Wild gun shots that come nowhere strike Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Nariman House Jewish community centre and the Metro Cinema. The policemen lean out long enough to fire grenades into the air above the street, this time the pickup trucks are loaded with policemen and the casualties, but nothing can be seen. Why are the sounds of the bullets and grenades and uncontrollable screaming and crying of people gracing my ears with a fierce hum? The city is lying in a pool of blood with bodies of citizens and martyrs who laid down their life in the service of this country.
November 26, 2016:
The shrieking terror of rage and wrath that assailed the city this day eight years ago, is deeply etched into the memories and hearts of a billion people. The dreadful attack will neither be forgiven nor forgotten. The best of words cannot express our feelings, such was the palsy of terror.
On the tragedy’s eighth anniversary, Mumbai Mirror spoke to Sarjan Shah, son of Pankaj Shah, who was found dead at Oberoi. Shah’s wife Kalpana runs Tao Art Gallery at Worli. As per reports, Pankaj, who owned the real estate company Satellite Group, was not even scheduled to be at the hotel. He was on his way to Delhi but turned around from the airport as he was asked to be an arbitrator for a property dispute and the conference was held at Oberoi. Pankaj is survived by wife Kalpana and two children son Sarjan and daughter Sanjana.
Sarjan Shah, 27, recounts the pain and how his family has tried to come to terms with the loss. In his own words:
The leavings of a forgotten tragedy are often insidious rather than obvious, its effects subtle, pervasive and largely life-altering if unobtrusive. I haven’t been able to forget 26/11 for a single moment in the close to 2,920 days that it has been since ten Pakistanis began their merciless slaughter in Mumbai. Losing the pillar of strength of our family – our father and husband, breadwinner and guide – was too much of a shock in and of itself for the three of us to bear.