Leopold Reopens, Mumbai Bounces Back!

See Previous Posts Related to Mumbai Terror Strikes



Picture Update from ~ 5:30 pm onwards Indian Time; Monday Dec 1st from the Leopold Cafe!

Met fellow twitter organizer Netra at the Leopold Cafe, Mumbai. After the shooting on Wednesday night, it had opened for the first time. It was not as raucous inside and much fewer foreigners (understandably). Many onlookers had to be kept out by guys manning the several doors. Several media folks were inside taking pics as well.
Leopold Cafe Reopens
Continue reading “Leopold Reopens, Mumbai Bounces Back!”

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!
Continue reading “Mumbai: Beloved City Reclaimed”

Mumbai Blasts: Day 3, Mop Up at the Taj

Continued from
Mumbai Blasts: Day 2
Mumbai Blasts: Day 1



Picture Update from ~ 9:15 am Indian Time; Saturday Nov 29th
Follow my updates on Twitter http://twitter.com/arunshanbhag
Pics on FLickr! username “shanbhag”


Not to be deterred, I took a detour and reached the front of the Taj. I was on the sea face looking at the front of the Taj from its right!

Firemen had hoisted ladders and were climbing into the first floor

Police trying to provide a security cordon!

MORE Pics!
Continue reading “Mumbai Blasts: Day 3, Mop Up at the Taj”

Mumbai Blasts: Day 2 Live Blogging

This Day 2 Post continues where I left off from Mumbai Blasts: Day 1



Update: between 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm; Indian Time; Friday Nov 28th
Follow my updates on Twitter http://twitter.com/arunshanbhag
Posting Pics on FLickr! username “shanbhag”


All these pics are from INSIDE the Secure Staging Cordon in front of the Taj; assembled here were fire engines, ambulances, Police forces, some of the Rapid Reaction Forces and some commandos; And ALL media types!

Scores of reporters looking at the Taj within the staging cordon in front of the Taj Intercontinental; Gateway of India in the back!
Reporters in front of Taj

Every time we heard a blast or gunfire, everyone looked at the Taj to try and figure out where it came from.
blasts at Taj

Scarred Beauty! Really! The Taj Still stands Tall!
Taj after the fire
Continue reading “Mumbai Blasts: Day 2 Live Blogging”

Mumbai Blasts: Taj Burning; More pics from terrorist killing

This post is getting too long; See updates from Day Two at: Mumbai Blasts: Day 2

Follow the top level TAB; Mumbai Blasts for links to All related posts.

And, Previously Unseen pics from the 26/11 terrorist attacks.



Sorry, pic heavy post!
Revision ~ 12:15 – 12:30 am Indian Time; Friday Nov 28th
Follow my updates on Twitter http://twitter.com/arunshanbhag
Posting all pics on FLickr! username “arunshanbhag”

Dome of the Taj is nearly all burn’t out! Only the central post remains; the base of the dome is still burning! TV Cameras are located on diagonally opposite side of Taj and cannot see the dome; TV coverage only shows glow from burning dome! TV is now saying that shots are heard inside the Taj and all the terrorists are NOT YET cleared!

Taj Dome burning



Revision ~ 10:30 – 11:00 pm Indian Time
Follow my updates on Twitter http://twitter.com/arunshanbhag

OMG! One of the domes of the Taj is on fire; It is burning like a bonfire! I can actually see the structs/frameworks under the tiles in full blaze. OMG! NO! This can’t be happening!
~ Hand held; rested my elbow on the sill!; Sorry for blurry images from ~ 10:45 pm
Taj Hotel Dome Fire

MORE PICS!
Continue reading “Mumbai Blasts: Taj Burning; More pics from terrorist killing”

Scholarships for the Needy

I have previously written about the Shanbhag School, an academic beacon in Kumta and surrounding villages.

