For the celebs of our Tolly tinseltown, Durga Puja provides a great opportunity not only to earn those extra bucks but also to connect to the wider audience. With Durga Puja becoming ever so big with each passing year, the celebrations begin much in advance for the Puja committees- it starts with the ‘Khuti Pujo’ or the ‘Kathamo Pujo’. The focus of the Puja committees now has shifted towards star-filled extravaganzas during the ‘Khuti Puja’ from the blockbuster Puja inaugurations of the yesteryears.
Celebs at ‘Khuti Puja’ is now commonplace. For some, it’s another opportunity to earn those extra bucks. Rachna Banerjee, takes anywhere between Rs 50 – Rs 70K to attend a Khuti Pujo. Being choosy, she has turned down several offers to attend such a ceremony. On the other hand, she has attended many for free just for the rapport she shares with the organisers. Sreelekha Mitra, who has already attended one this year, charged Rs 50K for it. Koneenica Banerjee, who attended the Khuti Pujo of Tridhara and Hindustan Park ‘out of love’, has several offers from Hazra, Baranagore, Barrackpore and Dum Dum lined up in the next few days. The actress charges Rs 50 – Rs 60K depending on the place and the time she needs to spend there. To get Tonushree Chakraborty or Paayel Sarkar on board, the Puja committee has to shed somewhere between Rs 70k – Rs 80k. Tonushree has already attended six such ceremonies this year, while Paayel has been to four. Monami and Vikram Chatterjee on the other hand charge 25k-35k and are thus a hot favourite among many organizers.
For some, however, the handsome paycheck is not the key factor — good PR is. Ever since Soham joined the political fray, he has not been charging a penny for showing up at Khuti Pujos. It’s the same with Rituparna Sengupta and Paoli, who attend the ceremony only on request.
*The figures mentioned in the article are approximate and have been shared by Pujo organisers.
Source:The Times of India
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