Sources: Deccan Chronicle| My Kollywood |All Things Michael
Seven years after his death in 2009, Michael Jackson remains etched in the hearts of millions of fans. One such diehard fan is Chennai-based granite businessman Chandrasekaran. After he decided to carve a statue of the ‘King of Pop’ from a single black granite stone, it was but natural for him to choose none other than Prabhu Deva, often referred to as the ‘Indian Michael Jackson’, to unveil the statue on Thursday at Vels University.
In an exclusive to DC, Prabhu Deva, recalled his memories of meeting the dancing sensation — “In 1999, when Michael Jackson came to Mumbai, I was called from Chennai and I immediately took the first flight there. I was invited to take part at the big bash thrown in his honour. Much to my disappointment, I could not meet him then. However, to my pleasant surprise, his organisers asked me to go to his hotel room. It was one of the biggest moments of my life — I was speechless when I finally met my inspiration. There was high security around him, but they were nice enough to tell him about me. I went to shake his hand and he in turn, hugged me. I was stunned and speechless,” Prabhu says.
The choreographer turned actor/filmmaker reveals yet another ecstatic moment. “People from all over the world were performing at the concert titled ‘Michael Jackson and Friends’ held at Munich, Germany. My brother Raju Sundaram, AR Rahman sir, Shobana madam and I performed together on stage. Our slot was the last one before MJ came on and we were supposed to share the stage with him. Unfortunately it did not happen. But I still remember that day clearly. I watched his entire performance and was spellbound. He was my biggest inspiration and continues to be so. He still lives on in our hearts,” sums up the actor-director.
The Chennai based granite firm spent $25,000 (Rs.1.2 million) in sculpting the 10 feet high and 5.5 feet width statue out of a single block of huge rock that was quarried from a mine near Kanakpura, about 50 km from Bangalore.
They employed six artisans to chisel the granite into Jackson’s shape in 45 days at the factory in Kancheepuram. As black granite is brittle, the aesthetic art work was a test of patience, diligence and skill.
The statue, which was originally created in 2010, was intended to be a memorial for Michael at Neverland. Chandrasekaran stated at the time that,”I have written to Jackson’s family that I want to donate the statue for installing it in his famous estate. I will bear the freight charge, which is about $2,500.”
The figure was also entered into the India Book of Records for setting a new national record for a “granite statue from a single piece of rock.”
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