Director Jayaraj’s Camel Safari is the tale of a modern young woman’s search for true love.

Director Jayaraj’s Camel Safari, which releases on October 4, is a love story set against the backdrop of the deserts of Rajasthan.

“It is my first out-and-out love story. It is not the usual boy-meets-girl story, though. Rather, it is the story of a girl who meets a boy and decides to pursue him to get him to fall in love with her,” says Jayaraj.

“Normally in our films, it is the man who always takes the first step, isn’t it? In Camel Safari the heroine is the one who is determined to overcome all the hurdles to get her man,” says the director.

Debutante Pankaja Menon, a singer based in Bangalore, plays the spunky protagonist, Diya. “During a screening of Pakarnnattam, Pankaja came up to me and said that she would like to sing in one of my films. I liked her confidence and remembered it when I was casting for Camel Safari,” says Jayaraj.

It was another chance encounter that gave him the film’s hero, Arun Shankar. “I met Arun in New Delhi a couple of years ago; I have known his father, Shankar Mohan, who was the hero of M.T. Vasudevan Nair’s Manju for a long time. Arun was already into modelling and when I found that he was interesting in a career in films, I decided to cast him as Pavan, a Rajput. Since Arun grew up in Delhi, he is fluent in Hindi and that was a huge plus for the film,” says Jayaraj.

“Her college friends are played by Shekhar Menon, who also doubles up as a part-time DJ, and a bunch of newcomers including Vishnu Mohan and Neha Ramesh. Kamal Gaur, who had played the villain in my 1992 film Johnnie Walker, plays an important character, Vikram Singh, who commits an honour killing. That is one social theme Camel Safari is trying to highlight,” he says.

Tiny Tom and Sabitha Jayaraj are also in the cast.

Jayaraj says that the film will be a visual treat. “Cinematographer Suresh Rajan has done a great job of capturing the beauty of Rajasthan. Most of the film is shot at Pushkar where the world’s largest camel fair is held every year,” says Jayaraj.

Camel Safari has songs written by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri and set to music by his son Deepankuran.