On 30th November, the Times of India reported the story of Vishnu Datta Ram Zende. On 2nd of December, New York Times / International Herald Tribune reported about him and a few others.
Thirty-seven year old Vishnu Datta Ram Zende, a Central Railway employee at Chatrapati Shivaji Terminal, announces arrivals and departures of trains. On 26th November, he heard a loud explosion just before 10 P.M. and saw people running in panic. He gripped a microphone and calmly directed the panicked crowd toward the safest exit. He announced which way they should go, alternately in Marathi and Hindi, “barely stopping to take a breath until the platform was cleared.” The gunmen soon located his announcement booth and fired, but fortunately, Zende was not hurt.
At the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, a chef, Nitin Minocha “was on duty at the Golden Dragon restaurant when gunmen stormed the hotel lobby. He cracked open the door, saw the commotion and promptly closed it. He and his fellow workers escorted diners” into less accessible private club rooms. They hid more than 200 diners there.
“Well before dawn, security officers instructed that guests leave in groups of four. The hotel staff lined up, as though in a chain. Some people got out. Others did not. Bullets suddenly came in a burst. That is when Mr. Minocha was hit twice in the forearm.” During the attack, six employees were killed and another was critically injured.
“At another hotel, the Oberoi, staff members ushered restaurant diners into the kitchen and out the door; at that hotel, 10 employees were among the dead.”
Do you remember the old Mohammed Rafi-Geeta Dutt song, a line from which I have used as the heading of this post? At some point, the song goes like this:
Milta hai yanh sab kuch,Clearly, the lyricist, S. H. Bihari went overboard there. There is no shortage of empathy in the city of Mumbai.
Ek milta nahi dil.
You can read the entire NYT/IHT report "For heroes in Mumbai, Terror was a call to action" if you click on this link.
And here is the story on Vishnu Datta Ram Zende in the Times of India.
Trumbull, Connecticut / 4 December 2008