Never one to shy away from standing by social causes, actress Juhi Chawla has come in strong support of the Cauvery Calling campaign of tree plantations for revitalizing India’s rivers, started by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation.
This week, Juhi put out an impacting video on social media, saying that she will meet up with ten selected people who participate in the Cauvery Calling campaign by planting the maximum trees.
“The campaign plans to plant more than 200 crore trees in the Cauvery basin in the next 12 years to help rejuvenate the Cauvery river,” she informs and asks her fans to donate and support her on www.JuhiChawla.CauveryCalling.org to plant trees, or begin a fundraising campaign of their own.
Elaborating on her message, Juhi says, ”My journey of campaigning for rivers started in 2017, when Sadhguru spoke about the dying state of our rivers and the urgency of the matter. I hope in my lifetime, I am able to see our rivers flow again and tell the future generation that I was a part of this movement.”
A first of its kind, the Cauvery Calling campaign aims to aid farmers to plant crores of trees in the Cauvery basin across the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This is expected to replenish organic content in the soil and increase water retention in the Cauvery basin by an estimated 40%. It can in turn help farmers in the region to switch to agroforestry (tree-based farming), which has the potential to multiply their incomes by 300 to 800 percent in around five to seven years.
The campaign stresses that if one of us tries to plant a million trees, it will be a huge task. But, if million of us plant just one tree each, we will have a million trees in no time at all. Thus, it is no wonder why Juhi asks her fans not to send her gifts, cards or flowers on her upcoming birthday on November 13, but instead support the campaign for making the world a greener place.
It can be noted here, that earlier Juhi was also part of Sadhguru’s Rally for Rivers (RFR) project to raise awareness about the significance and importance of rivers in our lives.
National Award-winning make-up, hair and prosthetic look designer Preetisheel Singh
After Bajirao Mastani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali repeated Preetisheel Singh for Padmaavat. She designed the looks of all the main starcast including Ranveer Singh (as the evil ruler Alauddin Khilji), Deepika Padukone (as the legendary queen Padmavati) and Shahid Kapoor (as the Rajput ruler Ratan Singh). Viewers and film critics alike, were awestruck with the results, with Preetisheel emerging the undisputed No.1 make-up, hair and prosthetic look designer in the film industry.
More recently, she worked on Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore where she designed multiple young and old-age looks for an ensemble lead cast. The film has crossed the 200 crore mark at the box-office.
Her bald look of Akshay Kumar for Housefull 4 has also been a lot in the news and the film is about to reach the 200 crore mark at the box-office. Akshay has also complimented her work a lot.
She has also done the make-up and prosthetic for actors in films like Shivaay, Haider, Hawaizaada, Housefull 3, Rangoon, Brothers, Talwar, Finding Fanny, Parched, Mom, Ghayal Once Again, PM Narendra Modi, Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), Gone Kesh, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, Bharat, Malaal, Ujda Chaman and the Tamil/Hindi film 24.
She received the ‘National Film Award for Best Makeup’ for the pre-Mughal historical epic Nanak Shah Fakir based on the life of Guru Nanak, wherein she designed the looks for all the characters in the movie. The film re-released sometime ago through Viacom18 Motion Pictures amid controversy.
Preetisheel’s work of creating believable ghost-figures for the recent horror film House Next Door has also been praised a lot. The film, which released in three languages (as House Next Door in Hindi, Aval in Tamil and Gruham in Telugu) garnered critical acclaim and earned a lot of positive reviews for her work.
Preetisheel also received a lot of praise once again, for her work in the film 102 Not Out directed by Umesh Shukla. She designed the looks for Amitabh Bachchan as a 102-year-old man, as well as for Rishi Kapoor playing his 75-year-old son.
She also designed dual young and old looks for Madhuri Dixit for an advertisement which garnered a lot of traction. Apart from this she designed a Frankenstein mask just for fun, which turned out to be a rage on social media.
Preetisheel received abundant attention once again for working on Rishi Kapoor’s look of a devout Muslim in Anubhav Sinha’sMulk as well as for Ayushmann Khurrana’s get-ups in Andhadhun.
