When I was in the 9th grade, I had a chapter in English Literature named “India’s Heroes” focussing on the heroism of various people from different fields during the 26/11 attack. The moment I got to know about this series I was so excited to watch it and honestly it was worth the excitement.
Mumbai Diaries 26/11, directed by Nikkhil Advani, is a medical drama focusing on the challenges faced by the doctors, nurses and frontline workers and other first responders when Mumbai was brought to a standstill due the horrific terrorist attacks on 26th November 2008. The series is an ode to all the frontline warriors for their selfless services.
The series begins with a group of ten terrorists entering the city and planning the attack. The main plot of the story revolves around Dr. Kaushik Oberoi, played by Mohit Raina, who is a senior doctor at Bombay General hospital. Hours before the attack happens, we are introduced to Dr. Oberoi who performs a life saving surgery in the corridor of hospital with the help of his three brand new residents – Diya Pareekh (Natasha Bharadwaj), Ahaan Mirza (Satyajit Dubey) and Sujata Ajawale (Murnmayee Deshpande).
We also get to see Konkona Sensharma as Chitra Das, one of the strongest characters with a heavy burden of her past traumas. She is a social worker who fights for patients who don’t have anyone to fight for them. When resident Ahaan Mirza has to save a patient’s life but he is too nervous as it is his first day on the job, Chitra is the one who motivates him with, “Jo tum apne aap ko samajhte ho, tum usse badh ke ho”, thereby hitting the right strings not just in Ahaan’s heart but also the viewers’.
As the story proceeds we get to know about Dr. Kaushik’s personal life too – his troubled marriage with his wife Ananya, played by Tina Desai, a character who’ll surely touch your heart. Ananya is stuck in the same hotel saving and rescuing guests along with resident Diya Pareekh’s parents which the terrorists have taken over. We also get to see a very different side of a health professional’s life; one that unfolds their struggles in how they are bound to do their duty, irrespective of fearing the loss of their loved ones.
There was a point when a gun was pointed at Dr. Kaushik but still he treated a terrorist and said, “Hum doctors hain, hum body ko dekhte hain, human character ko dekhna hamara kaam nahi hai” which touched me deeply. It pretty much sums up Dr. Kaushik’s character. To him the oath of saving lives is ahead of anything and everything. I don’t think anyone could have done more justice to this role other than Mohit Raina.
Another important character is Mansi Hirani, a journalist, portrayed by Shreya Dhanwanthary. Through her character, we get to see the insensitive and inhumane side of the media and how far they are willing to go sometimes, just for “breaking news”. The set of actors chosen for this series deserve the biggest applause and respect. The supporting cast includes Sonali Sachdev as Shamita Parekh, Prakash Belawadi as Dr. Mani Subramanium , Akshar Kothari as Inspector Mayank Bhatt, Mishal Raheja as Dr. Sahil Aggarwal, among others.
A lot of crime, horror, fantasy, mystery series or movies have been made in India but this is the first time I’ve watched a medical thrilling series. We all have read and watched a lot on the 26/11 attack, but this series tried to show us a whole new perspective which was so different from all the others. It threw light on the point that it wasn’t terrorists only against whom we had the fight, but the failed system as well.
While being all of the above, it never stops being entertaining which is a massive plus point. The actors have done a fantabulous job and the cinematography is on point. The only drawback I found was that the story becomes quite predictable after a point. While perhaps not a must watch, it is definitely not something you would regret spending your time watching.
Mumbai Diaries is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.