Main Zinda Hoon: Family Mourning Soldier’s Death in Ladakh Gets a Call Hours Later


Main Zinda Hoon: Family Mourning Soldier’s Death in Ladakh Gets a Call Hours Later

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

The news of Indian soldiers clashing with their counterparts from the Chinese Army in Ladakh and 20 of them losing their lives was a sobering and sorrowful moment for the nation. While all of India felt the loss of these brave soldiers, that grief would have been felt even more keenly by the relatives of the martyrs. So, when Havildar Sunil Kumar’s family received a call telling them that he was among the fallen soldiers, only to then receive another call from Kumar himself confirming that he was in fact alive, they must have had endured a rollercoaster of emotions that thankfully had a happy ending.

Kumar’s family lives in Dighra village at Parsa block in Saran district of Bihar, as reported by Hindustan Times. The report in turn quotes a Hindi newspaper, Hindustan, as its source for the story. On Wednesday afternoon – a day and a half after the encounter that took place on Monday night – Kumar’s family received a call informing them that he had lost his life in the fight. The report mentions that the villagers and local politicians arrived at the family’s home to offer their condolences.

However, on Thursday, the mournful atmosphere was broken by a second call from Ladakh, and this time it was Kumar himself on the other end of the line. “I burst out with joy as I had no doubt that it was Roshini’s father’s voice speaking on the other side,” the report quotes Kumar’s wife as saying. The mix-up was a result of a namesake from the same unit having lost his life in the clash.

Out of the 20 soldiers who fell in the fighting, some of them were from Bihar Regiment. In fact, the mortal remains of a soldier sharing the same name as Havildar Sunil Kumar were transported from Ladakh to Patna for his last rites on Thursday.

Kumar’s phone call would have felt like a miracle for his family, who would have thought that he was lost forever in his service to the nation.