Mariam Abuhaideri, 25, an Iranian national from the United States, hangs outside the Intensive Care Unit of the Inlaks Budhrani Hospital. She is on a two-month visit with her family, none of whom, thankfully, was hurt in Saturday’s blast here. Friends, she has few in Pune. Yet, she is awaiting word on the condition of the patients in the ICU.

“I’m very worried about the workers of the Bakery,” she says. “They knew me very well. I used to visit the Bakery every evening, around the same time the blast took place.” That fateful day, however, she was away at a concert by the Indian rock music band Parikrama.

Pointing out that the Bakery was popular with foreign nationals, Ms. Abuhaideri says: “Foreigners, who love to travel through different countries, are socialites. And German Bakery had the perfect ambience for socialites. Here, you could mingle around and sit at tables with strangers without reservations. That was how I made friends there.”

A hit with locals too

The place was no less loved by the locals. Rakesh Singh, 29, who has been living in Koregaon Park for the past 10 years, says he had breakfast at the Bakery every Sunday. He says the food there was a huge hit with its health-conscious customers. “My favourite was cheese omelette and toast.”

Both Mr. Singh and Ms. Abuhaideri fondly talk about the lip-smacking fresh fruit juices served there.

As Mr. Singh walks past the Osho International Meditation Resort, it is difficult for him not to notice the contrast between the serenity of the densely-wooded, lush green lane and the mayhem caused by the blast just round the corner.

Those who were meditating inside the Resort on Saturday between 6.30 and 8.30 p.m. did not hear the blast at all, as though they were in a world far removed from the scene.

“When the blast happened, thousands of us were meditating,” says Amrit Sadhana, public relations officer of the Resort. “Perhaps it was the meditation that created an aura of security.”

She says security at the Resort was stepped up in October last itself when it was learnt that American terror suspect David Coleman Headley had surveyed the place. Any given time, there are over 1,000 foreigners from over 120 countries at the Resort,

Ms. Abuhaideri speculates that as foreigners at the Resort could not be attacked because of the tight security, the terrorists chose the German Bakery, which was frequented by visitors to the Resort most of the day. But the blast took place at a time when most of them were at the Resort as it was meditation time.

On Valentine’s Day eve, the terrorists snapped the relationship between Pune and its beloved hang-out. “German Bakery will bounce back,” Ms. Abuhaideri says, confidently. “But it won’t be the same again. The World Trade Center wasn’t after [9/11], nor is the Taj [after 26/11].”


In a trice, two friends found themselves aflameFebruary 16, 2010

Fresh look at security of ‘soft targets’ February 16, 2010

For some, celebrations at the bakery were short-lived February 15, 2010

Probe on right track, say police February 15, 2010

Foreign hand possible: Pillai February 15, 2010

Centre mulling Rs. 1 crore for Pune blast cluesFebruary 15, 2010

Police look for clues from hotel CCTV footage near blast siteFebruary 15, 2010

Pune blast: Police to quiz IM militant ShahzadFebruary 15, 2010

Left: help Maharashtra identify culpritsFebruary 15, 2010

Awaiting probe report: Krishna February 15, 2010

Pune bombing could herald renewed Lashkar offensive February 15, 2010

9 killed, 40 injured in Pune bomb blastFebruary 13, 2010

High alert in Maharashtra February 13, 2010

We have to be cautious and alert: Chavan February 13, 2010

Maharashtra had received inputs but none was specific: Bhujbal February 13, 2010

‘Headley surveyed ashram close to Pune blast site’February 13, 2010

Security beefed up at places recceed by Headley: ChavanFebruary 14, 2010

A reminder from terrorists: We don’t want India-Pakistan talksFebruary 14, 2010

Lashkar had warned of Pune as targetFebruary 14, 2010

Pune blast ‘significant’ terror act: Chidambaram February 14, 2010

Alert in Delhi, Kanpur, IndoreFebruary 15, 2010

No breakthrough in Pune blast probe February 14, 2010

From Mumbai to Pune, signs of a lesson learntFebruary 14, 2010

Pune blast fails to intimidate touristsFebruary 14, 2010

CCS reviews security February 15, 2010

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