My friend and I then took a walk to Apollo Bunder to take a look at Taj.
It had turned into an impregnable fortress and looked forbidding with policemen and security guards guarding its entrance and exit points. But the scene along the pavement outside the hotel was one of merriment - happy families on their weekend outing, hawkers displaying their wares and trying to attract the attention of the foreigners who could not resist the beauty of the cheap little trinkets and other knick-knacks, couples holding each other and enjoying the breeze wafting in from the sea. A long line of horse-drawn carriages waited for customers.
In the midst of this carnivalesque atmosphere, we spotted a young woman taking pictures of the Taj. "What a beautiful structure and those terrorists had almost destroyed it," she said without taking her eyes off the viewfinder.
In the glow of the street lamps and the light coming from several quarters of the building, the Taj looked like a dream. No wonder it is one of Mumbai's most admired landmarks. The terrorists had struck where it would hurt the most and in that their mission was accomplished. A few metres away stood the Gateway of India looking down at the crowd of the revellers.
Image: Tourists throng the road outside the Taj today. Photograph copyright Narayan Ghosh/Sify.com.