Every time I look at that picture below, my eyes go moist. Capt Jayashree saluting the mortal remains of her husband, Major Vivek Gupta, who was killed in the Army operations
in the Kargil sector.
Only a few days ago of this day, Major Vivek Gupta was having the time of his life in Drass. He said as much in a letter of June 8 to his father, Lt-Col (retd) B.R.S. Gupta. “You should feel proud of me … I am contributing something for the nation in this uniform I have worn … being a company commander at this time is the greatest experience one can have.” Ironically, the elder Gupta was to receive the letter in his Dehradun house only at noon on June 17. By then the Army band had played out Dead Body Slow March. And his son’s last rites had been completed, just half an hour before.
Vivek died on June 12 after capturing two difficult posts the same day on the wind-swept, icy slopes of the Drass sector. He perished on the battlefront when a fusillade of bullets from the Pakistanis tore open his torso, but not before he and his company men had slain seven members in the enemy camp.
While a grief stricken Capt Jayshree barely contained her sorrow, it was left to Maj Gupta’s relatives to remember him. “Vivek had last come on leave in May. His unit was in the Valley but it was only after he returned that they were asked to move to Kargil. Only one word can describe him: he was a dynamite,” said his cousins Ravi and Shailendra Singhal.
After all the ceremonies, she came forward slowly, saluted him in an immaculate drill, laid a wreath, said a silent goodbye and was gone. Her personal moments with him would be reserved for later.
What was going on in the mind of Captain (Dr) Rajshree Gupta as she paid respects to her husband Major Vivek Gupta of Rajputana Rifles who laid down his life fighting in Kargil on June 14 can be well imagined, but she never let her composure desert her.
Salute to the brave soldier and son of the motherland, Jai Hind!