Monday, March 12, 2007

6 a.m, 2nd august 1990, kuwait !

It was like any other normal Thursday, I had planned nothing specific, with 48 degrees temperature, one cant even go to the beach, as you get exhausted pretty quick. Though it was an off day for us, I got up as usual at 6 am, the sun was up, and I just lazed around in the bed, looking out at the calm sea, from the the large window of my 3rd floor apartment, located in Mangaf area, quite close to Fahaheel, a small southern suburb of Kuwait.

As my thoughts slowly shifted to the lavish breakfast that my room mate Mr Natarajan would prepare today, that would basically be a good start to an off day , a huge explosion occurred, shocking me like hell! I jumped out of the bed, shouting at the same time to my other flat mates, opened the window to look out, and that was when I spotted a fighter aircraft flying southwards. Just as I wondered whether this aircraft had anything to do with the explosion, I saw a gleaming silver colored object being released by the plane, and this object flew past our apartment building very rapidly. Within seconds there was another ear shattering explosion. All this happened very fast, in a matter of few seconds, and the aircraft was gone, suddenly everything was calm and quite. But all my other flat mates were up, and as we gathered in the hall, we all were anxious, worried, and damn scared. We picked up our phone to call a friend and the phone was dead. It is then that we sensed some thing was terribly wrong. In my 3 and half years stay in Kuwait till then, the phones never went out of order even once. We switched on the TV, and it was dead too, no channel appeared at all. I looked out of the window to find activities in almost all the apartments in the nearby surrounding buildings, some people were out on the streets, everyone looked nervous.

Very soon, we tried our last and the only option left to us, switched on the transistor radio, and tuned to the BBC. And it was already in the news. Exactly at 12 midnight, Iraq had invaded Kuwait. A million strong army, amassed at the border, had started to pour into Kuwait from the northern border town of Rumailah. BBC reported pitched battles being fought at the border, in fact the 7 am news said that Iraqi armored vehicles were on the outskirts of Kuwait city, and in an early morning missile attack, the TV, and telecom towers were hit. Very soon our friend Mr Jacob arrived, and he had brought us some first hand news, he said the tall telecom building, next to the telecom tower, on our way to Shuaiba refinery, had a huge gaping hole in it, that must have been the explosion we heard. Jacob also confirmed that the Gulf Bank, and the Al-Ahali bank ATMs were dead. No money! We were constantly listening to BBC updates, by afternoon, it reported heavy fighting outside the royal palace in Kuwait city, by late afternoon the Iraqi troops, tanks, and armored vehicles were spotted in a large number in Kuwait city. By evening, we got the first glimpse of Iraqi military, as a jeep carrying 4 soldiers, passed by our building. It was then that we realized the gravity of the situation.

We were in a foreign country, which was just invaded by a large neighbouring nation. Our only means of communication with the outside world was dead, and except for the cash that we carried, we had no way of getting any fresh cash from the banks. It gave me an eerie feeling, about how our families back in India must have reacted. That night I slept late, bracing myself for the next 27 fateful days of my life , that would take me thru the most extra ordinary experience in life, till the day I would eventually land at Mumbai airport in the early hours of 29th august, 1990.

9 comments:

Divya said...

Hello Sir,
I'm here again to disturb u...
do u recognize me...
its a nice one.
how about this site.
does this site also pay for blogging or something else....
anyways,my new post is dedicated to Dr. Kalam and leave your valuable comments and ratings.
see you
Aditi

Divya said...

Actually, here i'm signed as divya...
hope u recognize....

Irene said...

Nice, the first time I'm reading a first-hand experience about the war. Write the entire story...
Must have been damn scary.

Irene said...

That was the Wise One, in case you're wondering...

A. said...

hi inky Zanorita here..

hey me too witnessed the war..we were used to be in Saudi then..in the Arar area which was close to the border area of Kuwait..we used to see the weapon going through the streets on large trailors..and when the war started..we always used to keep the lights off..coz we were asked to...people were fleeing selling there valuables at a meagre price..saw a lady selling her gold ornaments for less than 20 riyals..those were the days..i was just 4 years old..but remember those thing clearly..:)

lalli said...

ohh my god,,inkie its terrible experience na!! must be very horrible days for u n your friends na..do write about it in detail..plz..

Hamilton said...

seems you hv done lots of groundwork here (links for advts and others). hardwork pays. wish you all the best.
- alex aka 'donkeySOUP'

Yoj said...

Hello Sir...
It's really very nice!!

Yoj said...

Hello..Sir..
It's really very nice !