Sadly, I’ve just learned that Sabina Sehgal Saikia’s death has been confirmed by her friends and family:
A massive fire has gutted major portions of the floor she was in. Till late Friday night, her husband Shantanu Saikia, who is also a journalist, was “hoping against hope” that she would be found alive. But that was not to be.
Sabina leaves behind her husband and two children – a daughter aged 14 and son aged 11.
She had texted her husband for the last time at 2 a.m. Thursday to say she was trapped inside a bathroom.
Yesterday’s post read:
Along with many others in the food world, I am hoping that Indian food critic Sabina Sehgal Saikia is safe and unharmed. She is still missing and was staying at the Taj hotel in Mumbai on the sixth floor, attending a friend’s child’s wedding and writing some pieces about the hotel’s food and dining rooms.
Mrs. Saikia’s official biography from the Times of India reads as follows:
Sabina Sehgal Saikia has been with The Times of India for the past 17 years. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities and departments. She was part of the launch team of both Saturday Times and The Sunday Times of India. As a special correspondent with the Political News Bureau, she covered very sensitive areas such as CBI, The Northeast, Enforcement Directorate and Intelligence Bureau.
Subsequently she took over as the Editor of Delhi Times and has given it a youthful orientation. For the past eight years, she has been reviewing restaurants and their delicacies for The Times of India. Her immensely popular weekly column – Main Course – which appears in Delhi Times, has accurately charted the chequered business of eating out in the capital. The hallmark of her critiques has been the objectivity, integrity and honesty with which she evaluates a restaurant. She visits the restaurant anonymously, picks up the tab at the end of the meal and writes, without hesitation, about the entire dining experience. She is the author of The Times Good Eating Guide, a comprehensive evaluation of 600 restaurants in the city. She is an alumnus of Lady Sriram College and the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. Sabina Sehgal Saikia has made her mark in whatever she has taken up as a journalist.