For Shine Tom Chacko, who became an assistant director right out of school, attending college was nothing less than fun. His college life had everything that the typical picture of a college student portrays — bunking classes, shortage of attendance, college fests, protests, movies with friends, trying to get the attention of girl and more.
“After Class XII, I assisted director Kamal. The movie Nammal was shot in a campus, so I was actually in a college. Our batch onwards, Class XI and XII were converted to schools. It was not a pre-degree college anymore. So it became a lot more strict and disciplined. Even then, if there was any student who bunked classes often, it would have to be me, because of the shoots,” recalls Shine who graduated in BCom Travel and Tourism from St Thomas College in Thrissur (2000-2002).
This ambitious star has already made his face known in the Malayalam film industry through roles that he has played as an actor. From his role in the film Gaddama in 2011 through notable characters in Annayum Rasoolum and Ithihasa to his latest act in Hangover, Shine sees himself more as an actor than a director.
Shine feels he would not have gone for a degree if it wasn’t for his parents. “They insisted that I attend college and get a degree. I did not even like the idea of going to a film institute and getting a degree. In fact, such institutes were hardly accessible at that point of time”. He adds, “But I wanted to live the college life”.
He says frequent field work and absence from college did not give him the time to be a part of any theatre groups or clubs. But he did take part in activities on the days that he attended college. “Whenever I was in college, I used to take part in as many events as possible, be it college fests or protests (which are common in Kerala, where political awareness is high). I was a part of school youth festivals until Class XII. I participated in monoacting in a state-level arts festival. I remember actor Navya Nair was also part of it and she won. I was placed 15th!” he says, laughing it off.
Talking about his friends and their pranks, Shine says, “St Thomas was a Men’s college. It was only in my third-year that girls were admitted to the college, that too only in the Science stream. As the Science block was on the other side of the road, we all used to run to see them there during breaks, skipping our lunch. During my first and second-year of college, it wasn’t that difficult. There was a coaching centre near our college and there were many students who came there for classes. While the girls from there passed by quietly, we stood there teasing and trying to talk to them,” giggles Shine.
“If there is one thing that college taught me, it is to become responsible for what you do. As I missed several classes, my marks in internals were low. I had attendance shortage and wasn’t sure if I would get my degree. But you can’t blame your teacher or parents for it. You must own up for your actions,” he adds.