After a success hattrick with Padmaavat, 102 Not Out, Mulk and Andhadhun, she has also begun receiving a lot of offers down South. She handled the make-up and prosthetic for the Tamil film Boomerang, where she has worked on the looks for famous Tamil actor Ataharvaa Murali. Her film Bigil with Southern superstar Vijay is a blockbuster. She achieved a double-hattrick with Chhichhore and Housefull 4, and Bigil emerging superhits.
Preetisheel also curated the look for Nawazuddin Siddiqui for the film Thackeray; the biopic on Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. The film received rave reviews and special praise for the way Nawazuddin resembled Balasaheb Thackeray.
Preetisheel’s work will soon be showcased once again in Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Bala, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, Kartik Aaryan–Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh and Bhansali Productions’Tuesdays and Fridays.
She has also set up India’s first make-up and prosthetic lab called Da Makeup Lab at Versova, Mumbai and her goal is to bring standards of make-up and prosthetic in India at par with Hollywood.
Last but not the least, Preetisheel is about to begin her own school of makeup design, called ‘Preetisheel School of Character Design’.
Some links which might interest you:
Videos of look tests during the making of Padmaavat:
While Chhichhore has crossed the 200 crore mark, and Housefull 4 is roaring at the box-office with a collection of 53.22 crore in just three days, another movie of National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic character designer Preetisheel Singh is doing stupendous business.
Bigil is the latest blockbuster from Tamil film industry Kollywood’s megastar Vijay, who has become synonymous with Diwali releases in the South, as Rajinikanth is with Pongal or Salman Khan is with Eid in Bollywood. Recently, Shah Rukh Khan described Bigil as Chak De on steroids.
For the movie, Preetisheel has designed two looks for Vijay in a double role, one a footballer and the other as a gangster. “Bigil was a very exciting project as we had to do two different generation looks,” says Preetisheel.
“Vijay Sir doesn’t speak much but is a gem of a person. My experience with him has been amazing. He is very welcoming and very easy to talk to,” she quips, adding that she has curated another look with him for a movie which will go on floors soon.
Preetisheel has earlier achieved a hattrick a year ago, when three of her movies Padmaavat, 102 Not Out and Mulk hit the bulls eye. In recent months she has also garnered abundant praise about her work for Andhadhun and Thackeray.
She has been behind some of the best looks of a plethora of top Bollywood stars like Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Madhuri Dixit, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Ranveer Singh, Salman Khan, Shahid Kapoor & Sunny Deol.
Her work will soon be seen in forthcoming movies like the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Bala, Kartik Aaryan-Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh, Sunny Singh-starrer Ujda Chaman, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, and Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays.
Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar is also the only specialist on Bigg Boss. Having handled the PR for a full 20 contestants while they have been on the controversial show, Dale also has guts to call a spade a spade. He boldly addresses queries in this exclusive no-holds-barred interview to QNA India.
Bigg Boss 13 has shifted from Lonavla to Filmcity Studios in Goregaon, Mumbai. Do you think it’s a good move?
Dale Bhagwagar: That fresh breath of Lonavla air that the Bigg Boss Housemates felt in the garden area is missing. Also, knowing that they were far away from Mumbai city, gave the contestants a feel of being separated from their near and dear ones, which went perfectly with the show’s concept. That is now missing too.
But being at Filmcity, has its own share of advantages too. Availability for props, food items, staff etc would definitely be better when in Mumbai. Travel time for staff and Salman Khan is less.
Moreover, security is better as Filmcity has two security gates before one reaches any studio floor. The distance between the first and second gate is almost 2 kilometers. So for any anti-Bigg Boss protest morchas to walk all the way, would be quite a task, and also provide the makers ample time to call for police help, just in case any protest morcha breaks through the first security gate.
Will Bigg Boss 13 get better TRPs than last season?
Dale Bhagwagar: I have a feeling Bigg Boss TRPs may not rise with the passing of its seasons now. The reasons are many. The attention span of people have changed. Also, most youth want to watch shows on the go, and not sit in front of television sets anymore. Though on Voot, the show has limited its visibility by being absent on YouTube; the most popular platform for videos.
