On January 11, Major Shashi Daran Nair, an Army officer of the Gurkha regiment, was killed in an IED blast in Nowshera along the Line of Control in Kashmir.
Major Nair was not just a soldier and an officer to the men he commanded. He was a best friend and to his wife, Trupti, he was a pillar - the man who did not think twice about marrying his sweetheart even though she was diagnosed with multiple arteriosclerosis.
Some said he should call off his engagement. He thought nothing about this, not for a moment.
''My only regret is not having replied to his last Whatsapp message. And I hate myself for it'' says Rohit Nair, a close friend. ''He was a thorough gentleman, a humble down to earth human being. He was always there for me.''
Major Nair studied at the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla. He was determined to be a part of the Indian Army.
He was 27 years old when he met Trupti who was a year younger than him.
Life got tougher for the young couple after they got married. After her marriage, Trupti's condition deteriorated and a stroke left her paralysed waist down but Major Nair never let his wife down. They were together for parties, always happy, and if getting around in a wheelchair was not possible, Nair was glad to lift Trupti in his arms and carry her around.
Trupti always knew that her husband being posted to Kashmir was dangerous. She also knew that it was almost inevitable that her husband, an infantry officer, would be posted there.
On January 2, after his leave ended, Major Nair got set to return to duty. He said goodbye.
He returned in a casket.
''It broke my heart to no extent when she looked me in the eyes a day before his funeral with that cold, emotionless, hollow, blank look'' says Rohit Nair. ''I can only pray to god to give her strength.''
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