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[FAO] Once there was Bombay


Once there was Bombay


When I first went to Bombay
(it wasn't Mumbai then),
as a teenager for a holiday,
I felt it was a different country.
My hometown,
was conservative, didn't have coffee shops, restaurants,
 discos and had only prohibition.
 seemed so open, Marathi Manus so friendly,
 and more than anything else was a fun place.

when I was taken to the
 Taj Hotel at the Gateway,
 I felt I had died and gone to heaven.


 There was a disco, the arty crowd and minor film stars
 mingled easily with hicks like me.
It was the very first disco
I had ever been to.

A few years later,
I traveled frequently on official tours to Bombay.
As Mumbaikars,
I spoke fluent Marathi
Bombay Hindi this helped me to enjoy fully.


I remember
 thinking that this is possible only in Bombay.
If you are not very rich,
life is not particularly comfortable in Mumbai.


You can afford housing only in the suburbs,
 travel a long distance in crowded local trains and buses.
Mumbai was safe.

 The horror of what is happened
 at the
and Oberoi
is particularly heart breaking for me.

My connection with the city stayed alive
because of my frequent trips there.
The Newspapers, Magazines & TV Channels
 like Mumbai,
 was a melting pot.
People from all parts of the country worked there.
Nobody thought about the divisions.
Most of us loved the city, loved our jobs,
 loved the tension and concentrated on delivering results.
 The city is so mediasavvy.


You didn't have to use influence.
It was such a professional city.
Nobody bothered about your background,
where you came from,
who your parents were.
You were what you were.

The first time
 I felt a change in my visit, after the
Babri Masjid Demolution.


 My Muslim friends
suddenly withdrew into themselves.
It didn't make any difference to our relationship.
they started thinking more seriously about their religion,
their future, and their children's future.

Some friends
who have never done that before
 started fasting during Ramzan.
 Soon after,
came the Bombay blasts
and then the retaliatory attacks
when the Shiv Sena went on a rampage.


there was the Hindu-Muslim divide.
Hindu friends
became protective of their Muslim colleagues.
Muslim friends became slightly suspicious.

As it is repeated ad nauseam,
 Mumbai is resilient.
 As though it had a choice.
In 2006,
there were the serial blasts
in the Mumbai suburban trains,
the lifeline of the city.
It happened on a rainy dark evening
when hard working professionals were returning home.


The commuters
 are a community by themselves.
As they spend such long hours in the trains,
they make friends,
 save sitting places for others,
form singing groups, share snacks,
 and make life as comfortable as possible.
Even after that particular horror,
Mumbai did go back to normal,
picked itself together, and went back to business.
then politics has started rearing its ugly head ever so often in Mumbai.
The Malegaon blasts,
the Marathi manoos campaign,
 all ruining the spirit of Mumbai.

 How much beating can the city take?
The monsters
who are behind this attack
seem to understand very well that

 they break Mumbai,
they break India.
Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org

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Re: [FAO] Please Pay Tribute To All Victims Of Mumbai Massacre

As I write this email, the last part of a courageous, unprecedented and challenging battle has come to a victorious conclusion - a battle against the worst terrorist attack any city in the world has had to face in recent times.
Yes, the casualties have been high: the scenes we have witnessed in Mumbai in the last three days have been heart-rending and distressing. Even though the media reports have focused on deaths of foreign nationals, the truth is that these terrorists have been indiscriminate, with a focus to kill whoever was in their sights, thereby spreading terror.  Not only is our city and our country shocked by the sheer magnitude and audacity of this attack, but the anger and concern in the rest of the world has adequately proven that we, the citizens of every civilized country today, have taken this attack personally, and are horrified by its callous disregard for human life of every nationality.
I am one with everyone who has watched this vicious drama unfold, in condoling the families that have been bereaved, and praying for the injured that are lying in hospitals. I proudly commend the unswerving dedication of the Indian National Security Guards, Police and Commandos who fought tirelessly for over 60 hours to free innocent hostages. But my friends, that is not enough.
We at Tamarind Tours appeal to you…let us not submit to the will of these cowardly terrorists by letting ourselves get intimidated by what has occurred in Mumbai. Their purpose was to strike at iconic symbols of India 's economy, tourism and democracy. If today, Mumbai is blacklisted by the world as a business and tourist destination, victory will be theirs, and they will have more than achieved what they set out to do.
In these trying times, all of us have to stand united against terror tactics, be resilient, think and act positively, and show these desperate people that we are not ready to be cowed down. Governments will naturally issue travel advisories as a matter of protocol, but these precautions are standard procedure. We urge all of you to stand firm in your refusal to be afraid, and continue to support Mumbai and India , or indeed any part of the world that has been similarly threatened or affected.
Don't leave this message idle in your inbox. Please share it with clients, friends and associates who will help make a difference in psychological war against terror.
With best wishes and prayers .


--- On Sat, 11/29/08, Swati <venusian.lady@yahoo.com> wrote:
From: Swati <venusian.lady@yahoo.com>
Subject: [FAO] Please Pay Tribute To All Victims Of Mumbai Massacre
To: forangelsonly@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, November 29, 2008, 3:09 PM

Many are calling it India's 9/11, when Mumbai was struck hard by one of the worst terrorist attacks that the country has ever seen.

