My thought took me back to August 2 1990 when I woke up in the evening by a huge sound which shook the building. I didn't know at first what was happening. Me and my sister were alone at home and we just peeped out of the window to see smoke from some buildings. We assumed it might be a gas explosion and were waiting to see if there were any fire engines coming. But none could be seen. After some time my father came in from office and was having a terrified look on his face. He came and enquired if we were safe and if heard any sound. While we were talking a huge sound that shook our building made me and my sister just cry. We could see that the mosque just beside our house was brought to pieces and people running around the streets crying. We could see a few cars in flames too. My father explained to me that it was a missile that hit the mosque and the Iraqis were attacking Kuwait.
All these thought came to my mind right now (7th June 2011) and didn't allow me to sleep after the late night movie "Hotel Rwanda" in Sony Pix. The fight between the Tutsi's and the Hutu's had led to war were millions of Tutsi's were killed. The story shows how a man tries to save his family and around thousand Tutsi people from the rebels. It was so touching that I could not stop thinking of how I and my family tried to escape from Kuwait the same way.
After my Dad made us calm he told us that we need to be quiet all the time and he was trying to call my Mom who was still in the hospital. We couldn't reach her and so kept on trying. After some time my mom called and told that she is safe and there are a lot of soldiers in the hospital and if they allow her and her fellow colleagues to go she will come soon else she will have to stay in the hospital as it was already late and there were lot of problems in the streets. She didn't come that night but early morning she reached and told us that there were a lot of firing all night and lot of soldiers kept coming to the hospital.
We came to know through the news channel that Iraqis had attacked Kuwait and they were killing the Kuwaiti's old and young all alike. They were too rude to them. Most of the Kuwaiti's left Kuwait and the king and his cabinet too. Some were hiding as they could not leave the country.
I and my sister were happy that we needn't go to school. But were equally scared by what was happening. We could hear shots here and there. My mom advised us that if any soldiers come inside we need to hide ourselves under the bed and she had kept many bottles full of chilly so that we could defend ourselves by throwing the chilly on their faces or eyes.
The next day morning an Iraqi came to our house and told he was ready to buy all the household items. My dad agreed as we were planning to leave the country as soon as possible. My cousins were in constant touch with us telling us that some buses would be arranged soon so that we could cross the border.
The Iraqi man didn't pay us well but took everything from our home including my toys which I didn't want to give. Kuwaiti Dinar had lost its value and we could not buy anything with the notes we had. So the Iraqi Dinar came to help.
Through friends and relatives we came to know that the Iraqis were not harming Indians and they were only targeting Kuwaiti's. We all went to together to the shop to buy some food as rumour spread that food would not be available soon as all the shops were closing down and planes were not landing in Kuwait.
On the way to the super market I saw soldiers with huge guns and even a few of them in tankers, they had blocked the roads and the roads were empty. As we crossed by the soldier, I was too scared to look at them thinking they might shoot. They asked something in Arabic, my dad replied something in Arabic and the soldier talked to his fellow soldier and replied back to us in English that we may go. We went to the market and collected all that we could for a week and paid them in Iraqi Dinar.
The next day my Dad's brother called us telling that a few buses were arranged and we have to go to Jordan to catch our flight to India. As there were no flights from Kuwait, Saudi and Iraq, we had to cross Iraq and reach Oman which would be almost 2 days of travel. In the mean time before starting from our place my Dad had to hide our car behind our building because there were already people from Iraq who were stealing cars.
That day night the Iraqi's showed a video to the whole world were Kuwaiti men and women were butchered like animals. Their eyes and tongue were just pulled out. My parents switched off the TV so that me and my sister who were too small to see it would not watch such cruel and inhuman behaviour.
The next day around evening we started our journey with just a few bags as we were advised to carry only very important things. I remember crying because I was not allowed to carry my favourite toys. So we boarded a very crowded bus with half of them being my cousins. I don't remember much of the journey, but yes I still remember there were military trucks going in front and in between the herd of more than 15-20 buses. As it was through the desert, there was no roads as much to say, water was very scarce and so it was limited.
After a day or two we reached some place in Jordan we were told to camp. I remember I was very happy to see thousands of camps all around and was happy that I could play a lot. But I didn't realise what was about to come. The tents were made for us and we had to lie down on the rocks and sand which was very difficult. In a day a truck would come with food and some fruits. It was mostly tomato's. We stayed there for more than a week and by that time I was sick and was sleeping all the time due to the lack of food.
One night we heard that Indian government had sent us flights and we could leave to the airport in Oman. So we started for the airport and on reaching we saw that we were in a queue of ten thousands waiting already for the flight. Again we stayed at the airport for another 2 days.
On the third day early morning by around 3Am my father came running telling us to pack and start. We suddenly got everything ready and was on our way to the counter. In another few hours we were on our journey back to India.
The flight landed in Mumbai and my father's brother was waiting for us at the Airport. Everyone was happy that we came back alive. Thanks to the Indian government and to lot many people who worked a lot to get all the buses arranged and to take us across the border to safety.
Millions have died in the Gulf war, and I thank god that he just guided us through all the danger and brought us all back to safety.
I could see each and every scene happening in my life as I watched the movie Hotel Rwanda. It was my life were my dad was trying to bring his family to safety.
Will never forget those days as it will and would always be a turning point in my life.
You can see below a few pictures of how people were tortured during the gulf war.