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
Tangy Tuesday Pick

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

Second Move in 8 Months

So, the title says it all. We have moved house yet another time, the second shifting in 8 months. Yesterday was the grand day.

After getting all kinds of reassurances from the owner that the house was in spick-and-span condition, we had a minor shock when we moved in. The house reeked of fresh paint, the floor was covered in a layer of dust, the calling bell wouldn’t work, the newly installed wash basin had a leak and neither our bedroom, nor the kitchen balcony had a lock.

Of course, we immediately got into touch with the owner and he agreed to reimburse the one-time cleaning charges for the house. ANd then we got to work, cleaning and scrubbing. Of course, Little One was completely bewildered. He was in an unknown place, and neither his Dad nor Mom seemed particularly interested in him, with a scolding every time he tried to explore a new shelf, cupboard or even the floor. Finally, irritated with everyone and everything around him, he decided to do what he knew best. He sat on the floor and started to bawl.

Of course, that got everyone’s attention and soon he was in my arms. And when he got bored with me, he would jump into his Dad’s arms.

To tell more about the house, it is on the fifth floor, just 5 minutes away from my office and is very bright and airy. It has four (!!!) balconies, where we have a very nice view of the road construction and get a great opportunity to inhale all that dust into our lungs. Here are some pics –

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In the 5 years of my marriage, I have lived in 4 different houses, with this being the fifth one. I hope the next move will be to a home of my own, and I finally can live a settled life after leading a nomadic existence for ages.

Boys vs. Climbing

I wonder what it is with boys and climbing – anything 2 feet above the ground seems to sends them into spasms of utter joy and lands them in climbing heaven.

Little One has decided that climbing over tables and chairs is the current ‘IN’ thing for one-year-olds and is now busy climbing over all the furniture in the house.

His favourite pastime is climbing over the living-room couch, and then moving on to the next one by crawling over the hand-rests and then pulling up the curtains near it.

And finally, yesterday I got a real bad scare.

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