“I’ve lost a dear friend . We worked together in plays like Larins Sahib and Arms & The Man in the past. Then for many years we didn’t connect at all. All of a sudden in May this year we shot together for a short film ,Bhargava Saikia’s The Black Cat in Bhimtalnear Nainital.
It re-connected us again.The loss is therefore much more intense. The Black Cat is based on Ruskin Bond’s short story and Tom who is a very dear friend of Ruskin Bond, played Ruskin Bond while I played an evil witch. If he was at all unwell in May he gave no indication of it at all. Tom was his usual cheerful helpful kind and generous self. …I knew Tom from the time he worked with Motley, the theatre group spearheaded by my friends Nasreeruddin Shah, Banjam Gilani and of course Tom….Tom was always a learned theatre enthusiast and a lot of other things. His interest was not only in cinema and theatre. He was a huge cricket enthusiast and also lately the head of the acting department at the FTII.
And he spoke such fluent Urdu! Imagine an Englishman with such a great command over the Urdu language.While we were shooting the short film in May he would keep reciting the Urdu couplets that flowed out of him effortlessly. I had to ask him to translate many of them for me(laughs)…It angers me that Tom had to go so quickly. He had so much to do and he was so useful to so many different sections of people.And he was so sporty and healthy.He lived a disciplined healthy life and had no vices.Why did he have to go so painfully?”