Another reason is that the show has deviated from its original concept of being truthful to reality television, and feels more and more like a game show. Being a publicist in the entertainment field and having handled the PR for the maximum Bigg Boss contestants and watched them closely, I’m of the impression that the media publicity for the show also needs more innovativeness and improvement.
Many more journalists need to receive its daily synopsis and publicity images. The PR images for the media could be of better size, correct format and higher resolution too. This would make the journalist’s job of covering Bigg Boss, easier. Scribes may then refrain from searching and lifting random images from FB pages or channel website, which may not satisfy their needs for a great image-resolution.
Apart from all this, one has to also understand that Gen Z does not sit and watch TV serials. So most of the times, they identify quite less with the TV stars which feature more and more on Bigg Boss nowadays. All these and many more transformational changes could give the fortunes of Bigg Boss a punchy boost.
Bigg Boss approaches a lot of celebrities, but only a few of them finally go to the Bigg Boss House. Do you think this is a promotional ploy by the makers to create a wider buzz for the show before it rolls?
Dale Bhagwagar: Ha ha! It seems you have stumbled upon some secret. Yes, this does create a buzz initially, as not all who are approached are aware of the secrecy clause in BB contracts. So they yap and talk and hint, or tell their friends that they have been approached for Bigg Boss. Some even pompously write on FB that BB approaches them every year. But I don’t think that kind of PR buzz helps them. If they really want to be on the show by getting in the limelight, or catch the attention of the makers, there are other intelligent PR strategies and methods.
What if the selection process goes on public voting?
Dale Bhagwagar: That could be an interesting turn. But the public will have to see the drama quotient of the contestants and judge by that. Only then will it work well. Hai na.
Is it better to have only celebrities in Bigg Boss or is it better to have common people with celebrities?
Dale Bhagwagar: The hero of the show should be the concept. I feel, the best thing for Bigg Boss will be to focus on its original ‘reality television’ format and reduce the number of games and tasks. I also strongly feel that Bigg Boss should have two seasons every year — one with celebs and another with commoners.
What do you have to say about most contestants who win Bigg Boss, but are not able to remain in the news after winning? What could be the reason?
Dale Bhagwagar: The primary reason for this is that success goes to their head. The months they spend in isolation makes them believe that the show has made superstars out of them. When they meet their family and friends on the show, they hear stories of how they are being talked about in the outside world; about how famous they have become etc etc etc. They think they have ‘arrived’ and this thought goes to their head.
When they come out they are mobbed, first by the media and then by the people on the streets. They get a lot of instant recognition. In all this hullabaloo, most of them forget that PR plays an important role in the imaging, branding and consistency of any publicity exercise.
What they completely fail to realize is that long-term fame is not about hype, but about imaging and branding. That is why so many Bigg Boss contestants lose out in the long run, with most of these disappearing into oblivion. Even the winners.
“All Bollywood actresses need to understand and accept that controversies are a ‘business’ for media. Only when they adapt, is when they will be able to take advantage of the situations media presents. Otherwise, they’ll risk resisting change, till a new generation comes and laps it up.” -Dale Bhagwagar
Close on the heels of the stupendous success of Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore, National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic character design specialist is coming up with not one, two, but three stunners. And all the three films have taken the film industry imagination by storm.
Yes! We are talking about none other than the three baldie looks of Bollywood, which are the talk of the town from a while now. The wiz behind the looks of Akshay Kumar as Bala in the Farhad Samji-directed Housefull 4, Ayushmann Khurrana in Amar Kaushik’s movie Bala and Sunny Singh in Abhishek Pathak’s Ujda Chaman, is look designer Preetisheel Singh.
What has particularly surprised many, is the fact that inspite of all the three looks being of men going bald, Preetisheel has deftly designed them in a way that all of them look ending different on the screen. While Akshay has an imposing mouche to go with the look, Ayushmaan has a receding hairline, and Sunny Singh has a moustache and stubble to match his balding look.
It can be noted here that Preetisheel even received accolades for her transformational look makeovers in movies like Padmaavat, Mom, 102 Not Out, Mulk and Thackeray some time ago.
