New Delhi, Jan 30: "Ho ke hoyina ho ho ho" (we can do it, yes yes yes)
These were the words that renegaded through the wreath laying ceremony of Col MN Rai, but this time, it was not the braveheart who took the initiative, but his 11-year old daughter Alka Rai.
Eldest of the three children that Rai left behind, she was shattered by the loss but was proud that her father died for the nation. Whether or not, this young life's War cry reached the border, it surely rocked the nation.
The words thundered and certainly the border where thousands of the likes of Rai have been shedding their lives for the nation and pledge to continue to do so.
Afterall, that is what the Gorkha Regiment war cry means. Alka's pledge was reverberated as top officials followed and repeated her cry, as if it was her father, their leader and a hero and not a child.
Colonel Munindra Nath Rai, killed by militants on Tuesday in Kashmir, was laid to rest at the Brar Square cemetery in Delhi Cantonment on Thursday. "My father was a brave father," said the 11 year old, though her 6-year old sibling had no clue of the loss.
The 39-year old colnel of the 2/9 Gurkha Rifles was killed while fighting militants at Tral. He was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal on Republic Day, just the day before.
Col Rai's funeral pyre was lit by his elder brother Col D N Rai, who too is an officer with the Gorkha Rifles. His second brother Y N Rai, is with the CRPF and had also sustained injuries while fighting militants during the Raghunath Temple terror attack in 2002.
Y N Rai said,"probably only a man in uniform would understand how proud he was of his martyred brother. I am very proud of my brother."
Meanwhile, Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi wrote to Priyanka Rai (slain Colnel's wife), saying,"I know what it is to lose a beloved husband to a terrorist attack, and for children to be robbed of the love and guidance of their father at a young age. You must draw strength from the fact that your husband died fighting terrorism and defending his country till his last breath, and that his supreme sacrifice and martyrdom will always be honoured."
For those across the borders, planning their next move, we will not stop fighting you!