A hopeful human portrait of a teen pickpocket, whose chance encounter with one of his victims upends his escape plans in this gritty, moving story about daily life in Kashmir.
Zero Bridge is the story of Dilawar, a rebellious seventeen-year-old Kashmiri boy who lives on the outskirts of Srinagar city with his strict uncle, a mason who took in Dilawar after he was abandoned by his adoptive mother. To help make ends meet, Dilawar recently abandoned school to become an apprentice in his uncle’s mason crew. Dilawar hates his current life and secretly plans to leave his uncle to join his adoptive mother in Delhi. To do so, he supplements his income by participating in some shady activities: taking money to do math assignments from his old school classmates, and by picking pockets in the city’s markets.
While on an errand at a local shipping office, Dilawar meets Bani, a bright young woman who has recently returned to Srinagar after completing her studies in America. Although Dilawar recognizes Bani as one of his recent pickpocket victims, Bani does not recognize him. Over the course of many visits to the shipping office, Dilawar warms up to Bani. He eventually enlists her help with the math assignments, although Bani is unaware that she is helping him earn extra money. They enjoy each other’s company, and their friendship gently grows. Meanwhile, Dilawar continues his other illegal activities, undeterred. The consequences of his actions eventually cause havoc in Dilawar and Bani’s life, threatening their friendship and both of their futures.