The Shanbhag High School, managed by the Konkan Education Trust does not receive any governmental aid. But it follows the state determined academic syllabus and guidelines. While we attract many students who can afford fees, our family wanted to make good education particularly accessible to the poor. Thus last year we gave 16 scholarships to very needy students to attend either the Shanbhag High School, or the affiliated primary school, Saraswati Vidya Kendra. At a new site dedicated to our Scholarship activities, (Shikshan.org), you can browse the list of Scholarship Recipients for 2007-2008.

You can also read about my personal challenges in identifying needy girls: Where are all the needy girls?

We did not rest, last December (2007) during my travels to Kumta I visited most of the scholarship recipients in their homes. The visit served two purposes: (a) to meet the families and convince them of our commitment to support their child’s education ~ and in turn expect them to make education a priority; and (b) to ensure that these were indeed needy families, which I could determine from their living conditions.

They lived in simple 1 or 2 room homes, or with relatives, and it was emotionally overwhelming to experience the gratitude of these families. Below, I share with you some of the scholarship recipients in their home settings. Appropriately I have omitted their names.


We supported the boy in the center, flanked by his father and cousin sister. Being poor, the girl was enrolled in the local government run Kannada language school. She wanted to attend our English school, but being in 8th std (grade) it would have been academically disastrous for her to switch the language of instruction a year before the State Board Exams. This was an important reason why we started giving scholarships to students in primary school!

Continue reading “Scholarships for the Needy”

Reclaiming India

An interesting Editorial in the Times of India, by Tarun Vijay. I particularly liked his rebuttal to Omar Abdullah,

But he must stop to think why he can own a bungalow in Delhi or Bangalore and at the same time deny that privilege to a fellow Indian in Kashmir?

Do you think our elite, secular fundamentalists will brand him a patriot?

13 Dangerous Days of Monsoon

Following a newspaper tip:
The US Embassy has identified 13 days most likely to lead to flooding in Mumbai, during the monsoons.

This info is important for all Mumbaikars (not just US citizens), and the City Government should have been disseminating this info in the first place, rather than planning and sniping about a statue in the sea!

Excerpted from an email sent to registered US citizens. See the entire note from the Consulate here
Continue reading “13 Dangerous Days of Monsoon”

Meeting Aayi of Aayis Recipes

Looking for new recipes, you have likely browsed Aayi’s Recipes the uber popular food blog hosted by Shilpa. This is M’s favorite “go-to” site anytime she needs inspiration for her cooking.

During my travels to India, I look forward to visiting our ancestral town of Kumta – Jewel of the Konkan in coastal Karnataka. And when I read that Shilpa’s Aayi (mother) actually lives in Kodkani, a village near Kumta, I had to make the pilgrimage and take darshan of this Devi – the inspiration behind Aayi’s Recipe. I contacted Shilpa and asked to visit her parents. She readily agreed and gave me their contact details.

And on a beautiful Saturday, I hitched a ride on a school bus dropping kids off to kodkani. Now, that in itself needs a separate post.

As the bus pulled up at the designated place, Shilpa’s father was waiting and brought me to their beautiful home! Wow! A traditional style bungalow, which immediately transported me back to the home of my grandparents in Bhatkal. Terracotta tiled roof; an open ‘jagli’ and a tulsi vrindavan in the front yard. The magnificently blossoming tulsi gave me great vibes of the place (see pic later).

And what a joy it was to finally meet Shilpa’s Aayi! Yes, Aayi of “Aayi’s Recipes.” Hundreds of thousands have salivated at her dishes, as shared by Shilpa. Legions have been inspired to try her creations for their loved ones. And so many look forward each day to new posts to titillate the palate. And I was invited to a beautiful konkani lunch made by her! 😀

Look at the spread. I hurriedly captured it before wolfing everything down. By the time I was through, not a morsel was left. What is more beautiful than all those recipes Shilpa posts on AayisRecipes? Eating dishes lovingly made by her Aayi! … and I got to eat it! nyean, nyean, nyean, nyean!

Continue reading “Meeting Aayi of Aayis Recipes”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