She is now excited for her forthcoming releases which include an interesting mix of movies like the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Kartik Aaryan-Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh, Southern superstar Vijay’s next Bigil, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, and Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays.
What’s more! The talented lady is also preparing to launch the ‘Preetisheel School of Character Design’ at her new sprawling office and workshop of her company ‘Da Makeup Lab’ at Versova, Mumbai.
Tanushree Dutta seeks FRESH PROBE on Nana Patekar issue
Recently, the Mumbai Police submitted a closure report for #MeToo cases like Tanushree Dutta’s, who accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment during the shoot of a song in 2008. Due to lack of evidence and witness statement not supporting Dutta’s story the case was closed and reported as ‘filed with malicious intentions’. But this week, Tanushree has written an e-mail to the Commissioner of Police, asking for a fresh probe in the case against Patekar. As such cases drag on, industry insiders discuss if Bollywood can wipe the #MeToo scar off its damaged face.
When the #MeToo movement hit the world, no one knew its ripple effect would reach so many shores. Bollywood, which has forever been an insulated kingdom of filmy families, known for its tight-lipped fraternity, was shockingly exposed.
Though most people have never raised their voices about the relatively shadier going-ons of the world’s largest movie industry, the #MeToo movement saw a handful of women come forward and speak up of issues old and new.
One would think that in the aftermath, Bollywood and the men accused, would be reeling under, unable to face the world. But if the slew of clean chits given are to be considered, the tide seems to be flowing the other way.
Take into account how actress Tanushree Dutta’s FIR with Oshiwara Police Station against Nana Patekar, accusing him of sexually harassing her during the shooting of a song on the sets of ‘Horn Ok Please’ in 2008, concluded. The Mumbai police gave Patekar a clean chit in the case, filing a report that said Tanushree’s complaint could have been lodged to seek revenge and that it seemed ‘malicious and fake’. The actress has claimed that the police have colluded with the veteran actor.
In another such instance, Vikas Bahl, the director of Queen who was accused of sexual harassment by an employee of Phantom Films, has been cleared of all charges. An internal inquiry by Reliance Entertainment cleared him and reinstated him as the director of the Hrithik Roshan film Super 30 before its release.
Well known for his sanskaari roles in top budget films, actor Alok Nath was accused of rape, sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, by atleast three women, one of them being writer-director-producer Vinta Nanda. Nanda had accused Nath in a Facebook post that went viral, after which Nath had filed a defamation suit against her. Nanda filed an FIR against Nath, alleging rape. In January 2019, the Mumbai sessions court granted anticipatory bail to the actor, observing that Nanda did not lodge the report immediately after the alleged incident for her own benefit. The court also observed that possibility cannot be ruled out that Nath has been falsely accused in the crime.
Karan Oberoi receives tremendous support
TV actor Karan Oberoi, who was accused of rape and extortion by a woman, was granted bail by the Bombay High Court, about a month after his arrest. Oberoi has since been seen at a demonstration highlighting #MenToo; a campaign to create awareness about cases where men are falsely accused of rape and other such charges by women. In what is a shocking turn of events, the person who made the accusation, was arrested for ‘falsely’ implicating Oberoi.
But a global movement like #MeToo will hardly die down anytime soon, says actress-filmmaker Soni Razdan, wife of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. Razdan feels, “A significant movement like this cannot simply go away. There has been a seismic shift and in future, people who are violated in such a manner, won’t be quiet anymore. That also implies, others will learn to conduct themselves better.” Razdan had also shared a past encounter of sexual harassment with a news outlet at the peak of the #MeToo movement, where she had narrated how during a film shoot, somebody had tried to rape her.
Gender neutral should be the future
Poojita Chowdhury, a talented filmmaker (and daughter of Renuka Chowdhury, the former Union minister of State for Ministry of Women and Child Development), says “It is unfair and unfortunate when people who have committed crimes are protected and get away. But I believe that a new order is emerging out of this for the greater good, and it is not all hopeless. Patriarchy is very deeply entrenched for centuries, so it’s not going to be easy to change the status quo.”
