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The funerals have begun

A Correspondent in Mumbai | November 27, 2008 20:27 IST

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On Thursday evening, a traumatised colleague returned from the cremation of a beloved friend who had died manning his desk at the Trident hotel on Wednesday night.

"He was in the lobby, standing beside another younger staff member, when the terrorists stormed in, firing indiscriminately from the hotel's main entrance. They both are no more," remembered the dead man's friend, lamenting what would happen to his deceased buddy's stay-at-home wife and 12-year-old daughter.

The Trident staff was on the second shift when the terrorists appeared. The colleague's wounded friend was taken to the JJ Hospital in south-central Mumbai for medical attention, but it was too late. An old Oberoi hand, he had spent 25 years at the hotel, joining the group as a young man and had worked his way up the ladder.

"He was such a jovial, kind-hearted man," remembers the friend. This evening, his funeral was attended by many colleagues who had fortunately been off duty.

Several Trident staff members are suspected to have lost their lives in the attack. Nearly 24 hours after India's worst terror strike, people have yet to comprehend the extent of the city's loss as the operation to flush out the terrorists continues at three locations.

In many homes across the city, the aftermath of the terror strikes is just about coming home, not from television, but from the city's morgues.

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