14 Hours, An Insider's Account Of The 26/11 Taj Attack
Purchased on Amazon Kindle
Do you think your life is boring and doesn't have any charm left to it? Do you sometimes just want to quit life, get away from people. leave everything and go far from the world? Read this book and you'll fall in love with your life!
The 26/11 terrorist attacks on Mumbai need no introduction to anyone in the world. As some of the most prominent, prestiged and crowded places in Mumbai were blown up by a group of 10 terrorists, the entire world watched in horror.This is when the renowned Taj Hotel, also known as the crown of Mumbai, was taken hostage by terrorists. Continuous firing and bomb blasts rocked the hotel for 3 long days and the situation seemed to be war-like. 14 Hours is a book written by an insider, a staff of the Taj Hotel, who was present to experience the horror and survived to tell us his story.
The story begins with the author, Ankur Chawla, who has just completed his Hotel Management course and has been lucky to have been placed with the prestigious Taj Group of Hotels. The author later gets transferred to Taj Mumbai, just 4 months before the deadly attack.
On the fateful night of 26 November 2008, when the author is on duty in his bar and having a gala time chatting with a customer, suddenly the sound of gunshots is heard. When the author rushes out of the bar to check what's wrong, he sees a man falling to the floor, hit by bullets and bleeding profusely. He also catches the glimpse of a terrorist standing by him. Sensing a threat to his life, he rushes in and locks the door of the bar. He initially presumes the incident to be a fight between two customers.
However, when the gunshots are heard continuously later, along with the sound of bomb blasts, the entire Taj senses the threat to their life. Terrified, the author and the other staff at the Taj try to console the guests and make arrangements to shift them at a safer place upstairs.
What follows is a terrifying account of 14 hours that the author spends at the hotel with shots being fired and bombs being blasted everywhere around. Not knowing whether they will survive to see the rising sun of the following morning, this is an astounding tale of a hair-raising experience.
The writing style of the book is very simple and, at some places, may also seem amateur. But, the fact that the book is not written by a professional author justifies the use of language and the choice of words. The book is written from the point of a view of a common man, just like you and me, who is caught amidst a deadly terrorist attack, dying to meet his family, friends and all loved ones before breathing his last.
I happened to read many reviews of this book that quote it as a disappointment. In my opinion, however, the book is not really a disappointment to read, although it is not a very professional and engaging one.
14 Hours is a short and simple book that I feel will make you realize the worth of your life and love your life, no matter how much deep you lie in problems. In fact, it is a very optimistic book, the one that will teach you to dream, hope, struggle, fight and never give up. If you stay far from home, you will surely make at least one phone call to your parents after reading this book.
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Until next time, keep reading!