Author: Adisha
•Sunday, June 07, 2009
I always cry when watching the " Titanic ". Always. From the scene where the musicians keep playing, to the captain holding onto the mast of the ship, to the people who try frantically to get out, the fathers letting go of their children and wives, to the guy who shoots himself out of desperation, to the One boat that chooses to go back, to the woman holding the child looking at Kate, to the last scene where Leonardo tells her not to let go, to where they meet again in the afterlife ...

I shudder tho think what goes through one's mind at such times. With their loved ones to think of , prayers to Gods forgotten, pictures of the worst flashing before their eyes, hope of a rescue, desire to help another, or just the need to get out of it all .... some how. My fingers hesitate ...



I was in Kuwait during the Gulf War. Now all that remain are memories, for we lost all we owned then. I was 10. I woke up the morning of August 2nd 1990, to see my mom filling any and every bottle with water, taping the windows with duct tape. On asking what was happening, she told me very matter of fact that " Iraq has invaded Kuwait. "

A week later, we were 4/5 families, with a few bachelors living together in someone else's apartment, waiting for it to pass us by somehow I guess. I was too young to worry, but I can still feel the vibes. One morning, news came that I.K.Gujral was coming into Kuwait with a plane to take back as many Indians as he could.We were told to carry bare essentials, which for us were mom's jewelry and pampers for my bro. We rushed to the airport. As we stood around waiting, rumors spread that the plane was being filled with families who had connections. The person monitoring the number of people going through, told my dad that the plane was in fact full.

I can NEVER forget the look of That man, as my dad started screaming at him, taking hold of his collar and shaking him hard. My father asked the man, how it was that there were men inside when many women and children were still outside. He abused him, threatening that if my mom, me and my bro weren't on the plane, that man would be sorry. People pulled them apart and rallied to my father's logic. I still remember my Dad saying, " If the women and children go through, the men will be atleast relax and it'll be easier to try getting out. " Men, with more political influence than the clip board holder came and discussed the situation with the others revolting, placating them.

In some time, men were seen coming out of the fighter plane. We were ushered in. The plane was soon full of women and children sitting on the floor. I even got I.K.Gujral's autograph.

When we arrived in Delhi, and went back to my Dad's place, people thought we had nothing and thus offered nothing. My mom's relatives poured in with things for us to use, buying us clothes to wear, making sure we were as comfy as we could be in the room on the terrace with the hot tin roof.

A few days after we arrived, we heard of a pilot who was given a suitcase full of jewelry by a family friend to take across customs in India to avoid the taxes ( the suitcase NOT being bare essentials ) . The pilot denied being given any such case at the other end and walked off.

My father came with 11 other men, via Iraq and Jordan. The men unanimously decided to take one suitcase each and foodstuff in their cars. The D day of travel, 10 of the men came with their cars full of things they owned. My father, the man who follows all rules , that he is came with 1 suitcase and a stereo system ( which he ended up giving as bribe at Iraqi border ). Some even asked if they could keep more of Their stuff in our car and Dad refused. My mom says I hardly slept or ate till my dad came back to us.

Such is humanity. People strip down to their core self. And now Flight AF 447. My heart goes out to all those people who go through such situations, coming out the other end , changed with the realizations of the truths of life. It's not only they who get affected but all those whose life they touched in any way. I pray for them all !!



My imagination runs wild as I think of what all those people go through, mind, body and soul. All those who end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, through no fault of their own. I never know whether it's heart breaking when you picture the horrors or heartening when you hear of sacrifices made and risks one takes in such situations, for people they care about or strangers even. It's occurrences like Titanic, Katrina, Tsunami, freak accidents that separate the heroes, from the villains, the cowards, the just there, or watching people. But as in the end of any ordeal, all that are left behind are the " Survivors" . This set of people are destined to relive those moments and pass on their versions of the incident.

