25 September, 2020

Remains Of A War

Lives rebuilt, some gone awry... A year later, Kargil’s survivors seek remembrance

Remains Of A War

Time weakens the most retentive of memories; images that swamp our consciousness one day are fated to slip away into oblivion, giving way to ever-new fetishes and concerns. True to the fickle nature of public memory, an event that so aroused our emotions just a year ago is already but a dim recollection for many today. Perhaps, momentary catharsis is all we asked for - a little patriotism at prime time, to go with dinner. But not so for a little girl in Maharashtra’s Karad township - she will always remember the war at Kargil. She was born the day her father died fighting there on those lonesome peaks last summer.

Twenty-four-year-old Sipahi Madhukar Nikam of Seven Maratha Light Infantry had called up at the local post office just the day before. He’d promised his wife Ujjwala a tour of the icy theatre of battle: "I’ll bring you here after our child is born. You watch me from a safe distance." The very next day, the very same phone brought news of broken promises; a relative who took the call was informed that Nikam had died in battle. Just half an...



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