In his wake, broken bangles
Sepoy Keolanand Dwivedi, 30, of
the 15th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment.
The brave soldier probably knew
he'd never come back. He died on June 6 of bullet
wounds, having surprised and taken on five
infiltrators in their hideout in Kargil.
Back at Majhkot, his bereaved
family is fighting hard to come to terms with the
loss. His widow Kamala went into a stupor for three
days. Only to break down when she sees her husband's
corpse at the hospital mortuary. Her animal cries
rend the air. And widowhood is formally bestowed on
her as a clutch of women uncoil her neatly-coiled
hair, remove her mangalsutra, break her bangles and
wipe off her bindi.
The family's long relationship with
the army does little to help. Dwivedi had fought
insurgency in Doda before, his father had retired
from the army after having fought the 1971 war and
his brother-in-law, R.C. Joshi, too serves in the
army. In fact, says Joshi, "If my nephews want
to join the army, I'll fully support their