Continue reading if you want to know how well Bollywood treats their make up artists and why there are no awards for them.
Question (Q): Bobby Jasoos was released recently and a lot of people are talking about the disguises of Vidya Balan in the film. People who saw the film and who just saw the trailer equally praised your work. How does that feel?
Answer (A): (laughs) It feels great! I am happy that people are recognizing my work. Recently, I did some regional work, which did not reach the audience. But when people notices your work then you do feel happy, isn't it?
Q: Which was the most difficult disguise in the particular film?
A: None of these make ups were that difficult. But, if I go by what people is saying then Vidya as Maulvi was the best of the disguises, as no one could actually recognize the actress in the man.
Q: How much time did each get up take?
A: Around 45 minutes to 1 hour for each disguise. Only the make up and not outfits.
Q: Why did you choose this profession?
A: First and foremost I was crazy about films. My family were also facing some financial trouble at the time and so I left my studies after 11 standard and went to veteran make up artist of the time Pandhari Jukar in 1973. He was also my 1st cousin and I started learning the art of make up under him. He taught me how to make moustache and beard. He saw my work and was happy with it. Thus since 1974, I started assisting him in films such as Kala Pathar, Deewar and the likes.
While I was working with him, I was also doing my own freelancing thing. It was in 1979-80 that Prahlad Kakkar was assisting Shyam Benegal and he recommended my name for an advertising shoot. By 1986 I completely left film and concentrated in advertising.
There were such days when I have shot 18 shoots in 1 day. It was in 2004 that Pradeep Sarkar again requested me to do Parineeta, which was followed by Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Thus, slowly I again moved from the advertising world and now again I am in Bollywood. There have never been a time when I have called people for work. I have been fortunate enough to get work.
Q: What are your future projects?
A: I have 3- 4 films. R Balki's Shamitabh and also again I am working with Vidya Balan as well as with Dhanush.
Q: Do you think that the make up industry has undergone a change in the recent days, from the time that you entered it?
A: It has changed a lot. Now everyone wants to be a part of it. When I started there were hardly 100 artists, but now the number has grown to 50,000. Now the latest generation is getting a college degree from abroad and setting up shop in Bollywood. It is fashionable now to be a make up artist in Bollywood.
Q: No one can look good without your brush. Every actor is dependent on you for beautification and you form an important cog in the huge machinery of film making. Do you think make artists are given enough recognition in Bollywood?
A: Make up artists in Bollywood do not get recognition. People should understand that even we are part of the films and is deserving of some recognizing. Even I am a part of Bobby Jasoos and that should be acknowledged.
Q: Are there awards for make up artists?
A: only IIFA felicitates make up artists, but we do not get Filmfare awards. There is a category in the National Awards, but even there we have to send our own recommendation.
Q: Do you use specific brands of make up for specific celebrities and do they demand anything?
A: No one ever demands anything- none of the celebrities till date have done it. I use a Canada based Compact, which is simple. Every brand of make up is good, but one just needs to know how to use it.
Q: Who is your favourite celebrity, with whom you enjoyed the most?
A: Although I enjoy working with everyone, but Sanjay Dutt till date remains my favourite. He never use to treat me as a make up artist, but used to treat me just as a friend. I worked with him in his Rocky days and I just loved the experience, staying in the same room during shooting and having fun. Rani, Vidya and Anushka- everyone is good.
Q: How was it working with Vidya Balan?
A: It was a pleasure, very good indeed. She is hassle free and do not refuse to apply anything. I just bring in the make up and she works with me on it. It was tension free as she was never finicky.