A homecoming of sorts | india | Hindustan Times
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A homecoming of sorts

india Updated: Dec 22, 2008 01:20 IST
Purva Mehra
Purva Mehra
Hindustan Times
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At 7.30 am on Sunday, staff members of the Trident pushed open the freshly varnished doors of the hotel on the auspices of a collective prayer.

Within a month of the indiscriminate attacks on the city, the Trident — one of the ten targeted destinations to sustain damage — was restored for service, as committed by the management three weeks ago, even as The Oberoi next door remains maimed. To commemorate the reopening, the hotel organized a multi-religious prayer meet attended by the hotel’s loyal patrons, citizens wanting to extend their support and staff.

“We wanted to honour the spirit of the hotel and those departed by attending the prayer meet,” said Ronald Naidu, visiting Mumbai with his family of eight from South Africa. “We watched the attacks on the news back home and since we were in the city during the reopening we made sure to attend the ceremony. Nothing has changed in their wonderful service,” said Premilla Naidu, over a cappuccino.

While priests of various faiths offered solemn prayers for peace and impressed on the religion of humanity, with folded hands and bowed head, Rick McElrea prayed in earnest though he could not fathom their tongue. “I brought my family here for breakfast as a token of our support, not knowing about the prayers. One of our guests arrived at 2 am this morning and I said to her we have an important breakfast appointment in five hours,” said the Ottawa resident visiting the city.

Event manager Imam Siddique was compelled to exit the premises soon after the prayer ceremony, which peaked on a poignant rendition of the Sarva Dharma Prarthna, popularised by Mahatma Gandhi. “It’s too overwhelming. The ceremony has so much significance and I am happy to see my friends back in action,” said Siddique, who regularly orchestrates corporate events and live presentations for the Oberoi group.