Dhaka: An Indian hostage today revealed that he had escaped from terrorists holding them, by singing nursery rhymes.
What started as a happy family trip for Joseph Kuruvilla, an Indian Malayali, ended up with him and his family escaping from the wrath of terrorists. We met Joseph who was sipping some juice sitting outside a police van in the capital city. His wife and 4 year old son were sleeping on the road next to him.
Joseph began recounting how he ended up in the restaurant (which was attacked by IS terrorists recently).
He said, “I never thought I would be alive today. After slogging for weeks in an IT company in Bengaluru, I took my well-earned vacation and decided to go on a trip that can be something different from Goa and Bangkok. My Bengali wife was keen to visit Bangladesh, as she had few relatives who stayed here. That is how we ended up here last Thursday. And yesterday night, after going to few places in the city, we headed to this restaurant. It was a costly restaurant and the ambience was good.”
“Around 9 PM, we heard commotion and soon there were 5 people in black masks holding weapons. I expected it to be movie shooting or ‘Just for Laughs’ Gags episode shooting. But only when a person in our next table shouted ‘Run, they are terrorists’, we began to embrace the reality. My immediate reaction was to hide my wife and kid behind me. So, we ran to the washroom and I tried to hide them both. We heard few shouts and few muffled voices. Suddenly, one of the terrorist appeared before me and asked me to recite a verse,” Joseph’s said while recollecting the chilling account of the event.
When asked whether he knew the verses the terrorist demanded, Joseph grinned, “Only thing that I learnt in the past few years is that ‘Terrorists have no religion’. So, he must not be asking me some religious verse. Cutting across all religions and culture, there is something that is unique to all of us, the rhymes that we learn in school as kids. So, I guessed that he must be looking out for some rhymes. So, I started singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, How I wonder what you are?’ When I sang this slowly, I could see the stars twinkle in his eyes. My son and wife too joined chorus and we sang ‘Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky’. The terrorists chuckled and escorted us to entrance before running back inside. We just ran to the police and that is how I am here.”
Experts and Intellectuals across the globe have appreciated Joseph for his timely response during crisis time and have urged everyone to practice nursery rhymes.
“Since terrorists have no religion, obviously, they will be looking for people who can utter those rhymes to decide whom to kill and whom not to kill. So, if you want to be alive when confronted by terrorists, learn them all,” said Christine Fairy, an expert on ‘Terror in Indian subcontinent’.