Sepoy Keolanand Dwivedi

Sepoy Keolanand Dwivedi

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 decision."

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