How 11/26 taught us in India guests are equivalent to God

TechNews Writer
Mon Oct 19, 2020

Content warning: terror attack

11/26 - November 26, 2008, a terrifying date and the unforgettable darkest night of Mumbai. We still get goosebumps when we remember those attacks. The peace-loving country India witnessed the attacks on its innocent citizens and tourists that night.

Attacks began from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station and continued to other places. Hotel Taj renowned for its high luxury services; its staff gave entry to the terrified unknown guests who needed a shelter to rescue from terror attacks happening outside. Little did they knew; they even permitted the terrorists to step inside the premises. Special guests were there. Some were enjoying their dinner, and some were resting in their respective rooms. Meanwhile, firing started and the main hotel staff present at the reception were dead shot at the moment. There were hundreds of guests present in the dining area. The head chef took the responsibility to save their guests and led the other staff. Though the kitchen staff had the choice to escape from their safe chamber, they chose their responsibility, over their lives, i.e. “Guest is God” belief. They finally decided to help them rather than saving their own skin. They planned to help them escape from a fire exit staircase and took them to the cabinet room on the sixth floor. They risked every bit of their lives to save all their guests' lives. Even in the tough situation of attacks, they didn’t miss the chance to serve their guests. They didn’t leave anyone starving. The inmates' fight for their life and death waiting every second was pathetic. The situation was getting worse by each passing second. They helped them from staying safe inside to help them reach safe outside of the hotel premises. Though guests were Indians or foreigners, there was no discrimination between them. Every guest was treated equally.

This was the real-life heroism and selflessness depicted by the ordinary folks with no military backgrounds, our chefs, and bartenders. Even in the worst situation, we Indians don’t forget our values. In the country where guests are considered equivalent to God which we say proudly as "Atithi Devo Bhavah," which in English means the guest is equivalent to God.



Appears in
2020 - Fall - Issue 6