Chowdhury’s film, Gender Bender, is about changing gender roles and rules around work and features real women in traditionally male jobs, and daughters who work with their fathers. “This is where its relevant to the movement, because ultimately it is about evolving into a society, where work, talent and opportunity are gender neutral spaces — the right of every person, be it man or woman, to work with respect, dignity and same opportunity,” she says.
Sifting the real from the fake
Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar gets philosophical, saying, “When God created humans — the highest among the living species — he created man and woman. Man went on to create society and a class divide between the rich and poor. With time, another divide took birth in the form of racism — the genetics and colour divide between black and white. Now thanks to the #MeToo movement, humans have been introduced to the ultimate divide — between man and woman themselves. And in India, the world’s largest film industry, Bollywood, is most impacted.”
“The movement has left a scar, not only on Bollywood, but on the fabric of society,” adds the PR consultant. But Bhagwagar points out that Bollywood’s version of #MeToo has been very different from Hollywood’s. “Here, 97 percent of the ladies, who came forward with issues had nothing concrete to say,” he feels. “They were more or less being biased or vindictive towards men. Inspite of that, our scandal-hungry media lapped up all of that and more, turning the voices into a huge campaign, probably for the sake of extra eyeballs, hit rate and TRPs.”
He feels that with the exception of Vinta Nanda, whose rape charges warrant serious attention, the others said things like ‘he tried to touch me’, ‘he tried to feel me up’, ‘he tried to kiss me’, ‘he put his hand around my waist’, ‘he put his hand on my shoulder’ and similar things. “The guys did not molest, they didn’t force — they probably tried their luck by casual flirting. But the #MeToo gals named and shamed guys in the media, and put a blot on their brand and image forever for that,” says Bhagwagar. Ironically, some of the names featured in the Wikipedia #MeToo page have been his ex-clients. These include Vinta Nanda, Mandana Karimi, Elnaaz Norouzi and Shama Sikander.
Pooja Bedi, a strong voice behind her friend Karan Oberoi’s recent misfortunes, couldn’t share her thoughts with us due to a hectic schedule of spearheading a movement called ‘Men Too’. According to The Quint, Bedi said, “Taking into consideration the history of our country and the patriarchal society that we live in, there are times when a rape victim goes to the police station and her complaint does not even get registered. That is wrong. So, we need laws against rape and such violence. But at the same time, if women are misusing the law that is meant to protect them, we need to think about how to protect the rights of the man as well.”
Razdan thinks it is power that creates this sort of an imbalance. People inclined to, will always misuse it and in a film industry as huge as Bollywood, there is no one player involved, she believes. “We cannot paint everyone with the same brush. I feel everyone should speak up, gender notwithstanding. Making someone guilty until proven innocent is not fair and one must support the real victims,” she says matter-of-factly.
The real movement trudges along
Chowdhury believes the movement helps to create space for human potential and is not just a ‘battle of the sexes’. On hindsight, to say that anyone who has been named has lost out on opportunities, may well be speaking too soon. Most of the men have returned to work, some like Alok Nath having even added a hit like De De Pyaar De to the cap.
Bhagwagar who was hired for crisis management by one of the men whose name had popped up in #MeToo, did a short-term guerrilla PR (stealth) exercise for him. “I believed in the guy’s innocence, so I admit, I took steps to drown the girl’s articles in the media with some spin and SEO. But not everyone was as lucky as my PR client. A lot of men now have to live with the damages to their online image for life,” he says.
That said, the way ahead for the real victims of MeToo is somewhat blurry. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013, has a few obvious drawbacks and so, old cases of harassment can’t be taken into consideration. Internal committees might do their job well but that’s not transparent enough. While a robust set of gender neutral laws can ensure people get their voices heard and justice is met, the playing field, especially in Bollywood, may not be even.
“There are committees in every office, but we don’t see them as very effective. But we still have to keep at building such outreach programmes and institutions that will get a firm grip of how to deal with authentic cases over time,” says Razdan.
