With Navratri round the corner, there's a lot of excitement among TV stars. It's that time of the year when they travel extensively and make big bucks just by making appearances at the various dandiya nights. Everyone from Sakshi Tanwar, Hina Khan, Ronit Roy, Disha Vakhani to Dilip Joshi are in great demand. For every appearance they make, they are paid anywhere in the range of '2 lakh to '5 lakh, depending on their popularity. A-list stars easily pocket over '5 lakh ' the number may go up to 8 ' and the second rung artistes charge around '2 lakh.
While the stars are busy raking in the moolah, the producers of the TV shows face immense problems because actors are unavailable for shoots. Says Rajan Shahi, producer, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, "Hina is in great demand as the viewers connect with her character Askhara. She's taking six days off during Navratri. I understand that this is the time to earn, but it causes problems as we don't have a bank of episodes." Agrees Sumeet Mittal, producer, Punar Vivah, saying it is all a part of this business. "Most of the time, we try to accommodate but sometimes, when we are really tight on episode banks or artistes give us a very short notice, we say no," he clarifies.
However, Asit Kumarr Modi, producer, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah contends that though it interferes with the show, these appearances are an important way to connect with the audiences, and therefore he makes allowances. Manish Raisinghani who plays Siddhant in Sasural Simar Ka and will be flying to Gujarat echoes this sentiment adding that it also is a way to gauge one's popularity.
Hina's itinerary includes Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Surat, Indore, Delhi and Rajasthan. "It's the best way to see different places, play garba, eat sumptuous food and earn good money," she grins.
Besides the individual stars, hot on-screen and off-screen pairs like Gurmeet Choudhury and wife Debina, Aamir Ali ' Sanjeeda Sheikh and Nandish Sandhu ' Rashmi Desai also are much sought-after. As an actor under condition of anonymity says, "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."
Whatever the case, it is a win-win situation for the audiences who will see their favourite star, up, close, personal and who knows, may even get to shake a leg with them. What say, ramva chalo?