Jacko's tryst with Mumbai 13 years ago

Michael Jackson with Bal Thackeray In Mumbaias seem on the ClubMJ website.Jackson performed at a packed concert here in 1996. The event was organised by Shiv Udyog Sena, an outfit floated by then Shiv Sena leader Raj Thackeray with the objective of providing jobs to 27 lakh youth in Maharashtra.

The popstar arrived in Mumbai on October 30 and was greeted in traditional Indian style by actress Sonali Bendre, who wore a traditional Maharashtrian saree for the occasion.
The actress welcomed Jackson by performing 'aarti' and applying 'tilak' on his forehead, at the Mumbai airport.
The popstar, when being driven in a 20-car motorcade from the air port, stopped his Toyota to meet the urchins lined up along the highway to catch a glimpse of him.

Jackson visited Sena chief Bal Thackeray's residence, 'Matoshree', in suburban Bandra. The Thackerays presented him with a silver 'tabla' and 'tanpura'.
During his stay at The Oberoi Hotel, Jackson surprised the entire staff by mingling freely among his fans, who thronged at the hotel to catch a glimpse of the 'King of Pop'.
"He greeted his fans with smiles and by blowing kisses and shook hands with as many of them as possible," hotel sources recount.

During his stay in Mumbai, Jackson relished several Indian cuisine, including South Indian and Mughlai.
While the popstar had 'masala dosa' and spicy 'alu paranthas' with butter in breakfasts, his other meals mainly comprised of butter naans, butter chicken, tandoori chicken and spicy vegetable curries, sources in Oberoi Hotel said.

Children from orphanages were invited to meet and play with him at a high tea organised at the hotel pool side. He gave them gifts and chocolates that he had brought with him.
The Hotel sources had then said there was a party for kids organised in his room as well, on the day of the show itself.    About 50 children were invited and he ordered cakes and burgers for them.

The over two-hour long performance on November 1 at the Andheri Sports Complex was a spectacular event, with fans lapping up every moment. For the show, Jackson flew in equipment in three Russian cargo planes.
Jackson's Mumbai tour had also triggered controversy with critics questioning Sena's notions of culture. They saw something alien in the values the singer represented and said "Who is Michael Jackson and how on earth is he linked to Hindu culture."

Bal Thackeray responded the critics saying "Jackson is a great artist, and we must accept him as an artist. His movements are terrific. Not many people can dance that way. You will end up breaking your bones."
"And, well what is culture? He represents certain values in America, which India should not have any qualms in accepting. We would like to accept that part of America that is represented by Jackson," he had said.

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