‘Russia’s love for Bollywood has come full circle from Raj Kapoor to Pushpa Raj,’ says Preetisheel

Pushpa: The Rise recently premiered in Russia, with the team traveling across the country for the event. The film was released in Moscow and St. Petersburg in December, and both screenings were met with an amazing response from Russian fans.

The team, which included Icon Star Allu Arjun, actress Rashmika Mandana, and director Sukumar, was thrilled to be welcomed with overwhelming enthusiasm by their Russian fans. In addition to being released in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Pushpa: The Rise was also featured at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Indian Film Festival, which was held in 24 Russian cities.

From Mumbai, character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza, who curated the unique looks the now iconic characters of Allu Arjun as Pushpa Raj, Rashmika Mandanna as Srivalli and Fahadh Faasil as SP Bhanwar Singh Shekawat in the film, expressed her excitement at seeing the film being recognized internationally.

“The response from fans has been one of great excitement and happiness. As far as Bollywood’s legacy with Russia goes, we have come a long way. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Russia’s love for Bollywood has come full circle from Raj Kapoor to Pushpa Raj,” she quips, reminiscing how Raj Kapoor was a craze in Russia once upon a time.

The National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic expert, along with her partner husband Mark D’souza, runs Da Makeup Lab; India’s No.1 makeup, hair and prosthetic studio based in the high-profile Versova locality of Mumbai.

Apart from Pushpa: The Rise, the state-of-the-art studio has designed transformational looks for movies such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, 102 Not Out, Housefull 4, Mom, Bala, Chhichhore, Bunty Aur Babli 2 as well as the Southern megahit Master. It is now working for Pushpa’s sequel titled Pushpa: The Rule.

“Teaching ballet has come as a great gift in life,” says Fethon Miozzi of Vaganova Ballet Academy

Entrepreneur Pratuysha Chhajer who is the director of SS Ballet Academy (SSBA) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, recently conducted an informative interview with a prominent award-winning ballet teacher Fethon Miozzi of Vaganova Ballet Academy, based at St. Petersburg, Russia.

In the interview, Miozzi divulged that he earlier wanted to be a doctor but it was destiny which led him to ballet dancing. “In the initial year, I did not like the strict discipline one has to adhere to while practicing ballet, but after my teachers appreciated my talent, I became a better dancer. Teaching ballet has come as a great gift that life has given me,” he says.

“Striving is the best path to being a good ballet dancer. Ballet is a difficult and strongly disciplined art form. You have to believe in yourself. Sometimes the initial journey might seem tough and painful. You will need a strong support system too — from parents, teachers, family and friends. There will be many hiccups in the path, but one should keep trying hard,” remarks the ballet teacher who loves his profession and students.

“It’s a beautiful job and it’s joyful. It’s difficult to separate and let students go after graduation. But seeing them successfully placed in big theatres is a great feeling,” he concludes.

Born in Rome, Miozzi graduated from the Roman Ballet Academy and joined the Mariinsky Ballet Theatre. After a State scholarship, he graduated with honours from the Vaganova Ballet Academy for ballet teacher and ballet master, and is since teaching at the academy, taking middle and senior classes.

Miozzi is characterized by expressiveness and great physical and theatrical attributes. He is distinguished by a classical manner, beautiful lines and light jump, having an ease with technically challenging maneuvers.

He has won several awards including the L. Massine prize for Rising Ballet Star in Italy, the Danza Si award for physical and artistic qualities, the Danza & Danza award for Best Italian Dancer in the World, and the Ballet Oscar in Italy.

Pratyusha Chhajer who beautifully and effortlessly conducted this wonderful interview is not only the founder and director of SS Ballet Academy, but also a renowned fashion designer with her own label Samyan Shonaya Haute Couture, and businesses under the brand name of Samyan Shonaya Group of Companies. She is a Melvin Jones Fellow and the founder president (charter president) of Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati Zeal.

