Self-satisfaction and exposure are some of the reasons why Rubini Sambanthan took a leap of faith and entered “Asia’s Next Top Model” cycle 6.
However, her late older brother – Devaganeh Sambanthan – played a significant role in her decision to join the reality competition. Rubini recalled almost turning down this golden opportunity for a 2nd chance to join “Top Model” because her sibling’s passing was so close when the offer came.
Last week, the Malaysian beauty took to her Instagram stories to share a special chic outfit. “This suit is very special to me because my mum made it for a special occasion and I’ve always wanted to showcase my mum’s creativity and tailoring skills,” the 27-year-old model wrote.
“So why am I posting this?” she added in the following IG story. “Since my bro’s passing, I feel that my mum needs to channel her sadness into something positive that she’s skilled in… Tailoring is her forte and I am just happy that I managed to get her back into sewing and I want it to continue as it’s therapeutic for her.”
In addition to our interview with Rubini on her “Asia’s Next Top Model” cycle 6 experience (full article here), we also chatted about how her family and boyfriend, Shan Ratnam, have been instrumental in her journey to where she is today.
You’ve mention your brother a lot. So what was your relationship with him like?
R: Obviously he’s my big brother. Whatever that happened to him was due to depression. It’s been a 1 sad year for me. I’m still in the grieving process. Despite the situation that I was and still in, I did go into this to inspire and show that I can be strong. But I still have this side of me that is so in pain. But I’m still here.
He really wanted me to be on this show. I didn’t wanted to join the competition initially because I know I can’t tell him that I finally made it. Every time the shows aired on TV, he would always ask, ‘Why are you not in it?’, and I’d say, ‘It’s not that easy’. So… It’s funny that I’m in it now but he’s not there.
Does this feel like a tribute to him as well?
R: Honestly yes! But it’s so tough to say it’s a tribute when it was so near to his passing when this happened. So it’s really painful. I can’t describe it but the happiness is not complete. I’m showing everyone here how happy I am but back home I still breakdown almost everyday. Anything can just trigger me because I didn’t expect my brother to go that way.
What is the advantage of having a boyfriend who is also a fashion model?
R: I used to tell myself, ‘Oh I’m never going to date a model; they’re not my cup of tea’. And he comes around and prove me wrong. I found someone who is exactly like me. He is very down to earth, and he’s a sweetheart.
We’re in this game together, as a team. If I get a job then I’ll ask if they need a male model and I’ll send his comp card. He does that too. So this is something I’ve always appreciate from him.
What were first few days on “Top Model” like?
R: When they took my phone away, I couldn’t see any pictures of my family – that was the hardest for me. Secondly, I kept thinking about my parents because my mum calls me everyday no matter what. But I realised that helped me to be more focus.
Watch the interview below:
Malaysian viewers are invited to go beyond limits when “Asia’s Next Top Model Season 6” premieres on FOX Life beginning 22nd August, every Wednesday at 9pm on Astro CH 711 and 722 HD; and unifi TV CH 455.