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.”
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.”
“From what a PR gets, he might make a living. But from what a PR gives, he might make a life.” -Dale Bhagwagar
“There is no such thing as bad publicity
except your own obituary.” -Brendan
“We are living in a
world where perception is reality.” -Dale
“Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.” -Arthur Ashe
“The key to a great
story is not who, or what, or when, but why.” -Tomorrow Never Dies
“Good publicity is
good. Bad publicity is better. Ugly publicity is the best… because it travels
the fastest and hits the hardest. The worst of all is no publicity.” -Dale Bhagwagar
“There is no news like bad news.” -Tomorrow Never Dies
“Men are haunted by
the vastness of eternity and so we ask ourselves, will our actions echo across
the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we’re gone and wonder
who we were? How bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved…” -Opening sequence of Troy
“Immortality is the
recollection one leaves.” -Napoléon
“What happens when
you don’t publicize.” “Nothing.” -Dale
“If you wish in this world to advance your merits you’re bound to enhance; you must stir it and stump it, and blow your own trumpet, or, trust me, you haven’t a chance.” -William S. Gilbert
“PR is an intriguing
mind game in a media minefield. But with the kind of reach a PR has, it becomes
extremely important to keep PR ethics in mind while executing promotional
strategies and branding brands. Otherwise, a PR can end up misleading society
and causing havoc.” -Dale Bhagwagar
“Publicity is a great
purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and public
opinion controls the courses of the nation.” -Charles Evans Hughes
“It is insight into
human nature that is the key to the communicator’s skill. For whereas the
writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is
concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student
of how people read or listen.” -William
“Networking is a
daily commitment, not a monthly ritual.” -Dale
“PR means telling the
truth and working ethically – even when all the media want is headlines and all
the public wants is scapegoats. Public relations fails when there is no
integrity.” -Viv Segal
“Visibility is one of the biggest determinants of celebrity, and certainly the poll list reflects that the most popular girls are those who are the most famous.” -FHM editor Neil Bierbaum, speaking about the FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll.
make products in the factory, many brands are created in the minds of PRs.” -Dale Bhagwagar
“The stroke of the
whip maketh marks in the flesh; but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the
“Some are born great,
some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.” -Daniel J. Boorstin
“When I ask myself
the question: ‘Who is my favourite client?’ Most of the time, my mind answers:
‘The next one’.” -Dale Bhagwagar
“An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.” -Daniel J. Boorstin
“I’m a manipulator.
It’s my job.” -Dale Bhagwagar
“You’ve got to find
some way of saying it without saying it.” -Duke
“If a PR person lies
to a reporter, he lies to one person. If a reporter lies, he lies to thousands,
even lakhs. This simple thought should increase the responsibility of every PR
to stand by ethics and truth.” -Dale
“Whoever controls the
media, controls the mind.” -Jim Morrison
crisis management are gaining more importance in the PR profession than
image-building and publicity.” -Dale
without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you
are doing, but nobody else does.” -Steuart
“PR is a very
complicated and scheming world today. And not many in the profession itself;
have fully understood its tentacles.” -Dale
“At the end of the
day, ‘people buy people’. So spending time on your personal brand will pay
dividends for years to come.” -Lesley
“Live a bit in the
present and a bit in the future, because the past is just like a newspaper. It
loses its value next morning.” -Dale
After launching Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards, yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has launched a new messaging application called Kimbho. It seems to be aimed at giving competition to the most popular messaging app WhatsApp owned by Facebook.
At the launch, Patanjali mentioned that the Kimbho App is already available for downloads at Google Play Store.
After Reliance Jio giving competition to foreign companies in India, another techno revolution is on the cards from this week. WhatsApp has been downloaded by more than a billion people on Google Play Store. Whether Kimbho can come anywhere near to that humongous figure, remains to be seen.
Kimbho is a Sanskrit word, meaning “How are you?” or “What’s new?” The app’s logo shows a seashell with a green-coloured round chat design around it; similar to WhatsApp. Kimbho’s tagline is ‘Ab Bharat Bolega’.
There is a strong controversial theory about Adolf Hitler having escaped from Germany after the Second World War. Delving into the Führer’s mind from a PR perspective, Bollywood publicist Dale Bhagwagar, concludes why an ESCAPE for Hitler was IMPOSSIBLE.
Many alleged that after the complete defeat and ruin of his Third Reich (Third Empire of Germany), Adolf Hitler escaped from his bunker and went on to live in hiding in Argentina till a very old age. There have been various articles and documentaries describing his escape and life after the war. Many have claimed to have spotted him at various places around the world, giving strength to the notion that he had managed to slyly evade the Americans, British and Russians.
Reality over fake news
However, I have been in the profession of spin for more than two decades now, and having studied about the war and Hitler, I can say with utmost certainty that the Führer (meaning, the leader in German) NEVER ESCAPED. The historical version of his suicide is most correct. He ended his life with his mistress-turned-wife-for-the-last-day Eva Braun and their bodies, as per his instructions, were immediately destroyed by being burned.
Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels’ publicity machine had been so strong and effective over the years, that it was impossible for Hitler not to live up to that image. Even Goebbels killed himself for the same brand of National Socialism he had deftly helped to create. And with himself, Goebbels took the life of his wife Magda in a suicide-pact, along with six of his children put to death in their sleep.
Still, you may ask why a power-broker like Hitler would never think about escaping. Good question. Like many journalists say, the when, what, where and how are not as important as the why, here are four strong reasons why he would do what he did.
