Nothing could feel more devastating than hearing about the sad demise of Michael M Sailo, Mizoram's legend and one of our biggest celebrities. He had completely revolutionized the music scene in Mizoram, gaining a large fan following not just in Mizoram or the North East but the rest of India as well.
Sadly, on the night of April 7th 2017, he passed away from a fatal bike accident.
I admit, I didn't know Michael M Sailo personally that well. But having a lot of mutual friends, we weren't strangers to each other either. There were the occasional interactions ever since we became friends on FB. Plus I am a huge fan of his. I've lost count of the number of times I used to show his music videos to my non-Mizo friends back in college.
I have met him just four times in person, but all four times were memorable.
The first time I met Michael was back in 2005 when my niece was admitted at Aizawl Civil hospital during Christmas. Michael made a surprise visit to the hospital, distributing gifts to the patients, making sure nobody felt alone or lonely on Christmas. That was the first time we spoke. And that was also when I realized he's not just an awesome artist, he had a big heart as well. You should have seen the look on the faces of those patients, it definitely lit up their day!
And then in 2006 I was his personal chauffeur in Bangalore when he came to perform for the "Chapchar Kut" festival, driving him wherever he needed to go.
I actually wrote about the above incident in detail on my blog! That was way back in 2006, when I first started blogging, so yeah, I just squirmed a lot reading some of my awful grammar and language I used back then!
I met Michael again in 2012 at a house party in Aizawl, and finally, I met him again when he came to Pune to perform last year at Blue Frog's "Starian Nite".
He gave such an awesome performance that night, and after the show he went around mingling with everybody. You'll never come across a more down-to-earth celeb than him. People loved him, as they took photos with him and he was forever smiling and cheerful. He was indeed a man of the people.
All in all, I may have met him just four times, but that was enough for me to know he was an awesome person, somebody who would be dearly missed by his loved ones and fans.
And what made it more painful for me was, on his last visit to Pune, he was supposed to come to my house and I was planning to interview him for my blog, like how I have done with a few of our Mizo celebrities. You know, one of those cheeky interview styles with a lot of sarcastic and over the top innuendoes type. I knew Michael would handle it so well.
But sadly he was caught up with so many other programs, being such a famous celeb, that we couldn't find the time to do it.
Just reading through some of our last messages hurt…
Later at Blue Frog, he apologized and promised he would do an interview for my blog the next time he was in town again, but sadly, that day will never come now. But yeah, I'll still catch you when I come up there bro, you owe me one last sit down :)
Rest in Peace Michael M Sailo. May your legend and contribution live forever. You have inspired so many youth of our generation, becoming a part of our lives as we grew up. You were the ideal pop icon, a true Mizo star.
To end this tribute, here is one of my favorite songs - "Hmeltha Sensiar" a duet with his wife SPi. The video uploader is Pi Shahnaz Kimi, who too had passed away recently.