‘At Leopold, not afraid and having fun’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘At Leopold, not afraid and having fun’

The waiter tried to take an order of potato wedges and beer but was interrupted, not for the first time, by two excited girls. They wanted their picture taken, reports Kiran Wadhwa.

mumbai Updated: May 03, 2010 10:39 IST
Kiran Wadhwa

The waiter tried to take an order of potato wedges and beer but was interrupted, not for the first time, by two excited girls. They wanted their picture taken.

They had a caption all ready to put up on their Picasa web album, ‘At Leopold a year later, not afraid and having fun’.

On Thursday, exactly a year after the first shots in the four-day siege rang out at the Leopold Café and Bar, staff spent much of the day taking pictures of visitors pointing at bullet holes or raising beer mugs.

“We are not afraid to come here,” said Sahil Mehta, a resident of Andheri, as he assumed a fresh pose for his camera. “We are here because we feel secure in Mumbai.”

Even the foreign tourists — Leo’s is a favourite haunt of backpackers and sightseers —seemed unafraid.

“We have had our own share of terror, so we know it is useless to live in fear… Leopold café was on my must-do list,” said Adrienne Shaw of London, in the city for three days with her husband and two daughters.

“The resilience of this city never ceases to amaze me,” she added.

The management, meanwhile, was not taking any chances. Armed with metal detectors, three security guards checked every visitor’s bags.

“Check that there are no bags left under the table. Please be alert,” yelled Farhang Jehani, sporting a black band on his arm. “We have to be careful. It is a sensitive time.”

Just how sensitive was apparent when a man toppled over in his chair.

As he landed on the ground with a loud thud, the staff scattered in various directions.

At the packed tables, some patrons rose with a start as if to flee, others froze mid-sentence, their eyes darting around in panic. Realising it was just a chair, everyone silently went back to their beers.

It was a few seconds before the chatter started up again.