Mumbai-based Abuli Mamaji has from Down syndrome, but that isn't stopping him from starring in a forthcoming Bollywood film.
Abuli will be playing a character close to his real self on screen. Director Nikhil Pherwani has cast him as a protagonist with the genetic disorder, in his film tentatively titled Ahaan.
While films based on various illnesses have lately become popular in Bollywood, this is probably the first time that a person suffering from an illness has been cast to play the character on screen.
"The film is about a new beginning for Ahaan, the character played by Abuli. The message I want to give through the unusual subject is that we should not shun the special adults in our society," Nikhil said.
The film also casts Adil Hussain of English Vinglish and Life Of Pi fame. Hussain is cast as Ahaan's uncle Ozzy who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
A female lead will also be confirmed soon. Nikhil met Abuli during his many visits to a special workshop centre in Mumbai.
Abuli, 34, seemed an outgoing and interactive person and the filmmaker was curious to know about his life.