Kochi: Hanan hardly needs an introduction to Keralites. The 21-year-old college student, who hogged the headlines a few months ago after videos showed her selling fish in school uniform, was projected as an icon of endurance and self-reliance overnight. Later, the same social media which celebrated her, scathed her in a cyber defamation campaign while raising suspicions about her motive. Soon, the Kochi girl also survived a road accident which caused injuries to her spine.
Hanan Hamid is all set to begin her new business venture called Hanan's Viral Fish. The e-business platform that offers door delivery of packaged, ready-to-cook fish, will be inaugurated on December 6 (Thursday) by acclaimed actor Salim Kumar. Hanan has purchased a vehicle and has hired two employees to start off her dream venture.
"I start this business with all what I have earned from stage shows and inaugural ceremonies I participated in, after I became 'the viral girl.' After donating every penny of the alms I had received to chief minister's flood relief fund, I had to start from the scratch to earn a living. The unexpected road accident and the expenses following it worsened my situation. I start this business with the help of some start-up companies and well-wishers," Hanan told Onmanorama in a casual conversation.
Viral Fish will begin the sale on Thursday evening itself. Hanan will collect the fish directly from the market and overlook the processes of cleaning and packaging. Each packet will be sealed and pasted with a price-sticker which declares its weight and price in a barcode. Meezan, a Kochi based startup company customised the barcode-enabled billing machine for Hanan.
Hanan has also penned and recorded a jingle to be played on her mobile Viral Fish stall. The sales vehicle of Viral Fish will sell fish at Kandanad till afternoon and at Thammanam in the evening. The inaugural ceremony will also be held in the open-vehicle parked at Thammanam.
Viral Fish will start functioning as a conventional sales counter on Wednesday. The e-business and door-delivery services will be initiated after the inauguration of Viral Fish mobile application and website, that is to be held in the coming week.
No to free housing
Hanan has, meanwhile, rejected opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala's offer to build her a secure house, with the financial help of a non-resident Indian. Hanan said that receiving anything for free builds a level of commitment to private individuals which would later turn out to be a liability.
"People were fascinated by my story not because I sought help but because I fought single-handedly for my education and livelihood. So it is my responsibility to continue that. I would build a small house for myself when I start getting enough profit from my business. All what I request you (public) to do now is to purchase fish abundantly from my portal and make it a huge success," Hanan said.
Hanan added that she faces questions for each of her public interactions both on face and on her Facebook page. "People hold me answerable for their enquiries about my financial sources, friends circle and public engagements just because I received alms in the beginning. Some even take freedom to scold me and subject me to verbal abuse because they made me viral," she revealed.
The hooka row
Hanan came to the limelight again in the past week after she was spotted trying out a hooka (hubble-bubble) in a private restaurant in Kochi. An onlooker recorded a video and circulated it on social platforms with a provocative caption. "The girl you adored for endurance is smoking hooka in Kochi's famous star hotel. Is she cajoling all of us?," it asked.
Hanan faced serious verbal assaults online and offline following the hooka controversy. However, the gritty lass asserted that the video is real and she did try out the hooka when she visited a star hotel for a song discussion with some recordists and musicians.
"I'm a normal human being. I get inquisitive when I see new things. I was seeing a hooka for the first time in my life. When the hotel's staff members said it was nonadditive, I impulsively decided to try it out. I don't regret it even now," she said.
Hanan revealed that she visited the hotel to finalise the jingle of Viral Fish and to make final discussions regarding the e-billing and printing machine designed by the startup company. "I hold my meetings at public places like restaurants and malls. I don't want further controversies in my life. I don't have any secrets kept away from the society which made me the viral girl," she said.