From natural calamities like flood, to the pandemic, I have seen everything in my experience of farming: Rajesh Kumar
“Sorry I couldn’t call earlier; I was making anda curry for my farmers,” Rajesh Kumar, best known for his portrayal of Rosesh Sarabhai in the hit television series Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, tells us on a phone call from his farm in Manor, Palghar. It is no secret that Kumar, who hails from Bihar, has an inclination towards farming.
Speaking from his farm in Manor, Palghar on an off-day, he says, “Farming is in our blood; the Indian sub-continent was among the first to grow produce. My family has farms in Bihar so it is not new for me. But the major shift happened after Rally for Rivers in 2017. Earlier, I only had information about farming, but with this, I became aware.”
Kumar, who tested positive for Covid-19 in late August, along with his wife and son, has resumed shooting for a TV show after recovery. “We were isolating at home. You have to monitor the situation daily, and take it as it comes. People often tend to think about the worst outcomes, rather than keeping a positive frame of mind. Ab toh main sarr utha ke chalta hoon ki main jeet ke aa gaya,” he shares.
He gives importance to sustainability, and urges everyone to think beyond their personal needs. “All of us are working on survival mode without contributing towards anything. We should be actively participating in the growth of the planet,” he says.
With no major work assignments in the last three years, he spent that time understanding farming – from government policies to actually growing. “I have become more patient. Aap tamatar khaa toh lete hain but tamatar ugaane mein 45 din lagte hain. From natural calamities like flood, to the pandemic, I have seen everything in my experience of farming,” he says.
Currently, he is planning a viable business model to sell his produce and make farming into a profitable idea for younger generations. “Passion and paisa dono important hai. You are not just doing it for yourself; others should get motivated. If my children tell me that instead of actors or astronauts, they want to be farmers, I’ll be very happy,” he says.
With countrywide farmer protests and agitation, Kumar feels it is too early to speculate on anything. “I haven’t been able to read up on it, so it will be too early for me to react on it. Kuch toh hai, ab voh sahi hai, galat hai yaa politically-motivated hai…it’s too early for me to comment on,” he says.
The farm in his hometown, which his father continues to tend to, has many fruit trees, which were planted to leave something for generations to come. What does he see himself retire as – actor or farmer? “Why should I retire? For me, acting and farming, both are life. You don’t get extra years to do anything; you have to do everything in the years given to you,” he concludes.
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