News Desk |
An Indian expat in Sharjah was besieged by unsolicited phone calls from around the world after Netflix’s second season of ‘Sacred Games’ mistakenly publicized his phone number.
Soon after the release of Sacred Games on Netflix on August 15, Kerala native Kunhabdulla’s mobile phone was flooded with phone calls as his mobile phone number was shown as fictional gangster Sulaiman Isa’s number in the first episode of the new season.
“I have been getting incessant calls on my phone for the last three days from India, Pakistan, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and around the world. I don’t know what is happening. Hearing my phone ring sends shivers down my spine. I want to cancel my number. I want this problem to go away,” Kunhabdulla told Gulf News.
Worse, Kunhabdulla, 37, who works for a local oil company, has never heard of Sacred Games – the blockbuster web series on Netflix starring Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Khan plays a Sikh cop in the TV series while Siddiqui plays a Mumbai-based crime lord.
Fans believed that Agarwal was blocking their access to Leone – who has acted in erotic thrillers & adult comedies and is often portrayed as a sex symbol.
“What’s Sacred Games? A video game? I work from 8am to 7pm. I don’t have time for such things,” he told the publication. “I received more than 30 calls (on Sunday) and it’s draining my battery. In the last one hour, I received five calls asking for someone called Isa… Who is Isa? I don’t have anything to do with him.”
How his Number Went Public?
Kunhabdulla’s number went public in the scene where an undercover Indian agent from Kenya hands a chit to Ganesh Gaitonde (Siddiqui) bearing the number of dreaded gangster Isa. Although the number was not visible on the small piece of paper, the news story said, the subtitles gave it away.
Shortly after Gulf News’ report was published, Netflix and the production company wrote to the newspaper saying that they have removed Kunhabdulla’s number.
“We apologize for any inconvenience caused. As soon as we were alerted to the situation, we resolved the issue and removed the phone number from the subtitles,” Netflix said in a statement to the newspaper on Monday.
Fans ask ‘Delhi’s Sunny Leone’ to do Dirty Favors
Earlier, a similar incident happened when 27-year-old Puneet Agarwal started receiving over a 100 calls a day from men across India and different parts of the world asking him the same question: “can I speak to Sunny Leone?” They believe Agarwal was the only wall between them.
The callers told him that they want to talk to Sunny Leone – a former American porn star who has since entered into Bollywood. Agarwal, a resident of Delhi, had tried to convince all of them that it was not her phone number but they all believe it is really her number.
It all had started with a famous Indian singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh’s movie – Arjun Patiala – where Leone has played a special number and at the end of which, she gives Dosanjh ‘her number’. One assumes that this must be a made-up number or one that is no longer in use. However, the number turned out to be of Agarwal – who started receiving inappropriate calls since July 26 when the movie was released.
Fans believed that Agarwal was blocking their access to Leone – who has acted in erotic thrillers & adult comedies and is often portrayed as a sex symbol. After the release of the movie, he had revealed, he had been receiving more than 100 calls a day and the phone keeps ringing until four in the morning. “I am being harassed by many callers, people are abusing me and asking me to do dirty favors,” Agarwal had said.
“Since the release of the movie, I started receiving calls from unknown people asking me to let them talk to Sunny Leone. Initially, I thought somebody is playing a prank on me, but after a while, I got to know that the makers of the movie have actually used my number and Sunny Leone’s character in the movie dictates my number,” said Agarwal.
It’s become a joke and that’s fine, but this shouldn’t happen again,” he told BBC. “I try to laugh it off but it has got out of control.
Agarwal hasn’t been able to work, sleep or even eat his meals in peace since his number was shared by the Bollywood actress. He said he can’t give up the phone number because it is connected to his business and many old friends have the number.
Meet ‘Delhi’s Sunny Leone’, Real one has gone to have a Bath
In his interview with BBC, he had said the whole incident has become so absurd that his friends, colleagues and neighbors now tease him – they call him “Delhi’s Sunny Leone” and sing her hit songs when they see him.
“It’s become a joke and that’s fine, but this shouldn’t happen again,” he told BBC. “I try to laugh it off but it has got out of control.”
He had hoped the calls would stop soon. In the meantime, he found a solution to keep the calls short. “I just tell them she’s gone to have a bath and cannot speak right now.”