So what do the women who have finally found the strength to speak up, do until justice is met? A good example is Tanushree, the one who began the movement in Bollywood. After her case was shut, Tanushree told the Indian Express, “I pray that I never have to deal with this kind of toxicity ever again in life. I am tired of fighting alone against oppressors, bullies and a corrupt system. But please don’t take this example to mean that you will not be heard when you speak up. Continue to expose these creeps through social media and other platforms so that in future people would think twice before troubling an innocent young girl. I still believe I will get justice and victory will be mine. How, only time will tell.”
Chowdhury summarizes the movement’s true effect succinctly. “It’s like a volcano that has erupted. So in the aftermath of such an eruption, there will be consequences. But it is very early to say that it has scarred men to work with women, or that the latter will lose out on work opportunities. Hopefully, the larger outcome of this movement will set a new standard of ethics, accountability and personal conduct across professions, for both men and women. The critical thing now is to use this time not to settle back into the old system.”
National Award-winning makeup, hair and prosthetic expert Preetisheel Singh is elated at the commercial success of Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore. The film has just crossed the 125 crore mark at the box-office, and is still going strong.
“I’m overwhelmed with the congratulatory calls and messages about the looks in the film. It’s always a nice feeling when you put your heart and soul into something and people notice that effort and appreciate it,” quips a delighted Preetisheel, who carried out multiple transformational looks for the ensemble cast of Chhichhore from their young to old age. “I’m so grateful to director Nitish Tiwari for putting complete faith in my work,” adds the makeover whiz.
“Chhichhore has caught the imagination of audiences and made many nostalgic about their college days,” Preetisheel points out. “This is the first time that we had to work on an ensemble cast of six. Getting everyone ready simultaneously was quite a task as everyone had prosthetic work involved. But the actors were really cooperative and so patient throughout the whole process.”
Preetisheel has earlier been behind some of the best looks of a plethora of top Bollywood stars like Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Madhuri Dixit, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Ranveer Singh, Salman Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Sunny Deol.
She has handled the character designs for highly successful movies such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Housefull 3, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Mom, Thackeray, PM Narendra Modi, Bharat and Andhadhun.
Some of the forthcoming movies in her kitty include the Akshay Kumar-starrer Housefull 4, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Bala, Kartik Aaryan-Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh, Southern superstar Vijay’s next Bigil, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, and Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays.
She could well be heading for some more awards this year too. But before that, Preetisheel is all set to launch the ‘Preetisheel School of Character Design’ and a new office and workshop of her company ‘Da Makeup Lab’ at Versova, Mumbai.
Mrs. India Guyana Kristal Inshan is soon to participate in the Mrs. India Worldwide beauty pageant at The Leela, Mumbai. The event is about to witness the most beautiful and talented contestants from over 40 countries, competing for the Miss and Mrs. India Worldwide titles, judged by a celebrity panel of judges, with a host of guests expected from Bollywood and Hollywood.
But Kristal is in news for something else this week. She believes in doing more for charity than most beauty queens promise on stage. Kristal not only enjoys spending holidays with friends and loved ones, but makes it a point to make time for the less fortunate and make their celebrations special too. Growing up with struggles of a poor life, she has learned to smile and be kind hearted more than anything else.
Recently, when she was to celebrate her birthday, her first thought was not to celebrate with a party or outing, but cook with her mother’s help for underprivileged children of a village next to her hometown Georgetown in Guyana.
Her ideal great birthday was to share a home-cooked meal with the children. “Bringing happiness to those who have nothing makes my birthday that much more special,” she says. A few days after her birthday, she along with her mother decided to cook some of the best of Indian dishes, after which they headed to a local orphanage to feed the underprivileged once again.
While at the orphanage, she noticed that a teenage girl didn’t have proper eyeglasses. She took her to an eye doctor, and purchased a pair of eyeglasses for her. That’s not all! Every Christmas, Kristal orders toys in bulk, and distributes them at a local village to give each child a gift and let them know how special they are.
If the trailer of Nitish Tiwari’s Chhichhore and teaser of Amar Kaushik’s Bala are anything to go by, the audiences are in for a visual treat in terms of look transformations of the main cast. And the lady behind the looks of the entire lead cast in the films — India’s numero uno makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh — has good reason to feel proud.
