Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai Attack

I was having difficulty understanding the severity of what was going on in Mumbai and how it was affecting the residents of Mumbai. I'm sure many of you are in the same boat.

A friend Sean passed this article on - by Prashant Agraw - a man who moved from NYC to Mumbai 6 years ago. Below is an excerpt:

"To understand the impact on the financial capital of India one needs to know the unique place the Taj Mahal Hotel and the Oberoi Complex (both the Oberoi Trident and the Oberoi) play in the fabric of the city's life, especially for its professionals. The Taj Mahal Hotel and the Oberoi Complex are not just the Four Seasons and Pierre of New York City. They are Mumbai's lifeline and blood.

But the hotels are much more than financial destinations; they are cultural centers. The best bookshop in Mumbai is in the Taj. Out of the 10 best restaurants in the city, half are in these two hotels. After a late night out, the 24 hour coffee shops of both hotels are filled with young people using them as late-night diners. Visit these same coffee shops in the day and you might see two families having a cup of tea discussing a matrimonial alliance. For a Mumbaiker, these hotels serve as a second home.

Every Indian is familiar with the Taj, its iconic red brick architecture fa├žade serves as the backdrop for so many stories and Bollywood movies. So when Sonia Gandhi, the President of the ruling Congress Party, says that these are attacks on India's prestige, she means it.

If the attacks on the two hotels were not enough, the CST train terminal was hit. One out of every 10 commuters uses the CST (formerly known as the Victoria Terminus) daily. And after attacking the CST, the terrorists hit the Cama Hospital, a hospital for women and children. The last major target was a Jewish center. Mumbai has housed an Iraqi Jewish community for centuries. Not once have they been targeted. That has changed."

Click here to read the entire article.

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