Subedar Bhanwar Singh Rathod

Subedar Bhanwar Singh Rathod

A house whose owner would never return 

Behsana (Rajasthan), July 8 (Agencies) - A typical “fauji” house stands out against the usual structures in this village, waiting for its owner who would never come back. 

A “well-brassoed” name-plate on the entrance that reads “Sub Bhanwar Singh Rathore Arty”, Old Monk bottles stacked up in a niche, gleaming defence mementoes neatly displayed in the drawing room, a scooter with a stepney that reads “army” in bold letters, several pictures of uniformed figures... Well, it is a “real” armyman’s house, but when one walks into it, the realisation dawns that something is amiss. 

Hushed whispers tell you that the second generation fauji owner, who dug deep into his life-long savings to build his house as a labour of love, would never come back to his “ghar” again. 

A shell from a Pakistani artillery gun tore open the entrails of Subedar Bhanwar Singh Rathore of 1871 medium artillery regiment in Kargil sector on June 17. 

That was 44 days before he was to put on the olive green uniform for the last time, get a warm send-off from his unit, and return home at this village in Pali district of Rajasthan and prepare for his daughter’s wedding. July 31 would have been a new beginning for him and he would lead a peaceful, retired life thereafter. 

Rathore was in a great hurry to return home to get his three daughters married. Even his family was impatiently awaiting his home-coming, but fate willed otherwise. 

His brother Lance Naik Girdhari Singh of Rajputana Rifles is at a loss to understand how he would face the responsibility his brother has left him with. “He was the elder brother and I never had to worry about anything. I don't know how I will fulfil his responsibilities,” L/Nk Singh says. 

Sub Rathore's only son Bhawani Singh, 21, is working in Surat with a private company and is not available to take care of his mother and grandmother, the responsibility of looking after whom was soon to fall on his father. 

CourtesyThe Hindustan Times News Service

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