Kerala

Lockdown woes | From art director to construction worker

Shaji Puthiyara, assistant art director, Malayalam cinema.  

Shaji Puthiyara has been working as an assistant art director in Malayalam cinema for the last 25 years. He is one of the thousands from the film industry badly affected by the lockdown. So much so, he is earning a living by doing manual labour at construction sites.

These days he cannot even do that, as he is forced to rest after developing an allergy to cement.

“Things are really bad for people like me who are working on daily wages in cinema,” says Shaji, who has a diploma in art. “Even before COVID-19 we used to get only work for half the year. But whatever we earned for the five or six months would have seen it through the year.”

He has not had any work for the last several months.

“Sibi Malayil’s Kothth is the last film I worked for,” says Shaji. “I was also part of the crew of Blessy’s Aadujeevitham. I have worked in cinema as assistant as well as associate art director. I have also been an independent art director in ad films.”

He was also planning to go back to his first love of painting and had thought of conducting an exhibition.

“At the moment, all I am concerned is about looking after my four-member family,” he said. “It is very, very difficult with no help coming from any quarters.”


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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 12:48:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/lockdown-woes-from-art-director-to-construction-worker/article34860041.ece

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