I spotted Eric Anthony, the manager, who had a miraculous escape, and I goaded him to talk. He was initially dismissive, but my persistence paid off.
"Where were you, Anthony, on that fateful night?" I ask.
"Only a couple of minutes before the attack I was close to the entrance, entertaining my friends. It was sheer providence that I had moved to the rear entrance when I spotted two terrorists inside the room. They had lobbed two grenades of which one exploded. Then they opened fire. There was blood all over. After about three minutes there was a brief lull. We thought the terrorists had left. Then came the second bout of firing. The lull was the time they took to reload their magazines," he said while taking us to the table where he had been sitting with friends. Anthony had fled almost unscathed except for a minor injury.
But Bharat Gujar, a waiter wasn't so lucky. He had suffered splinter injuries from the grenade blast but he survived. "I still have shrapnel lodged inside my body even after several surgeries," he said pointing out the dark circular spots on his elbow, chest and legs.
While they both seemed to have left the tragedy behind and moved on in life, it wasn't as easy as they made it out to be. The wounds had healed, but the scars remained.
Image: Leopold Cafe manager Eric Antony poses next to the table where he had been sitting with his friends moments before the terrorists struck. Photograph copyright Narayan Ghosh/Sify.com.