Embarking on this new journey as the Editor of Citadel has been quite a joyride Usually, your first month after joining an organisation is pretty much of a ‘honeymoon period’, with most of your time dedicated to understanding the ethos of the workplace and getting oriented into your new role. But you see, this is the typical ‘construct’. With me and Citadel, it has been very different and special: it has been an adrenaline-pumped journey, right from Day 1, thanks to the Citadel Extravaganza and this very special Anniversary issue. This is my first issue as the Editor, and I am very thrilled about the fact that it happens to be the Anniversary issue, replete with accounts, snippets and photo-stories from the highly sought-after and spectacular Citadel Extravaganza event that saw the snazzy Mr and Miss Citadel Pune 2018 pageant, in addition to the ‘Citadel Honours’ awards ceremony, where exemplary works of distinguished personalities were lauded and celebrated. The pageant, which happened on the 19th of August and won the hearts of all the guests at the Hotel Sheraton Grand, was an outcome of immense hard-work, astute planning and flawless execution by teams Citadel and Magna. Lovell Prabhu, the grooming expert, pageant coach and show director of the Citadel Extravaganza, did a marvellous job of transforming the raw, aspiring contestants into well-groomed, confident and poised stunners, who rocked the ramp and left the audience and the judges spellbound with their stage-presence and the oomph quotient. The finalists were so polished and impressive; it was a rather Herculean task for the judges to pick the final title winners of Mr and Miss Citadel Pune 2018: Mayank Sharma and Pooja Kudale. Fashion shows and talent display platforms are several, nowadays. But what I found very special and unique about Citadel’s pageant is the fact that all the contestants had so much more to themselves, apart from their passion for modelling. While someone was an excellent singer, someone had wonderful thespian skills, one of the contestants took a fancy for dancing, and someone else loved her work as a recovery officer at a multinational. Such multidisciplinary contestants truly added heft to the event, and raised the bar of excellence, even higher.
The Citadel Extravaganza evening was marked by the presence of the crème de la crème of Pune, including the event’s presenter Vinay Aranha, and Sheetal Biyani of Sheetal Creations, who had powered the show. In addition, there was all the glitterati and members of the television and film fraternity, such as acclaimed actor Zarina Wahab, bigdaddy of Bollywood villains Ranjeet, iconic singer Anuradha Paudwal, the very handsome Rohit Roy and Gurmeet Chaudhary, and super talented singer Preety Bhalla, and so on. The very charming actor-director Shreyas Talpade, who is oozing charisma on the cover of the August issue, unveiled the magazine at the event, sharing stage with Magna Publishing Co Ltd’s Chairman and our guiding light Nari Hira, the ever-exuberant Director of Magna, Ashok Dhamankar, and me. “You cannot create experiences; you must undergo them,” said the French novelist and thinker Albert Camus, and he is quite right! And owing to this philosophy, this Anniversary issue will absolutely let you undergo a series of experiences from the Big Fat Citadel Extravaganza. Right from the first round of selections, to the press conference, where the 14 finalists were announced, to the grooming sessions, photo shoots, the actual event, the glam and glitz, and also the interactions with all the people who worked tirelessly and enthusiastically towards making the event a huge success: the issue has it all! Let me promise you that all the content in this issue has been very thoughtfully curated, only with a view to leave no stone unturned in making this Anniversary issue the most remarkable. And to accomplish such a mammoth task is no mean job; it requires teamwork and a lot of inspiration and direction. Thanks to Mr Hira, for his brilliant guidance! It is his love for method, discipline and impeccable planning that reflects not only in the overall functioning of Magna, but also in the execution of the smallest of things. Gratitude to Ashok Dhamankar for being the powerhouse and the one-stop solution, and the driving force for Citadel! Special thanks to Preeta Nair, the Assistant General Manager (Advertising) of Magna; and Sapna Sarfare, the deputy editor of Society, and my predecessor at Citadel, for being my speed-dial, go-to buds! This note would be incomplete without extending gratitude to Proneeta Hira, Printer and Publisher of Citadel, for her embracing and accommodating ways, and for being the perfect support system. Sincere thanks to Shivendra Parihar, our Marketing Director; Sunil Khavnekar, Assistant General Manager; Vineet Raut, Associate Advertising Manager; Rajesh Gurav, Executive Marketing Assistant; Dnyanesh Patil, Senior Graphic Designer; and of course, my Team Citadel: Sudarshan Iyengar, Sunitta Raman, Ashok Raut, Dennis Aranha, and Sopan Takle. Channda Patil and Vidhya Tiwari: thank you for always being the fortifying pillars of support! I am sure this splendid Anniversary issue is going to be a highly palatable and engaging experience! Read on, and we’ll be happy to hear your thoughts and feedback!
Love and light,
Citadesk Team: Ashok Raut, Sudarshan Iyengar, Ketaki Latkar, Sunitta Raman and Dennis Aranha