The festive season is always a busy and lucrative time for television stars. And the upcoming auspicious period of Navratri, that is set to begin on October 5, is no different.
Many of these actors, who enjoy widespread recognition as a result of TV’s reach, have already been inundated with offers to make appearances at Navratri pandals and dandiya shows. While some organisers prefer inviting lead actors of popular shows (that are currently on air), veteran small screen stars are also equally in demand. In most cases, the celebrity involved is responsible for bringing in the crowd — the more popular the face, the more the numbers. However, these deals prove to be equally celebratory for the actors too, as they stand a chance to earn anything from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 6 lakh for each show.
These appearances, that usually include visiting a pandal, stepping on to stage, shaking a leg or posing for some pictures, aren’t only limited to Mumbai. Last year, lead actors of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai — Hina Khan and Karan Mehra — made appearances at a few cities in Gujarat. The duo from Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah — Dilip Joshi and Disha Vakhani — went to Surat, Jamnagar and Ahmedabad, among other places around the country. “This year, we are still in the process of locking venues,” says Disha. An insider from the industry reveals that actors usually demand advance payments for these deals. “The one who deposits the money first gets the star,” adds the anonymous source.
While some actors including Disha and Dilip are still mulling over numerous offers, others like Tina Dutta (of Uttaran fame) have been confirmed for appearances in Kolkata, Indore, Ahmedabad and Nasik. Delnaaz Irani (who stars in Jee Le Zara) will go to Surat, Baroda and Delhi. Giaa Manek, who plays the lead role in Jeannie Aur Juju, will travel to Ahmedabad, Raigad, Surat and Mumbai during the nine-day period.
A few actors will also travel abroad for some shows. While Mahi Vij will head to New York, USA, and a few other cities in Gujarat, Karanvir Bohra plans to go to Toronto, Cananda, Baroda, Ahemdabad and Kolkatta.
Rohit Roy will make time for some events around Mumbai and in Ahmedabad. “I love playing dandiya, so I try and join in the revelry through these appearances,” says the actor, who is busy shooting for Mallika Sherawat’s reality show (The Bachelorette — Mere Khayalon Ki Mallika), of which he is the host.
However, scheduling these appearances amidst hectic shooting schedules becomes tough not only for the actors, but for TV producers as well. Although most producers make sure that the actors stand by prior commitments while signing these festive shows, there have been cases in which the stars have had to cancel some shows at the last minute. But at the end of the day, deals like these don’t work only in the favour of the actor. Asit Kumar Modi, director of Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah, admits that their appearances lead to an increase in the show’s popularity too.