Tara Rajput


The face of a child can say it all.

And in young Tara Rajput’s face there is only love and adoration, as she hurriedly drops her school bag on the floor and rushes to tell her father every little thing that happened at school. This is an everyday affair at the Rajput’s household. Tara being a daddy’s girl would run to her father as soon as she came home and give a vivid account of her day to him, and only then to the others.

Despite the fact that she now talks to his photo adorned with a garland instead of while sitting on his lap.

Her father was a soldier, martyred in Central India, far away from his home. He died the way he wanted- while protecting his nation. His mother, brother, wife, and daughter Tara survive him.

It is heartbreaking to see a child, only four winters old, oblivious to her father’s departure and singing poems, dancing and talking in front of his photo, like he were there. And maybe he is – proud of his daughter’s young achievements and guiding her to fulfill her dreams.

“What dreams did her father have for his daughter?”, we ask Tara’s mother.

“Her father wanted her to be a free and independent woman, taking her own decisions, and making the country proud. Her father wanted her to become a fighter pilot”, she says, her eyes moist with pride and not sorrow.

Education was important to Tara’s father, and to give her the best of it he enrolled her in an English medium school where she is doing very well.

“She is very sharp, energetic and one of the brightest students in the class, participating in all class activities”, the school Principal says with delight.
Her grandmother puts in, “Her father gave up his life for the country but made sure he instilled his values in her. We are sure she will make us as proud as he did” , she concludes with a toothy smile, which at once is grieving and hopeful.

Tara might be too young to understand the situation; she still doesn’t know that a photo with a garland means that her father is never coming back. She will have to grow up faster than her friends, taking responsibilities she shouldn’t have to.

How does a family get on with their lives after the demise of a loved member? Perhaps they never do, but find solace in seeing their children becoming an extension of the departed, of their dreams. It is heartening to see the bravery in every member of the Rajput family, standing proud for everything that Tara’s father did for the nation and that his daughter will continue to do.

After all, she is already a fighter.