Rituraj enthralls fans at ‘Malamaal’ finale

Bhubaneswar: It was a Monday, but the madding crowd in front of Utkal Mandap in the city gave an impression of a crazy weekend gathering. A huge audience drawing people from all age groups – 6 to 60 years – thronged the open air theatre to witness Tarang TV’s popular game show ‘Madhukunj Malamaal’. The main attraction of the event was none other than ‘raw star’ Rituraj.

The reality show has garnered a huge popularity among Odia households for its unique format and a chance to win cash prizes on the spot. To end the first season of the game on a high note, the channel organized its final show at an outdoor location.

Monday’s event was the first such show to be played live in an open threatre in Odisha. The grand finale was obviously packaged with music, dance and so many exciting prizes to win. The event will be telecast by Tarang TV on January 31.

The evening started with a minute’s silent prayer in the memory of Hara Patnaik, famous Ollywood actor-director who died last week after a prolonged illness.

When show host Gungun took the stage to inform the audience what was in store for them, the jam-packed theatre erupted in joy shouting “we can’t wait”. Sensing the mood of the crowd, the host was quick in inviting Rituraj. And the whole audience was on its feet chanting the name of the new star on the horizon.

As Rituraj emerged from the backstage in his signature style humming ‘Teri galiyan…teri galiyan’, Gungun had no choice but to take leave saying ‘the stage is all yours’. The ‘raw star’ virtually played to the gallery and regaled all of his popular numbers such as ‘Teri galiyan’, ‘Muskurane ki wazah’, ‘Abhi mujhe kahni’ and ‘Auntiji auntyji’ one after another, leaving the fans begging for more.

Many other artistes also enthralled the audience by their startling performances. There was beautiful Lipsa (of Kichhi Luha Pie Jaye Othha-fame) who stunned everyone with her sizzling hot avatar and sensuous moves by gyrating in the ‘Baby Doll’ song. It was followed by another gorgeous girl Poonam (of The Love Master-fame), who shook the stage with her ‘matka-jhatkas’ and left all asking for more.

Ollywood singer Rojalin kept the audience crooning through the foot-tapping numbers like ‘Dummaru dum’, ‘Parda parda’, ‘Oye oye’ and ‘Jiya re jiya re’. Another singer-performer James too earned wows with his magical moves and Odia chartbusters, including some hit Sambalpuri numbers.

Rituraj kept coming back on frenzied demands. He belted more soul-stirring numbers like ‘Sahib nazar rakhna’ from Amitabh Bachchan-starrer ‘Bhootnath Returns’ and ‘Lamha Lamha’ from ‘Gangster’. The Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalay alumnus also shared with his fans some of his fond memories as a student there.

The mesmerizing musical journey had many interjections with different games being played and scores of prizes being won by the participants. Jagi Mangat Panda, co-founder and director of Odisha Television Network, along with Rituraj picked up the lucky numbers from the lots.

Sridhar Behera from Bhubaneswar emerged the luckiest person of the evening as he bagged the most coveted prize of commercial property worth Rs 11 lakh. Arvind Sahoo from Pipili won a laptop, Subash Jena from Jatani a refrigerator and Prabhat Kumar Rana from Ganjam an air-conditioner. Four other participants also won cash prizes from ‘Wheel of Luck’ game.