The Ahmedabad-based SS Ballet Academy (SSBA) has recently received certification from the internationally prestigious Conseil International de la Danse (CID); an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (popularly known as UNESCO). SSBA aims to partner with teachers, institutes and academies from across the globe, who can help and guide its students in India, in the exquisite dance form of ballet.

Emotional story of brothers wins hearts at international film festivals

Mainak Misra’s short film Days of Marigolds has been winning hearts at various international film festivals, which has the maker feeling elated and all charged up to think of a bigger and better future.

Days of Marigolds collage 1

“When I made this short film I had not expected that it will get such a grand response. But the kind of feedback and acclaim its managed to generate at all the film festivals is simply mind-blowing for a debutant filmmaker like me,” says a thrilled Mainak, who shot the film near his hometown Hyderabad, at the banks of Pochampally village lake, with commoners as actors.

Filmmaker Mainak Misra - Image 1

The film has received widespread acclaim at various film festivals including The Mediterranean Film Festival (MedFF), Sicily, Italy; Salto Independent Film Festival, Salto, Uruguay; Move Me Productions Belgium-Film Festival, Antwerp, Belgium; Inshort Film Festival, Lagos, Nigeria; Bayamon International Film Festival, Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Yecora International Film Festival, Yecora, Mexico and at the Art Quake Kyoto 2019  (Creativity Biennale of Art Exhibitions & Film Festival), Kyoto, Japan.

Poster - Days of Marigolds

What’s more! Days of Marigolds also bagged the Semi-Finalist position at Los Angeles Cine-Fest, Los Angeles; USA, A Rebel Minded Festival, Brooklyn, New York, USA; as well as at FESTPRO Film Festival, Moscow, Russia.

Days of Marigolds - Poster

Mainak points out that it is the narrative of the short film which caught the fancy of audiences. Days of Marigolds revolves around a story of two brothers in rural India. As the elder brother leaves the village, the younger brother keeps returning to the place they parted at. Each return marks a passage of his life cycle from childhood to adolescence, early adulthood, late adulthood, and eventually old age.

Days of Marigolds - Pic 1

“The absence of our dear ones is felt deep down in our hearts. We keep longing for their presence. Their memories remain vivid in our minds for the rest of our lives. Those memories are missed and the moments are cherished forever,” quips Mainak. True that.

Filmmaker Mainak Misra - Image 2

The filmmaker is now working on the script of his first feature film and plans to make a splash in Bollywood in future. We wish him all the luck.

What’s common between Donald Trump and Rakhi Sawant!

Rakhi Sawant, Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un. Collage 1. (Images courtesy - Google)

If I understand US President Donald Trump’s PR game, directly or indirectly, he will toe the ‘America First’ line at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and everyone will scream “anti-globalism” and “protectionism” again. His rhetoric will spark more debates in America and China, increase speculation in Russia, United Kingdom and France and keep the rest of the world including North Korea on guard (on guard from the unpredictable Trump, of course).


I guess what Trump wants is to have himself on one side and the world on the other. It’s an importance-gaining PR tactic, smartly disguised under the pretext of nationalism, control and world order. He is playing that game and the world is exactly falling into his PR trap.

Rakhi Sawant, Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un. Collage 2. (Images courtesy - Google)

That’s also the tactic of my off-and-on PR client Rakhi Sawant. Do exactly the opposite of what everyone expects one to do, shout from rooftops, and people will take notice. It works, and how! And she carries it off real well. Whether you deliver on what you say is not important. What’s important is that you are always in the news.


Yes, there’s no news like bad news. But better than bad news, is weird news. It’s just a kind of PR strategy. A kind not everyone can manage. Trump can, Rakhi can. And you, the listener, viewer and reader — is the scapegoat. Can you save yourself from it. I doubt. Not after social media. 😉

Rakhi Sawant, Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un. Collage 3. (Images courtesy - Google)