On a Cinematic Trip
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Swathed in red — a short crop dyed in red and an outfit to match — her entire face is not visible in the picture. But for those who know her, it takes a glance to identify Tinu Verghis. A veteran on India's ramp, the model with unconventional looks is part of the ensemble cast in Tasher Desh, a movie by filmmaker Kaushik Mukherjee, popularly known as Q. The movie that has travelled to international film festivals is slated to release soon in India. In fact, in this "trippy" adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's play of the same name, she plays the role of the oracle, Patralekha.
Verghis recollects how she was approached by Q last June. "He gave me a role that was very much up my alley. He was looking for a weird, alien-looking model who could do bold scenes and mouth songs in Bengali without understanding a word of it," she reveals. Working for the film turned out to be exciting. "The energy and the love all around on the sets made the late hours, shabby hotels and awful food seem totally acceptable," she says.
This movie also assumes significance in the light of the fact that Verghis — whose modelling career took off after winning the World's Best Ramp Model in Monte Carlo in 2003, and who has also walked in Milan and Paris for Christian Dior, Prada and Alexander McQueen — retired from modelling last year. Explaining this, Verghis, also a DJ, says that leaving the runway after 10 years was imminent. "You can climb that ladder only up to a certain height as there is nothing beyond it. Moving on while I was at the peak was important to me. I have been interested in the arts. So, I joined a course to study sculpture and installation art at Lasalle College of Arts in Singapore," she says. However, her pregnancy — she is expecting a baby with boyfriend Quentin Stats-Polet — led her to complete only one semester of her second year. She will take a one-year break to take care of the baby. Recalling her time at the college, she says, "I was pushed hard to optimise every project idea. So yes, I will be taking up art projects in the future."
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