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Rediff.com  » Movies » At home with Tillotama Shome

At home with Tillotama Shome

Last updated on: June 06, 2018 11:14 IST

'There is too much pressure on being perfect, so I like the fact that I have an incomplete painting in my home.'
'That represents the chaos of Mumbai and also represents the fact that I am also a work-in-progress, far from being completed.'

All Photographs and Video: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

Yari Road, north west Mumbai, is home to Bollywood's brat pack.

Tillotama Shome, who moved to Mumbai in 2011 to revive her acting career -- which began with Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding in 2001, where she played a charming maid named Alice -- chose the crowded avenue by the sea to set up home.

After moving a couple of times, she finally settled down in her present home six years ago, which she shares with her businessman husband Kunal Ross, whose mother, by the way, is Jaya Bachchan's sister.

Tillotama made her debut at Cannes last month, promoting her films, Rohena Gera's Sir, where she plays the female lead, and Nandita Das's Manto.

Rediff.com's Patcy N and Hitesh Harisinghani shoot the breeze with Tillotama at her charming (an adjective that gets used a lot around her) home.

 

Tillotama lives in a "clutter-free" home, beautifully decorated with vintage furniture which belonged to her grandfather.

"Two pieces of furniture have been in our house for a long time. They are made of Burma teak," Tillotama says, referring to a chest of drawers and a study table.

 

"When I moved to Mumbai, I didn't know anybody here. So I asked my mother if she would send me these things to give me a sense of home."

 

A painting created by Neha Roy, Tillotama's sister-in-law, from the time she lived with Kunal and Tillotama.

"It's her experience of Mumbai," Tillotama says.

"She got Vivek Gomber, my co-star in Sir, to sit for this painting, as she needed the form of a man. After some time, Vivek said, 'I can't sit any more', so that part of the painting remained incomplete. I like the painting the way it is."

"There is too much pressure on being perfect, so I like the fact that I have an incomplete painting in my home. That represents the chaos of Mumbai and also represents the fact that I am also a work-in-progress, far from being completed."

 

"My husband's coffee machine came in this box, and we made it into a makeshift table!" she exclaims. "It can be opened from all sides. You can turn it upside down and it will still function."

 

"I met Kunal at my cousin's house. I saw honesty in his eyes. He was really funny. After that, he left for Dubai, since he was based there."

"Within six months, he left Dubai and came back here. We have been together for eight years. Kunal was in advertising before. Now, he has started a coffee business, IndianBean.com."

 

"My life as an actor is so uncertain and unpredictable, my work is so unscheduled... But with Kunal, I found someone extremely independent and secure."

"With him, I can really be myself. I am a very serious and intense girl while Kunal is a laugh-a-minute person," she adds.

 

"I didn't know Kunal was related to the Bachchans. His friends told me and when I asked him about it, he said he didn't think it was important to mention it. He's very unique," she says, with that charming Tillotama smile.

"I met them later. I really admire Mrs Jaya Bachchan. She has been wonderfully supportive even though we never discuss work."

"When I was nominated for the Filmfare Awards for the first time (in the Supporting Actress category for her work in A Death In The Gunj), she called all the female nominees for a meal at her home. It was such a wonderful gesture!"

"There were actors like Seema Pahwa -- I had worked with her in Chintu Ka Birthday -- Konkona Sen Sharma, Swara Bhasker, Vidya Balan and Meher Vij. It was wonderful that she brought all of us together so that we could celebrate our unique journey."

Patcy N / Rediff.com