Solo artist who makes thousands dance to her tunes is in demand, as always, and the popular dandiya organiser is apparently willing to pay her Rs 1.2 crore this Navratri
"I am missing Mumbai a lot," the dandiya queen had told MiD DAY during Navratri last year, while she was performing at Ankleshwear in Gujarat.
Now that the songstress is back to perform in the city this year, organisers are beyond eager to have her enthuse Mumbaikars, and the figures say as much.
Dandiya Queen Falguni Pathak performs during Shravan Bhajan
at Babulnath Mandir at the Chowpatty in August this year.
She is on an international tour currently
Reportedly, Falguni Pathak is being paid Rs 1.21 crore to perform at Sankalp, the popular dandiya event of Mumbai.
While the organisers are reluctant to reveal the contract details, those in the know say that Pathak is being paid the said amount.
Simple calculation says that's about Rs 5.5 lakh for each of the 22 hours that she would regale the crowds during the festival (see box).
Devendra Joshi, the organiser of Sankalp, to be held at Goregaon Sports Complex, did not confirm the precise figure but did say that the amount is above Rs 1 crore.
"I cannot disclose the exact amount; that's confidential.
But the agreement has a figure which is over a crore," he said, adding, "Falguni was being offered much more than what we are giving her. Still, she decided to perform with us."
Said another dandiya organiser, "We hear that the agreement between Falguni and Sankalp is of Rs 1.21 crore. There were many people who wanted Falguni to perform for their event.
But she wanted only to perform at Goregaon Sports Complex, as it can accommodate a huge crowd."
While things were finalised last Friday, it was only earlier this week that Sankalp signed on Falguni.
Meanwhile, the organisers of Sankalp are also sure that they will get double the crowd than what they got last year. "Last year, we got nearly 30,000 people every night.
I won't lie, but with Falguni in Gujarat last year, the footfalls at the event dwindled.
This year, however, with Falguni back, we are expecting a crowd of 50,000-60,000 every day. In fact, even more than that on weekends and the last two days," said Joshi.
Falguni generally practices for a month in advance for Navratri. But this year, she has a string of performances lined up outside the country. As of now, she is on an international tour.
Asked if he thought the hectic schedule would affect her performance, Joshi said, "Before leaving for her tour, she practiced for endless hours.
She would be back at least four days before Navratri begins, and can catch up on the remaining rehearsals. But her talent is already there. She can't be defeated by anyone there."
Last year, in Falguni's absence, it was Rahul Vaidya who performed at Sankalp.
Not that big a price
Through most of the nine-day festival, Falguni performs from 8 pm to 10 pm, and on any two days, up to midnight.
That's 22 hours over all, which works out to Rs 5.5 lakh every hour, given that the figure of Rs 1.2 crore is indeed what she is being paid.
Nonetheless, the organisers still have it easy, when one considers what the crooner raked in last year.
MiD DAY had reported last year that she was paid Rs 1.8 crore by a Surat-based builder for her Ankhleshwar act. Even before that, she was paid Rs 1 crore by Sankap.