November 26, 2008, is the day when Mumbai became the target of the ferocious terror attacks. The next three days were gripped by terror, with the city witnessing lobbing grenades and firing weapons at prominent venues including railway station, hotels, and several other buildings, killing scores and wounding many. 10 terrorists from Lashkar-e-Taiba entered Mumbai through the sea route, armed with weapons and ammunition. It took four days for our security forces to kill all the terrorists and capture Mohammed Ajmal Kasab alive. But till then most of the damage was already done and the city bore the scars for years. Call it the spirit of Mumbai, but the city was back to its daily business within hours. 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the attacks, here are four survivors and their tales of the horrific day.
Indian chef Hemant Oberoi, who helped rescue dozens of people during the 2008 Mumbai attacks, poses outside the Taj Palace Hotel. He was head chef at the five-star Taj Palace Hotel where militants set off explosions, took hostages and shot dead more than 30 guests during a three-day siege. Staff, including Oberoi, helped save dozens of lives by leading guests to safety.
Nirmala Ponnudurai was on her way to get married when two attackers unleashed a barrage of bullets and hand grenades at CSMT, killing 52 people. “It feels like it happened yesterday, it is that fresh in my memory,” says Ponnudurai.
Sourav Mishra was enjoying a beer with friends at Leopold Cafe when two gunmen lobbed grenades and opened fire, killing ten people, including some foreigners. “The atmosphere in the restaurant was very happy and positive. Then suddenly there was a blast and people started screaming and howling,” says 39-year-old.
Tejaswini Chavan is nicknamed ‘Goli’ which means ‘bullet’ in Hindi because she was born during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Her mother Viju Chavan went into labour at the Cama and Albless Hospital on the night of November 26, 2008, as two armed gunmen stalked the building’s corridors. As eight other attackers laid siege to India’s commercial capital outside Chavan quietly gave birth to a girl, Tejaswini, who was immediately nicknamed ‘Goli’.