At Leopold café and near Nariman House, the bullet marks have been framed.
Outside a bakery near the Jewish centre is a sign that condemns the 26/11 attacks.
At Leopold’s, new mugs declare Mumbai as bulletproof.
“We retained the bullet holes to quell curiosity... people needed to see for themselves,” says Farhang Jehani (46), a partner at the café.
Not far away is the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, where shots rang out for four full days.
The dome set on fire during the attack has become a favourite backdrop for tourists and Mumbaiites alike.
Sure, there could be another attack, their smiles seem to say. Sure, another group of terrorists could walk in off the
exposed coastline and hold us hostage again. But we survived. Our icons survived. And we will not be bowed.
Mumbai’s unique situation — as city of dreams, commercial capital of India, tourist haunt, and therefore, frequent terror target — is perhaps best symbolised by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Here, life marched on just five hours after the attacks began.
As gunfire rattled the rest of south Mumbai, trains services were restarted at the heritage rail junction. Not as a statement of courage or defiance, but simply because it had to be done.
That’s how it is in Mumbai. We may be bloodied in battle, stunned by the lack of preparedness of the forces meant to protect us, mourning the scores of lives lost in a war that seems to have no end.
But life goes on. Because it has to.