Edgy but defiant, Mumbai inches towards normality as hotels scarred by terror reopen

Eight priests from across faiths conduct ceremony to emphasise city’s unity. Randeep Ramesh in the Guardian:

 

The newly reopened Taj Mahal hotel lights up the Mumbai seafront. AFP

The newly reopened Taj Mahal hotel lights up the Mumbai seafront. AFP

 

 

Until gunmen entered the Taj Mahal hotel in the early hours of 26 November, Praful Patel had known no other home for 16 years. Room 1017 was his residence, a sanctuary from which he ran his investment business amid statues of his favourite Hindu deity, Ganesha, the elephant-headed “remover of obstacles”.

During those hours Patel, who is British, “died more than once” as the sound of gunfire and explosions reached the bed he hid in. Indian commandos rescued him the next day, walking him out through pools of blood.

Last night he checked back into his room, part of a collective act of defiance against the gunmen whose rampage left more than 170 dead. Guests had been allowed back in the Taj’s modern wing, and its 268 rooms bore no trace of the violence inflicted. The blood stains around the swimming pool had been cleared, the grenade blast in the cafe was a distant memory and the bullet holes in the lobby were nowhere in sight.

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