Nivin and Rinna were expecting to spend a quiet night at the former’s home after their marriage on August 28, 2010, at the St Dominic’s Church at Aluva. But a group of relatives and friends, including actors like Wilson Joseph and Aju Varghese, and director Alphonse, had other plans. Firstly, the couple were told to look for the bedroom keys. And so, Nivin and Rinna searched all over the house, but to no avail. Finally, through various clues, Nivin was able to take it out from the trouser pocket of Wilson.
When they entered the bedroom, they found it filled with balloons, small pieces of glitter and crepe paper. After they had cleared the bed, and were beginning to relax, the clock tolled at midnight. Suddenly, there was a loud sound outside the door. When a nervous Nivin opened the door, his friends laughed out aloud. They had burst crackers.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” says Rinna.
Rinna and Nivin met when they were B. Tech students at the Federal Institute of Science and Technology at Kochi. “We became friends very casually,” says Rinna. “We were part of a large group of friends who went for movies and outings together.”
After their studies, they worked together in Infosys, Bangalore. “There was a silent understanding that we liked each other,” says Rinna. “There was no formal ‘I love you’.”
Soon, Nivin felt bored with his job, gave it up, and returned to Aluva. He had no idea what to do, although there was an underlying interest in acting. It was then that he got a break in Vineeth Srinivasan’s Malarvadi Arts Club. Thereafter, he began to get roles steadily and most of the films have become hits: Thattathin Marayathu, Neram, 1983 and Om Shanti Oshana.
As the wife of an actor, it is no surprise that Rinna is a sounding board for Nivin regarding future roles and scripts ideas. “I usually react with my intuition, although I don’t know much about movies,” says Rinna. “But finally, it is Nivin who decides whether to take the role or not.”
When asked about his plus points, Rinna says, “Nivin is an understanding person and is a family man. He loves to spend time with me and our two-year-old son, Dhaveedh (Malayalam version of David).”
In fact, the birth of Dhaveedh was the highlight of Nivin’s life. “Nivin looked so happy when he held the baby in his arms,” says Rinna. “He had not held a small baby before. In fact, he often tells me that Dhaveedh is his good-luck charm. After he was born, Nivin got many roles and did well. My son loves Nivin more than me.”
So enamoured is Dhaveedh of his father that when he awakens every morning, and realises that his father is not at home, he will immediately ask Rinna to play the CD of Malarvadi Arts Club. “Dhaveedh has seen the film so many times, he knows it by heart,” says Rinna. “He will say, ‘Next scene Appa will be coming. Appa will do this. That uncle will do this’.”
For the 100th day celebrations of Om Shanti Oshana, Nivin and Rinna took Dhaveedh to a theatre at Thiruvananthapuram to see it. “He was thrilled,” says Rinna. “Dhaveedh was clapping, and saying, ‘Appa, appa’.”
Thanks to several hits, Nivin has become a much-in-demand actor in Mollywood. So, he is busy shooting most of the time. But after fifteen days on a shoot, he begins to miss Dhaveedh. So Rinna takes their son to the sets. “We went to Indira Nagar, in Bangalore, to watch the shoot of Bangalore Days,” says Rinna.
And the shoot was a happy time for Rinna. “After a long time, I saw Nivin having a lot of fun, laughing and joking, like he used to do in college. All the actors and the crew were pulling each other’s legs. There was a nice rapport, because everybody is more or less of the same age: Dulquer Salmaan Fahadh Faasil, Nazriya Nazim, Isha Talwar, Parvathy and Anjali Menon.”
Meanwhile, for Rinna, the only thing that upsets her about Nivin is that even when he is at home, he gets calls all the time or is attending meetings. “The one-on-one time with the family is becoming less,” she says.
In fact, the only time Rinna had Nivin all to herself was when they went for a holiday to Singapore, a few months after the marriage. “We relaxed and loafed around,” she says. “We travelled on the Metro and saw many tourist sites.”
Thus far, the major change in their marriage is that Nivin has become famous. So, people recognise the couple when they go out. “They come up to talk and take photos,” says Rinna. “Some fans even come home.”
It is a large bungalow at Aluva built by Nivin’s late father Pauly Bonaventure, who spent many years in Switzerland. And to add a touch of glamour, there is a black Audi parked in the driveway. Incidentally, Nivin’s mother stays with them.
Finally, Rinna has this to say about successful marriages. “A couple needs to spend time with each other, share their thoughts and feelings, and have a mutual respect,” she says. “It is also important to listen to your partner.”