It is tragic - to say the least - as the fear keeps rising and the crisis deepens with every hour, uncertainty ushers in a feeling of hopelessness.

A common thread of death, of course, looms large. Some were victims - to the indiscriminate firing of the terrorists and others died in trying to save the lives of others - prey in the hands of unprecedented violence. Every bullet signaling the reign of hatred, that overrides courage.

We pay tribute to those who lost their lives. You shall always be in our minds, as you are in those who knew you.

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[FAO] Talking Pictures : Mumbai Warzone

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At 9:20 pm, two men came on a scooter at Nariman house, near the Bootleggers Pub in Colaba and hurled grenade at a nearby petrol pump.The grenade missed the petrol reservoir but destroyed the facade of station. After hurling the grenade, the terrorists ran into Nariman House building behind petrol pump, which is a Jewish residential building. The terrorists murdered two people there.

A few terrorists then remained holed up silently for hours. They surfaced again in the morning and hold people hostage and the hostage drama still continues.

A day in the life of the 'Taj'

Away from guests and staff, suave welcomes and prompt services, the Taj, was to experience some visitors on November 26, 2008. Visitors who walked calmly through the service door of the Taj, stormed the hotel and opened fire. They also hurled grenades at the people. Major portions of the hotel have been destroyed by fire. Many were evacuated and rescued; although some are still held hostage in the hotel. For the next two days, a dangerous encounter follows between the commandos and terrorists, in trying to free hostages- explosions and gunshots shaking India's financial capital.

Trident on fire

It was Trident's turn now. At 9:35 pm, on Wednesday, Mumbai's Trident hotel came under attack when terrorists stormed the hotel. A number of people were still trapped inside the hotel. Sources have confirmed two gunmen inside but there could be more. The operation to flush out terrorists is still on. Many innocent lives have been lost in this incident.

Talking Pictures

Now, at Ville Parle

At 9.55 pm, a taxi blast rocked Ville Parle leaving three dead. The taxi's debris are lying around. Wednesday night, was the beginning of a doom, or so it seems. As if, the sun had set on Mumbai, awaiting a forced summon.  

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Holed up at the Cama hospital

The terrorists seem to have left no stones unturned. After Ville Parle, they attacked Cama hospital at 10:15 pm and were holed up there till policemen shot them dead and got it cleared.

After the Cama hospital encounter, the police sources have confirmed five people are dead including one police Inspector, two Constables and two watchmen.

With such unprecedented attacks all over Mumbai, sleep would not come easy.

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<> At 10:45 on Wednesday night

Amidst the other shocking attacks in Mumbai, Wadi Bunder, was next in line. There was a blast in a taxi in which 15-16 people were injured in the vicinity. The driver of the taxi is dead.

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Faces of terror

These are the terrorists, who are behind the terror attacks in Mumbai on Wednesday night. At least 100 people have been killed and about 240 injured in a series of well-coordinated attacks in the city.

Men who could have gone a different way perhaps; men, who could have been the reason for giving life to someone- instead, they choose hatred? Why, is the question that comes to mind, everytime one sees the deeds they do. Is there an end to this hatred?

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Left injured

Mumbai was shaken with terrorist attacks on Wednesday. It was sinister and almost spread doom across the city. The aftermath of the blasts saw the injured taken to GT hospital. From the north to the south of the metropolis, there was panic- a feeling that was to extend over the next two days.

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Armed with ammunition 

It was an attack, the motive behind which is not immediately clear. An attack that targetted luxury hotels, a railway station and many other places, wounding an innumerable number of people and leaving others dead. Grenades and guns were also found from many of the sites. It's been two days since Wednesday, the battle goes on, and the sounds of the gun firing come raw to the ears, still. While a few have been evacuated, hostages still remain trapped, in some of the sites.

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Together in distress

Amidst crisis of any kind, it is only hope that sustains. Distress is not for long when one has the shoulders to lean on. In experiencing one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in India, which took as hostage not only Indians but foreign nationals- perhaps, the world knows, what it is to be together in distress.

In this picture, unidentified guests of The Taj Hotel comfort each other in an ambulance after they were rescued from the hotel in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, November 27, 2008.

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We salute the hero

Terrorism summons death. It's tried and has been tested. And so goes the story when on Wednesday night the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad's chief Hemant Karkare was gunned down when he was leading an operation at Mumbai's Taj Hotel against terrorists on Wednesday. He was hit by three bullets in his chest.

A life that perhaps should have never gone- but such are the designs of destiny.

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Bidding the last adieu

People gather at Balasaheb Bhosale's funeral in Mumbai, India, on November 27, 2008. Balasaheb Bhosale was a police official who died during an anti-terror operation at a railway station. To the many lives lost in the Mumbai terror combat, we bid a heartfelt adieu.

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File photo of Israeli Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg and wife Rivka. They were killed in the terror attack at the Jewish centre in Mumbai. Their two-year-old son, Moshe, managed to escape with his nanny on Friday morning.

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