When the cable TV had just entered the Indian Household in early 90s, Wg Cdr AS Bedi decided to produce and direct a Serial on the essence and ethos of Indian Navy and with his team visited Mumbai and Goa. He had the full support of the organisation. Those were the pre 9/11 days and security wasn't as tight. 'Samandar' was possibly the first commercial serial on our fine Navy. Wg Cdr Bedi casted most of the service officers and sailors as actors. Samir Soni was the main Lead, having done a professional course in acting. Apart from a few professional actors rest were the local inhouse talent. Its always a very sensitive duty to covey about the martyrdom of a service person to his wife/ mother. Our Capt(Air), INS Hansa, Capt Sanjoy Gupta had an impressive short role, as CO of the Air station to convey the unfortunate demise of her only son, LtCdr Shyam to the mother, actress Vanita Malik.
Most of the shooting for the serial was conducted at Naval Air Station Goa, where I had been appointed the Base LtCdr (Flying) and Sameer was cast as a young Naval Aviator…I along with Meena and kid had gone to the Naval Canteen on a Sunday afternoon where the shoot was in progress…Wg Cdr Bedi was quite amused by our year old Aakash and instantly cast him and Meena for a fire scene in which the Hero, Sameer rescues Aakash and hands him over to the mother…..Short scene, shot 25 years ago, but Sameer was visibly amused, when recently reminded. A down to earth actor, with immense talent.
From the dungeons of our service trunks out popped a VCR cassette on which was marked Samandar.in blue, I got it cleaned and digitized to extract some nostalgia for you to savor., thats NOT available on the net/ youtube...
Lets revel in the nostalgia after 25 long years.....Regards.