“The National Security Guard (NSG)’s point of view is the prime point of view,” asserts actor Arjan Bajwa in an exclusive conversation about his upcoming web series, State Of Siege: 26/11. The ZEE5 Original is based on Sandeep Unnithan’s book – Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11, and is a retelling of the sixty hours of terror during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Arjan, who starred in several Bollywood blockbusters like Fashion, Rustom, Kabir Singh, plays Colonel Kunal Sahota. His character is based on Colonel Sunil Sheoran, nicknamed as the “Bullet Catcher.” Sheoran was the Commanding Officer of 51 SAG, Head of the unit of black cat commandos (NSG) during the 26/11 attack.
Dressed in a black and white bomber jacket, sporting a suave but casual look, Arjan made fascinating revelations about his role in the digital drama and what about it appealed to him. The fact that State Of Siege: 26/11 retells the horrific 2008 Mumbai terror attacks from the NSG’s perspective attracted Arjan to the series. “The thing with National Security Guard’s (NSG) perspective was what people didn’t know. People just said that the commandos came and took over the situation. Many of them don’t even know what NSG stands for. This is our chance to tell people about the specialties of these protection groups in India, who we can say are equivalent to Navy Seals or the SWOT teams of other countries. The NSG unit that came from Delhi actually at that time was very ill-equipped.”
He further added, “Colonel Sunil Sheoran, the character I play, kept fighting for the unit to be upgraded with better weapons and better tactics. He kept insisting the bureaucracy to look into this, to make it a special force in time of an emergency. There was frustration on his side because he was so ill-informed. When he landed with his unit, they were not aware of where they have to go. They didn’t know anything about the number of people and the depth of the situation that they were going to face. I think it’s very important that people get to see who is actually responsible for rescuing the city. The NSG’s point of view is the prime point of view.”
Not many are aware but Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan used to look up to Colonel Sunil Sheoran, revealed Arjan. “Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, in real life, used to look up to Colonal Sunil Sheoran. The latter too was emotionally attached to Unnikrishnan to a point where he didn’t want him to be a part of this mission. He wanted Major Unnikrishnan to look into his personal issues, some emotional turmoil that he was going through, but the bravado he was, Unnikrishan insisted on joining the mission. So, in retrospect there are so many perspectives and emotions running high that need to be told. These people, amid all this, saved the country. So, we need to tell that. It’s not because we are playing NSG that we are saying this, I think India should know,” said the celebrity.
Arjan also touched upon why Sheoran is nicknamed as the “Bullet Catcher.” “I always wanted to get into that patriotic genre. I wanted to get into the National Defense Academy (NDA). I still do fly as a hobby pilot, but if there’s anything to do with patriotism, I want to do it. Everybody gets excited to play a defense personnel and so am I. Colonel Sunil Sheoran’s story needs to be told. He has been shot twice during insurgency, once through his cheek and neck and once through his chest. That’s why they call him the bullet catcher,” he asserted.
Watch Colonel Kunal Sahota save the day, through #TheUntoldStories in #StateOfSiege2611. Tell us your view of the attack being retold from the NSG’s perspective in the comments box below.
Watch the recently released Broken But Beautiful 2 starring Vikrant Massey and Harleen Sethi, all episodes now streaming on ZEE5.