On the evening of Nov. 26, 2008, as heavily armed Pakistani terrorists raced to infiltrate the five-star Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and other tourist sites in Mumbai in a spectacular coordinated attack, the hotel’s executive chef, Hemant Oberoi, feared he was falling behind.
The Taj was filled, as usual, with the wealthy and renowned. But there was also a wedding that night, three banquets to attend to, and a birthday party. What’s more, the country’s most imperious food critic, Sabina Sehgal Saikia, formerly of The Times of India, was staying on the sixth floor.
Ms. Saikia rumbled unhappily. “After three days of eating and drinking,” Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy write in “The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel,” “her body had revolted, and when her butler had come over to help, she had vomited on his shoe.”