From costume designing to fish farming: Resh Kumar never gives up
Resh Kumar is well aware of the inner ways of Mollywood, its glamour, and its impact on the lives of people who admire this industry. He has seen it all from close quarters. And now he is into a totallly different world. He was a costume designer in his early avatar ,weaving magic into the clothes that awaited a star in all its beauty and warmth. But now the rigours of life have taken him to the shore of fish farming. Hailing from Changanassery in Kottayam, Resh Kumar has been an assistant costume designer in more than 50 top-notch movies like Kammara Sambhavam, Puli Murugan, and Odiyan.
However, with the onset of the pandemic, film production has been curtailed leaving the lives of many technicians like Resh in jeopardy. To feed his wife and two children, he took a financial risk and invested his time and energy in starting a fish farm along with his friends. Not only did he succeed in his new venture, but he also managed to employ many others who were suffering due to covid as well.
In an exclusive interview with mathrubhumi.com Resh discussed the impact of covid on the lives of technicians in the film industry, his successful venture in aquaculture, and more.
How did corona impact your life?
Corona was unexpected, and all of a sudden we were facing uncertainty in life. Financially, it was very hard after a couple of months into the lockdown. I did my final movie in April 2020, and after that, for almost a year, I was without a livelihood. Only recently did we resume the shoot of that movie. So, you could imagine the situation of a technician going through such a tough phase in life. Since we worked in this field for so long, we couldn't find another job. So, it became so hard for me to find move forward. Somehow, we managed to fight our way through these hard times.
How did you come up with the idea of aquaculture, and how could you turn it into a successful venture?
There was a risk involved in it. But I had to try out something new, rather than waiting for the film shoots to resume. Along with five other friends, we leased an acre of small paddy field near Ramankary in Changanassery, which had been lying fallow for years, and cleaned it up and set up a pond. We also attended classes and learned the tricks and traits needed for fish farming through social media. We deposited pangasius fish (Assam vala) which was received from the government with a subsidy. A total of 15000 fish seeds were initially deposited on the farm, and inititially we had to contend with a meagre profit. However, it gave us the confidence to lease two more acres of land for this farming. Here we deposited a wide variety of fish seeds and managed a greater return in profit as well.
We also hope that we could adapt our techniques by the time we are ready for our next harvest. The farming also provided financial support to families from the neighbourhood who were also struggling with covid. Together, we focused on the outcome and put in a lot of effort to reach where we are today.
Jayalal S, Gireesh Kumar, Vishnu Rejimon, and Praveen Puthuparamba partnered with Resh Kumar in this successful venture.
How did you become a part of the movie industry?
After finishing 10th class, I did not know what to do. A while later, when I was working as a tailor in a shop, I met Ratheesh Narayanan, who was the son of Narayanan, an art director working in serials and films. So one day I went to Thiruvananthapuram to see Ratheesh. That journey was my introduction to the world of film production and costumes. There I met Surya Sreekumar, who was the costumer of serial Kadamattathu Kathanar. Later, he called me to Thiruvananthapuram to work on the same serial. Together, we became part of TV serials like Devi Mahatmyam and Swami Ayyappan.
Pakal Nakshathrangal was the first movie I worked in. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to work in a lot of movies over the years. Currently, I work as an assistant to SB Satheesh and Sameera Saneesh.
I have been a part of many films like Silence, Warning, Masters, Hero, Seniors, Doctor Love, Kuttanadan Marpappa, Saira Banu and Njan Prakashan. I was also able to appear in small roles in films like Pudhiya Theerangal, Mera Naam Shaji, and Puli Murugan. Narayan, a movie directed by Jijo Joseph starring Siju Wilson, My Name Is Azhagan are some of the upcoming films. I also worked as a freelance costume designer for short films such as 'Kutty Daivam' and 'Catman'.