Kandhamal: Latent talent in an undiscovered gem when gets recognized by a sensible godfather and destiny paves the path, scripting a success story by dint of one’s endeavour follows suit.
A glaring instance is this erstwhile young migrant labourer’s tryst with destiny from Odisha’s Kandhamal to Kerala.
Even though poverty forced him to forgo higher education despite having taken admission into college and compelled him to migrate from his native place for earning a livelihood, this lad from a humble background of Belghar in Kandhamal district had never dreamt of pursuing a career in the never-seen-before tinsel world of Malayalam film industry.
He now enjoys celebrity status in Kerala since 2017 and has already played pivotal roles in six Malayalam big banner movies including ‘Jallikattu’, which was India’s official entry in the Best International Feature category at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Meet Rajkumar Nayak, the youngest son of Kamaldei and Bhimsen Nayak.
Talking to OMMCOM NEWS over phone, simple and honey-tongued Rajkumar reminisced, “In 2012, I got admitted to the Tumudibandha College. Though took admission, couldn’t continue due to financial crunch at my domestic front. Thus, I put an end to my educational pursuit and opted for moving over to Kerala as a migrant labourer. There I worked as a helping hand in a hotel by washing the tables, utensils, etc. Gradually, I learnt cooking and the language there.”
Recounting further he said, “As I was very much keen on bodybuilding, I joined a gym there and the gym master loved me a lot after conducting my physical test. He used to take me to various bodybuilding competitions. I also clinched the ‘Mr Ernakulum Title’ in 2016. He then introduced me to the best director Lijo Jose Pellissery sir of Malayalam film industry. I served him as a cook and could win over his heart. He loved me a lot and assured me a chance in the film. Despite my inexperience in acting, I was offered a small role in a big banner film ‘Ee Ma Yau’. He got impressed with my latent talent and wished my future success in movie for which I was given many more chances. Till now, I’ve acted in six Malayalam movies and have played the roles of very good characters.”
“I have acted in the award-winning movie ‘Jallikattu’ but have a long-cherished dream to try my luck now in the Odia film industry. If all my Odia brethren shower on me their love and affection, definitely I’ll fare well in our Ollywood,” beamed Rajkumar.
On being asked if he had ever thought of such a turning point in his life, pat came the reply, “Frankly speaking, I had never thought of as my family background is extremely humble. I had rather thought of pursuing my studies and look after my parents. I had never had an inkling of a film industry. It’s all God’s wishes. Today I’m in the Malayalam film industry owing to the love of all my fans in Kerala. I’m also indebted to the gym master for guiding me to progress and prosperity.”
“When the people of Kerala could shower their love and affection to a migrant labourer like me, I’m optimistic of being loved more by the people of my birthplace Odisha. If I get an offer now from the Odia film industry, I’ll certainly accept it with the prior permission of my director sir of Malayalam film industry,” he reiterated.
On being queried about knowing a typically difficult language, the enthusiastic Odia youth revealed, “I’m now well-versed in Malayalam language and the voice dubbing for my roles in the films is done myself not by anyone else. I write down the Malayalam dialogues in my mother tongue Odia and learn by heart before facing the camera shoot.”
“After I have gained this celebrity status, my home district Kandhamal has indeed been in the limelight now,” he uttered proudly.
“I have lots of offers there, but the projects have been shelved due to the pandemic situation. However, my godfather director sir is now planning for two more movies in near future. Nevertheless, I still nurse a penchant for debuting into our own Odia film industry,” outpoured Rajkumar’s pent-up feelings.