Both the movies have actors in their aging avatars and Preetisheel’s work has been receiving a new wave of accolades, after all the recognition it received earlier for films like Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, Andhadhun, Mom, Mulk, 102 Not Out, Thackeray and many others.
“Look transformations are an integral part of the storylines of both these movies, and it was a challenge and responsibility for me to make them look convincing and believable. I am so happy people are appreciating my work,” says a modest Preetisheel, who’d won the ‘National Film Award for Best Makeup’ for her very first film — the pre-Mughal historical epic Nanak Shah Fakir based on the life of Guru Nanak.
She makes it a point to thank the filmmakers of all her movies for putting their trust and faith in her work. “Without their faith, I wouldn’t have been able to do all this,” she says. Having taken her career graph a few steps further towards more recognition and glory, the lady has no time for a breather. The next few months have her working on a dozen films back-to-back, as well as starting the ‘Preetisheel School of Character Design’ at Versova, Mumbai.
Some of the forthcoming movies in her kitty include the Akshay Kumar-starrer Housefull 4, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Kartik Aaryan-Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh, Southern superstar Vijay’s next Bigil, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, and Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays.
Netflix made a thunderous debut in India with the web series Sacred Games starring Saif Ali Khan as police officer Sartaj Singh and Nawazuddin Siddiqui as underworld don Ganesh Gaitonde. As Sacred Games Season 2 makes its debut, Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar lists his 16 most favourite dialogues from Season 1.
1) “Kabhi kabhi lagta hai, apun hi bhagwan hai.”
2) “Mumbai shahar hai yeh. Kuch bhi ho sakta hai idhar.”
3) “Bhagwan aadmi se kahani me baat karta hai. Hum sab ka life ek kahani hai.”
4) “Main chhota sa tha, 10-11 saal ka, tabhi fix ho gaya tha, yeh aaj ka din, ye connection, aap — Dilbagh Singh, aur main.”
5) “Lagta hai 6 janam pehle ki baat hai, jab main maa ko dekha.”
6) “Aadmi andar se jitna kaala hota hai, duniya ke samne utna hi safed banne ki koshish karta hai.”
7) “Tum mardon ko aisa kyun lagta hai, ki har aurat ko tumhein hi bachana hai.”
Just out from the jaws of death; headed to a beauty pageant
True strength comes with resilience, perseverance and persistence. And if there is one lady who is currently epitomizing this, it is Mrs. India Guyana Kristal Inshan. The beauty queen from Georgetown, Guyana, was all excited to participate in the Mrs. India Worldwide beauty pageant at The Leela, Mumbai, in the first week of September 2019.
The event is about to witness the most beautiful and talented contestants from over 40 countries, competing for the Miss and Mrs. India Worldwide titles, judged by a celebrity panel of judges, with a host of guests expected from Bollywood and Hollywood.
But a week ago, Kristal suffered a life-threatening accident in her hometown in South America. The car she was travelling in, overturned, flipped over three times and crashed on the sidewalk. It was a ghastly crash, just like we see in the movies — only that, this was for real. Kristal, who was on the back seat, miraculously survived — albeit with bleeding cuts, scrapes and bruises. She was rushed to the nearest hospital, where she lay shaken.
Imagine the shock and trauma she would have undergone. Anyone in her place would have cancelled her trip to Mumbai and given herself time and rest to recuperate and recover. But not Kristal. She decided she had to take life head on, with a confident smile. Healing from her injuries and a limp, she is ignoring her pain and preparing to go ahead with the upcoming pageant in Mumbai.
Apart from being a successful model, Kristal is also a fashion designer and women empowerment speaker. Arriving in a few days in the bustling city of dreams, Kristal intends to take a day off on the beaches of Mumbai and focus on the Mrs. India Worldwide pageant.
We’re almost speechless, hearing about this lady’s grit and determination. From so many years, we have heard countless pageant contestants talk so much about strength and resilience on stage. But what Kristal is doing right now, is a living example of all that and more! Just out from the jaws of death, and headed to a beauty pageant — that is something! We salute her strength as our heart goes out to her.