Mildred Escaped Gulf Airlift Twice

February 5, 2021

Theirs was not to make a reply,
Theirs was not reason why,
Theirs but to do and die
Into the valley of death
Rode the six hundred.

- Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892), English poet laureate, in The Charge of the Light Brigade.

Wars in Tennyson's time involved six hundred soldiers marching on foot or riding horses. Modern wars, specially Second World War and thereafter, involved tanks and artillery and aerial bombing as in the First Gulf War involving the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, starting on August 2, 1990. Some of the dimensions of this war are given below.

The invasion of Kuwait started on August 2, 1990 at 2 AM and within two days of starting combat, most of the Kuwaiti armed forces were either overrun by the Iraqi Republican Guard or fell back to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The Emirate of Kuwait was annexed and Saddam Hussein announced a few days later that it was the 19th province of Iraq.

More than 171,000 Indians were stranded on Kuwaiti soil. Unlike in historical wars, modern wars, like the Crimean War and the Battle of Balaclava which inspired Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade, though basically between combatants, also involved civilians who suffer collateral damage. Such wars throw up refugees helplessly caught in the war as, for instance, Indians working in Kuwait and their families. The 1990 airlift of Indians from Kuwait was carried out from August 13, 1990 to October 20, 1990. Air India helped to evacuate 175,000 people by civil airliners. The operation was carried out before the Persian Gulf War in 1990 to evacuate Indian expatriates from Kuwait.

Following this operation Air India, the flag carrier Indian airline, entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people evacuated by a civil airliner. The suffering of those caught in the war with faint hope of evacuation and repatriation to India is made of thousands of Indians stranded in camps with no hope or certainty of reaching their homeland make moving stories —and a Hindi film has been made on this.

But, to start on positive note, I am presenting the D'Souza family of Bombay/Mangalore, then residing at Marol, Mumbai, whose luggage was loaded on the aircraft waiting to depart for Kuwait, at the old airport at Santa Cruz, and four members of the D'Souza family were waiting to board the aircraft, with boarding cards in hand, on the forenoon of August 2, 1990 (Another flight to Kuwait had already left early morning). Then the announcement came on the public address system that Kuwait flight was cancelled. The checked-in luggage was retrieved and the foursome D'Souza family returned to their Marol flat —mercifully saved from the trauma other Indian families suffered till they were airlifted from Kuwait months later.

But, we must start at the beginning. The family involved was headed by Walter (Waltie) D'Souza, born on June 7, 1946, at Valencia, Mangalore. After finishing SSLC from Padua High School, he went to Bombay and worked for Neo-Pharma from 1957 to 1969. Then he got a job in a Kuwaiti firm, Thuwainy Trading Co, where he worked till 1975. The initial travel to Kuwait in those days was by ship and took 7 days. In 1975 he switched his job to work for Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim, dealer for General Motors, as a supervisor. He and his wife, Mildred, who had married Waltie in 1974 and their two daughters, Bonita (b.1976) and Lolita (b.1978) were schooling in Carmel School in Kuwait. Mildred, a B.Com, was also working in Kuwait for Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research in its Environment Science Division. Then, as they were waiting uncertainly in Bombay, with the daughters continuing their studies at St John Evangelist School at Marol, the late Walter (who passed away on May 14, 2019) saw an announcement in The Times of India from his employer firm calling back its employees to resume their work in Kuwait.

But, the family's second stint in Kuwait was cut short when Walter suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage paralyzing his left side. His company hospitalized him in Kuwait from October 1993 to April 1994 when they had to return to Bombay. After staying for two months in Bombay, they shifted to Bondel on the Mangaluru-Airport Road. Yet, their eldest daughter, Bonita, with BBM (business management) course from St Aloysius College, now works in Kuwait along with her husband, Ashley D'Silva. Incidentally, while on the children, their second daughter, Lolita, has done her B. Com and is working in Dubai and third daughter, Jessica, has done M. Sc. in psychology and counselling, and is presently working in Dubai.

Walter, with his paralytic handicap, and Mildred have revisited Kuwait twice to mark the religious celebrations of their grandchildren. So, as Shakespeare titled his play: All is well that ends well except that wheel-chair-bound Walter passed away, as noted above, on May 14, 2019.

Mildred was caught (about to be caught) stuck in Dubai because the corona virus pandemic led to all air connections locked down with Indians stuck in other countries ( Mildred escaped the lock down having returned on March 10th 2020 after spending 3 months with her children. So, Mildred was twice lucky to escape emergency airlift from the Gulf.

Tail-piece: While the D'Souzas escaped from reaching the war zone, Archie Rego and his family had bitter experience of getting caught in the war zone and were finally airlifted by Air India, has a different story. He runs a business called Gulf Refrigeration on the Mangaluru-Bajpe Airport Road at Padavinangady. That story will have to wait till Archie can be enticed to talk long enough from his busy electrical, refrigerator repair/renovation work which pins him down to his work in progress.

