If Rathesh Krishnan were to pen a book right now, he could name it Rathesh in Wonderland. He went down the rabbit hole to enter the enchanted world of Mollywood, filled with surprises at every turn.
Though Rathesh acted in films like Mudhugauv, Aadu 2 and Aabhaasam, it was his character of Salman in the Mammootty starrer Abrahaminte Santhathikal that will always remain special to him.
The voice at the other end of the phone is throbbing with excitement and a heady mix of happiness and nervousness. Ex – techie Rathesh, based in Bengaluru, is on his way to Kozhikode for the celebration of the film's success and is in a daze.
He exclaims, “I am living a dream!” and what a dream it is, as he explains with the wonder of a boy who fell in love with cinema when he was in Class 4 and nurtured his passion further by directing and acting in short films.
“I got Mammukka’s number from a fan and right from my first film Mudhugavu, and I had been in touch with him through Whatsapp. I never called him, but I used to share my acting videos, my thoughts and sometimes even my life events with him. Not that there would be an answer for every message I sent. Rarely there would be a ‘hi’ or an ‘all the best’ from his side that I treasured.”
Diverting from the superstar, it is important to mention an important event in Rathesh’s life — one where he was cheated of money (nearly Rs 4 lakh) by a well-known producer after being promised a role in a film. That event devastated him not only mentally but also financially. The stress brought on by that led to partial paralysis.
“As an actor, I thought that was the end of my dream,” he recalls. But he recovered miraculously.
His friends rallied around him and helped him financially.
Now back to the superstar— all these events were shared with Mammootty on Whatsapp. One fine day, he got a call from the production side of the film Abrahaminte Santhathikal saying that Mammootty had suggested his name for a role.
“Since all my friends knew I used to correspond with Mammuuka, I thought they were playing a prank on me. So I finally messaged Mamuukka himself who confirmed with one word ‘yes’!” That changed his life.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think Mammukka was noticing all the messages I sent him or keeping me in mind,” he says with wonder.
Talking about the role, Rathesh says,” I play a man with grey shades who pretends to be good but later turns out to be the antagonist. I had many scenes with Mammukka, and it's surreal to know that the man whom I used to correspond with only through a phone was actually in front of me- in flesh and blood! I also understood how down to earth and good at heart he actually is as a human being.”
Rathesh has now resigned from his well-paying techie job and is concentrating on films. He has four Malayalam films in hand in addition to a Kannada and a Telugu film.
And his dream journey continues....