Dandiya organisers in Mumbai face the heat

Dandiya organisers in Mumbai face the heat

Dancers dressed in traditional attire during the rehearsals for the 'Garba' dance ahead of nine-day Navratri festival. PTI file photo

Although the stage is all set for the garba-dandiya to commence during the Navaratri festivities, the organisers are facing a slew of problems like lack of sponsorship, spiralling prices and stricter norms to get permission, sound limits and loudspeaker deadlines.

This folk-dance form that originated from Gujarat is very popular in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Almost every housing society in Mumbai celebrates Navaratri and garba-dandiya. This year, the festivities start from 10 October.

Dandiya queen Falguni Pathak would be performing at the Late Shri Pramod Mahajan Sports Complex in Borivali. Sisters Preety and Pinky would be performing at the Kutchi Ground in Borivali. Performer Parthiv Gohil, known for the 'Rangilo Re Navratri' event would present events at the Nesco complex in Goregaon.

The Naidu Club would be presenting Navaratri at Kora Kendra in Borivali, in association with Tripxoxo.

Falguni Pathak, who is celebrating her silver jubilee with Ta-Thaiya this year, commented, "It feels amazing to have completed 25 years with Ta-Thaiya. The journey has been incredible, and I hope to do many more performances with them. It is amazing to be back in Borivali. It is all because of the love of the people that I’m here for the third time in a row.” Infibeam Avenues is the main title sponsor and organiser along with Showbiz Events, which is organising the Falguni Phatak event.

Devendra Joshi of Sankalp, who organised Falguni Pathak's dandiya, has left the scene. Amesh Morabiya and Jignesh Khilani of Ghatkopar too, have opted out. "There are a lot of issues, restrictions, low margins... it is difficult to sustain commercial dandiya celebrations," said Joshi.

According to the veteran journalist and writer Ajit Joshi, the festival has changed over the years. "In the 90s and early 2000s, there was a boom as far as commercial dandiya events were concerned," he said, adding that today for big celebrations the passes start from Rs 500 and go to as high as Rs 2,000.

The big celebrations are held in the Malad-Kandivli-Borivali suburbs, Mira Road-Bhayender and Vile Parle-Juhu besides Navi Mumbai. "There are dance classes ahead of the festivities, which in itself is a big business. There are traditional dresses as well and cost ranges from Rs 2,000 to Rs 8,000 and much more," he said.

"There are issues related to permissions... the organisers have to procure over a dozen permissions from various departments like police, corporation, fire department and so on. Besides, because of sound norms and also time restrictions, fewer people turn up. In Navaratri, the organisers get relaxations regarding the 10 pm deadline for only two days. For those in business and also the working class, it is difficult to join before the deadline," he added.