Two terrorists had entered the hospital from the back entrance with hand grenades and AK-47 assault rifles at around 0230 hours killing two security personnel, Bhanu Narkar and Baban Ugade, eyewitnesses said.
The terrorist duo, while continuing to fire indiscriminately, went up to the fourth and fifth floors, which house the maternity ward at the five-storey hospital.
One of the two maternity wards was locked from the inside while the terrorists tried to break into another which had been fastened by the women occupying it using a cloth.
Twenty-five women, along with their newborn babies and three other men locked themselves inside a safety room within the maternity ward, refusing to open despite several threats by the terrorists.
The choir of crying babies born that day, lying innocently in their beds as heroic hospital staff improvised their survival, serve as a reminder to us all of the unfathomable chasm existing between the culture of death that has declared endless war on our side, the culture of life. Separated as we are by oceans and language and history, we still clearly share a common tapestry of humanity with the cloth-bearing defenders whose love of life proved stronger than the nihilists' lust for death.
In a story so steeped in villainy, it's good to also reflect on the acts of sacrificial love emerging in its shadow, in the shadows of all tragedies and nightmares, and, today of all days, to be grateful for them.