Kajol article sparks Bollywood PR hoopla

As appeared on Medium

https://medium.com/@bollywoodfeatures/kajol-article-sparks-bollywood-pr-row-96c13f4f5415

Megastar Shah Rukh Khan and the ever-sizzling Kajol.

“Actress Kajol kick-started her career in the showbiz in the 90s when the PR machinery was not in force. In the 90s, it was all about how actors conducted themselves in front of the media without the help of any PRs,” says an article on Bollywood Bubble.

However, Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar has reacted in disagreement. “It’s incorrect to say that strong PR didn’t exist in the 90s. I’ve myself handled more than a dozen clients at any given time during the 90s too,” he tweeted.

“Though Kajol is a diva, Bollywood Bubble seems to be bumbling with ignorance about entertainment PR,” laughs Dale, who has handled the media for Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty, Priyanka Chopra and films like Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Don and Farhan Akhtar-starrer Rock On!!, apart from being a crisis management specialist to umpteen Bigg Boss contestants over the years.

“During the 90’s, there have been great PRs such as Gopal Pandey, RR Pathak, Raju Kariya, Ajit Ghosh, Hilla Sethna, Keshav Rai, Harish Sharma, Susheel Sharma, Peter Martis, Parag Desai, Indermohan Pannu, Shahid Khan, Arun-Gaja and Rajendra Rao.”

Filmstar Kajol — a diva she is. (Image courtesy: Internet)

“They have planned elaborate publicity campaigns, advised and guided actors with image-building, have been an integral part of PR strategies, and wielded much more influence on media than most of the current publicists. I know, because I have been there,” says the publicist who started out in PR in the 90s and went on to become a trendsetter.

Dale is one of the few actively surviving Bollywood publicists of that time and still leads the PR brigade in innovation. A simple search with his name brings up thousands of web results. The PR expert points out that public relations existed in tinsel town much before the 90s. “Bollywood PR has been thriving since the days of Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Sunil Dutt and Dilip Kumar,” remarks Dale, who also handled personal PR for Dev Anand as well as his last film Chargesheet.

A file picture of Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar with actor Dev Anand, PR Bunny Reuben, and with other prominent Bollywood publicists from the 90s and later. (Image courtesy: Twitter)

“We have had PR greats such as VP Sathe whose publicity agency had a monopoly over media campaigns in the 50s and 60s. And then Bunny Reuben, who handled the PR for Raj Kapoor and films of Yash Chopra, BR Chopra, Basu Bhattacharya and GP Sippy. It’s been boom-time for PRs all the way since then.” Point taken.

Pranav Sachdeva gives Shah Rukh Khan’s Darr character an EVIL TWIST

 

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“Jadoo teri nazar, khushboo tera badan, tu haan kar, ya naa kar, tu hai meri Kiran,” sang the obsessive Shah Rukh Khan in Yash Chopra’s Darr… and the rest is history.

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Many actors have tried to ape the psycho lover Rahul that SRK played on silver screen, but it has never been attempted on television. That is changing with Pranav Sachdeva’s key role as the two-faced character he plays in Deepak Sharma’s gripping daily soap Agar Tum Saath Ho, produced by Gulshan Sachdeva for the revamped Zindagi channel.

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“It’s a triangle with a difference,” says Pranav, adding that he has tried to enact the role with further nuances. “Ironically, my character in the soap is called Ram — a name people relate with extreme goodness. Ram too is a great guy until he gets obsessive in love, so much so that he becomes tormenting,” reveals Pranav.

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The actor points out that “Rahul of Darr was an eccentric stalker. He was possessive, bordering on psychotic. Inspite of all the similarities, Ram is different. He is evil in a much less obvious way. He’s not a psycho or a stalker, but is immensely selfish and wicked, yet charismatic and witty. He uses his charm and corporate business power to find his way out of situations.”

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“But like Rahul, Ram only cares about what he wants and gives two hoots about the other guy. These are shades which makes him scarier.” Come to think of it, such were the shades that made SRK’s iconic character of Darr start off as charmingly crazy, only to turn eerily spooky by the end.

Aman finally returns to the big league!

You can’t keep a good man down for long, or so they say. They are right. The naughty boy of Indian television Aman Verma, has grown up.

Aman, who shot to fame with mega-television shows like ‘Khul Ja Sim Sim’, ‘Shanti’ and ‘Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, suffered a setback, when a channel plotted a sting operation on him. To his good luck, the film industry rallied behind him, with names like Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan and Govinda coming to his rescue.

Aman has come a long way since then, to re-emerge as one of the strongest contenders on television. While his new serial ‘Betaab Dil Ki Tamanna Hai’ is winning him loads of accolades, it is also running at the top slot on Sony with high TRP ratings. To add to this, Aman has been rubbing shoulders with stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan, Yash Chopra and Dharmendra, while comparing mega stage shows and events.

Recently, he also won a lot of female adulation when he compared the ‘Miss Pune’ and ‘Miss Mumbai’ events for Maverick Productions. And now, he’s looking forward to compare ‘Miss Kolkata’, ‘Miss Delhi’ and finally, ‘Miss India’.

What’s more! Aman has also been giving pep-talks (and one thought he would be the one needing them), motivating corporate entrepreneurs in different cities. In fact, he seems to be highly motivated himself; having lost a lot of weight and acquired a new country man look, replete with a stylish moustache et al.

Last but not the least, the versatile actor is playing the lead in a Punjabi film ‘Gud Kha Ke Mar Javaan’, something he is very excited about.

With so much and more on his plate, one can safely say that Aman Verma is once more headed for better times and just hoping, no one stings him again. “God has given me this fabulous second chance and I’m grateful for it,” Aman says with a smile. “Hope no girl messes with it this time,” he adds with a twinkle in his eyes.