Experiences with the Indian Army
– Harish Kapadia
Nawang was an army soldier and naturally he belonged to them as much to the family and friends. One of the earliest influences on him was by Lt. Gen. R. V. Kulkarni or Rameshbhau as we called him. When the news of Nawang’s death was conveyed to him in Pune where he now lives, he broke down and was sobbing. He immediately rushed to Bombay and was present throughout the funeral. Brig. Randhir Singh reached Bombay no sooner he heard this and guided the funeral. Maj. Aman Nugyal who was someone Nawang looked up to, flew in from Delhi. Several other officers, representatives from the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy were present in their full uniform with decorations.
All this gave us strength and support. Such a strong presence and dignified support goes a long way to make the family feel reassured that Nawang did not die in vain. The entire funeral, the every aspects of it, were conducted by the army with dignity. The 9 Kumaun Regiment Band, the firing of a 21 Gun Salute, sounding of the Last Post and the entire management of the funeral procession were under their hands. It was all done befitting to an soldier and the army with great dignity carried their very own Lt. Nawang Kapadia of 4/3 Gorkha Rifles for the cremation.
The hardest task was possibly of Capt. Abhay Sinh. He was from 4 / 3 Gorkha Rifles, the unit that Nawang was proud to join.. Nawang was his junior and now only after few days of their association it was his task to carry his body from Srinagar to Mumbai for the funeral. His presence, narration of events and the feeling that he portrayed were exemplary.