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Organisers go all out to woo 'garba' enthusiasts Thursday, October 18, 2001
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD/SURAT/VADODARA: 'Garba' organisers in Gujarat are trying out every trick in the book _ from the conventional to the bizarre _ to add the zing to the Navratri festivities this year. Crowd-pulling tactics alone could send the cash box rattling in an otherwise recession period, the organisers say.
No music festival, even something as traditional as Navratri, seems compete these days without VJs and a camera crew so as to rope in star-struck, TV-crazy teenagers. So the 'garbas' a Nova Village on the Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad highway will have Cyrus II and Mini Mathur from MTV to "pep up matters". If that was not enough, Zee TV and its bouquet of Alpha channels will be telecasting the show live for all those dancers fascinated by the camera.
Television characters are a major draw in Surat as well. The city will celebrate 'garba' with the likes of Mihir, Daksha Chachi, Payal of 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' fame and Pallavi from 'Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani'. The Friend's Group has its finger firmly on the public pulse. For the sheer thrill of it, star performers from popular TV serials have been roped in, with Bollywood music bands providing the beats throughout the nine nights.
Although most 'garba' organisers have arranged for attractive prizes, the cherry on the cake will be at the My TV 'garba' with motorbike given away on the last day to the dancer adjudged the best. If that is not enough, Popular Club has arranged a lucky draw on the last day. The lucky one drives away a car!
Young men, not women, seem to be the focus of those promoting 'garbas' in Vadodara. At the Baroda Information Technology Association 'garbas', all the girls get for dancing is free soft drinks while the boys walk away with free SIM cards. All they have to do is buy participant passes to dance!
"We have offered many sops to our participants as we want our 'garba' to be traditional and fun. AT&T has offered these special prizes for male participants who buy the passes. There are over 1000 cards to be won," says BITA president Dileep Patel.
Many gifts have been lined up for each of the nights. Best male and female dancers would receive a variety of gifts. These include gift coupons from Lakme, Emami, Raymonds and Reed and Taylor. Those who win the final best dancers prize would be crowned Prince and Princess and would win trips to Malaysia.
Brijesh International, the group that has called in Bali Brahmbhatt to the city, have offered free participation for male dancers on the first Navratri.
Attracting students is another sop that at least two major organisers are using to get in the crowds in Ahmedabad. Last year SOI Entertainment had devoted a few hours exclusively for school children. This year, they have devoted a whole day for them where parents will have to be bystanders as children take the centrestage at their Drive-in venue.
"The event was very popular with children last year, despite being held for only a few hours," says SOI's Himanshu Shah. "So we decided to given them a whole day." About 25 schools from across Ahmedabad have agreed to send their children to the venue.
Ace Promotions on the other has organised a 'garba' competition where 19 schools will participate at Karnavati Club. They have in fact decided to pull in the crowds by allotting a day each to organisations like NIIT, NIFD and Lion's Club Karnavati. Outsiders can enter the venue after buying tickets.
Add to this the fact that Fun Republic, the latest in a chain of multiplexes coming up in Ahmedabad, has chosen to stay open till 3 am , acutely aware that going straight to home and parental control will be the last thing on the minds of the youngsters once 'garbas' end at 1.30 am. The multiplex will also be sponsoring a 'garba' competition involving 16 colleges in Ahmedabad.
News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]