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The world right now  is going through a first-of-its-kind situation with the nation wide lock down, and all of us cooped up at home, we are all looking for ways to keep ourselves busy, entertained and informed!

Our go-to OTT platform is ZEE5.com – The platform has a large variety of programs ranging from the light to the hard hitting! And all are backed up by excellent direction and stellar performances.

Lately I have been watching a lot of programs which deepen my understanding while widening my perspective of things, events and people while also being entertaining. Basically, I want to watch more than fluff! (nothing wrong with it, its just not the phase I am in these days).

The Latest series that I have been binge watching on ZEE5.com is State of Siege

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Image Source: ZEE5

Series: State of Siege

Director: Matthew Leutwyler (An American director, he has handled this sensitive subject maturely)

Cast: Arjun Bijlani (oh my gosh! He was a crush from my younger days, and what a pleasure to see him all grown up and in such a commanding role! I am impressed (read: in crush again))

Mukul Dev, Vivek Dahiya, Arjan Bajwa – three popular actors from the T.V serials stratosphere.

I was quite fascinated to learn about the cinematography of this series, and the fact that the entire series has been shoot only in natural light, and no artificial lights have been used – Visually this is interesting, as it pulls you into the reality without you realising why it seems so real!

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Image Source: ZEE5

The entire cast of State of Seige on ZEE5 has done an outstanding job of making their roles so very real that you forget that this is not real and only an enactment!

This 8 episode ZEE5 Original series is centred around the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks which almost all of us witnessed unfold on the news channels. This series is based on journalist Sandeep Unnithan’s book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11.

This crime thriller is deeply researched and follows the lives and the challenges faced by the NSG commandos during the rescue operation – An operation which took 60 hours, 165 lives and injured 300 in 2018
The series reveals the lesser known facts of this incident, which many call as the country’s worst terrorist attack to date.

The series also reveals the workings of the National Security Guard (NSG) – their challenges, their grit and their honour.

This ZEE5 original, raises some pertinent questions – about the State under seige and the siege within our forces (Mumbai police and the NSG) which caused the siege to play out as it did.

For me, I got pulled into the series from the get-go, from the very first episode, because of Arjun Bijlani and also the snippets they show in the very first episode of the lives unfolding – here and across the border.

The workings of a terrorist mind are beyond me, and I find it very disturbing that children are made the agents of terrorism – This show handled the subject with finesse! The brutality mixed with the vulnerability – kudos to the actors and the director who could bring this out from them and immerse us into the centre of this conflict.

I also appreciated that the dialogues are not cliched – it is not the same run of the mill – mother earth and kill-kill-die-die kind of nonsense. The conversations are communications – sensible interactions like normal people would have in a usual day, and therein also lies its brilliance! The dialogues are common place and fit right into the narrative taking the story forward, and more importantly making it believable and real.

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Image Source: ZEE5

The 26/11 attack in Mumbai was for me, my first and front seat to the unfolding terrorist saga and my only source of information were the news channel.

Watching this series has been quite the eye opener and a detailed insight into what happened, really happened and more importantly, the bravery that each of the NSG commandos portrayed in this situation.

 Another ZEE5 program which gave me a lot of food for thought was the re-telling of the story of Toba Tek Singh by Saadat Hasan Manto. It was a gut wrenching watch with an unforgettable Pankaj Kapor essaying the role.

Do you have a favorite ZEE5 program that you can recommend for me to watch?
I definitely would recommend that you watch the State of Siege for a thrilling watch!