Tag Archives: Sabina Sehgal Saikia

PTI reporter has a kiss with death at Delhi HC

A Press Trust of India (PTI) reporter had a narrow escape when the deadly bomb went off outside gate number 5 of Delhi high court today, shortly after he had picked up his entry pass.

The news agency’s legal reporter Upmanyu Trivedi had collected his pass from the reception counter and was moving towards the court building when he heard a deafening sound at 10.14 am.

He looked back and was shocked to find death and devastation on the steps he had just crossed. A PTI story says Trivedi quickly recovered his wits to call the office and break the news of the blast.

“It was a strange kind of emotions. Happy to have survived and broken the news but deeply disturbed to see the gory blast site with scores of people lying in a pool of blood, right in front of the reception counter from where I had got my entry pass seconds ago,” Trivedi said later.

Reporters have on the Supreme Court beat have recently had a run-in with authorities over accreditation following the notification of new rules.

Read the PTI screed: PTI scribe escapes blast by a whisker

Also read: ToI food writer Sabina Sehgal Saikia dies in 26/11 attack

Reports of scribe’s death are grossly exaggerated

Three words that cheered up Reuters journo, Sourav Mishra


ToI food writer Sabina Sehgal Saikia is dead: RIP

sans serif records the passing away of Sabina Sehgal Saikia, the resident food writer of The Times of India, in the terror attack on The Taj Mahal hotel in Bombay. She was 45 years old.

Her body was among the 100 recovered on Saturday, almost 60 hours after the hostage drama began, on the sixth floor of the iconic landmark opposite the Gateway of India. Sabina is the only known journalist-casualty so far.

Sabina had been associated with The Times of India for 19 years and had authored “The Times Good Eating Guide, a comprehensive evaluation of 600 restaurants in the City.”

Sabina is survived by her husband Santanu Saikia, the former Financial Express journalist who now runs the petroleum industry vertical petrowatch, and two children.

A brief profile published on the paper’s site two years ago noted:

“She visits restaurants anonymously, picks up the tab at the end of the meal and writes, without hesitation, about the entire dining experience.

Sunil Sethi, the former India Today journalist who is now the books editor of NDTV, wrote in Business Standard:

“At 12.34 past midnight on Wednesday I received the following text message from Sabina: “There is firing going on. My room in darkness. TV off. Phone on silent. They are inside. I’m scared and totally alone.”

“At 12.45 am another: “This is desperate. There are terrorists inside.” After that the messages petered out. There was no further response to my texts asking if she was safe, or if she could possibly make contact with staff or other guests.”

In her last restaurant review, published in the Delhi Times lifestyle supplement of ToI on Friday, Sabina looked at the American diner-style restaurant Route 04 that has come up in the capital’s fashionable Khan Market:

“The American Diner remains an enduring iconic aphorism of popular American culture. Through the various images in celluloid—complete with counters, private booths, jukeboxes easy-going waitresses serving home-style food—the Diner has in many ways come to symbolise the democratisation of taste in the US, both in a subterranean and subaltern sense.

“It’s an idea which was born on the streets of America, based on necessity and utility, in the midst of the industrial revlution—with its first incarnation in the form of carriages, pushcarts and railroad cars making an appearance in the late 1800s… and etymologically too, the Diner is a derivative of the dining car….”

Kishore Singh, a friend and fellow-epicurean of Sabina’s, wrote in Business Standard:

“On any number of occasions, we’d asked what we should eat at the banquets where we met often. And Sabina would tell you what she had liked. Unlike her weekly restaurant review columns where she often said what was awful about the food, at parties she never told you wht wasn’t nice, she only recommended what she thought was good. Invariably, she was right.”

TOI food critic still missing in Taj terror attack

Sabina Sehgal Saikia, the resident food critic of India’s largest selling English newspaper The Times of India, is still missing, 48 hours after the hostage crisis began at The Taj Mahal hotel in Bombay.

Delhi-based Sabina was in Bombay for the wedding reception of fellow Times editor Bachi Karkaria‘s son on Wednesday. She returned to her suite in The Taj early complaining of fatigue, according to a report in the newspaper but has not been heard from since Thursday morning.

“I received the last SMS from her at 0130 hrs IST (Thursday). It her last SMS and she was very worried,” her husband Santanu Saikia said. “The SMS was sent to Taj’s PRO as well.”

About 20 minutes before that, hotel employees had got an SMS from Sabina saying: ”they are in my bathroom”.

Photograph: courtesy The Times of India

Also read: Sabina Sehgal Saikia still missing