State Of Siege: 26/11 Actor Arjan Bajwa: My Dream Role Is To Play Abhinandan Varthaman

In an exclusive conversation, Arjan Bajwa opens up about his wish to play Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the infamous Nanavati scandal and more.

Arjan Bajwa and Abhinandan Varthaman

“It’s all gray I’d say,” comments Arjan Bajwa while talking about the infamous Nanavati scandal. The actor played the role of Prem Ahuja in Akshay Kumar’s 2016 blockbuster Rustom. He recently featured in the ZEE5 Original action-thriller State of Siege: 26/11, based on Sandeep Unnithan’s book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11. Arjan was seen playing Colonel Kunal Sahota, Commanding Officer of 51 SAG, Head of the unit of black cat commandos (NSG). For someone who has been a part of projects based on real-life incidents, he does seem like a guy who takes great interest in stories. Admittedly, he finds playing a real-life character over a fictional one attractive. The light-eyed screen star opens up about his dream role, Nanavati case and more in a candid conversation. Read excerpts from the interview below.

1. The Verdict is a web series based on the Nanavati scandal. Since you have acted in Rustom, what is your take on Sylvia’s side of the story?

It is easy to put fingers on anybody. It’s easy to dissect the whole thing after 60 years as to what had happened. But the truth is nobody knows what actually took place. Nobody really knows. Nobody knows what happened or what conversation Nanavati and Prem Ahuja had before he shot him. It is all accounts of what’s written in papers and books that we discuss about. So it would be unfair to call anyone a villain including Nanavati, Prem Ahuja or Sylvia. One thing that I kind of have been hearing is that Sylvia actually fell in love with the guy. She wanted to divorce her husband and marry Prem. Would you call her a villain for falling in love with Prem? Because she was not just sleeping with the man, she fell for him. Would you call her a villain for doing it behind her husband’s back? There are so many perspectives to look at it. You can just lay your finger and colour it black or white. It’s all gray I’d say.

2. So, can we conclude that you are drawn to real-life stories?

It’s attractive because with a fictional story you can do anything. But in the case of a real-life story, you have to work really hard. It’s absolutely more exciting to play a role. I have a dream role which I hope they make a film on. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the MiG-21 pilot who was held captive for 60 hours in Pakistan after his aircraft was shot down in an aerial dogfight in the 2019 India-Pakistan standoff. Considering my flying background, I know so much about aviation that I’d love to do something like that. I know the technicalities so nobody will have to teach me that.

3. Have you ever considered taking flying full-time?

I have been toying with the idea of taking a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). I have started training for my Private Pilot License (PPL). Some airlines give you a 15-day contract in a month, so let’s see what happens. I’d love to do it though.

Watch the recently released Broken But Beautiful 2 starring Vikrant Massey and Harleen Sethi, all episodes streaming on ZEE5.

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