Bigg Boss is no place for people like me: Fathima Babu
The first eliminated contestant of Bigg Boss Tamil 3 talks to us about her experience
Eviction from Season 3 of Bigg Boss Tamil came as no surprise for Fathima Babu. "During the first week, they gave me a laughter therapy task. Barely a week later, they gave me the newsreader task. I realised that my second turn had come before some even got their first, and it was clear they wanted to make the most of my talent while I was there. That was my first inkling that I might not last another week."
It was probably that intuition that made her pick herself, when each contestant was asked to select who they thought was heading out. "Also, I didn’t want to make someone else feel bad. I saw the house as a place of peaceful co-existence. Even if you fight, you should extend an olive branch at the earliest." It is to be noted that Fathima nominated Kavin and Saravanan for elimination as she believed that neither took efforts to ingratiate themselves with her. This was a bit of a surprise, given everybody else nominated Meera or Madhumitha. "I didn't want to nominate them, as I shared a good personal relationship with both."
This is not to say that she doesn’t have problems with the girls in the house. Meera Mithun, she now believes, is "immature. Her ‘naan romba gethu’ attitude is a recipe for disaster." Fathima, for her part, holds no guilt over being the catalyst in Madhu and Abhirami's opening tiff. "I genuinely didn't want to include that bottle (that Abhirami jokingly pretends is her child, born out of a relationship with Mugen). I am a news presenter and read out of news scripts. I didn’t have a script in that task, and when I saw Abhi, all I could think was the bottle. So, I mentioned it."
She reserves the most anger for Vanitha. "That task in which Meera was supposed to come in at the buzzer, she was, at best, 90 seconds late, and at worst, about 180 seconds. Vanitha, instead of talking about punctuality, went on a general rant. This hypocrisy was striking as she herself has been late to many tasks.” Fathima doesn’t think Vanitha is in danger of eviction. “Even if people hate her, she won't get elminated. She delivers the masala; without her, Bigg Boss will be bland. She won't be in the finale but she will last a while."
I ask if her general calm demeanour was a strategy. "I am a peace dove, even in real life. I don't like to see people fighting. I try to provide them with perspective. I will ask them to examine a problem from multiple angles. I can't ask people not to shout, but I can ask them to take it well. I saw myself as a counsellor in the show, but apparently, there is no role for such people in the game. The show needs people to fight inside, and for the people outside to talk about it. A diffuser like me is a big problem for the ratings."
She believes she’s too mature for the show. "They need immaturity. We are all living around some unhinged people, like those in the Bigg Boss house." She puts a positive spin on her exit. “Every person has to get out at some point or the other. Setha ponatha paathu saagapora ponamlaam azhudhuchaam. I think they chose the person who could handle their exit most gracefully.”
Her biggest takeaway is the reactions of her sons. "My second son has never told 'I love you' to me. It is a traditional Indian setup, so you don’t get verbal expressions of love. I say this a hundred times to him though. When I saw my son, Shahrukh, tear up when talking about how Tharshan would take care of me inside the house, I felt so good. To see my family see Darshan not as a contestant, but as a family member was nice."
In true Fathima Babu style, she ends the conversation with the same equanimity that was a hallmark of her stay in the Bigg Boss house. "Had my stay been extended, I would have been happy. But now that I am back, my family is happy. Namma sandhoshatha vida aduthuvanga sandosham mukkiyam."
Fathima’s prediction for final three
Tharshan: He cannot be hated
Losliya: She is the Oviya of this season
Sandy: For his fantastic sense of humour