|Tina gives her first ever interview to the media.
She can't stop talking about the past decade, 10 years of a steady relationship with television heartthrob Hussain. Tina Darira, a designer by profession, knew Hussain right from college, and romance blossomed in neighbourhood ice cream parlours and classrooms, flourished even after. He became a TV celeb, she chose her own vocation. As of 21 December 2005, Tina and Hussain became man and wife, putting an end to endless rumours about Hussain's romances with co-artistes.
In a heart to heart chat with Riya V Anandwala, Tina talks about how the two first met, how religion proved an obstacle to their marriage and what lies ahead for the couple.Excerpts
Tina and Hussain get cozy on a recent trip to Agra
How did you meet Hussain?
It was in college. Hussain and I were studying in Jai Hind (a south Mumbai collge). We met through common friends. He used to actively participate in all the extra curricular activities and I used to stay away from all that. My friends would force me to participate in activities and that's how we met and became friends.
When exactly did you fall in love?
There was mutual attraction, but both of us were tight lipped for some time. We had a common friend called Satish who played Cupid. He told Hussain about my feelings and me about his, and both of us were thunderstruck! I can never forget the scene. It happened at Natraj ice cream parlour behind our college. That's how our relationship started.
Did Hussain always want to be an actor?
Not really, it happened gradually. It started with commercials. Hussain calls me his lucky charm as he signed his first TV commercial (Thums Up) when I entered his life.
Did Hussain's attitude change after getting into the TV industry?
Oh never! He is a very down to earth person. For me at least he was, is and always will be a sweetheart!
Was his career ever a problem for you?
Well! Initially, I used to be a little uncomfortable seeing him with other girls on screen, but later I understood that it's just his work. This reminds me - once he had an outdoor shoot for his serial and I was really upset as I was not used to see him go away! But then, I realized that just as I wanted to achieve my dreams, he too had his share of dreams.
What has your career graph been like?
I was always interested in fashion designing. My parents were a little against this. My first job was with Singapore Airlines, later I joined Taj Land's End. With whatever money I earned, I enrolled for the fashion designing course without my parents' knowledge. But now, they have accepted my career and have even got my firm started! It's called Seventh Avenue Fashion.
Have you ever designed anything for Hussain?
Yes I have! Whatever shirts he sports are designed by me. Actually, I don't design for anyone, as I am into garment exports.
All smiles: The two finally tie the knot
Have you ever thought of acting?
I don't know the ABC of acting. But yes, Hussain always wanted me to get into television. He insisted on me getting a portfolio done by Jeetu Savlani way back in 1996. And one day, I surprised him with the contact sheets. He couldn't recognize me at first, but later he was shocked to know that it was me! And yes, I have done a few commercials. I got some serials offers too.
Did you two encounter any problems, considering yours was an inter-religious marriage?
Frankly speaking, that was the only hindrance to our marriage. I hid our friendship from my parents for two years, but later I realized that there wasn't any point hiding it. The day they came to know about us, they were completely against it. My parents knew about Hussain, that he was a gem of a person, but he being a Muslim was a major drawback.
So how did you two finally get through?
As time passed, my parents realized that he was the right guy for me, and nine years is a long time! My parents had seen him grow. Hussain didn't have a strong financial background. It was his brother and Hussain's struggle that speaks for itself now. We started dating each other on 21 December and that's the day we got married too.
As a Hindu girl, did you ever have second thoughts about marrying a Muslim guy?
Candidly speaking, yes! Initially I was in two minds whether I should go for him. But later, I realized that he too is a human being like me! And now, when I am living with his family, I feel that his family is definitely on par with any Sindhi family I could have married into!
Nine years! Did you fear that marriage with a guy you know for so long would tend to become monotonous?
Honestly, yes we did think that marriage could become a drag. But, at that time, we didn't realize that marriage comes with so many responsibilities. I don't think Hussain has changed one bit after marriage. On the contrary, his love has increased 100 fold. Perhaps, marriage has made him better.
The two at their marriage reception saying cheese to the camera
What does Hussain like to do in his free time?
Hussain's a very family oriented man. Whenever he gets a day off, he prefers to spend quality time with his family. And earlier when he was really busy, he would keep time for me. I remember, once he skipped Juhi's (Juhi Parmar) party just to meet me. And when I came to know that, I tried sending him back, but he refused to go!
How did you react to the rumours about Juhi and Hussain?
Oh! I always knew Juhi and her relations with Hussain. So I just ignored the rumours, as I was confident about him. I have spoken to Juhi many times. And I am sure, Juhi and I can be the best of friends.
One thing you love Hussain most for?
He is very caring. Not only for me, but for everyone. He is a very down to earth person and that shows when he talks to people.