The financial crunch in these inflationary times has handed several dandiya organisers the short end of the stick. With the Navratras a fortnight away, many have decided to tone down celebrations, while others are sparing no expenses. Now here’s a paradox: while Sankalp Entertainment — well-known for its event at Goregaon Sports Complex every year — has decided to abstain this time, we’ve been told that Falguni Pathak has been booked by a different organiser for a whopping Rs 1.6 crore to perform during the nine-day festival. Last year, Falguni was reportedly paid Rs 1.2 crore by Sankalp, with whom the singer had remained associated for over a decade.
The Dandiya Queen will be performing at Goregaon Sports Complex, her home turf. But this time, she would be doing so under the banner of 3rd Rock Multimedia Ltd. The event has been labelled ‘Navratra Utsav with Falguni Pathak’. Calls to Falguni to corroborate the news didn’t yield any response.
Raj Suri, director, 3rd Rock Multimedia Ltd, confirmed signing Falguni for Rs 1.6 crore and also expects to make substantial profits.
“Falguni is the Amitabh Bachchan of dandiya utsav. If you have to rate dandiya singers, the first 10 slots are all occupied by her and others come in afterwards. Falguni draws every person who loves Dandiya. We are expecting a huge crowd — bigger than previous years,” Suri told MiD DAY.
Suri claims he had been trying to get Falguni for the last many years, and in 2011 he came very close.
While Falguni has endorsed Suri’s deal this time, sources say she was offered Rs 1.25 crore by another dandiya organiser last month. However, Suri had his way.
“I approached Falguni in June. Last year, I just missed her because I wasn’t in India at the time and Sankalp managed to get her. So, this year I took all precautions. She’s a person who’s taken dandiya to a different level,” said Suri.
So, while Falguni would be making Rs 17,77,777 per day, her former promoters have decided to sit out this year. Devendra Joshi, the organiser of Sankalp, blames the corporates and cost escalation. “Expenditure has risen by 30 per cent, and the corporates aren’t forthcoming,” he said. But Joshi is certain he will return next year with a bang.
Another famous dandiya mandal, Kora Kendra in Borivli, is facing similar problems. Pankaj Kotecha, one of the organisers, claims that since the timings have been changed, turnout has become low. “Sponsors are shying away and hence the market isn’t good for dandiya,” said Kotecha.
Last year Falguni was paid Rs 1.20 crore by Sankalp. In 2010, Falguni had abandoned Mumbai and gone to Ankleshwar and performed there.
It was rumoured that she was paid Rs 1.80 crore for the nine-day event. People from Mumbai had gone to Ankleshwar to see Falguni perform. In an interview to MiD DAY, Falguni had said she missed Mumbai’s dandiya, and came back to perform in the city the following year.
Cost of a season pass for Falguni’s event
Price of a one-day pass