Mumbai: Beloved City Reclaimed

Mumbaikars Reclaim Beloved City
Continued from
Mumbai Blasts: Mop up at the Taj
Mumbai Blasts: Day 2
Mumbai Blasts: Day 1

Picture Update from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Indian Time; Sunday Nov 30th from the Leopold Cafe!

Here are a few pics from the crowds in front of the Leopold Cafe this afternoon.
The Leopold Cafe “did” open briefly this morning, but apparently the crowds showed an excessive enthusiasm to get in and see the battle scars. The Owners could not get private security quick enough and the Police asked the owners to close shop. Police also roped off the sidewalk in front of the Leopold; And surprisingly, there was a media circus with at least 5 TV vans and seemingly scores of reporters! Not fun! Meet a few tweople there! Good to finally put faces to names!

People were lighting candles and placing flowers just outside the Cafe
Leopold Cafe

I loved the little girl’s “UNBREAKABLE” Flag; exactly my thoughts!
Leopold Cafe

More Pics!

One of the media people; she was a reporter for TV 9; I kinda feel bad for the traditional media; after the adrenaline fueled last 72 hours, what do they do now?
Leopold Cafe

I had to leave the tweetup early for a family engagement! It was my way of reclaiming my ‘normal life’. And was entertained by this uber cute niece! Glad I left early, no?

Picture Update from ~ 8:45 am Indian Time; Sunday Nov 30th from the Leopold Cafe!

SB Road was closed and bus dropped me at the Regal rotary; Enroute to home, walked by the Leopold Cafe.

Leopold Cafe: The shutters were down, but I noticed that a small side door was open. Noticed employees were busy setting up their tables; This is from the side looking in.. You can see the closed shutters on the inside right. The blood and guts from the floor have all been cleaned. Guy in white inside is one of the partners/owners Farzad. He came out to talk.

Keith Bradsher from the New York Times came by as well and he introduced himself to Farzad. Farzad was impressed, I did not bother introducing myself (still in soggy running shorts, t-shirts and carrying my tiny camera). Here is Farzad!

Farzad said they will try and get the restaurant opened by 11 am or as soon as they can get the arrangements done! He took us in and showed us the grenade crater under one of the tables; He said they will NOT fill it in! KEEP IT AS A REMINDER OF WHAT WE WENT THROUGH!
Sorry, flash does not do it justice! Surprised that it was so tiny! Perhaps our granite floors are so solid! This place has been around since 1871 – and prolly survived the independence riots. This (and we) are going to survive the tineey grenades these wimps are using! The crater is the size of a large orange ? about 4 inches across and about 3 inches deep.

Farzad said that two of their waiters were killed; One was injured inside, and ran out this same side entrance and fell out on the sidewalk. Another waiter ha run outside but was gunned down by the terrorists. I have posted pics of the blood and his serving tray still in the blood on the sidewalk outside the Leopold; Mumbai Blasts: Day 1

Farzad said inside their restaurant, four foreigners and four Indians were killed.
A few bullet holes in the glass. Nptice the shutters are still closed behind the glass. It is going to be eery sitting there only a few days early many lives were cut short by the cowards!

Introduced myself to Keith Bradsher of the New York Times; I am jealous, He had a fancy blackberry and was prolly tweeting or filing his report straight from outside the Leopold. I had to come home, and then get on my computer! But I had a camera, and he did not! Haaa HAAAA! I still need to learn how to tweet from a mobile.
keith Bradsher of NYTimes

Picture Update from ~ 7:15 am Indian Time; Sunday Nov 30th
Got up at my regular time and went out for a run, with my tiny Nikon Coolpix; my regular camera is the Nikon D80 with the 17-55 mm lens (yes, snob!); also 55-200mm Nikon for zoom)
Follow my updates on Twitter

Police still around, but traffic was light; Ran by Cooperage and then the Bandstand across from Ambedkar’s Statue. Inside the Bandstand, kids were in their Karate session.

Billboards in tribute to the fallen officers!

Security was tight in front of the Mantralaya, but I ran on ahead to the Trident. It still stands tall. Just like the Mumbaikars and other Indians.

Many onlookers; This family came by on their motorcycle to see for themselves! Brave!

Regulars walkers around – perhaps a little less people.

Even senior citizens were out for their morning walk

At the Babulnath temple; i offered thanks for what the city has survived!

I took the bus back home. This is my normal routine here, I run out about 4 miles, drink 2 naariyal paani (tender coconut), and take the bus back home. Buses are plying normally. See pictures of this same run under normal circumstances, here

More pics to come!

38 thoughts on “Mumbai: Beloved City Reclaimed

Add yours

  1. Arun – your site here is a true testament to living through something and surviving – your photos and words made it so real to us that are far away. i love the candid photos you’ve shared. THANK YOU.

  2. Hi Arun,

    I woke up Monday morning to your interview on NPR. It’s been awhile since we last spoke, but I wanted to thank you for your posts and comments. My thoughts are with you and everyone in Mumbai.

    Safe travels back to Boston.


    From Arun:
    Hi Joyce: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Appreciate it a lot.
    Now things are very calm here and folks are starting to put together the pieces.
    Mumbai is bouncing back, but for the relatives and friends of the victims, it will take its time.

    Best Wishes

  3. Naariyal pani, the Gatorade of desi champs? hehe.

    S and I got much entertainment out of discussing the exercising uncles’ wardrobes.

    also: ooo jealous that you got to meet a NYT reporter. very cool!

  4. I love this post. I particularly appreciate how you’ve captured the resilience and endurance of Mumbaikars, and Indians at large. Those terrorists were idiots…

  5. Thank you for showing us so well the resilience and beauty of your neighborhood, city, culture and people. Or, if I may be so bold, “our” people — for today we are all Mumbaikars.

  6. Hello Arun!
    Thank you for the uplifting human portrait of the mumbai arttacks. The American, and Japanese, media, have for the most part only shown the tragedy, the blood, the guns, etc.
    Its nice to see normal civilians reactions to the horrific event that took over their city, and how they are coping ^v^

    All the Best,

  7. Dear Dr. Shanbhag,
    Having grown up in Colaba, it was distressing to sit helplessly in the US and watch my favorite haunts being torn apart by terrorists. I have walked those streets god-knows-how-many times. Its amazing to see your webpage and the photographs.
    On another note: Presume you’re the same Dr. Arun Shanbhag who was at Clemson, under Dr. Jonathan Black. I too am doing a PhD at Clemson, under Dr. Robert Latour (you might know him). Apologies incase I’m wrong!

    Arun Says:
    Yes Balu, I am the same one, student of JB!
    Good luck with your work with Bob. Great guy! Give him my regards.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: