Nikkhil Advani: Our bravehearts knew they had docs, nurses guarding their backs

It was Nikkhil Advani’s ‘Mumbai Diaries 26/11’, the hospital drama series starring Mohit Raina and Konkona Sen Sharma, which put the spotlight on the role of critical care doctors and nurses in Mumbai’s hospitals on those three nights of terror.

Talking about the behind-the-scenes work that went into the series, Advani told IANS: “We came across several instances of how the doctors and nurses reacted during those extremely critical hours that led to the saving of lives at the Cama & Albless Hospital.”

He continued: “We must never forget that we were at war for those three days and while the Mumbai Police, ATS and NSG did a fabulous job, it was the knowledge they had that the medical teams had their backs that allowed them to go into the situation so bravely.”

The eight-episode series, which also saw Prakash Belawadi, Sonali Kulkarni, Shreya Dhanwanthary and Satyajeet Dubey in leading roles, chronicles the bravery of medical professionals in the city’s hospitals and the staff of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

The medics did everything in their capacity to live by their oath of saving lives. And the hotel staff also helped a large number of their guests escape certain death by organising their incognito exits because they knew the floorplan much better than the gunmen.

In any research-backed film or OTT series to shape up the narrative choices, and influence the voice of the director, the findings on the ground hugely impact the content. “The entire energy of the show changed,” Advani said. “The fact that split-second decisions need to be taken made me create a world that was so relentless and frenetic.”

In a country where medical professionals are often subjected to violent behaviour by attendants of the patients, it’s easy to forget that doctors too are human beings, they too go through the same set of emotions as any other person.

Pouring his heart out on the human side of the medical professionals, Advani concluded his conversation with IANS with the remark: “The show’s theme is ‘sometimes those who are meant to heal are the most broken’. We never once think about what could be going on in the lives of the person putting on a mask and entering a room to save our life. We take that so much for granted. That’s what intrigued me the most and made me tell this story.”



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