With the rise of video content consumption, mainstream media industry have invested heavily in producing Indian-centric series. App based mobile applications are now competing for the pie with international brands and winning with elan! And why won’t they? Video streaming apps like ZEE5 puts emphasis on culture and stories of our soil with excellent storytelling!
Obviously, we stayed glued to stories that capture our pride, emotion, culture and lived experiences. Some of them might be romantic, because this is the country of love, some speak about everyday Indian life, some focus on travel and food. However, seldom in the past an app ventured into depicting the turbulent time that shook our nation and remained etched deep in our memory: the attacks of 26/11, often termed as India’s own 9/11. State of Siege is a television series streamed of ZEE5, loosely based on the book titled Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11 by Sandeep Unnithan takes us back to those dark nights.
Image Source: ZEE5
I watched the trailer release of State of Siege: 26/11 and my heart sank remembering the eventful 60 hours from a little more than a decade back. It was a balmy evening. I was in college. I was studying hospitality management and the brand Taj always stood as flag bearer of Indian hospitality. 2008 Mumbai Terror Attack not only just set the iconic Taj Mahal hotel ablaze, it took hostage of our soul too and added a question mark to our dreams and identity. Those moments were revisited as I played back the trailer of State of Siege: 26/11agin and again.
Image Source: ZEE5
The trailer starts with a group of men walking through a dense forest of flanking deodars. The famed tall standing trees from verdant valleys of Kashmir, where the evil plot of 2008 Mumbai Terror Attack was conceptualised and reiterated multiple times before it hit the west coast of India, in Mumbai, the quintessential financial capital of india.
I sensed a shiver run down my spine as the trailer picked up minute details. The peaceful call of Azaan echoed at a distance while the vile propaganda ramshackled young minds, crippled with poverty and illiteracy. In a while, they are shown to sail through the rough currents of the Arabian sea, which brought the Middle east to the doorstep of Indian peninsula since millenia. Blood splattered everywhere in the aftermath as automatic machine guns broke the usual clatters of the road. The disturbing images of men and women running for shelter from the garb of imminent mayhem mellows the most brutal heart.
I felt it all the more, since I had followed the events closely till the day Ajmal Kasav, one of the six perpetrators and a citizen of our neighbouring country Pakistan, was hanged till death as executed by the highest court of India. We grew up learning about the insurmountable courage of Tukaram Omble, who is the reason why we could prove it to the world stage, how Pakistani government sponsored homegrown terorism makes severe blows to India repeatedly, mostly unprovoked. Our heart goes away to the sacrifice of the General Manager of the Taj Mahal Hotel, who lost his family in the attack yet showed up in work to rescue hostages. And countless other people, whom the series “State of Siege” portrays with empathy and respect.
Image Source: ZEE5
From the trailer, it reflected debutant Vivek Dahiya did utmost justice to the role of gritty young NSG commando in black attire. His presence and demeanor gave us hope and courage at the face of this unjust and unprovoked war, which had proved the deep running sense of unity of India on the face of outward differences and diversity. State of Siege, running for eight episodes, is an ode to the unsung heroes who sacrificed everything to safeguard this great motherland of hours, from the gnaw of terror strike and shocking paraplegia.
It puts emphasis on factual details of the events as 26/11 unfolded in Mumbai. There are a string of events associated with the terror plot, as it went on ravishing the iconic CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus), Colaba Causeway, and not just the historical Taj Mahal Hotel. The series State of Siege on ZEE5 Originals, directed by Matthew Leutwyler of Hollywood fame, did not shy away from showing true accounts of the eventful 60 hours from local, at the end of it the nation stood victorious.