Michael Jackson performed in India
It was on this very day in music, The King of pop performed in Mumbai. For people in India, when one spoke about English music, the first person that popped up in their minds was Michael Jackson. At the airport, Michael Jackson was first welcomed by Bollywood Actress Sonali Bendre. The actress performed an aarti and tilak for him and he was quite taken up with the entire ceremony. Such was his popularity that 13 years ago, Mumbai was sold out to his concert as part of the HistoryWorld Tour. November 1st 1996, witnessed the biggest crowd, many from which echoed: "It was the greatest gig India had ever witnessed."
"I remember him alighting from his private jet and his entourage came in four other planes. The airport came to a standstill for an hour with officers, aircraft crew and passengers coming to greet him," says Sabbas Joseph, director, Wizcraft, which organised the concert. Even Anil Ambani lent his open roof car to the star.
Jackson's entry into the hotel proved to be a grand affair with people from nearby offices crowding together just to get a tiny glimpse of him. "He asked for a free-standing, full-length mirror in the room and he signed it at the time of his departure. He also signed a pillow slip from his room."
Jackson mesmerized the crowd and this is what made him so popular says Duane Woodman, a commercial pilot who attended his concert in Mumbai. "My most vivid memory of the concert is Jackson circling the stadium in a helicopter and then making an entry from a rocket capsule".
His famous moonwalk, in a gold and black suit, had girls gasping, says actor Prashant Raj. "But it was his Thriller, a youth anthem then that got everyone going."
Rony D'Costa, creative supervisor of Zee Motion Pictures, grew up listening to Jackson. Here’s his take on the event "I knew I couldn't miss it, but then I couldn't afford the ticket. So a friend and I gate-crashed and stood near the barricade close to the stage. Michael was just five feet away from us. It was magical," recalling more funny instances from the concert. "There was an ambulance kept for emergency but it was at work throughout. Every time Michael screamed 'I love you very much' they were girls fainting," he smiled.