Cover of Diksha Dwivedi's book Letters from Kargil
In Letters from Kargil, Diksha Dwivedi tells the story of the Kargil war through the letters of the soldiers who fought it.
Major Ritesh Sharma of 17 Jat had cut short his leave to be on the war front. He was the company commander in the attack on a prominent peak, Pimple 2, in July 1999. During the assault, he was injured heavily and had to be left behind, but only after he ensured that his second in command, Anuj Nayyar, was in a position to lead the battalion to victory. Captain Nayyar lost his life in this battle, and Major Sharma passed away a few months later, but in the interim period, he spent every waking hour at war trying to avenge his friend's death. Following the capture of Pimple 2, he wrote this moving letter to his parents.
Respected Mom and Dad,
Sadar Charan Sparsh
News is that I am perfectly fine here and you do not have to be worried with me in mind constantly. When we spoke on the call yesterday you seemed scared. By the time this letter reaches you, the fight might've ended.
We defeated the Pakistani 12 NLI Bn badly. The final blow to the enemy was given on Pimple 2 by my Charlie C coy. A splinter went through my right heel near the artillery shelling. It did not touch any bone and so I'm alright. It was good that it went through my foot or I would've had to go through an operation. Your courageous son did not return till he got all the other injured soldiers from the artillery shelling, gave them first aid and sent them back. I couldn't save the life of one of them, but I saved a dozen other injured ones. Only when my CO ordered me to come back and I was assured that Anuj would lead us to victory had I retired. But sadly, four hours after I left, Anuj had attained martyrdom. After this massive fight, the enemy knew where he stood and decided that backing off was the wisest thing he could do. You might've imagined the extent to which our army has made the nation and world proud through this victory by looking at the news coverage on Star News
or India Today
. It was only because of your blessings that were with me that an artillery shell blasted near me but I escaped. Please don't be more afraid after reading all of this. The fight is already over and our posting is out for Lucknow and we all will soon complete our 2 years and be back. Given the public hysteria that is developing, people will soon forget the soldiers again. When there was victory - the cavalier claimed it outright, the gunner boasted of his caliber, the signalmen and engineers published their worth, but the INFANTRY MAN stood silently with victory under his feet.
- Maj. Ritesh SharmaThis is an excerpt from Letters from Kargil by Diksha Dwivedi published on Juggernaut.