The Siege The Attack on the Taj Characters » 108

Summary The Siege The Attack on the Taj

The Siege The Attack on the Taj Characters » 108 ¹ Winner of the CWA Nonfiction Dagger Award the definitive account of the 2008 terrorist attacks in MumbaiMumbai 2008 On the night of November 26 Lashkar e Toiba terrorists attacked targets throughout the city including the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel one of the world’s most exclusive luWinner of the CWA Nonfiction Dagger Award the definitive account of the 2008 terrorist attacks in MumbaiMumbai 2008 On the night of November 26 Lashkar e Toiba terrorists attacked targets throughout the city including the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel one of the world’s most exclusive luxury hotels. There are two ways in which I could write this review 1 Tell you about the incompetency of the system which allowed such a brazen act of terrorism on Indian soil to escalate to previously unseen levels Right from the botched up handling of external and domestic intelligence handling to the readiness of the police the security groups or the nation there are countless things I can talk about2 Puff up my chest and say that even after this mayhem India saved a lot of hostages and the battle no matter how bloody it turned out to be was a victoryHowever I am not going to take either of these routes Instead I wanted to put into words a few images that I can recollect which are closely linked to this incident This review has nothing to do with the book and yes you have been warned #1 26 November 2008 It was close to 11 PM and I had my nose buried in some book My mobile phone lights up with a text from a friend which says 'Turn on the TV Something's happening in Mumbai' With no inkling as to what is going on I did as I was asked to and got the first glimpses of what was to become a fever that gripped the country for the next three days What the news told me first was that it was a series of explosions and knowing Mumbai for what it was I went off to sleep thinking it would all be normal by morning It wasn't I still remember the first thing I heard the next day from the TV ' Mumbai situation Army Deployed' Every minute at office and home for the next few days was of updates from the media A colleague of mine runs to us as we are wrapping up a meeting in office and says ' Pardon me for barging in but they have rescued all the hostages at the Taj ' We all cheered at the top of our voicesThe National Security Guard NSG commandos who led the rescue operation became overnight heroes In the days that followed there were kids who tried jumping from heights and hurt themselves reenacting the way they saw the commandos rappel down to Nariman house in Mumbai The violence left a lot of people bristling armchair generals who wanted immediate war with Pakistan Then again there were the armchair commandos among us who sat at home and dissected the operation saying they should have gone this way or that way or shot at the terrorists in this fashion all from the comfort of their living rooms As it happens in India all this was forgotten in a day or two#2 Late 2012 It was the second day of a national conference I was attending and we were all fresh after lunch and at the verge of sleep The next speaker of the day was a middle aged man who looked rather inconspicuous He introduced himself as the VP HR of the Taj group and without preamble began by saying that ' I was there in 2008 when it happened at the Taj' The crowd slowly uietened down Following this in a very calm and unpretentious way and without the aid of a presentation he delivered a stunning account of what happened as a business group's management team watched its flagship property being destroyed and its employees being massacred He told us about men and women who gave up their lives trying to protect their customers There was an anecdote he recounted of a waiter in one of the dining rooms who helped 32 diners escape from the burning room before being cut down by a hail of bullets from the terrorists He looked at us and said ' The man would have earned in a month what some of you here earn in a half day or a day Yet he showed no hesitation to put his life on the line' The management team went to visit his widow days later in a small one room apartment who politely refused the compensation offered to her She put her arms around her young son and said 'Sir thank you for the money but I cannot take it I want my son to aspire to be like his father and nothing else' He continued in this vein telling us of all that happened and how the TATA group finally emerged from this pit of despair with all its employees rallying around it in the hour of need Somewhere as he went along the first tear rolled down my cheek Suddenly self conscious I wiped it away to see almost everyone in the room in a similar state No one made an effort to hide their tears and when finally the man finished speaking we gave him and the team a standing ovation To this day nothing has moved me as much as that 20 minute speech#3 April 2013 I stood before the Taj hotel leaning on a brick lined railing and looking up at the mighty structure There were no signs anywhere from what happened 5 years ago I looked behind me at the sea where fishing boats bobbed and tourists clamoured on passenger boats en route to the Elephants caves For those of you who have not been to Mumbai it might tough to explain how much grandeur and the daily humdrum of life intermingle at this place To your one side is the majestic gateway of India and the Taj hotel to the other side The streets are filled with tourists and vendors and the place is never uiet even for a second To my one side stood a bunch of school goers happily snapping selfies in front of the hotel and to my other side was a teenaged couple with their hands entwined and smiling that happy smile of being in love A tea vendor strolled over to me asking 'Saab chai ' smiling a toothless smile I could only wonder how fast the scars would have healed for the MumbaikarLater that day I sat in Cafe Leopold where the senseless shooting had begun There are still scars and bullets lodged in the pillars and the wall of this place and a waiter who caught me staring at them smiled and nodded before walking along on his errand Mumbai always comes back to normal no matter how much anyone tries to hurt the sense of life in her

Adrian Levy ½ 8 Read

For sixty eight hours hundreds were held hostage as shots rang out and an enormous fire raged When the smoke cleared thirty one people were dead and many had been injured Only the courageous actions of staff and guests including Mallika Jagad Bob Nichols and Taj general manager Binny Kang pre. A well researched book on the accounts of 2611 How the authors weave the true events of the tragedy into a book deserves the praising A big salute to all the people who help to save many lives without caring for their ownA must read

Download ☆ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ½ Adrian Levy

The Siege The Attack on the TajVented a much higher death tollWith a deep understanding of the region and its politics and a narrative flair reminiscent of Midnight in Peking journalists Cathy Scott Clark and Adrian Levy vividly unfold the tragic events in a real life thriller filled with suspense tragedy history and herois. I only got 12 way Insanity coupled with incompetence; it's just too dire for me to want to read any When will this threat of fanatic jihad be seen for what it is Since 9 11 or this horrid horrid event inside The Taj nor numbers of other bombings and massacres of innocent victims on 3 or 4 continents doesn't seem to have rung any of the right bells now I do despairThey are continually soliciting killer volunteers every day from Europe and the Americas on the internet for this exact kind of work And getting 10000 takers a year from a Reuters report I just read Looking at the lives of the terrorists themselves in these last days before this siege in this book Complete insanity structured by nice family men for the proper ways to say good byeIt's too stomach turning to continue reading for me And we argue and hold hubris about use of language or team names or offense Being blown up or tortured is a fairly larger offense and is given a tsk tsk or deemed in the same fairness arena Bread and circuses here in the USA are coupled with a don't look behind the curtain politico in free world countries We are living right now in a fantasy land about this fanatic Islamic movement Our government reaction dwells in a place similar to a cross between types of distraction from the latter days of Rome coupled with The Wizard of Oz orchestration Hate abounds and it seems it is blind to any other alternative but theirs It is as real as dirt and sky And it is coming And I wouldn't be at all surprised that my grandchildren will have to deal with its conseuences as my Father's did with the Nazis