1) Because Hitler could not imagine life without his adaptation of National Socialism that he had so painstakingly propagated and advocated for 25 years.
2) Because after the war, Hitler could not be safe anywhere in the world, and that included conquered Germany.
3) Because Hitler was way too scared of meeting the fate of Benito Mussolini who was killed and lynched in Italy towards the end of the war. He also had a fear psychosis that he would be strung up naked or paraded through Moscow in a cage by the Russians.
4) And last but not the least, Hitler was too egoistic to run away.
In a situation like that, in his mind, fleeing would have been akin to dying each day he lived. From his point of view, death would have been the quicker, safer and only dignified option. At the time of defeat, from Hitler’s perspective, life after war would be humiliation, while death would mean leaving with self-respect.
Peeping into the Führer’s psyche
And why would he think so negatively about living on? One has to put oneself in his position to imagine what ‘escaping’ would have meant to the Führer.
14 years of political struggle and strife … a near-death experience during First World War … being imprisoned after a failed coup for power … managing to return to politics and getting elected and then assuming dictatorship … 12 years of absolute power … crazy God-like adulation from his people and from various parts of the world … fanatic influence over minds and hearts … multiple failed attempts on his life before and during power … victory after victory in the Second World War — the world’s greatest war … emerging a contemporary conqueror akin to an Alexander or Genghis Khan … world domination almost in his grasp… AND THEN… a humiliating defeat.
Seeking glory even in downfall
For a man who even refused to leave his headquarters — his Reich Chancellery in Berlin — during the last months of the war, running out of Germany was never a thought. He was the Führer, and for him, the Captain never left a sinking ship. He would go down with it. In the eyes of a helpless Captain, that’s the honourable path and his hope for glory.
And this is why I say for sure that all the rumours about him running away to a safe haven were spread either by the victors (mainly Russia’s Joseph Stalin), the gossip-hungry media and a few paranoid people from various countries.
The brand’s new beginning
In conclusion, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Hitler’s larger-than-life perception and brand took his life. His branding was so magnificently magnanimous, that it was impossible for him to ‘live with defeat’. Come to think of it, this guru of branding was trapped by his own ‘propaganda’ — the word that finally evolved into what we now know as ‘public relations.’
Ending his time, ironically gave his brand a new beginning. It was the turn of the victors to brand him stronger and for longer. After WW2, he came to be known as the biggest ‘monster’ the world had ever witnessed. He is the ‘greatest villain’ in history. The Allies (countries united during the war) and his favourite muse (the Jews) made sure they highlighted atrocities of his regime, as a result of which Hitler is remembered as nothing less than ‘the face of evil.’
Look who’s back
To this day, that fear sells… and how! Just look at the box-office figures of Rogue One, the movie from the Star Wars series, and you’ll realise the world’s ingloriously glorious charm with everything Hitler.
Dale Bhagwagar is the Rajinikanth of Bollywood PR. Over the years he’s made his own rules, own styles and own world. Apart from being widely quoted across all Indian media, he is the only publicist from the country who has been quoted in international media such as BBC World, BBC Radio, Sky News, Channel 4, The Times, Guardian, The Independent, and many more.
Among some 150-odd clients he has worked with, Dale has also been instrumental in shaping images of Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty, Priyanka Chopra and movies like Don and Rock On!! Plus, some 20 scandalous names who have been on Bigg Boss.
Max Clifford, the world’s most scandalous publicist once called Dale Bhagwagar“the PR to go to in India.” So what made Clifford praise and refer another publicist? A little case study about this public relations professional from India reveals a lot.
Often termed the King of Spin, Dale Bhagwagar undoubtedly tops the list as the most famous PR experts the Indian entertainment industry has ever witnessed. He is most probably the highest paid publicist and the guy behind the glamour, glitz and media hand-handling for a huge number Bollywood celebrities.
He has looked after the media for more than 200 film stars including Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty, Priyanka Chopra, Govinda, Vivek Oberoi, the evergreen Dev Anand, and films such as the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Don and Farhan Akhtar starrer Rock On!!
That’s not all! Dale has handled the PR for around 40 movies starring actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Arjun Rampal, Bipasha Basu, Bo Derek, Boman Irani, Jackie Shroff, Jesse Metcalfe, John Abraham, Kabir Bedi, Kareena Kapoor, Karishma Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Manisha Koirala, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Padma Lakshmi, Prakash Raj, Preity Zinta, Rahul Bose, Rani Mukerji, Raveena Tandon, Rekha, Saif Ali Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Shabana Azmi, Sharman Joshi, Shriya Saran, Sunil Shetty, Sunny Deol… and the list goes on and on.
Well known as Bollywood’s only PR guru, this award-winning publicist from Mumbai is also a master with handling controversies and crisis management for actors. For this, he has been quoted in each and every prominent Indian media, apart from some of the topmost international publications and news television channels such as BBC World, CNN, Sky News, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Mail, New York Times and The Washington Post.
Dale has spearheaded Shilpa Shetty’s PR during her Big Brother win and also handled the media for a full 20 names who have participated in the reality show’s Indian counterpart Bigg Boss; best known for being hosted by megastar Salman Khan.
All this and more makes the guy a master of masters. No wonder, a simple Google search in his name brings up thousands of results.
I wonder why many actors and actresses realise the importance of PR only when their career goes spiralling down. When they realise they are not making the monies they should be making, they decide to spend on PR and salvage or extend their career. Instead of ‘image building’ at an earlier stage, a PR has to then look at ‘publicity’ and ‘crisis management’. –Dale Bhagwagar