Actor Imran Zahid’s Ab Dilli Dur Nahin directed by Kamal Chandra releasing tomorrow May 12, is the true story of a rustic Bihar youth’s struggle to make it into the IAS.
Deep diving into the storyline, ‘Ab Dilli Dur Nahin’ is an emotional drama which is ready to release, chronicling the pinnacle rise of a small-town boy from Bihar, Abhay Shukla. Hailing from a family reeling under hardships, Abhay embarks upon his journey to Delhi, with the intent to appear in IAS exams. Abhay’s entire endeavour is to enable his family to fight its way out of the clutches of poverty. However, Abhay’s path is riddled with insurmountable hurdles, starting from rigid societal norms and political issues to cultural ironies. The narrative is largely based on Abhay’s fundamental struggle of becoming an IAS officer and all hardships that he goes through during this phase.
Actor Imran Zahid, has widely acted in reputed plays such as The Last Salute, based on Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaidi’s book, The Last Salute to President Bush. Additionally, he has performed in several other plays based on director Mahesh Bhatt’s movies like Arth, Daddy and Hamari Adhuri Kahani. In ‘Ab Dilli Dur Nahin’ Imran Zahid plays the protagonist bringing to life the character and story of Abhay Shukla. Interestingly, like the film protagonist, Zahid also hails from Bihar therefore understanding and sinking into the character’s trials and tribulations came naturally.
The film is inspired by Govind Jaiswal, the son of rickshaw puller who became an IAS officer in 2007.
To prepare for the role, Zahid met Govind Jaiswal and felt, “It was enlightening as well as hugely inspiring to meet Jaiswal. He shared some nuggets from his life that gave me a better perspective of his character and willpower.”
The film is written by Dinesh Gautam who believes, “In the times where superheroes are hailed and a commoner is ignored, this is a tale of how a village boy rises from destitute to surprise the society and change the way he is looked at. Can a life with adequate dose of failure and humiliation become larger than life? Is love a catalyst or an impediment to the success. This is a film about making you experience yourself through the characters.”
The film has been mostly shot around in Delhi places like Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi University, Kamla Nagar, Rajinder Nagar, Connaught place, Tihar jail and Govindpuri Police station, with some parts of it also having been filmed in Noida.
Costumes of the film have been designed by inmates of Tihar Jail under the mentorship of designer Winky Singh
Says Imran, “We wanted to tell an inspirational story about a Bihari boy’s dreams to conquer the civil services. Everything in Ab Dilli Dur Nahin including the locations and costumes reflect a realism that defies the norms of commercial Hindi cinema.We feel the time to tell real stories is now.”