today and want to reach point A from point B, how will you travel? We have no answers to that. Autos are shut and so are cab services. Many of us never thought of buying cars because well, who would care to look for parking spots and not just book an Ola or an Uber.

You may be aware, Ola has recalled all its leased vehicles.

The company announced sometime ago that it will waive off the daily lease charge for over 30,000 drivers that have leased the cab from Ola. The per day rental stands between Rs 700 and Rs 1,150 depending on the city and the car model leased. That is such a nice gesture.

Remember, we all need to help each other through this crisis in whichever way we can.

The government is also doing its bit. Since it is the government, its bit has to be the biggest of all. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore (Rs 1,70,000 crore) for the poor. The allocation is being made under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana and will include a mix of food security and direct cash transfer benefits. That’s not all. People such as doctors, nurses, safai karamcharis and others who are serving the coronavirus affected people by risking their own lives will be given an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh each. There are other measures too. If you want to know about them, read this.

But now we want to tell you about an unintended consequence of the coronavirus crisis. All passports, no matter which country has issued them, have suddenly become equal in ranking. Under normal circumstances, passports that have ‘European Union’ marked on them are rated the most powerful (barring a few Asian countries like Singapore, Japan etc.). Why? Because EU passport holders enjoy visa-free travel or visa-on-arrival facility in most countries around the world.

The Global Passport Power Rank 2020 puts most European nations on top of the chart.

With countries closing their borders to all foreigners, all passports now stand at the same value. Since Europe is the epicentre of the coronavirus crisis, of course, after starting off from China, European passports may fall to the bottom of the list and stay there for a long time even after the crisis is over.

That is bad news for everyone. Why? In an integrated world, crises in one part quickly pass on to the other; maybe not as quickly as the coronavirus, but still quick enough. So, it’s not just India we need to worry about but the whole world. Yes, we need to worry a bit more about India.

Amid the coronavirus talks there is something important we forgot to tell you about. We guess you already know about it. Veteran actress Nimmi passed away at her Mumbai home yesterday evening.

She was 88 years old.

nimmi_032620031938.jpg Actress Nimmi passed away at her home yesterday evening. (Photo: Wikimedia Comons)

The actress’s real name was Nawab Bano. It was Raj Kapoor who gave her the name Nimmi.

They say a wrong decision can ruin your life or career. We do not agree. It can harm, but not ruin. Anyway, a decision taken by Nimmi did harm her career. In the 1950s and early 1960s, actors such as Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra and Raj Kapoor were desperate to work with her.

In 1963, she was offered the lead role in Mere Mehboob by director Harnam Singh Rawail. Rajendra Kumar, as you know, was the lead actor. Rawail offered the role of Rajendra Kumar’s sister to Beena Roy. When Nimmi read the plot, she felt the sister’s role was going to be more important. She demanded that role. She got it too. The lead role was offered to Sadhana.

The film became a major hit and Sadhana a top star. After that, Nimmi’s career nosedived.

Here’s a song from the movie:

Now, some may ask why she made that choice. Well, when she took the decision, she didn’t know. She took a risk. Not all risks pay. But some do.

We told you about Ola calling back leased vehicles, but do you know what the company’s founder Bhavish Aggarwal was told when he decided to launch the company?

When the Ludhiana boy told his parents about his plans, his parents, both doctors, said, “Why don’t you just start a travel agency?” We are glad he stuck to his plans.

We will leave you with that for today.

We will be back tomorrow. Till then, we will remind you again, stay home.

Also read: DailyOh! How to test yourself for Covid-19 at home, to why Brazilian President can’t stop being a Covidiot


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