As the day turned into late evening and the sun had almost set, it started raining. Soon it was quite dark as my working day came to a close and I sent my training batch back to their homes. A few colleagues and I made our way in the rain, across the railway tracks and to the bus stop. The rain ceased and we were talking and laughing while waiting for a bus to take us to our residences. We didn’t see the car actually hit the bike but we rather heard the collision and when I turned I saw the sparks fly as the bike skidded on the road. A guy in a maruti car had hit a fellow who was riding his bike.
We saw the biker stumble a bit and then walk to the side of the road as he tried to avoid being hit by the car. He was ok. The car driver took a look at the surroundings, reversed his car a bit and headed for the turning and tried to make a break for it. He was fleeing the scene of the crime, an illegal hit & run case! And the sparks did really fly as several bystanders chased him and they hit his car windows with umbrellas and a helmet. He almost made it to safety but there were way too many people around and they were able to make him stop. As I got into a bus, I could see the crowd dragging the car driver out of his car. I couldn’t see anything else and can only imagine the thrashing that the wretched sonofabitch must have received at their hands.
When I think of my childhood, I ofcourse think about the 11 years I spent in the city of my birth – Kuwait City. The capital city of the tiny country of Kuwait, currently has a city population of 32,500 and a metro population of well over 2 million. One of those 2 million used to be me, living with my parents & my sister in a tiny apartment in an area called Darwahza. The times I spent there will forever be embedded in my mind as some of the happiest & innocent moments of my life. Among one of the images & memories that I hold deeply in my heart, are the Kuwait Towers – the most famous landmark of the city & the country. Completed in 1979 (a few months before I turned 3) the three towers were built for multi-purpose operations.
The main tower is 187 metres high and serves as a restaurant and water tower. It also has a Viewing Sphere which rises to 123 meters above sea level and completes a full round turn every 30 minutes. The second tower is 145.8 metres high and serves as a water tower. The third tower houses equipment to control the flow of electricity and illuminates the two bigger towers. I will forever remember my one & only visit with my dad to the revolving restaurant in 1986, towards the end of my family’s life in Kuwait (we left for India the following summer). The view of the city, the revolving movement held my attention that I begged to stay back and just take it all in.