Kargil Vijay Diwas: It took 13 days to retrieve my father’s body, says Kargil hero’s daughter born 4 months after the war
Until she was ten years old , Megha Yadav had no clue she is a war hero’s daughter. Whenever she asked her mother about her father, she was told he worked in another city. “One day, I just pestered her to tell me because I wanted to know why he never called or visited. It was then that she told me that my father, Lance Naik Rajendra Yadav, SM (P), had sacrificed his life in the Kargil war. I was obviously overcome with emotion, but I also felt very proud,” says Megha, who was born exactly six months after her father’s death.
“That day my mother shared a lot about papa. She said that in their last few conversations, he spoke about securing his children’s future. He even said he wanted his kids to join the army,” she says. So, did she aspire to join the forces? “I wanted to, was an NCC cadet too, but mummy refused. I even said ‘mummy, main kaunsa border pe jaaungi’, but she said no. Woh darr gayi,” laughs Megha, who is pursuing her graduation in Indore and preparing for civil services too.
Her connect with the army remains through her father’s colleagues who are still in touch with the family. “All the uncles tell me that my father was a very friendly person. Woh jaha jaate the usi mahaul mein dhal jaate the. One of them told me that it had taken them 13 days to bring back my father’s body because the firing was so bad. It hurts, but I feel proud,” says Megha.
On Kargil Vijay Diwas too, she wakes up feeling a sense of pride every year. “So many soldiers gave up their life in the war. And I feel nothing but pride that my father was among them. Everywhere I go, people know I am a war hero’s daughter,” she says.
But of course, there are times she wished things were different. “In school, when I would see fathers coming to pick up their kids or when families went shopping and mothers refused to buy their kids something and fathers bought it for them... sometimes I missed those moments. But overall,my mother never let me feel anything was missing,” she says.
One day, Megha hopes to read the letters her father wrote to his family during service. “Mummy said thodi badi ho ja phir dikhaungi. I’m waiting,” she smiles.