new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Leopold reopens!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Leopold reopens!

The Leopold Cafe is up and running again. The sayings are true - you can't stop Mumbai. You can barely arrest it in its tracks. I am certain the terrorist groups fervently checking their Blackberries are just thrilled to hear this news.

Jai Hind, long live India.

Mumbai's Leopold Cafe reopens - Sydney Morning Herald

Leopold's cafe, the first target of the Islamist attacks that killed almost 200 people in Mumbai, became the first to reopen on Sunday as its defiant owner said he "would never let terrorists win".

On the dot of midday Farzad Jehani and his brother Farhang pulled up the shutters of the 137-year-old cafe, where 10 people died on Wednesday when Islamist extremists launched attacks that shook India's commercial capital to its core.

As customers and media poured into the cafe, on one of Mumbai's main shopping thoroughfares, staff wearing red polo shirts burst into applause and one man led a cheer of "God bless India".

I remember those red polo shirts! All my best to the cafe's owners for showing such a delightful unwillingness to bow to the demands of the world's batshit insane contingent. May they have many more years of serving beer to stoned tourists. They deserve it.

Mumbai residents try to return to routines - Los Angeles Times

"Farzad Jehani, the cafe's owner, sat down for a chat between cellphone calls and a steady stream of greetings.

"The support people have given us, we never expected such an outpouring. It's really unbelievable," said Jehani, who lost two staff members in the hail of bullets. "Our city will come back. But when are we going to put our foot down? We've seen attacks in 1993, 2006 and now 2008."

In the neighborhood around the Jewish center, where six hostages died, including an American rabbi and his wife, food vendors were back in place, most of the small costume jewelry and clothing shops had reopened and foot traffic was picking up. There were also tourists in droves."

Flowers for the Taj - NYTimes - Anosh Irani

"On Saturday, when the siege ended, I stepped outside our gates and took a taxi to the Taj. The driver let me off nearby at the Regal Cinema and I walked toward the Leopold Cafe. The smell of disinfectant was overpowering. The cafe was closed, but through the shutters I noticed that two ceiling fans were on. There was a flier on the outside wall with “Good News” written on it, an advertisement for plumbing and carpentry.

The makeshift stores selling old gramophones were empty. A store called R. Dadavji’s Ladies and Gents Under Garments was open. Florists also were open because a tragedy like this always means business. But everything else was closed. I came in view of the Taj’s entrance and the spot where my grandfather’s black Fiat was always parked. There was a police barricade flanked by fire engines. The hotel’s windows had been smashed, like teeth that had suddenly gone missing. Above, crows circled.

I thought of all the weekends when I would come to the Taj bookstore with my grandfather. I thought of how for so many years he bejeweled the hotel’s rooms with flowers. Today, I thought, his store would be closed. The last thing he would have wanted would be to use his flowers to decorate the dead."

Beautiful editorial. Go read it.