The Day Dad was Almost Shot

I am dedicating this post to a person who has always supported, chastised, encouraged and loved me throughout my life – My DAD!

This is an incident that happened in my family during the infamous Gulf War in 1990. It was the year I started at my new school in the Third standard. The year we bought a new car – the Mitsubishi Colt.

On Aug 2nd 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and annexed it as their 19th province. Little did we know that a new chapter was about to begin in the lives of many, including our own.

Expatriates and citizens alike started storing up food in freezers and selling stuff on the black market. Iraqi soldiers had taken up plundering and looting apartments by holding their occupants at gunpoint. There were also quite a few ‘in’-opportunists who tried to make a quick buck posing as Iraqi soldiers and trying to loot apartments. There were bangs and gun-fires to be heard in the night. We had all taped up our windows (to prevent them from shattering due to huge noises) and there were talks of the possible use of nerve gas in Kuwait. Many were beginning to contemplate leaving the land that gave wings to their dreams.

One day, while Dad was returning home from a trip to Kuwait City, his car was suddenly flagged down by a couple of Iraqi officers. Conversing in Arabic, they communicated that they wanted Dad to take them someplace. There were several stories circulating about people being taken away by the Iraqi military to the desert and robbed and shot. Mindful of these stories, and seeing the guns in their hands, Dad agreed without a word.

They quickly got into the car, with one occupying the passenger seat next to Dad and the other one, right behind him. Dad started up the car, and they were on their way to God knew where. As the two soldiers struck up a conversation, Dad prayed silently to be kept safe. He had a wife and two kids waiting anxiously for him to return home.

As they rode on, the car suddenly began acting up. It started sputtering and stuttering and came to a complete halt. As the soldiers looked on at Dad, he was at a complete loss about what to do next. This could end in two ways – either they would leave Dad alone and be off someplace else; else, they may even shoot Dad for leaving them in the middle of nowhere with a broken down car.

With some trepidation, Dad offered to get out and check out what went wrong. Grudgingly, they agreed, but always had their eyes trained on Dad. They probably suspected that Dad purposely got the car to break down to inconvenience them. Dad opened up the bonnet and found that something was wrong and that the car wouldn’t budge an inch without someone else’s help. Trembling, Dad apprised the soldiers of the situation, and suggested that they hitch a ride in another car, since this one wasn’t very reliable.

They meditated on this solution for a few minutes and soon warmed to it. Luckily (for our family), a Mercedes-Benz came next on the road, and the soldiers flagged it down and took off. Dad gave thanks to the Lord for the rescue and prayed for the occupants of the Mercedes-Benz that rescued him from a dire fate.

Now, 21 years after the war, I heard this story from my husband. Apparently, Dad talked about it to him while narrating his experiences in Kuwait during the war. And here is Dad today with his grandson –

Dad and Grandson
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This post has been selected as a Tangy Tuesday Pick on BlogAdda for Sep 6 2011