 

 

 

By John B Monteiro
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Comment on this article

  • Roma D'sa, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Tue, Feb 09 2021

    Congratulates Mr John Monterio read your article.It was a real saga narrative It brought tears fears and relief most immigrants take risk and its pertinent for Native government to take heed and help in need. A great eye opener Thanks for highlighting the ordeals of immigrant workers and their families I have never left homeland but those who leave for better prospects should also get fair deal in times of need. Bads of history should not be repeated and goods not forgotten

  • John, Mangalore

    Mon, Feb 08 2021

    In line with wars, rescues, escapes, is there in near future a Battle of Armageddon involving aliens ? Following video says so, titled 10 yr old Jeremy taken to heaven, told of future events (Shocking!). Also there are biblical prophecy references for it in Book of Revelation Ch 8, 9 and Ch 16:16 and recent past there had been few sightings / stories in the news about aliens and ufos etc. (Also in this age everything possible like robotics, transhumans or humans merged with technology and humanoids with available AI, Nano, Bio, luciferase, 5G and advanced surveillance technology. Recent Divine message warning about it, can be accessed through following link) Ref video: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zjjUldMA-dg ; Ref link: http://www.jesusmariasite.org/abstain-to-buy-5g-technology

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Sun, Feb 07 2021

    Dear Mr. John Sir, I have still not understood the gist of this lovely post to put my comments on it! My gut feeling says it's focussed on concept of "luck" rather than the Kuwait invasion saga! I appreciate your wonderful hold over English; your narration, choice of words, grammar is impeccably perfect! I'll reserve my comments till then! Sincerely, Rudolf Rodrigues

  • John, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 07 2021

    Interesting coincidence We have similar prevailing situation in the world right now, with Biblical prophecy Ref: Book of Revelation Ch13:4,16-18. And, God wants to lift up humanity towards life or heaven ward from hellish situation these communists chinese and western elites trying to put humanity with these viruses and vaccines or with their very modern warfare, with the help of their controlled mass media in a greed to control or grab world resources for themselves and rule, in the following part of referenced message to Enoch dated 1 Feb 21. But how many heed to God's warning or blindly fall prey is the question? "Great events are about to unfold that will change the destiny of humanity; viruses and pandemics will intensify and will continue to be present in your world; As the population begins to be decimated by pandemics, panic and fear will take hold of humanity. No vaccine will give you protection but the spiritual protection and the remedies that Heaven sent you, will serve to counteract the viruses and pandemics that will devastate humanity. New viruses will be spread in the air, which will create pandemics that are more lethal. Humanity will be decimated and the economies of the poorest nations due to the intensity of the quarantines will roll on the ground. The rider of famine and plague is already in your midst and has begun to pour out his cup on the inhabitants of the earth. Millions of souls for not being spiritually prepared will be eternally lost when death comes from the pandemics. The suffering for humanity is beginning and, what a sadness I feel when I see a humanity so much lukewarm and sinful, going to be lost for not wanting to heed my calls to conversion! Tribulation, tribulation, is what awaits you and the vast majority still goes on without waking up!"... Ref:http://www.jesusmariasite.org/5102-the-mark-of-the-beast-in-the-vaccines-will-be-introduced-to-you/

  • John, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 07 2021

    Interesting coincidence, We have similar prevailing situation in the world right now, with Biblical prophecy reference, Book of Revelation Ch13:4,16-18. And, God wants to lift up humanity towards life or heaven ward from hellish situation these communists chinese and western elites trying to put humanity with these viruses and vaccines or with their very modern warfare, with the help of their controlled mass media in a greed to control or grab world resources for themselves and rule, in the following part of referenced message to Enoch dated 1 Feb 2021. But how many heed to God's warning or blindly fall prey is the question? ... "Great events are about to unfold that will change the destiny of humanity; viruses and pandemics will intensify and will continue to be present in your world; As the population begins to be decimated by pandemics, panic and fear will take hold of humanity. No vaccine will give you protection but the spiritual protection and the remedies that Heaven sent you, will serve to counteract the viruses and pandemics that will devastate humanity. New viruses will be spread in the air, which will create pandemics that are more lethal. Humanity will be decimated and the economies of the poorest nations due to the intensity of the quarantines will roll on the ground. The rider of famine and plague is already in your midst and has begun to pour out his cup on the inhabitants of the earth. Millions of souls for not being spiritually prepared will be eternally lost when death comes from the pandemics. The suffering for humanity is beginning and, what a sadness I feel when I see a humanity so much lukewarm and sinful, going to be lost for not wanting to heed my calls to conversion! Tribulation, tribulation, is what awaits you and the vast majority still goes on without waking up!" ... Ref: http://www.jesusmariasite.org/5102-the-mark-of-the-beast-in-the-vaccines-will-be-introduced-to-you/

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 07 2021

    Very well narrated true life memoir The turmoil and agony of repartition and sudden happenings will always live for the remainder of life Thank you for the narration sir...


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