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News |  27 Sep 2010 19:09 |  By ShikhaShah

Rahul Vaidya to replace Dandiya Queen Falguni at Sankalp

MUMBAI: Falguni Pathak coined as the undisputed 'Queen of Dandiya' will be performing in Gujarat this year, upsetting all the dandiya lovers in Mumbai.

Since several years, the nine-day festival has had the diva belt out traditional Dandiya numbers and folk songs in collaboration with the Sankalp Group.

The question is who's going to take on the mantle this year? It's the whole new youth brigade headed by Indian Idol contestant Rahul Vaidya. Sankalp organiser Devendra Joshi claims that Rahul will be called �Savayo Gujarati' in this dandiya as he sings Gujarati folk songs extremely well inspite of being a Maharashtrian, originally from Nagpur. "My first recorded track was Swaminarayan bhajans in Gujarati and since then I have sung innumerable songs in the language. Infact I love Gujarati songs and enjoy performing them,"revealed Rahul.

On talented Pathak being replaced by Rahul Vaidya, Joshi said, "Falguni is undoubtedly a great singer but Rahul is equally talented. He performs traditional Gujarati songs so well that not a single person can say that he is not from Gujarat."

Rahul Vaidya has already started practicing for Navratri since month and a half. "I have worked really hard this year to develop content that is a mix of regional, Gujarati, English and Bollywood so that all the age groups can enjoy the music. But I will see to it that the authenticity of tradtional Gujarati garba remains intact. I am quite confident and positive about my performance and I am sure I will get a super response. I am looking forward to Navratri and if you are missing Sankalp, you are doing it at your own risk! " said Rahul laughingly.

The question is whether the organisers are worried about  getting the same kind of response as Falguni gets. "This is a time for change and it has to happen. This time we have great arrangements for music as well as security and as always our presentation style still remains the best. So I am not at all worried about the kind of response we will get from the audiences. Rahul will definitely enthrall the audiences," added Joshi.

Backing Rahul will be a new entrant Sangita Labadiya who has performed for Navratri in India as well as abroad and has been awarded the Jhaverchand Meghani Award... by the Gujarat government. Vocalist Yashita Sharma, the first runner-up of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa who has sung for the film 'All the Best' and Anand Mitra, a singer from Ahmedabad who has won Zee Tv's Pa Dha Ni Sa and ETV Gujarati's 'Sur Pancham Ne Mede' will also be a part of the team. The orchestra will be handled by Raj Raninga  and Bhavik Thakker.
Sankalp Entertainments began its journey in 1994 by organizing Sankalp Navratri along with Falguni Pathak who started her dandiya career about 22 years ago, and since that time she has been entertaining Mumbaikars with her performances year after year.

Pathak has performed all over the world. In fact, for the last five or six years, she's been regularly performing in the US, immediately after Navratri. She regularly visits Gujarat for live performances. But, as far as Navratri is concerned, this will be her first performance outside Mumbai.

Rumours say that due to differences cropping up between the singer and the Sankalp Group, she will be performing in Ankleshwar, which is a municipality of Gujarat's Bharuch district.