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Mumbai Diaries, State of Siege, Hotel Mumbai: 26/11 on celluloid | Bollywood

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The Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, 2018 has etched this grim date in the memory of Indians. The incident has been depicted on celluloid by several filmmakers.

Hollywood film Hotel Mumbai (2018), starring Dev Patel and Anupam Kher attempted to recreate the attacks on the silver screen. And before this came director Ram Gopal Varma’s 2013 film The Attacks of 26/ 11, which starred Nana Patekar in the lead role. Most recently was filmmaker Nikkhil Advani’s Mumbai Diaries 26/11, which narrated the entire incident through the eyes of the doctors treating people affected during the tragedy.

Natasha Bharadwaj, who played the role of a trainee doctor in the show, reveals that her mother had actually treated people injured in the real attacks. “I remember I was at home when the news started coming in. I was waiting for my mom to come back, and that time she commuted by trains. There were these scares that there is some explosive material too in trains. There were major network issues and I wasn’t able to get through to her. She usually took an hour to reach home, that day it took her three, and those were the most horrific hours of my life,” recalls the 24-year- old, who consulted her mother before going on set and shooting for her character.

Ask Advani how careful he had to be with the subject and he says, “Every bit of information that we chose to put out that was semi fictional (since the narrative of the story was that), we needed to be extra careful and highly sensitive of how people were going to react to it. We need to check and re-check from several sources and then of course keep in mind how much of that information we were going to dramatize without it being hurtful to people involved directly or indirectly.”

Fore actor Arjun Bajwan, stepping into the shoes of real-life NSG commando Col Sunil Sheoran in web series State of Siege 26/11 was a big responsibility. “He headed the whole operation in real life, I made sure we learnt everything, from how NSG operated… at the same time it was always going to be a sensitive topic. It was the first series or film from the POV of the NSG who had actually come to rescue the hostages,” says the actor, who was going to head out for dinner the same day, when a friend told him to not venture out as there was news about a ‘shootout’ which later turned out to be the horrific terrorist attacks.

It was a close call for actor Shreya Dhanwanthary, who played the role of a journalist in Mumbai Diaries 26/ 11. Her father was supposed to be at Taj Mahal Palace, one of the places which was targeted by the terrorists, just earlier on the same day, for a meeting.

“Everybody remembers the incident, it is something which happened in our public consciousness. I was in Hyderabad with my mother and sister then, and my father was in Mumbai. We tried contacting him, but the signals were jammed. There was no info, then after some time my dad called us back. He said ‘I am watching a cricket match, let me be’ He didn’t know about the attacks. His meeting did take place in the afternoon,” she remembers.


The Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, 2018 has etched this grim date in the memory of Indians. The incident has been depicted on celluloid by several filmmakers.

Hollywood film Hotel Mumbai (2018), starring Dev Patel and Anupam Kher attempted to recreate the attacks on the silver screen. And before this came director Ram Gopal Varma’s 2013 film The Attacks of 26/ 11, which starred Nana Patekar in the lead role. Most recently was filmmaker Nikkhil Advani’s Mumbai Diaries 26/11, which narrated the entire incident through the eyes of the doctors treating people affected during the tragedy.

Natasha Bharadwaj, who played the role of a trainee doctor in the show, reveals that her mother had actually treated people injured in the real attacks. “I remember I was at home when the news started coming in. I was waiting for my mom to come back, and that time she commuted by trains. There were these scares that there is some explosive material too in trains. There were major network issues and I wasn’t able to get through to her. She usually took an hour to reach home, that day it took her three, and those were the most horrific hours of my life,” recalls the 24-year- old, who consulted her mother before going on set and shooting for her character.

Ask Advani how careful he had to be with the subject and he says, “Every bit of information that we chose to put out that was semi fictional (since the narrative of the story was that), we needed to be extra careful and highly sensitive of how people were going to react to it. We need to check and re-check from several sources and then of course keep in mind how much of that information we were going to dramatize without it being hurtful to people involved directly or indirectly.”

Fore actor Arjun Bajwan, stepping into the shoes of real-life NSG commando Col Sunil Sheoran in web series State of Siege 26/11 was a big responsibility. “He headed the whole operation in real life, I made sure we learnt everything, from how NSG operated… at the same time it was always going to be a sensitive topic. It was the first series or film from the POV of the NSG who had actually come to rescue the hostages,” says the actor, who was going to head out for dinner the same day, when a friend told him to not venture out as there was news about a ‘shootout’ which later turned out to be the horrific terrorist attacks.

It was a close call for actor Shreya Dhanwanthary, who played the role of a journalist in Mumbai Diaries 26/ 11. Her father was supposed to be at Taj Mahal Palace, one of the places which was targeted by the terrorists, just earlier on the same day, for a meeting.

“Everybody remembers the incident, it is something which happened in our public consciousness. I was in Hyderabad with my mother and sister then, and my father was in Mumbai. We tried contacting him, but the signals were jammed. There was no info, then after some time my dad called us back. He said ‘I am watching a cricket match, let me be’ He didn’t know about the attacks. His meeting did take place in the afternoon,” she remembers.

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