Tikkri Dasakna, a remote village in mountainous Sirmour district, takes pride in its long tradition of service to the country.
Known as the village of warriors, Tikkri Dasakna has many families where more than one member is serving in the army.
On Thursday, the village of bravehearts mourned the death of its son Ashok Rana, who was among 20 soldiers killed in a deadly terror attack on army's convoy in Manipur.
An Army officer broke the news to Ashok's parents Baldev Singh and Rayeno Devi over phone late in the evening. As Rayeno Devi cried inconsolably, Baldev tried to put a brave face before the villagers who thronged the house to condole the grieving family. "Martyrdom brings far more pride to a soldier than retiring from the service," he said fighting back his tears.
Ashok's wife Anjana was distraught. "How will I explain my two daughters (aged 4 and 3) that they won't be able to see their father again," she said.
Three days before the attack, Ashok had called up his father and told him that he has been now posted at Chandimandir and would join on June 15. Ashok's elder brother Jagat Singh is also in the army.
Paonta sahib village unites in grief
A pall of gloom descended on a Paonta Sahib village as news of Sepoy Sohan Singh Saini's (26) death appeared. Sohan, who hails from Manpur Dewada village, was part of the army team that was ambushed by militants in Manipur.
The family hasn't conveyed the news of Sohan's death to his mother Rukmni and wife Rajni. "We told them that he (Sohan) has sustained injuries. They both are in a fragile state," said Sohan's father Sukhdev Singh. Sohan's brother Harvinder said the body of his brother would arrive at his native village on June 7. The villagers are upset over no administrative officer coming to the martyr's house to express condolences.