Army jawan Manpreet Singh (29), who was killed in a terrorist attack on an army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, wanted to make his son a "big army officer."
A pall of gloom descended on Manpreet's native village Awaan under Kalanaur police station in Gurdaspur district after the news about his death came from the army authorities at around noon on Friday.
He was the youngest of the three brothers in the family. His elder brothers Gurjinder Singh and Bhupinder Singh are also serving in the army.
Talking to HT, his widow Ranjit Kaur said, "He (her husband) wanted to see our three-year-old son Armanpreet Singh as a big officer in the army".
She further said, "He last spoke to me on phone on Thursday night while I was at my parental house in Masani village near Batala and he just asked about the welfare of the family, though it was a long call for about 30 minutes".
She added, "He also wanted to construct another floor at our house in the village".
Manpreet's sister-in-law Baljinder Kaur (wife of his brother Bhupinder) said, "Manpreet had a telephonic talk with me four days ago and he told me that he was coming on leave the next week".
With a heavy heart, his grandfather Bakhshish Singh said, "A sad chapter of history has repeated itself in our family as my son Baldev Singh had died leaving behind his three children and now Manpreet has died leaving behind a young widow and a three-year-old son".
Family sources said that Manpreet's father Baldev Singh's body was found mutilated in Bakaro city of Bihar over two decades ago and they were brought up by their grandparents.
Manpreet's house is located in the fields outside the village and it is called 'Foujian Da Dera'. Villagers said the deceased was a promising youth and nurtured golden dreams for his family.
Manpreet was born in Awaan village on November 14, 1985. He passed matriculation from a private school in Naushehra Majha Singh and passed Class 12 from another private school at Dhariwal before he joined
Army at a recruitment rally held at Pathankot in August 2002. Manpreet's mother Sukhbir Kaur was with his eldest son Gurjinder Singh in Ranchi (Bihar) when she received the sad news of his death.
Most of the villagers were also in grief over the death of a son of the soil who, they asserted, always used to meet them with a smiling face and cheerful spirit.
Bakhshish Singh said that Manpreet's body would be brought by the army authorities to the village on Sunday morning for cremation.