Aizawl, Mar 3: Two lines on an epitaph, transformed into a melancholy strain, has touched the heart of Mizoram as they mourn the their warriors brought home dead.
"When you go home, tell them of us and say, we gave our today for their tomorrow": these immortal words inscribed on the tomb of an unknown soldier at Kohima's War Cemetery has melted millions of hearts. It is a tribute to all those whose lives were cut short so that their motherland could live on. The epitaph transformed into a heart-touching melody has drawn a stream of tears down the cheeks of the martyrs' widows who lost their loved ones in insurgency-ravaged Chhattisgarh during the past one year.
"Whenever I listen to the song I can't help crying. To be precise, a part of me dies," K Lalthapari, general secretary of Chhattisgarh Mizo Battalion Family Welfare told UNI here on March 3. The fact that some of the widows live a hand-to-mouth existence without adequate financial assistance from the government despite their husbands' supreme sacrifice for the country, heightens the poignancy of the proud lament of a dying soldier.
The song entitled 'When You Go Home' is composed by Mizo songwriter Well Born Manners and is sung by Remkimi Cherput in her record-breaking debut album.
The 16-year-old singer shot to fame in the first Mizo Idol contest last year. The song dedicated to the ten Mizo jawans who were killed in Maoist blasts on November 19 last year has made the martrys' wives sob.
C Vanlalhriati (28) is left behind with three children. Her husband H Vanlalhruaia was among the ten Mizo jawans killed in the Moaist blasts last year. Now, she is depending on her late husband's pension as the government's promise of Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia is yet to materialise. She lives in a rented house at Ramhlun South locality here.
However, Vanlalhriati is luckier compared to other widows such as 35-year-old Mary Jones because Vanlalhriati is entitled to draw the full salary of her husband as pension that amounts to about Rs 8,000 monthly.
It may be noted that eleven Mizo jawans of the 2nd IR Battalion died of malaria in Chhattisgarh, apart from the ten who died from Maoist blasts. The Mizo battalion was deployed in Chhattisgarh from September 27, 2006.