Thursday, November 27, 2008
Every ten min today I’ve refreshed the Rediff page.
They’ve just reported grenade blasts outside the Taj.
I weep inside, thinking of the lovely lobby.. the mural by MF Hussain behind the reception counter, the waterfall, the intricate carved wall on one end, the marble inlay floor... all wrecked.
You go off the lobby, into the old taj, the lovely boutiques on one side, the displays on the other- the b&w photos of celebrities, Pt Nehru, Jackie Kennedy, Shobha De in her heydays...such a sense of history- all gone.
You go up the impressive curving iron staircase with the iron head of Dadabhai Naoroji at the landing.
The Sea lounge on the first floor. The Crystal Room, with its glorious chandeliers and ornate glass...The Princes Chamber, with the framed sepia portraits of the erstwhile rulers... all gone
And the layout of the old Taj? Almost like an old style Indian house, around a central courtyard…
I weep inside- remembering the lunch they’d serve on silver plates just a week ago, and how I’d asked for an empty dish so as to not waste food, no, it will never be the same again. That celebratory midnight dinner at the Chambers, and how the food didn’t seem so great, it will never be the same again.
And the Oberoi. Or the Trident or the Hilton. Whichever name its being called by. So often one has trooped from the old to the new, not sure where the meeting was. Memories of walking into the lobby a novice so unsure, overawed by the large glass windows, the piano in the atrium, the sight of so many people. Slowly how one got used to it. Freezing at the conf room in the business center because the AC was too efficient, gawking at the baubles on display at the boutiques. Looking all day at the sea from the 16th floor, watching her change moods, envy at the distant apartments the views they’d have…
How dare they.