Millennium Post

Army officer died fighting terrorists last year. Now, 28-yr-old wife signs up

Twenty-eight-year-old Nitika Kaul is all set to join the Indian Army.

Her husband was Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, who was killed during a gun battle with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama in February last year. They had got married in April the year before.

Kaul, who is from Kashmir, has cleared the Short Service Commission (SSC) examination as well as the interview. She is now waiting for the merit list to be declared after which she will join the forces as a cadet.

She said this was her way of paying a "real tribute" to the officer and feeling close to him. Kaul, who lives with her parents in Delhi and works with a multinational company, now wants to focus on being a good officer like her husband.

"I want to learn new things as it is a major shift for me from the corporate culture I am so used to, to the disciplined culture of armed forces," she said.

"I took my own time to recover from the major loss and the decision to sit for the Short Service Commission examination happened gradually. Just filling the form in September last year was a big decision. But I had decided that I want to walk on a similar path like my husband," said Kaul.

She said the process of taking the exam helped her know what her husband had gone through while writing it.

"It was a very emotional moment for me to enter that examination hall, given what I had experienced," she said recalling the day she sat for the exam.

"At the same time, I was thinking that my husband would have gone through the same situation, of clearing the first examination as a step towards joining the forces… It made me feel closer to Vibhu," she said.

She said it was not easy to get back to normal life after her husband's death and "drowned myself in work, hoping the pain will ease…"

"I went back to work around 15 days after my husband's death because I wanted to keep myself busy. It is natural to have a breakdown but we needed to accept the situation. I had to find positivity in my daily routine and stand up on my feet once again," she added.

She said going out with her cousins for the first time was also a major step she took after her husband's death.

"There was an internal resistance. I was not completely willing to go outside but then when a loved one leaves, you have to think whether they would have wanted to see you in such a sad state. I always thought what Vibhu would have wanted me to do and I got my answer…"

(Input and image from

Next Story
Share it