Houstonions Revels to Falguni Pathak’s Tunes

Photos: Raghu Thakkar

By Vanshika Vipin Varma

HOUSTON: Indhana Winva, Pankhida tu udi jaje and Pari hoon main – these are some of the indispensable and mandatory playlists that establish the energy and frenzy needed to dance away at a garba and dandiya ras night during Navratri. To add to the zeal, if these melodious songs are sung in the queer sound of the ‘Dandiya Queen’ herself, what more could one ask for!

The Dandiya Queen, Falguni Pathak’s name is synonymous with Navratri and its celebrations. Due to her huge fan following, her shows draw massive crowds and are a complete sell-out most of the times. To mark the Navratri celebrations this year, a live performance by Falguni Pathak was organized on Friday, October 26 at NRG Center. The much aptly named ‘Falguni Pathak Dandiya Dhoom’, was organized by Dhaval Sheth from Travel Unlimited. One of the prominent names in the travel industry, Travel Unlimited has agency setups in the US and India. This time again, Dhaval displayed his fondness for cultural events by organizing this grand event in Houston for the first time, similar to some of his past events in Austin and Dallas.

The Navratri festivities bring in a lot of excitement and enthusiasm all over the world, way before the festival actually begins. Houston had this excitement continued even after the festival drew to a close, for having the opportunity to dance to the tunes of the stalwart Falguni Pathak. One of the most sought-after names, Falguni Pathak takes away the credit of popularizing the traditional musical forms from the Indian State of Gujarat, no wonder she became a household name associated with the festivities. Navratri celebrations in India are always grand and Falguni Pathak shows have always been an icing on the cake. Her shows have been a super hit, having people dance away all night wherever possible!

She released her debut album in 1998, and since then there has been no looking back for her. She lent her melodious voice not only to folk but also to Bollywood, thus becoming one of the most popular names in the music industry. Her songs revolved around Love theme. Some of her most admired songs are Chudi jo khanki haath mein, Maine payal hai chhankai, Meri chunar udd udd jaye, Ayi pardesh se pariyon ki rani and Sawaan Mein. Her popularity touched new heights as she came out with her album Yaad Piya Ki Aane Lagi. It was a turning point in her career and she got to be recognized as an Indi-pop singer, and amongst the famed ones during those times. She won numerous awards, one of the most distinguished being Indian Viewer’s Choice from MTV Video Music Award, for her album Maine Payal Hai Chhankai. Having performed in innumerable shows in India as well as other countries, she achieved fame as an executant for Navratri celebrations, the band backing her performances being Ta Thaiyaa. Besides being addressed as the ‘Dandiya Queen’, her fans affectionately name her as Amitabh Bachchan of Dandiya and Sachin Tendulkar of Dandiya.

Falguni Pathak has been on a triumphant USA tour and this time Houston appeared on her list after 5 long years, leaving people way too pepped up for her show. Energetic performance by Bollywood Shake gave a perfect start to the show. The event saw the young and the not so young, enthusiastically dressed in their best Gujarati traditional wear. The hall appeared bright and vibrant and various entertainment activities, besides dance and music kept the guests engrossed. Some were seen flocking the Jewelery and Clothing booth while some devoured the scrumptious snacks at the eatery section. However, it was a sight to watch as the audiences whirled and twirled, while Falguni Pathak, partnered with her band and singers performed till past midnight.

Post the full-house show, the organizer, Dhaval Sheth, expressed his gratitude to all those who contributed to making the show a success. He stated, “Firstly, we would like to thank the Houston community for attending this amazing event. Around 6200 people attended the Dandiya Dhoom. I am overwhelmed by the response the Houstonians have shown. This event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and supporters. We would specially like to thank our Grand Sponsor – Amir Dodhiya of New York Life, Javed Meghani of Texans Energy and Viral Amin of Amin Realty, Inc. We also want to thank our managing partner –Nisha Mirani and Ajit Patel of Manoranjan Inc. A special mention of Vishala Grocery, as they sold record number of tickets for us this year. All 5 Vishala Grocery Stores helped us sell tickets and it is because of their efforts we were able to have this houseful Dandiya Night. We would like to express gratitude to all other Sponsors and Supporters – Umang Mehta of Deep Foods, Imran and Pinky of The B&P Real Estate Team, Ketki Shah of Travenu, Hena Malkani of United Real Estate, Gujarati Samaj of Houston, Leuva Patidar Samaj, Vadtal Dham Houston, Parvez Jasani of Cellpay, Manyavar, Palkhi Fashion, Bhavna Shah of Honest Restaurant, Nirman Shah of Nirmanz Food Boutique, Ruchika Singh of Saver Gurus, India Culture Center, Tandoori Nite Restaurant, Raghu Thakkar and Asit Patel for Capturing the special moments through Photos and Videos.  This event would not have been same, without the local media partners’ support. Thanks to Indo-American News, Masala Radio and Radio Dabang for your giant support throughout!  Lastly, we want to mention and thank our National Media Partner – Aapka Colors for their TV Promotion.”

Ecstatic Houstonians would be waiting for the next Dandiya nights with the incomparable & supreme Falguni Pathak.

Stay tuned for more events. For more information, please contact Dhaval Sheth at 732-589-9272.