kapil kundu

GURUGRAM: Kapil was supposed to come home for his 23rd birthday on February 10. He did, five days earlier, but in a coffin, wrapped in the Tricolour.
Even in death, Captain Kapil Kundu kept his promise to his widowed mother and lived up to the words he always believed in — ‘Life must be big, not long’. Taken from the famous Rajesh Khanna-Amitabh Bachchan-starrer movie Anand, this was one of the inspiring quotes that Kundu had posted on his Facebook wall.

The Captain Kapil Kundu was among the four Indian Army personnel who were killed in heavy Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Sunday.

On Monday, the entire village of Ransika, around 30km from Gurugram, mourned the death of a soft-spoken and introverted young man, who believed in a life which was larger in stature and not in length.

“I had sent him off with my head held high. Now, I will smile to bid him the final goodbye,” his mother Sunita, who was struggling to hold back her tears, said.

Kapil was youngest of three siblings — he had two elder sisters Sonia and Kajal, both married — and a bright and focused student since his childhood.

“As a student, he always scored in the 90s. He was a bright student. He liked to read newspapers and books on general knowledge. He loved us a lot and never troubled us. I always waited for rakhi and his gifts,” said Kajal.

Even Kapil’s teachers at Divine Dell International School in Pataudi district remember him as a brilliant student. “He joined the school when he was in UKG. Incidentally, he was part of the first batch of our school. He was so good at maths that he would finish the sums even before the teacher could write the formula on the board. I had taught him English and maths in Class VIII. He was very fluent in English. He took up science (without medical) in Class XI. He was always well-prepared for his exams. I remember he had told me, ‘Ma’am one day, I want to become a general in the Army.’ He had even invited me for his passing out parade in Dehradun in 2016. On December 24 last year, he had come to the school for the alumni meet. He urged the students to always follow their dreams and join the Indian army,” Purina Tholiya, principal at Divine Dell school, said.

Captain Kundu had joined the Army after making it through the National Defence Academy (NDA).His uncle Ramesh Chandra said, “Kapil was a quiet person. He would keep things to himself. His father Lala Ram, who worked with Air India as a foreman, had passed away four years ago. Everyone had thought he would join Air India but he had other plans. He wanted to join the Army.”

Mahender Singh, a retired army personnel and Kundu’s neighbour, said the Captain was a brave soldier who never shied away from challenges. “His first posting was at the Army supply unit. He refused to take the posting and requested his senior officers to transfer him to the front. Seeing his courage, he was immediately sent off to Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh claimed.

Captain Kapil Kundu’s last rites were performed at a park near his home with full military honours. Around 2,000 people attended the funeral.

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