Almost till a year-and-a-half after the Mumbai attacks, a gory reminder of the terror strikes at the Chabad House remained intact on the bakery wall opposite to it, splattered with bullet holes and a message that read, “We condemn the 26-11-2008 terror attack”
But now, there resides a determined and solemn will to erase the unpleasant memories of the bloodshed at the Jewish Centre, opposite which Dr. Kuresh Zorabi had painted the message on the front wall of his bakery Rex and encircled the 92 bullet marks on it, in remembrance of the ghastly incident.
“It’s been two years... people have moved on with their respective lives. Even Hotel Taj and Trident have bounced back to business as usual. I thought there was no point in preserving the bullet marks and the message... So it has been wiped out,” Dr. Zorabi told PTI.
The pockmarked bakery wall is a testimony to the brutal killing of the Jewish couple — Gabriel Holtzberg and Rivika — and four others, when terrorists struck at the Colaba site.
Dr. Zorabi says a few locals requested him to rub off the message and the bullet holes as it was haunting them.
“Even local police men had asked me to do it,” he said.
During the first anniversary of the terror attacks, the walls of his bakery had got a fresh coat of paint and circles highlighting the bullet marks.
“I had chosen to do this to keep the memories of 26/11 alive. I had done it so that people passing by the lane do not forget the day when Mumbai was attacked. It was in remembrance of the people who died,” Dr. Zorabi said.
Dr. Zorabi was a bit reluctant to wipe out the message initially, but finally did it, as he felt that nothing concrete has happened against the perpetrators of the attack. “It feels sad… I am angry,” he said.
Two Pakistani terrorists — Babar Imran and Nasir — had forced their way into the Jewish Centre on November 26, 2008 and almost 45 hours later when the exchange of bullets came to an end, six Jewish occupants were found dead along with the two gunmen.
Moshe, the two-year-old son of the Holtzbergs, was saved by his nanny Sandra Samuel and the family’s handyman-cum-cook Qazi Zakir Hussain. Moshe now lives in Israel with his maternal grandparents.