Maj was eager to start a family

New Delhi: Four days ago, when the (retired) brigadier called to speak to his son Commander Anuj in Kashmir, they briefly spoke about his possible return home after the end of the confinement. They also discussed Anuj by joining his parent unit, Guards Brigade, in Gurdaspur.

On Sunday, when it became known that Anuj had died in a brutal shooting with terrorists from Lashkar-e-Toiba in Kashmir, the family received incessant calls from family and friends. One of them was from Anuj's young wife, Aakriti. He wanted to know how he could organize a vehicle pass, necessary during the closure, to drive from Dharamshala, where he had gone to visit his parents, to Panchkula near Chandigarh.

My daughter-in-law Aakriti could barely speak at first. He wanted to come immediately to be with us. But my wife and I were able to convince her to come when the mortal remains reach us on Monday, the retired brigadier said. who was with the EME Indian Army Corps, told TOI.

The couple had married in 2017 and Anuj moved to the Valley four months after that. They were planning to start a family, Sood said. Aakriti was working with a company in Pune. He could not be with Anuj since the wives were not allowed where he was destined. But he eagerly awaited his return. Anuj was to return and join Gurdaspur with his unit.

Those who knew Anuj, 31, said he was a sports fan and found time to follow him, although he was often involved in counterinsurgency operations. He was one of the first at the Punjab Public School, Nabha, and represented the Army at equestrian events. He kept pumpkin as his additional hobby even after joining the Army in 2012, a friend said.

I remember when the Rashtriya Rifles were raised as a specialized unit to combat militancy during the time I was in service, Anuj was very curious about it. I was wondering about that all the time.