Superstar Amitabh Bachchan “congratulates”  Sr. Film Journalist Chaitanya Padukone for his  Expandables Award-2023 — By  Chaitanya  Padukone   

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan “congratulates”  Sr. Film Journalist Chaitanya Padukone for his  Expandables Award-2023 --- By  Chaitanya  Padukone   

It was a supreme humbling honour for me. when superstar Amitabh Bachchan  directly sent me a “congratulatory message”  suffixed with emojis symbolizing celebration and applause.  This was soon after the ‘Uunchhai’ mega-star Big B got to know that I was honoured with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ .

Which was at  the  fourth edition of  the star-studded Expandables Awards 2023  hosted at Cinepolis Auditorium  in Mumbai  on  Sunday ( January 15) evening. Which coincided with the colourful auspicious festival of  Makar Sankrant and kite-flying.

Expandables--Abdu Rozik gives away awards

In a dynamic deviation, from the conventional filmy awards events,  here at Expandables ( which was launched in 2017),  it  is the  galaxy  of celeb Veterans and Achievers from the  film news media and PR fraternity  which  received awards at the hands of   popular entertainment stars . The  star-turn-out included media-friendly celebs like Manoj Bajpayee, Warda Khan S  Nadiadwala, Rupali Ganguly ( of ‘Anupama’ TV show fame) , Elli AvrRam ( of ‘Goodbye’ movie fame)   Sharib Hashmi, Rasika Dugal, singer-boxer Abdu Rozik ( of Bigg Boss-16 fame),  Babil Khan ( of ‘Qala’ OTT show fame), TV star Mahhi Vij, actress-designer-stylist Jaswinder Gardner, stand-up comedian VIP and his multi-talented charming daughter Dhwani Patil  who attended the late-evening spectacular Awards ceremony in Mumbai.

There were 50 main categories for the various awards, and the Jury’s judgement  solely determined who would be chosen the Winner.. Like in previous years, the event included surprise musical and mimicking elements to emhance the entertainment factor. Some  celebrities and members of the media community contributed to the surprise elements.

At the event, the media fraternity who were honoured included  veteran celeb film-journalists  Bharti Dubey, Taran Adarsh,  Chaitanya Padukone, photographers  Pradeep Bandekar and Sunil Khandare  and film-maker and cine-industry leader Ashoke Pandit.  Then there were  high-profiled media personalities including Nayandeep Rakshit, Siddharth Kannan, Mandvi Sharma, Shoaib,  Divya Solgama, Russel D’Silva  and of course the one-and-only Sonup Sahadevan.

Expandables Aw--Manoj Bajpai with Pradeep Bandekar with wife Panna

There was an unexpected sentimental twist to the memorable Expandable Awards 2023 event, when it was the turn of  eminent veteran film-journalist-author  Chaitanya Padukone to be presented with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ In the presence of  noted actor Sharib Hashmi, immensely popular Rupali Ganguly ( of ‘Anupama’ fame) became  emotional as she recalled her legendary director father ‘late’ Anil-da Ganguly’s  family-bonding with Chaitanya.  While on stage, Rupali spontaneously bent down and touched Chaitanya’s feet as a gesture of  reverence. This on-the-spot exemplary gesture of Rupali drew rousing applause from the  invited audience. As it also symbolized respect for the senior film- media journalistic  fraternity

This fourth edition’s title sponsor is Gold Medal, and co-powered by Rangorie, a renowned business house.  Additional sponsors for the Expandables Awards include Max Marketing, the Smile Foundation, Curly Tales, Bright Media Ltd., Dr. Umaira, Big FM 92.7, Josh App, Max Marketing, Bharat 24, Filmi Beat, Filmy Gyaan, Manav Manglani, Bollywood Couch, White Lion Entertainment, Enlighten India,  Security Tiger, Bollywood Flash, Awesome TV, and many other well-known companies.

Dynamic organizer-creator-founder, Ritesh Kumar Srivastava  ( who also celebrated his birthday) enthuses: “This is the Expandables Awards’ fourth year, and it couldn’t be better. I am overjoyed with the response and overwhelming help and support from both  the media and film fraternity  as a whole. It’s an excellent platform for all of us. Especially since it’s the Only awards ceremony for recognizing and honoring excellence in Indian film-centric journalistic and PR media.”

In addition, a number of other showbiz celebrities, including actors Pankaj Tripathi, Shirley Setia, Shantanu Maheshwari, Papon, Salim Merchant, Jasmin Bhasin, and Abhishek Singh, expressed their verbal support and  complimented the awards by  shoot-recording a personal video in which they wished the Expandables Awards super-success.