December 10, 2008

Two accounts. Or one.

Many of you, I'm sure, have seen the various first-hand accounts from the Bombay attacks that are making the rounds. One such was from Michael Pollack, described as a "general partner of Glenhill Capital, a firm he co-founded in 2001." It is a chilling recounting of 12 hours he and his wife Anjali spent huddling in terror in the bowels of the Taj. The story was published in Forbes, and the couple was interviewed by Charlie Rose (my friend Anupendra Sharma has the video and the account here).

Yesterday, another first-hand account arrived. The message says it was written by Todd Cather, described as "a partner with NDC Capital Partners from New York". It came with two photographs from the attack.

Chilling, too? It would have been, except that Cather's account is pretty much identical to Pollack's. The language has been massaged somewhat, and there are now characters named Vishal, Amrita, Priya and Chris in it. The "young commando" who rescued Anjali is now described as "In Anjali's words 'a young gorgeous looking commando' came in just like in a movie". Etc.

But in essence, the two accounts are identical.

What's more, this embellished account has been reproduced all over the place. For example, it's here, attributed to "a hedge fund portfolio manager." It's here, attributed to "a survivor". It's here, attributed to "Bob Lenzner, national editor of Forbes".

And what about those photographs? One of them is of the couple, on being reunited. After watching the video on Anupendra's blog, I recognize them: Michael and Anjali Pollack. It's the photograph that appears, cropped, on the Forbes page.

Can anyone explain to me what's going on? Am I missing something?


Nor is this the only case like this. Of that, maybe another time.


Anonymous said...

Liberals...where are your pleas and cries for the 'human rights' arrested terrorist...We have heard this just after Ahmedabad, B'lore, Delhi, Varanasi....

Your 'silence' on terrorists rights maybe because this time one of the target was Cafe Leoplod, the liberal's so obvious isn't it.

Atleast now the looks like you lot got the point ....terror is terror and have to dealt with a strong hand.

Anonymous said...

Two main tasks of governments

1. Maintain Law and Order by the application of the Rule of the Law without fear or favour

2. Defend borders throught military and diplomatic means

Above are grossly mistaken as either to be either communal or is just good governance.

Up to now the Indian state has been held to ransom by extremists and liberals alike.

km said...

The "embellished" accounts are showing up only in blogs and (this is just a guess) the bloggers are probably picking it up from email "forwards"?

Clearly, some people do not automatically delete forwards.

Anonymous said...

This is all Michael's account. He clearly wrote a longer version and a shorter one. The shorter one is the one that was published in Forbes.

All the other versions are the longer one with mentions of his other friends (Amrita, Priya etc.)

None of the longer versions are attributed to anyone else except the last link you provide and that's clearly wrong (someone reading an editor's name instead of Pollack's). The Todd Cather one is clearly made up - it is Michael who's married to Anjali...

Anonymous said...

liberals ranks now plagued with plagiarism

Anonymous said...

News....proposed FIA will have laws tougher than POTA.....atlast Congress signals returns to nationalism...Jai Hind

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip,

To clear things, I received the original story, the Michael Pollack piece in Forbes, via email and I was so enthralled by the writing, I had to forward the email to several of my closest friends. That was on 12/3/08. Not sure what happened to it prior to you seeing it but it is the same recounting. Regards. Todd Cather