Arjan Bajwa: The NSG Uniform Changes Your Mindset!

In an exclusive conversation, Arjan Bajwa who will play Col. Kunal Sahota in the series, talked to us about his character, experience of working with Colonel Sandeep Sen, training process and much more...

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Arjan Bajwa

ZEE5 is all set to launch its upcoming web series titled State of Siege 26/11 starring Arjan Bajwa, Arjun Bijlani and Vivek Dahiya in the main lead. The series which is based on the book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11 by Sandeep Unnithan will showcase the many unknown facts of the 26/11 attack from the NSG point of view. 

In an exclusive conversation, Arjan Bajwa who will play Col. Kunal Sahota in the series, talked to us about his character, experience of working with Colonel Sandeep Sen, training process and much more.

Tell us something about your character. 

I am playing Col. Kunal Sahota. Kunal Sahota is based on the real-life commanding officer who led the whole operation of 26/11 from the point of view of NSG. He was the leader of the whole group which is called the 51 SAG (Special Action Group). 

Now that you're playing a real-life character, how different is the experience from essaying a fictional character?

 It's a huge responsibility and an honor.

Arjan Bajwa

You even worked and trained with Col. Sandeep Sen. How was the entire experience?

It was very overwhelming. In fact, I asked him at some point if I could still get on the road and become a black cat commando in real life. I was so excited and it was good because we trained in many different ways considering that he was part of the real operation at that time, he was the second-hand command to Colonel Sheoran. 

He knew the story, he knew the real-life incident, he knew exactly what movements happened and what was spoken so I learned all of that. I tried to imbibe all the mannerisms of Colonel Sunil Sheoran. In the trailer, there's a dialogue, "Tayar ho mere shero". That dialogue was actually spoken by him like that.

Most of the times he was very relaxed and didn't behave like a commanding officer or a senior. He used to treat all his commandos on an equal footing.

During our boot camp training, we transformed ourselves physically, the black cats actually move like cats, and make themself comfortable in the smallest possible formation.

Many incidents and real-life stories kind of helped us to get into the mindset. As it was not something fictional, you had to stick to the basics,  actual facts about how these people operated during that time.

When you were shooting for the series, did you recall any incident as to where you were during the 26/11 attack?

Oh yes, of course very well. I was in Mumbai, I was at home. We had plans to go out for dinner with friends and we got to know that there is some kind of shootout which has happened. That time they were calling it a shootout so I thought that it's just a shootout, some incident which has happened. 

But when we got to know the gravity, how big it is and it's a terror attack, it's literally like the 9/11 of India where people had barged into our city and had the audacity to kill people randomly wherever they find, so I have a very strong memory, I was very angry because you couldn't understand how they could defy such a huge system of our country, their audacity was shocking indeed.

Arjan Bajwa

Did shooting at the real locations help you to get more into the character?

It did definitely because forget the real locations, the moment you wear the NSG uniform you transform into something else altogether. The black cat uniform is such a powerful thing, it's like Superman's kit, the moment you put it on, you start flying. 

The NSG uniform is so amazing, it gives you so much pride and courage, the moment you wear it even if you want to talk about something casual you cannot because you become so upright. Your body language changes. 

So the uniform changes your mindset and when you are shooting at real locations, it is as much as it is a matter of pride but it is also shocking to know what all must have happened at these places. 

How was the experience of shooting with your co-stars Arjun and Vivek?

Very good. It's a very serious show so we had to be in character all the time. I haven't shot much with Vivek.

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