With less than 10 days left for Navratri to begin, popular TV actors are flooded with offers to make appearances at various dandiya events. While a few are still checking their date diaries, others have already chalked out their schedule.
And why not, it’s the perfect platform to make quick mega-bucks. The actors are paid anywhere in the range of Rs 1-4 lakh depending on the scale of their popularity. Mind you, this is just for one appearance or a performance.
Mohit ‘Mahadev’ Raina, Hina Khan of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Dilip Joshi-Disha Vakani of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah (TMKOC) etc easily command Rs2-3 lakh.
Even Bhavya Gandhi aka Tapu gets up to Rs one-and-a-half lakh, inform sources. Newbies like Nishad Vaidya and Chandni Bhagwanani (Amita Ka Amit) pocket Rs50,000 per appearance. Hot off-screen pairs like Aamir Ali-Sanjeeda Sheikh, Vivian D’Sena-Vahbbiz Dorabjee and Mohit Sehgal-Sanaya Irani, Jay Bhanushali-Mahi Vij are much-sought-after in the dandiya circuit and are paid to the tune of Rs2.5-3 lakh.
Mixing business with pleasure
Kavita Kaushik aka Chandramukhi Chautala of FIR will be going to Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Raipur during the festive period. Since she is always seen in her cop-uniform on screen, she will make the most of her dandiya visits bringing out all her designer saris and lehengas. “I love to dress up in all my finery.
People are surprised to see me in traditional avatar,” she smiles. A travel freak, she also takes this opportunity to check out the place, its local cuisine and indulge in her favourite past time shopping! “Of course, money is a great incentive. We work hard and this is like a pay-off,” she says laughing. Pooja Gor, who came into the limelight with Mann Ki Awaaz Pratigya, looks forward to the festival for two reasons.
“I choose events in Ahmedabad because that is my hometown and it’s an opportunity to meet my friends and cousins,” says Pooja, who goes there not only to make a celebrity appearance but also to play with her friends. “I remember before Pratigya happened, my friends and I would check which area a celebrity is visiting and choose that pandal.
Now my cousin asks me which club I will make an appearance, so that he can buy tickets to that place,” smiles Pooja. Rashami Desai, who feels it’s a way of connecting with her fans, is working out her itinerary.
“People see me in Uttaran but even those who don’t watch the show love me and call me out by my name, I feel blessed,” she says. And no, she doesn’t want to comment on whether she will be accompanied by hubby Nandhish Sandhu to any event this year. (The couple is going through a rough patch). Till last year, the duo was listed among the most-wanted pairs.
While actors rake in the moolah, it’s the producers who face a tough time, as they do not have a bank of episodes. Says Rajan Shahi, producer of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, “During dandiya, lead actors of popular shows are in demand across the country especially, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Hina aka Akshara gets a lot of offers and I understand it’s time for her and other actors to make money. However, I have told her to manage her travel plans in such a way that she is away only for two days at a stretch. She can come back, shoot and go again only then can we manage.” It’s when actors take off for a week that producers are in a fix.
Sumeet Mittal, producer of Diya Aur Baati Hum (DABH) and Punarvivaah 2 says, “As long as the actors realise that their popularity is because of the show and adjust their dates I have no problem. After all, when a Deepika Singh goes to an event, she is addressed as Sandhya, her character’s name in DABH.”
However, Asit Kumarr Modi, producer of TMKOC contends that though it interferes with the show, these appearances are important for the artistes to connect with the audiences, he therefore makes allowances. “Artistes feel fresh when they interact with thousands of people.
They like it though it becomes hectic juggling the shoot.”
Even Mittal, who himself is planning to organise a dandiya nite, avers, “In a way it’s nice as it shows the popularity of the show.” Manish Raisinghani (Siddharth of Sasural Simar Ka), who will be going to Gujarat and Kolkata feels that interacting with the crowd at these events helps relate with them better on screen.
With more channels and shows in the fray, actors are a plenty, which is why organisers prefer spreading out their celebrities over nine days rather than spending a lot on one star. An Indore-based event organiser Jaisingh Raghuvanshi says, “The crowds are not interested in seeing the same stars, so I get different actors of hit shows each day. I book them a month in advance.”
No doubt, it’s a win-win situation for the janta who will see their favourite stars, up, close, and personal. And probably shake a leg with them too! Ramva chale?