PrevNext

Pandhari Juker, painting success stories of Bollywood

From Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari to Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor, veteran makeup artist, Pandhari Juker, has worked his magic on many  celeb faces in the last six decades. The octogenarian speaks about his eventful journey

Pandhari Juker or Dada, as he is fondly called, has a stream of students lined up at his Shivaji Park residence. They are there to decode the magic he creates every time he picks up his make-up brush. “I may be 83-years-old, but my hand doesn’t shake when I do make-up,” he says.

Juker should be credited for making Yash Chopra’s heroines look ethereal with his make-up. In this picture, he is working on Juhi Chawla’s make-up on the sets of Darr (1993).
Juker should be credited for making Yash Chopra’s heroines look ethereal with his make-up. In this picture, he is working on Juhi Chawla’s make-up on the sets of Darr (1993).

In a career spanning six decades, Pandhari Juker has witnessed several trends. “Earlier, there were only a few products, so we didn’t have many options. There was no eyebrow pencil then, so we would use the kajal pencil to shape a star’s eyebrows. We could only use maroon lipstick as all other shades looked neutral on the screen.”

He is in regular touch with yesteryear actresses like Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman and Jaya Bachchan
He is in regular touch with yesteryear actresses like Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman and Jaya Bachchan

This apart, he is also credited with deftly crafting wigs, fake moustaches, beards, and creating fake wrinkles (remember Sudhir Dalvi’s look in Shirdi Ke Sai Baba?). He recounts, “It so happened that one day Dev Anand and Chetan Anand wanted me to create a ‘Buddha look’ for them. Within a day, I made a wig using a special net. They were so happy with the result that they immediately paid me Rs 6,500 for it. Back home, it was tough convincing my mother that I had not indulged in a mal practise to earn that exorbitant amount. After all, I was on a salary of just Rs 85 per month.”

He is in regular touch with yesteryear actresses like Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman and Jaya Bachchan
He is in regular touch with yesteryear actresses like Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman and Jaya Bachchan

His personal rapport with film stars also stood him in good stead. Besides V Shantaram, he is also known for working extensively with filmmakers like Yash Chopra and Subhash Ghai. He also shared a good rapport with the late Meena Kumari. “She was a warm, kind-hearted person.

I often joined her for dinner on the sets. She would also invite me for Iftar during Ramzaan. She was extremely sad about not having a child, though,” he remembers.

Similarly, Dada is all praises for Nutan. He says, “She needed minimal make-up and had a soft, flawless complexion which was perfect for the screen. Madhubala was beautiful but with make-up on. Manisha Koirala is another natural beauty who needed little make-up in her heydays. I fell in love with her complexion when I had to do her make up for Saudagar. Among today’s lot of actresses, I find Katrina Kaif really beautiful.”

It would be interesting to note that Dilip Kumar once introduced him to the Nawab of Hyderabad as “hamare karta-dharta.” “I was touched by his gesture. We are what we are mainly because of these people,” he says.

Having worked with Amitabh Bachchan on many occasions, Juker emphasises that Big B has achieved so much only due to his dedication to his craft. “For his first film, Saat Hindustani, I had made him a beard which didn’t stick easily. Gluing each strand of hair to his chin was a tedious process. Since I had to go away for three-to-four days, he took pains to sleep and bathe in a fashion that did not disturb the beard.”

However, he also has some bitter memories. “I was very fond of Madhuri Dixit and knew how to highlight her features. But on one occasion, I reached a day late for her outdoor shoot as I had missed my flight. Upon reaching the location, her secretary Rikku Nath told me that I was not needed anymore because they had now hired another make-up man in my place. I was very upset about this. Despite being a veteran in the industry, I had been turned down for such a trivial reason,” he says.

What does he have to say about the current crop of make-up artistes? “Most of them were my students. Mickey Contractor was a dedicated student who trained under me for six to seven years. Bharat Godambe was going through a tough period—he used to sell greeting cards to make a living before he came to me. But now he’s made a name for himself. Vidyadhar Bhatte and Deepak Sawant (Amitabh Bachchan’s present make-up man) have also trained under me. Their success makes me proud.”

He is all praise for the Indian make-up industry “What is the need to look for talent abroad when we have so much of expertise within the country itself? Foreign artistes were called from abroad to give Sanjay Dutt a bald look in Agneepath. Amitabh Bachachan’s look in Paa could have been re-created in India instead of calling prosthetic artistes from Los Angeles.”

Despite his experience in the film industry, he is now content doing Marathi film and a few ad films. Ask him why and he replies, “There is no fun in working for Hindi films now. Earlier we took on the whole movie as a project, but now every artiste has his/her own make-up person. In comparison, Marathi films are more disciplined.”

With his rich experience, several awards and a successful make-up school to his name, is there anything else he aspires to do? “As per people’s wishes, I want to be conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Besides that, my other wish is to work till my last breath.”

0 Views

You May Like

0 Comments

    Leave a Reply