Not a lot of people know that I’m dyslexic. Maybe, that’s what makes me good at doing make-up since it helps me think pictorially. I personally thanked Aamir Khan for making the film, Taare Zameen Par. The movie was like a page out of my life — now I don’t have to explain my life to anyone.
Today, I own seven salons in Delhi but getting here has been a long journey. In 1980 when I was just 17 years old I was married off and moved from Thiruvananthapuram to Calcutta. And by the time I was 23, I was divorced. In 1986, I decided to move to Delhi with my two-year-old daughter, Kavita. That was the first turning point in my life.
Initially, moving to Delhi was not easy since I didn’t speak much Hindi. Around that time I saw an advertisement in the newspapers for a beautician’s course run by Shahnaz Husain. I enrolled in the course after which I did another hair-styling course at Blossom Kocchar’s Pivot. I landed my first job in a tiny parlour for Rs 2,000.
By 1995 I had set up Visions, my first parlour, in Delhi. That year, with the help of fashion choreographer, Hemant Trivedi, I got a chance to work with a few fashion designers. In 1996, I won the Make-up Artist of the Year Award, from the Indian Academy of Advertising and Film Art. That was another big break.
In 1999, a significant turning point was landing the chance to do Aishwarya Rai’s make-up for the movie Taal. Soon after, every single person wanted to get their make-up and hair done by me because I’d touched Aishwarya Rai’s face!
This year, I also met Sachin Tendulkar. I was hired to do his make-up for an advertisement. I am a huge fan of cricket and after working with all these beautiful women, I got a chance to work with the amazing star. I said to him, “Sachin if I swoon and fall in your lap, please forgive me,” and he laughed.