The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel

BOOK: The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel
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The Siege

The Siege

68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel

CATHY SCOTT-CLARK AND ADRIAN LEVY

PENGUIN BOOKS

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First published in Penguin Books 2013

Copyright © 2013 by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA

Scott-Clark, Cathy, 1965–author.

The siege: 68 hours inside the Taj Hotel / Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy.

pages cm

Includes index.

ISBN: 978-1-101-61324-5

1. Mumbai Terrorist Attacks, Mumbai, India, 2008.  2. Victims of terrorism—India—Mumbai.  3. Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.  I. Levy, Adrian, 1965– author.  II. Title.

HV6433.I4S36 2013

363.3250954’792090511—dc23

2013031108

For Zed and Ava

Contents

Dramatis personae
Maps
Prologue
1.
Jadu ghar
(House of Magic)
2. Prince David
3.
Salaam Alaikum
4. A Goat, a Knife and a Matchbox
5. Lambs and Chickens
6. A Tunnel of Fire
7. Deep Night
8. The Shadow of Death
9. Allah Does Not Want You
10. A Black Cat and a White Flag
Afterword
RIP
A Note on Sources
Acknowledgements
Index

Dramatis personae

Guests/diners

Will Pike
and
Kelly Doyle
– Will, twenty-eight, and Kelly, thirty, from London, were at the end of a two-week holiday in Goa when they decided to stay one night at the Taj, checking in on the afternoon of 26 November 2008. They were due to return home the following morning. It was Will’s first visit to India.

Andreas Liveras
– the multi-millionaire Andreas, seventy-three, made his fortune in the bakery business in London after emigrating from his native Cyprus as a young man. Ranked 265th on the
Sunday Times
Rich List with an estimated fortune of £315m, he also owned luxury yachts. In November 2008 he was in India with his friend Nick Edmiston and his Indian cruise director, Remesh Cheruvoth, to launch a new yacht charter business in the subcontinent.

Sabina Sehgal Saikia
– forty-five, was a formidable foodie and restaurant critic, a TV celebrity and journalist. She lived in New Delhi with her husband, Shantanu, and children, Arundhati, fourteen, and Aniruddha, eleven. She had come to Mumbai to review a new outlet at the Taj and attend a society wedding.

Bob Nicholls
– the British-born security expert, forty-four, ran a VIP protection company based in South Africa. He came to Mumbai in November 2008 with six colleagues, Faisul Nagel, Reuben
Niekerk, Reagan Walters, Zunaid Waddee, Charles Schiffer and Zane Wilmans, after winning a contract to provide security for the forthcoming Champions League Twenty20.

Ravi Dharnidharka
– a captain in the US Marines, the 31-year-old Ravi had spent the past four years flying combat missions in Iraq, including during the bloody battle for Fallujah in November and December 2004. He was visiting Mumbai for the first time in more than a decade to reconnect with the Indian side of his family.

Mike
and
Anjali Pollack
– the New York-based Mike Pollack, thirty-two, a managing partner at Glenhill Capital, a public equities investment firm, had come to Mumbai with his Indian wife, Anjali, thirty-three, to visit her parents. On the night of the attacks they were due to have dinner at the hotel with friends, leaving their two young sons with Anjali’s parents.

Amit
and
Varsha Thadani –
the heir to a Mumbai textile and restaurant empire, Amit, thirty-two, had booked his wedding reception in the Crystal Room on the night of the attacks. He and his new wife, Varsha, thirty, who had taken their religious vows the previous day, invited 500 guests.

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