As if Natural calamities weren't enough to wreck havoc on humanity, we have Wars and Terrorism. People can be so Stupid !!
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25 Spin Offs:

On June 7, 2009 at 12:40 PM , Tasneem N. said...

wow adisha so well written. those who go through such ordeals in life can only understand the pain of others who has to face the same wrath. Felt really good to know how you and your family emerged as "survivors". Hats off to your dad to standing by his principles.I can understand it must have been really tough.

Great writing as always :

 
On June 7, 2009 at 11:05 PM , Hemanth Potluri said...

gr8 write up adisha....i cried in the theater while watching the movie to ..people thought i was crazy but wat do they know abt emotions...

i am happy nothing has happen to anyone at that time and all are back home safe...u wrote ur exp with ur heart adisha...and yes i am happy all went into the past ane all is well...


i have my prayers for the people on that plane ....i wish nothing of that sort happen to anyone in future..


urs..hemu..

 
On June 8, 2009 at 12:34 AM , Ria said...

i dont hav words to describe wht i felt when i read this!!its all tht i cud ever think of....i mostly go speechless when it comes to such instances....coz such disasters leave me tongue tied!!they leave a profound effect on me. It scares me to think wht if i was the one going thru this!!Its terrible to imagine wht those ppl must hav gone thru.

My heart goes out to those who lost their lives in the plane crash. I dunno wht their families must me going thru. Its like a long agonising journey for them!

 
On June 8, 2009 at 1:42 AM , Baljinder Singh said...

In this world of good and bad, a human needs to be empathetic. It helps fulfilling his life's purpose of being here and serving humanity. Only a human can act as a salve for other humans' pains so helping a person in desperate need should be the top priority for us.

I really appreciate ur and ur family's efforts and strong willingness to get out of this storm of cruelty generated by some selfish tyrants. This incident described by u is a perfect example for people who leave everything on God but they forget that God helps those who help themselves.

 
On June 8, 2009 at 1:44 AM , Baljinder Singh said...

In this world of good and bad, a human needs to be empathetic. It helps fulfilling his life's purpose of being here and serving humanity. Only a human can act as a salve for other humans' pains so helping a person in desperate need should be the top priority for us.

I really appreciate ur and ur family's efforts and strong willingness to get out of this storm of cruelty generated by some selfish tyrants. This incident described by u is a perfect example for people who leave everything on God but they forget that God helps those who help themselves.

 
On June 8, 2009 at 1:51 AM , Stillness Speaks said...

It felt good to know that you and your family came out of the Gulf war unscathed!

You're right about the fact that as though natural calamities aren't enough we have people fighting with each other and taking lives. What's happening to the Indians in Australia also bothers me, what with the world at large thinking that Indians are out to take their jobs. Off the point I know.

My heart goes out to those who died on that flight from Rio De Janeiro to Paris. Those that they leave behind would be a bundle of wrecked nerves. No amount of compensation can ever replace who they lost. It's really sad, but when the time's up, it's up. No hoodwinking death.

In situations like those, no one understands principles. Everyone thinks of themselves and their own only. Which I guess is a pretty human instinct. To watch out for yourself. In the mad desperation that they are going through I guess this makes maximum sense to them.

A wonderful write up Adisha. I really admire your thought process :)

 
On June 8, 2009 at 2:41 AM , darklordreturns said...

Some people have it in them to rise against all odds in the face of tragedy...they are the survivors.. I can't empathise but I can sympathise. And it fills my heart with joy that you could finally pull through!

 
On June 8, 2009 at 5:57 AM , Chriz said...

man.. one of the best real life narrations.. felt like watching a thriller movie..

and just imagining you being a part of the real cast gave me the creeps

 
On June 8, 2009 at 6:46 AM , santasizing...Fantasizing said...

I begin to shudder as I try and visualise this description,,,
I am speechless..
and I am wordless too...probably I would comment a little later...when I can write something that makes sense..:)

 
On June 8, 2009 at 9:20 AM , nups said...

profound... u went thru a lot as a kid..10 is big enough to realise all this... n these thngs have a way of trickling down into ur subconscious... yup the plight of tht ill fated flight is a nightmare to thnk of... u knw Human beings can be worse than animals at times... the survival instinct is dangerous.. its also wat proves the charachter of men... men like ur dad r brave n men of substance... i alws tell my friends don go for Shahrukh khan like looks or charm..go for a man who can stand up for right stuff... n u'l never regret marryng him!!

