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'The staff member very calmly said, Ander koi nahin hain'

Anjali: So we go into a conference room in the kitchen and we go and hide there. And (the Taj's master chef) Hemant Oberoi was there. He said, 'Listen you guys, relax. We're so sorry you have to go through this.' They were sending us food and water.

How long were you there and how many people were with you?

Michael: About an hour-and-a-half.

Anjali: The chefs kept coming in and going out, but we were just four people. They told us that they were barricading the entrance to the kitchen. And they asked us if we wanted to move to the Chambers (the Taj club and we said no we are pretty comfortable here. We were still very shell shocked. I had called my parents, we were calling other people. Shiv and Reshma were calling friends telling them not to come to this side of the town. We put on the television in room and the news flash came that there was a shootout at the Leopold Cafe.

You were not worried about the sound?

Michael: No, there was commotion outside, regular kitchen sounds. When that stopped, we shut the TV.

Anjali: At some point we shut the lights and Shiv and Michael decided to move the conference table against the door. At this point there was one kitchen staff with us and we were quiet.

And the terrorists would not have been able to open the door?

Anjali: The terrorists came outside the door and we heard loud booms sound. Shiv was looking through the key hole and he heard one of the terrorist ask a kitchen staff -- "Masala Craft (restaurant) kahan hain?' The chef showed him the way and then the terrorist asked: 'Ander kaun hain (who's inside?)?' The staff member very calmly said, 'Ander koi nahin hain (there's no one inside).' Shiv could hear it through the keyhole.

Image: The Taj burns during the commando operation. Photograph: PTI Photo

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