When my family fled the Gulf War of 1991, I was 10 years old. The youngest of my siblings was in preschool.
Housed in makeshift camps on the Jordanian border, I remember making new friends with kids from different countries. We all left our toys back home. We invented new games. Collecting food packets dropped by the UN helicopters was one of them.
Playing around our tents, in a way I’m glad I was at an age to not fully comprehend what being caught in a warzone meant. In retrospect, the pain of a parent is unfathomable.
Nonetheless, I remember several kind souls we met along the way, on the journey back to India- from the reassuring cabin crew to the unknown sardarjis who fed us for free when we touched Mumbai- the little flames that lit our paths.
Even when it seems like we don’t have a choice, sometimes we do. That of being unreasonably kind.
Pic: Turkish soldiers looking after a 2-month-old Afghan baby who got separated from her mother during the turmoil at the Kabul airport.