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. Hi Arun… clicked on your site through a link on another news website. Great job with your posts, especially this one. It shows that Mumbai will soon be fully back on its feet once again!

  2. Arun,

    Yes, you are excused for cutting out early to attend your beyond-adorable, totally cute niece’s bday party!! Wow, what a charm! May she live to 120….


  3. Arun,

    I came to know about your twitter feed from an article in NYTimes. I must say you did a phenomenal job of covering common man’s aspect of this very tragic indecent.

    Best Regards,

  4. The most beautiful and enduring photo here is the one of your niece. Mumbai and India will endure and recover largely due to the hope and determination reflected in her eyes.

  5. Lovely, breathtaking pictures.
    I love how the city picks itself up and is ready to
    go in the face of such a terrible ordeal.

    Everyone working so hard to make everything spic and
    span and open for business.

    I salute the people of Mumbai.

    They are brave and strong.

  6. Arun,
    Good job! I was able to re-visit my favorite spots in Mumbai with pictures you posted. I am really sad with so much destruction of human life and places I spent many of my days/nights with friends and family. Look forward to reading more posts. Mumbai will always stand proud.

  7. In first place, nice job, Arun…Just wanted to share some thoughts…

    I am just watching CNN and looks like US has passed on the intelligence to India on late OCT for possible sea attacks and even ATS had warned about all 5 stars hotels about possible attacks

    It is really shameful in the way how Govt has handled it. It should have been very simple if we would have aired it on major news channels just by giving 10% of info to share it with common folks and just tell them “watch out for external elements”

    It is not like that no one is aware of terror threats. Everyone knows that and all would have taken it in serious note. Now after these tragedy happened, everyone coming out including Ratan Tata and they are saying that they had warnings.

    We would have stopped all these or at least reduced the number of victims, if the common folks know some kind of info already. People have watched the terrorists stepping into Indian soil and they don’t know who they really are

    US is crying since because their citizens are affected. “Who is going to bother about the lives of the fisher means, killed in that boat”.

    Atlanta, USA

  8. i punch in this message from a small town called jamshedpur in jharkhand, much obscured from the country at large…..and my blood boils now!!!

  9. Hi Arun,

    Thanks for your pictures and comments. I have never been to Mumbai, but share fully the pain of Mumbaikars on the desecration and destruction of your beautiful city. I have no doubt we shall overcome this tragedy, but never forget it.

  10. Hi Arun,

    Twitting using iPhone’s pretty easy. They have an application for this – been following your tweets on same.

    What mobile do you use?

    Thanks for your stellar job covering this.
    Congrats on your new found fame as the citizen blogger/journalist. Hope more follow your lead and chart a new course for our nation.

    arunaH uvacha:
    Ha hA! I don’t have an iPhone! just silly sprint’s samsung piece in Boston; Here I am using my mother’s cell – it is a Nokia and I can still send text messages! I think Twitter has an FAQ on mobile twitting – just been too busy to check it out. WIll you.

    Hope you guys are doing well.

  11. Hi Arun

    Just stumbled across your site – actually, BBC News had a link to it on their ‘live mumbai updates’ feature. Now i can see why – it provides an “up close & personal” view of the events, with photos notnormally shown on mainstream TV/Papers [at least in the UK]. Its almost like being there.

    You may like to know that since i found this site [all of 2 days ago!], it, together with amitabh bachchan’s are the ones I visit straight after BBC & Cricinfo. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks & regards.

    Leicester, UK 12:38 GMT

  12. Arun,

    Nice job! You’re updates have been great. As an Indian-American who is traveling to South Mumbai next week, I was heavily invested in these events and your updates were helpful. My wife is in India and left South Mumbai only a few days ago.

    I remember eating Pav Bhaji at the Taj three years ago and visiting the Gateway. I had planned (and still do) to visit Leopold’s next week.

    This horrible affair has been like living through 9/11 all over again for me.



  13. such tragic circumstances but your blog, tweets & photos have been my mainstay as i watched events unfold. great work.

  14. Thanks. If your earlier photos were heartbreaking and informative, this one feels soothing. Looking forward to more and have a safe stay”

    Arun Says:
    Well said; These are ‘soothing” like a balm on an open wound. We know the healing is in progress!
    and we will not just survive, but thrive!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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