Archive for the ‘PRESS RELEASES’ Category

Is Radhe Maa in competition with Salman Khan?

Radhe Maa does charity on Diwali in Borivali, Mumbai. (5)

Salman Khan is known to be one of the most charitable actors in Bollywood. He is often said to personally help poor and needy people in and around Bandra where he resides. His charitable organization Being Human is at the forefront of helping the helpless and underprivileged. But not many may be aware that what Salman is to Bandra, Radhe Maa is to Borivali.

Radhe Maa does charity on Diwali in Borivali, Mumbai. (10)

She not only helps the poor with clothes and students with books, but also indulges in various animal care activities from time to time. This Diwali, apart from running a campaign for a noise-controlled Diwali and green crackers, Radhe Maa took to the streets in Borivali (the burgeoning suburb of Mumbai where she resides), to distribute shawls, sweets and gift hampers to slum dwellers.



Most of the people living in hutments and shanties knew her, as she is a regular there with charity visits. But many were surprised that Radhe Maa was wearing a green outfit, instead of the traditional red attire she is normally seen in.

Radhe Maa does charity on Diwali in Borivali, Mumbai. (11)

When asked about the reason behind the change of colour, she said, “We celebrate Diwali on this day as Lord Ram, returned to Ayodhya after completing fourteen years of exile in the woods and defeating demon king Ravana. It was a victory of light over darkness and good over evil.”


“Just as hariali (bliss) returned to Lord Ram and his family, I am also celebrating a colourful Diwali by breaking away from the norm,” she said with a smile.



Radhe Maa’s Pyaar Wali Diwali campaign a huge success

Radhe Maa campaign collage 1

In support for the Supreme Court decision on Diwali firecrackers this year, Radhe Maa launched her own campaign ‘Pyaar Wali Diwali’ which emerged a huge success.


In and around Borivali suburb in Mumbai, where she stays, Radhe Maa propagated the cause with hoardings, posters and banners saying, “Say no to firecrackers this Diwali.” She even ran Twitter posts with hashtags #PyaarWaliDiwali and #Safediwali.

Radhe Maa - Pic 8

Her campaign included posters showing cows, birds, cats and dogs; pointing out how troubling it is for pets and other animals to tackle noise created by firecrackers, Diwali bombs and rockets. “Saying no to firecrackers will show that you care for animals. Teach your children to be kind to animals. They will grow up being kind to people,” read the message on her posters. Her campaign for a noise-controlled Diwali was welcomed by most residents in the city.

Radhe Maa campaign poster 1

Though a thick haze engulfed Delhi after Diwali celebrations, Mumbai skies were relatively clear and the pollution and smog levels were lower than most years in the past. “It’s a significant development, but just a beginning. Much more work needs to be done by us as a society too,” said Radhe Maa.

Radhe Maa campaign poster 5

“In future, we should all take more effort and care that the two-hour time-slot for firecrackers is strictly adhered to. Also the green firecrackers initiative needs to be implemented by all,” she added.

Radhe Maa campaign poster 4

“We all have to work together to make our world a better place for us, as well as for plants and animals. Because all of this plays a major role in our ecosystem,” she concluded, promising that she will continue campaigning for reduction of noise pollution as well as for animal care.

Radhe Maa - Pic 7


Ayushmann Khurrana wore special lens for blind look in AndhaDhun, reveals Preetisheel Singh


Preetisheel Singh gets the Power Brands Award

After a hattrick this year with Padmaavat, 102 Not Out and Mulk, National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh is once again on a high with the success of AndhaDhun. Here’s an interesting tête-à-tête with the lady.

 Collage -- Make-up, hair and prosthetic specialist Preetisheel Singh with Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor during the making of Padmaavat, 102 Not Out and

What was so special about AndhaDhun compared to the other films you have handled makeup and prosthetics for?

This movie did not require heavy prosthetics like many of the other movies that I have done, but giving Ayushmann (Khurrana) a blind look required a special kind of lens. The lenses were custom-made for the character to make it seem realistic. These are not the ordinary lenses that you get in the market, these are ‘Scleral lenses’ that cover the entire visible part of your eyes. The only downside to these are that they blur your vision, but Ayushmann was really co-operative and did an amazing job considering he actually couldn’t see much.


