The story of a man I know. My uncle.
All of us might have been at the right place at the right time at some point in our lives to experience what it’s truly like to feel ‘lucky’. Well I know this person, a distant relative who was at the right place at the right time with the right religion!
My uncle Lloyd makes more money now than the President of India, officially that is. He began his life in a far-flung village somewhere in coastal Karnataka. Having finished his ITI as an electrician, he, like most of the men in the south, headed for the Gulf. He landed in Kuwait a few months prior to America’s invasion of Iraq and did odd jobs at a construction site. When the news of the impending American invasion of Iraq arrived in early 2003, countless immigrants fled Kuwait but my uncle, broke as he was, decided to stay back and work it out.
This is when he struck gold; the American army was scouring for some local volunteers for handling the kitchen and the catering supplies. Someone who knows a fair amount of English and my uncle, being born a Christian and having gone to a Christian school was fairly fluent in English. The other, most important reason why he got through was because he was Christian. The American army was thrilled to have found a Christian man, in Kuwait. He made it through and this man, who couldn’t cook to save his life, was in charge of managing the food supplies from Kuwait to somewhere in northern Iraq for a group of American soldiers.
He worked for two years with the Americans and made a fortune while firing some guns and driving a Hummer for fun. The Americans are so used to machines doing everything for them that they consider manual labour to be expensive. They paid him around $1750 per month which is a lot of dough for US, Indians. When I asked him about his work, he said this, “I wake up, a Hummer is waiting for me along with three trucks full of supplies, all I have to do is travel with the convoy and make sure the right material is delivered to the right people and then come back”. He did this twice every week and he had a couple of body guards while he was at it.
He quit this job in 2005 for an even better post. A job with UN as a Regional Depot Manager somewhere in Angolia and is now traveling and making even more money. So much more that makes me want to quit my job and go to wherever America is planning to wage their next war. It makes me wonder how a man was saved from hunger and scarcity by his religion. Being penniless a day before and reporting to a recruitment officer the next day, studying his delightful smile on hearing your full name must have been quite a sight. I’m not propagating Christianity but just pointing out the incongruity of this whole story.
Sometimes life just decides to pull a trick on you, all you have to do is hope and pray that it’s not a dirty one.