COLUMN: Spouse's Turn
Rupa talks about life with her actor-husband
Photo: Tiny Tom with his wife Rupa and son Adam
By Shevlin Sebastian
On a sunny weekday morning, all is quiet in a house in a bylane off Companypadi, near Aluva. Tiny Tom is at home, taking a few days rest before he goes off to Coimbatore to take part in the shooting of Shaji Kailas’ ‘Madirashi’. Eight-year-old son Adam is also at home because of a school holiday. Tom is busy giving an interview on the phone, while Rupa bustles about making glasses of orange juice for a couple of guests. Husband and wife are a study in contrasts: while Tom is tall and broad-shouldered, Rupa is small and appealing.
It has been ten years since they have been married. And Rupa remembers their first meeting as if it happened yesterday.
She had gone, with her parents to attend a cultural programme at the Vivanta By Taj on Willingdon Island, Kochi. Tiny Tom and his troupe had also performed there. Later, at the dinner, as she stood in line, Tiny Tom was also standing near her. They started chatting and Tom asked her whether she liked the programme. She said yes.
Later, Tom met Rupa’s parents and took down the phone number from Rupa’s father, Sebastian.
A few weeks later, an official proposal was sent by Tom’s family. At that time, Rupa was doing her first year B.Com at De Paul College in Angamaly. “My father told them that I was only 17 and would have to wait,” says Rupa. And Tom and his family did wait. Finally, on March 14, 2002, they got married.
And right from the beginning, Rupa has always liked Tom’s honesty and straightforwardness. “Tom tells me all that happens, especially the incidents on the set,” she says. “He has nothing to hide. He tells everything to his parents, also.”
Tom is also hard-working. “Suppose he has to act in a film or do a public performance, he will do his homework by memorising all the dialogues by heart. Sometimes, he practices in front of me. Occasionally, I give some suggestions. If he has a fight sequence, he shows it to me, by mock-doing it with Adam.”
For Rupa, what makes her happy is that, for Tom, the family is his priority. “Whenever he gets free time he comes home,” she says. “He tends to avoid going to parties. Tom does not drink or smoke. That is a major plus point.”
In fact, he is keen on fitness. On the first floor of their house, there is a gym. “He rides a cycle and does weights,” she says. As a result, he has a body that women find attractive.
“Sometimes, girls call him and try to get friendly,” says Rupa. “Sometimes, they send messages. He shows them to me. He has a lot of fans because he is tall and handsome and makes people laugh. I felt insecure in the first two years. But now I have accepted it as a part of his job.”
There are drawbacks in being married to a performer. “He is rarely at home,” she says. “For a film shoot, he will be gone for a month or so, but will try to come in between. Then he goes for programmes abroad. This can last for a month. But we are constantly on the phone. I have accepted his absence, since this is his profession.”
But there are times when Rupa misses Tom a lot. This happens when there are programmmes in school in which Adam is participating and Tom is not there to see it. “Yes, at that time, I dearly wish he was present,” she says.
When Tom is at home, they go for outings, dinners and visits to the various malls. If there is a gap between assignments and Adam’s school is closed, they go for vacations.
In public, people approach Tom for photographs and autographs. They will ask him about his next film. “Sometimes girls will ask him who I am,” says Rupa, with a smile. “Then Tom will introduce me.”
(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)