 
On June 8, 2009 at 1:14 PM , The Survivor said...

I can understand your anguish.

If only people learned to love each other beyond boundaries, there would have been no war.

Wish I had more words to say but I find myself wordless right now.

Great Post!!

 
On June 8, 2009 at 11:04 PM , Archana said...

Very moving post. Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone. I know it's always hard looking back at incidents of crisis - but even more so when you're old enough to remember everything. The fact that you were 10 and can still recall everything shows how much of a footprint that incident left in your mind.

It is honestly in times of crisis that you really see the 'true' sides of people - both good & bad.

 
On June 9, 2009 at 4:15 AM , Kunjal said...

never thought that you have gone through all these difficulties!!!i think all these tough conditions make you a better person:)

 
On June 9, 2009 at 4:35 AM , dreamy said...

u know i abs dont have anything to say...i just dont know what to....i still have goosebumps all over me!

may God bless everyone who was a part of that fateful flight...

 
On June 9, 2009 at 11:53 AM , (¯`•._.•[Raaji]•._.•´¯) said...

yes sadly true... as they say... human beings by nature are selfish.

 
On June 9, 2009 at 3:53 PM , mohitparikh said...

Heartening story Adisha.

until i read ur story i had never felt nething abt the missing plane. just read it as any oder news. I hav become desensitised, i guess.
Donno wht to say, but i m reminded of Hotel Rwanda and trying to understand the state of people "who were at the wrong place at the wrong time"

 
On June 9, 2009 at 10:19 PM , Kokonad said...

This is a beautiful, beautiful post, Adisha. The story of your life - coming from Kuwait to India is touches hearts. I completely agree with you when you say that calamities distinguish the honest from the dishonest, the heroes from the villains.
It does feel proud to say later that you, or someone you look up to, stood by principles...
Wow, I am actually at a loss for words... I really don't know what to say. Still, there is one thing I strongly believe in - even the most crooked man can be straightened by reminding him of ethics and correct principles. I strongly believe in the goodness of mankind and while most of the world is skeptical and cynical, I beg to differ. I believe that this attitude is going to make people like their fellow beings more. :) Just my thought.

 
On June 9, 2009 at 11:22 PM , Keshi said...

We already hv Natural disasters to deal with and then humans go and create WARS. How sad ha!

Im glad that ur famil is safe but it must hv been a terrible ordeal to go through. Only those who hv gone thru it know what a waste of time, energy n lives it is to engage in WARS.


I like this post. Puts things in perspective.


Keshi.

 
On June 11, 2009 at 3:56 AM , Sorcerer said...

wonderfully written
life shapes us up..
well said

 
On June 13, 2009 at 4:15 PM , Pretty Me!! said...

the last line was just perfect closing to this though provoking post !! never been through such times yet and pray we dnt have any reason fr it ..

 
On June 15, 2009 at 10:27 AM , Aparajita Bhattacharya (Administrator) said...

A wonderful post that touches the heart. Because it came from the author's heart.

 
On June 17, 2009 at 9:53 AM , Amal Bose said...

that was a really touching post..

im happy that ur family got through such tough times..

 
On June 18, 2009 at 10:30 AM , DPhatsez said...

Shit!
Real life trauma!

Splendid Writing! was feeling for you throughout!

Peace! and Be Strong!

 
On June 27, 2009 at 11:34 AM , Miss Sunshine said...

Hey, I am so glad all of you survived :)
Amazing dad :)
and yeah..sometimes humans can be so sickening.. I feel like stripping them apart from their souls!

 
On June 27, 2009 at 3:37 PM , ani_aset said...

its very well written..i am glad that you are now safe and sound to share it with us..prayers for the relatives of people who lost their lives in the plane crash