Is it easier or more difficult to design characters where the character does not have a prototype; like caste, creed or historical relevance?

I wouldn’t say difficult, but it is more time consuming, as they don’t have pre-set look-traits that I can use to build up a character. It’s the little background details like where they grew up, what is their religious background, what are their habits, what do they like or dislike — small things like this help maneuver and create a character design.

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 3

Did the fact that you have worked with Ayushmann Khurrana earlier make your job easier?

Ayushmann is a fantastic actor to work with. The fact that I’ve worked with him in the past has helped build a rapport with him that makes the environment more comfortable to work in, for both him and me. He is a very positive and fun person to work with. There were a lot of constraints on him due to the lenses, but he still worked brilliantly with them and made it all seem so easy.


Sriram Raghavan is considered to be quite a meticulous director. Was he very demanding with the looks?

Working with Sriram Sir was like a dream come true, because I grew up watching his movies like Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddar. And working on a thriller was on my check list which is finally ticked off. He had a very clear vision in his head as to what he wanted and when I presented him with the designs, we both were on the same page. So that made both the discussion and the execution very smooth.


How was it working on the other characters in the movie?

It was really interesting creating the different characters because every character has a significance in the movie. Going through the script, I could slowly visualize what the characters would look like based on the role they had. And there was a lovely lineup of actors cast for the movie that fit the characters perfectly making my job a lot easier, as it’s easy to conceptualize something when you have a face in mind. And having worked with many of them on previous projects, it was a smooth sailing in terms of execution.

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 11

Were you expecting such rave reviews for a movie with such an unusual storyline?

Guess the tradition created with Sriram Sir’s movies lives on. He always comes up with brilliant stuff and it shows on screen.


Runaway successes put more pressure on everyone. How do you deal with that?

The pressure sometimes becomes very overwhelming when the expectation levels continue to shoot up. The best thing to do is keep creating with a steady and calm mind with regular de-stressing breaks.

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 2

Which was the most difficult character to work on for AndhaDhun?

Ayushmann’s character was a little tricky, especially working with the lenses. I wanted to design something that would justify the character and give it a very realistic look, so that took a little time. And every character was important in their own aspect so due diligence was given to each character.


How are you going to celebrate the success of AndhaDhun? Do you take breaks after each success?

I would love to take a break, but sadly my work is not permitting of that. I am currently working on a couple of other projects and they’re keeping me busy. Maybe a nice little dinner with my team to celebrate the success of AndhaDhun is something that I see happening soon.



Flute Theory trains Californians in Bollywood stagecraft



Years ago, when Julie Andrews turned out to be a performer who could also sing and act out her songs in the Hollywood classic The Sound of Music, she was lauded for the feat. San Francisco-based Madhuri Murli has probably taken inspiration from that, but has taken it further.


Apart from live singing and performing her numbers, Madhuri also writes, composes, produces and choreographs them. And that is what really makes her stand out in the crowd. It’s another thing that most of the time when Madhuri is in a crowd, it expects her to dance. But the lady loves it.


Having produced many music videos and conducted numerous live performances, she is now training Californians in Bollywood stagecraft. “Apart from yoga, which is a rage in the US, people are always intrigued about Bollywood song ‘n dance. I practice it and perform regularly at events. So I thought, it’s time to train others to master the art,” says Madhuri, who is grooming many youngsters under her philanthropic platform Flute Theory.


It is interesting to note that one of her live performances has garnered more than a hundred thousand views on YouTube.



“It’s one thing to sing in a recording studio, but performing on stage requires great poise, confidence and timing. It’s a very different skill set — almost a confluence of mind, body and soul — and that’s what I teach,” she reveals.


But if you thought that’s all to this entrepreneur; hear this! Madhuri is also a computer science engineer by degree and a successful product marketing manager by profession at a tech company in Silicon Valley. Whoa! What can we say but that, some women have all it takes to make life happen and transform ideas into reality.



Next Bond villain based on Putin, feels Sajjan Singh Rangroot star Alex Reece!

Alex Reece - Pic 12

Alex Reece, who played the main villain in the Diljit Dosanjh-starrer Sajjan Singh Rangroot this year, has predicted that the next James Bond villain could be based on Russian president Vladimir Putin.



In the casting call for Bond 25, the casting execs are reported to have advertised that they are looking for a Russian male, who needs to be “charismatic, powerful, innovative, cold and vindictive” and a female character described as “intelligent, brave, fierce and charming.”


“I don’t know about the female character, but the description of the male one sure sounds like a certain Russian president to me,” says Alex with a wicked smile. The British actor who has worked in Hollywood flicks, is also known for his appearance in a mega-budget James Bond commercial starring Daniel Craig.



Alex points out, “Many of the initial Bond movies were made during the Cold War, but since Daniel Craig took over, that Russian element has been missing.”


“Now with allegations about Russian interference in American elections, Russia is back in the picture. Having a negative character with comparisons to Putin or his KGB secret service past, can work new wonders for the Bond series,” analyses the Rangroot villain. Interesting take, indeed!

Alex Reece with Diljit Dosanjh in Sajjan Singh Rangroot.

Meanwhile, Alex is himself going to have a Russian connection soon. His villainy act in Sajjan Singh Rangroot is heading to Russia, with the film’s dubbed version all set to release there in the last week of October.



Preetisheel Singh looks forward to AndhaDhun, RAW and Thackeray

This year has been a great one for National Award-winning make-up, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh. Starting out with the blockbuster success of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, where she created the looks for Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh as the wicked Alauddin Khilji, she also designed the endearing looks of Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor for Umesh Shukla’s runaway hit 102 Not Out.

Preetisheel movies collage

Last month, the makeover wiz had her hattrick clincher with Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk; a gripping take on Muslim patriotism in a Hindu-majority India. The film not only made an indelible mark at the box-office, but managed to effectively send out a fabulous message of equality and brotherhood.


The lady is excited about the Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer AndhaDhun next. “I’ve got a chance to work with Sriram Raghavan for the first time. It’s a cool flick and I’m proud to be the makeup designer for it,” says Preetisheel, who has also just finished her work for Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) with John Abraham donning multiple looks. But she quips that RAW is gonna be a “surprise package” so she can’t reveal about the looks as of now.

Collage -- Make-up, hair and prosthetic specialist Preetisheel Singh with Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor during the making of Padmaavat, 102 Not Out and

And finally there is Thackeray, where Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays the role of Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. “The praise received by Thackeray’s teaser was humongous. I’m grateful to the makers who have entrusted me with this responsibility. Am a bit anxious too and have my fingers crossed,” she adds.


At the pace Preetisheel delivers one memorable character look after another, it’s obvious there’s no looking back for her.

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 11


Madhuri Murli to launch Bollywood dance series in California

There are people in this world whose lives are guided by money, fame and position. And then there are some who go about their lives following their dreams with dollops of passion. San Francisco-based Madhuri Murli is one such person.

Madhuri Murli - Pic 4.

A multi-faceted personality, Madhuri is a computer science engineer by degree, product marketing manager by profession at a tech company in Silicon Valley, singer, composer, writer, lyricist, choreographer and philanthropist — all rolled into one.


As a founder of a philanthropic platform called Flute Theory, she has conducted many live performances and even released six music videos, four out of them being her own original compositions. Earlier, one of her live performances “Shubhaarambh and Nagada Sang Dhol” went viral and garnered over 1.5 million views.



This month, along with select students of Flute Theory, Madhuri is all set to launch a Bollywood dance series in California, with live song and dance performances to Bollywood style fusion music.


Madhuri informs that “Flute Theory intends to donate all the funds raised from this series to the Indian government’s homage and support initiative ‘Bharat Ke Veer — India’s Bravehearts’, to pay respect to the brave hearts who have laid down their lives in the line of duty.”

File pic of Madhuri Murli and her group at a live performance. - Pic 1.

“Dancing and singing to Bollywood songs gives us great joy. And what better than singing and dancing for a noble cause,” she adds. Here’s wishing her and her team great success.