As the entire nation mourns for the sacrifices made by our soldiers, no one can deny that there is no match for the loss of their family. This post by Humans of Bombay talks about the wife of a martyred soldier who refused to remarry after her husband passed away and still cooks his favourite meals.
“I was on a train with my great aunt in 1995, when I locked eyes with Major Padmapani– he had a commanding presence & was helping passengers; I was smitten. He caught me blushing! Major sat near me & read a book. And after my aunt slept, we spoke & spent the night looking into each other’s eyes. When we arrived, Major left his book behind– his number was inside!
I got home & called him but his mom answered! She said– ‘Major is gushing about you!’ I was delighted– soon after, our families met & agreed to our marriage.
We spoke different languages, so I learnt Hindi for him. He was romantic too–while he was away he’d make his sister buy me nail polish. He’d surprise me by coming home early too! And after 3 years, I got pregnant…he was so excited! But duty called him to the Kargil War–for Major, India came first. He didn’t tell me the real reason for leaving; we embraced & he said, ‘I’ll be back soon.’
He’d write to me from Kargil, ‘Look after our baby; I can’t wait to hold both of you!’ When I realized he was in Kargil, I was anxious. Still, he sounded positive.
But one morning, my in-laws told me, ‘Major died in the war.’ I was heartbroken. I didn’t know if I was supposed to be proud that he was a martyr or feel sad that I was a widow; I cried for weeks. But I knew I had to pull through for our child. And 3 months after the war, I gave birth to a girl. She looked exactly like Major & I knew he’d live on through her.
Major’s family offered to remarry me, but I declined saying, ‘I’ll honor his legacy.’ I lived with them & ran my own business. I even built a team to provide emotional support to families that lost kin in war.
I often tell stories about Major to our daughter & on our anniversary, I cook his favorite idli, sambar, dosa!
I remember once when I was feeling lonely, I got a call from a long lost friend. I thought, ‘Major, how did you know I needed company?’ When I’m with my daughter, I feel as if he’s smiling at me. It’s been over 25 years & I still have moments where I have to convince myself that he’s not coming home from the station.”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of army families who let their loved ones go away to save others. We salute their selfless love, unparallel courage and immense strength!