It's that time of
the year when TV stars bring out their best
Kathiawadi threads and chunkiest baubles
- ready to mingle with the Navratri crowds
in guest appearances over nine nights. A
trend that's caught on in the last few years,
TV stars are in increasing demand at Navratri
dos, just a few garba steps behind thier
Bollywood counterparts. The bottomline ?
The fame that accompanies such appearances,
and needless to say, the moolah that's waiting
to be made. Throw in the added attraction
of a paid vacation if it's an overseas Navratri
do, and you have the perfect recipe of an
annual, long deserved break from back-breaking
shoot schedules for our beleagured TV stars!
A welcome break
problems are a past issue for Rucha
Rucha Gujarati's been working non stop,
trying to complete her assignments before
she leaves for her Navratri trip abroad
so that she can keep her work related complaints
at bay. All this, considering she has been
plagued by a backache problem since the
last few months. "I am going abroad
for 15 days during Navratri for a guest
appearance. I had been to the US last year
for Navratri for a stage appearance which
was a good experience. Such trips help us
a great deal as we get to interact with
the public who are always inquisitive to
know about us, our serials and in the process
we get to know about our popularity with
the international audience," says an
excited Rucha, for whom signing autographs
and posing for pictures abroad is a big
time jitters for Kulraj? No way!
Kulraj Kaur, better known as Zee's Kareena
is part of the Navratri show for the first
time this year. "I am going to the
US and am looking forward to mingling with
the fans. Besides, it's a pleasant change
from the gruelling work schedule, that too,
in a great place like the US!," laughs
Kulraj, who is all set to tag her mommy
dearest along for the trip.
crossing the seven seas this time
Karishma Tanna will be going to Ahmedabad
and says she is thankful she is spending
Navratri in India this year. "I have
spent the last two years abroad during Navratri,
and that's a different kind of fun altogether
as we shop, chill , eat, relax and meet
loads of people but that's only late in
the evening as Dandia begins only at night!
There is good money involved in such short
trips besides it's a decent break from our
packed schedules," she laughs.
As for Indian Idol finalist Rahul
Vaidya, he says, "I happen to be the
only Indian Idol contestant who is going
to perform for nine days at a stretch during
Navratri, at Ghatkopar in suburban Mumbai.
So I'd be taking a break from my rehearsals
for my other stage shows and albums."
is always a 'fab' time for Nausheen
While US and London are understandably
crazy about Zee and Sony stars , Dubai worships
all of StarPlus, as well as Zee and Sony
celebs. Cut to Gujarat which is apparently
crazy about most of the TV stars. So stars
like-Jassi-Armaan (Mona - Apurva), Hiten-Gauri,
Smriti Z Iraani, Urvashi Dholakia, Manav-
Shweta Kawatra are welcomed with a red carpet
at these places.
Tassnim Sheikh, known better as 'Mohini',
has some interesting tales to tell from
such trips abroad. "It is unbelievable
how much they adore us, they go crazy when
we go on stage and they start shouting out
our names. In fact, last year, I had a diamond
merchant proposing marriage to me in the
middle of a show which embarrassed me no
end! Some of them really can't digest the
fact that I can be so nice in real life
as I play such a negative character on screen!,"
has a lot of Navratri tales to tell
Says Kulraj,"The organizers pay us
on a professional level and take care of
our traveling and comforts, so I guess we
don't really have to worry about being harassed
by obsessive fans!"
Moolah and enjoyment
"It's a paid trip where I get to mix
pleasure with work and enjoy myself to the
hilt. You could say I shop crazily for everything
under the sun and end up running short of
bags to get the stuff back home.I went to
US with the Kkusum family last year.
This time, I plan to take either my sister
or my fiancé along for the trip,"
says Tassnim. ".I would also say that
there is four times more money in India
as regards stage shows than say abroad.
In my opinion, if you make Rs 20,000 abroad,
you end up making a lakh (Rs 1,00,000) here,
of course, it also depends on the popularity
of an actor," she says.
"Its a paid holiday for us , and a
new country each time, it's the whole package
wherein we go shopping, sightseeing et al
where we have nothing to lose but only to
gain," grins Rucha.
only 'idol' busy all nine nights?
"Last year I had a fabulous time in
London and US during Navratri," says
Nausheen Ali Sardar. "I have been abroad
with Anuj Saxena, Deepshikha and the Boogie
Woogie team," she says.
Ashka Goradia, Kumud from Kkusum,
was a garba freak once upon a time and has
traveled much of Gujrat with her all boys'
troupe. "Garbas are my weakness and
we make a 45 minutes appearance where we
dance with the crowd. Yes, going abroad
means a lot of money. Earlier my troupe
was well known all over Ahmedabad because
of my performance now I have to just watch
others dance," sighs Ashka.
How much, exactly?
are my weakness - Aashka Goradia
Their current star value determines the
rates they command at such dos. Stars like
Anuj Saxena are busy with their dual careers
in business and serials so prefer to ask
for high prices and be choosy about their
appearances. Sources say an averagely known
TV star can make as much as Rs 30-50,000
per day with such appearances. But a renowned
star can make anything between a lakh to
three lakh rupees per show abroad, while
in India, it varies between Rs 50,000 to
Interestingly, the prices go up every year
according to their popularity and starry
tantrums are a common feature too! The number
of days, shows, performance, security, facilities
is what decides their remuneration. Just
recently, we hear that a TV star was approached
to go to London for an appearance and was
offered Rs 1,50,000 but the star asked for
Rs 2,50,000 instantaneously and refused
the time to earn? Shaan is one of
the top earners during the season
Singers like Shaan charges anything between
Rs 12-15,000 per song and approximately
Rs 6,00,000 per show.
Of course, there are those who don't fancy
over-exposure at such events. Their numbers
are of course, few as the trend is in favour
of making hay while the sun shines. And
considering that the sun does indeed shine
for a short while in these stars' lives,
Navratri is a godsend few turn down!
Posted on 22 September 2005