On Sunday, Filmmaker and author Vinod Kapri, known for his films like Pihu, 1232 KMS, and Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho, posted a video of a 19-year-old boy sprinting down a road in Noida at midnight. Despite being soaked in sweat, the runner can be seen repeatedly turning down Vinod Kapri’s offer to give him a ride home. The video received thousands of views within minutes of it being posted on social media.

Originally from Uttarakhand, Pradeep Mehra runs a 10km stretch daily, from his job location in Noida’s Sector 16 to his home in Barola, where he lives with his brother.

Calling the young boy’s reasons for politely declining a lift “pure gold,” the filmmaker chronicles his interaction with 19-year-old Pradeep Mehra in an inspiring clip. In the video, Kapri is filming from his car and the boy can be seen running home from work after his shift at a McDonald’s. He refuses a ride and insists on running because it is part of his routine and he doesn’t get time otherwise. When prodded further on why he’s running at this late hour, he responds, “To join the army.”

Kapri met the young man again, this time outside his workplace, to tell him that his story had resonated with many people. Asked what message he would want to give them, Pradeep said: “The world bows before those who work hard.”

When Man’s World reached out to Vinod Kapri for an interview, the filmmaker said, “To be very honest, this is Pradeep’s story. So, I would like to keep it about him and not about me. A prominent Punjab-based academy has offered him free training and I am happy about that.”

Vinod Kapri is an award-winning filmmaker and has won a National Award for his film Can’t Take This Shit Anymore (2014). His critically acclaimed film Pihu (2017) bagged two awards at an international film festival. Before venturing into filmmaking, he spent twenty-three years of his career as a journalist with media organizations like Amar Ujala, Zee News, Star News, India TV, and TV9. His most recent work 1232 KMS with seven migrant labourers during COVID-19 lockdown from Ghaziabad to Saharsa, Bihar has been appreciated widely. 

(Featured Image Credits: Twitter)