From October 16 to 24, Mumbai will be abuzz with Navratri celebrations. However, revelers who have been going to dandiya nights hosted Sankalp over the past many years have a reason to be disappointed.
Singer Falguni Pathak, who has been the star performer at the nine-day long celebrations, will not feature this year. The dandiya queen has ended her 15-year-long association with Sankalp and works with two very little known companies called 3rd Rock Multimedia and Mangal Entertainment instead.
Says Falguni, "I have been working with Sankalp for about 15 years. 3rd Rock had approached me last year too, but it was too late to change our existing setup. This year they submitted their proposal to me much in advance. I liked their ideas. Our thinking matched and I decided to go with them."
Counters Devendra Joshi, president of Sankalp. "Nowadays Navratri has become commercialised. It’s purely a question of economics. May be Falguni has got a better deal from 3rd Rock. I have heard that she’s being paid 30 to 40 percent more than we paid."
Falguni’s sudden breaking of ties with Sankalp has left the organisation high and dry.
"We aren’t sure whether we will be hosting dandiya this year. And organising the event is a very risky business these days. The 10 pm deadline has hit us badly. People come only on the last two of the nine days," says Devendra.
On the other hand, 3rd Rock plans to rope in people through newer initiatives. Says Raj Suri of 3rd Rock which will host Falguni at Goregaon Sports Club, "We have planned a Hollywood movie styled entry for Falguni on the first day. We will have six different types of entries for her. We will be encouraging people to go for season passes and give discounts to the youth."