4 Real Life Taj Stories
10 years ago, on the eve of 8 pm on Nov 26th a group of 10 gunmen from the Pakistani terrorist organization, Lashkar-E-Taiba, took an inflatable raft and sailed across the Arabian Sea to arrive in Colaba, Mumbai.
Their advent, which at first was considered inconsequential, ultimately led to 12 coordinated bombings and shootings across the city. A devastation that lasted 4 days and went down in history to be known as the ‘Mumbai Attacks of 2008’.
Out of these 12 attacks, 8 took place in South Bombay – occurring at CST, the Taj, the Oberoi Trident; at Leopold Café, Cama Hospital, Nariman House, Metro Cinema and the lane behind the iconic Xavier’s College.
While these attacks caused mass physical destruction, blood shed, loss and widespread ‘global condemnation’, resulting in 164 deaths and 308 injuries – the effect it had on humanity – to this day – still however, remains obscured.
‘What was it really like to be inside? How did it feel? What was it like to witness this unrelenting chaos?’
While there are many accounts that chronicle the factual details of this heinous incident, there are very few that actually talk about the human experience of it – the unquestionable human aspect.
Over the following week, as a tribute, marking the 10th year anniversary of the Mumbai Attacks, I’m presenting 3 real life personal stories of people. People who were not only present in the Taj during these horrific ‘Mumbai Attacks’ but also experienced an unprecedented range of human emotions as they navigated their way through this chaos.
Survivors who lived to tell me their stories.
In these stories you will not find blue prints of plans, war strategies, or even much of the names of the terrorists, for that matter; but what you will find, in fact, is a dichotomy of human emotions.
Ranging from the manifestation of unimaginable fear, feelings of despair, hopelessness, panic, pain and in some cases even hostility, to flickers of empathy, optimism, selflessness, valiant bravery, an unquenchable desire for survival and even possibly humour in the most despairing of situations.
In short, expect to find the good, the bad, but most importantly – the unexpected.