The Times of India News | Updated: Jul 26, 2009, 4:07 IST
“It has been 10 years,” says Namrata A Bhandarkar, widow of Lt Col Ajit Bhandarkar, a Kargil war martyr. But now, she finds her thoughts mature with experience. She has a new understanding of her husband’s death. “My husband is immortal, thanks to his deeds. I am happy he fought and died, and did not merely become a victim of enemies like the many killed on the platforms of Mumbai on 26/11,” she said.
Her outlook towards the country has itself changed. Now she loves her country more. She tries to buy `Made In India’ goods, prefers to travel only within the country, and wishes her kids would settle in India itself. But the journey was not easy at any point of time, she confesses.
Namrata was in New Delhi with her children, aged four and six, when tragedy struck. She decided to stay back there for a few more years so that the little ones would not feel the change. Ajit’s friends and relatives struggled with the paper work. “Initially, there were a lot of hiccups on the part of the government. Two years later, I moved to the land they allotted. But I cannot believe it has been 10 years. It seems as though everything happened yesterday,” she recalls.
Now a teacher at Army Public School, Namrata is still into Indo-Pak issues. She points out that security is a continuous process. It begins at the borders, but there is no back-up as we enter the country, she says. “It should improve with the years, but we never seem to learn from mistakes. The result is a 26/11 after a nine-week long Kargil war,” she said.
Namrata said this interest was inculcated during her years with Ajit. Be it at a dinner or party, all that Armymen talk about is security. They called Indo-Pak talks as putting a hand into an ant-hole, she reminiscences. Never in her life had she thought she would marry an army person. “All the knowledge I had about the Army was from serials. But when I received the proposal, I found Ajit to be a very genuine person and agreed to marry him,” she added.