Havildar K. Palani couldn't attend his 40th birthday celebration and a housewarming of the humble abode which he had always dreamed of having. He was busy serving the nation.
A few days later, he laid down his life for the nation.
On June 16, a clash between Indian and Chinese troops resulted in the martyrdom of at least 20 Indian soldiers, and Palani was one of them.
Earlier on June 1, he had told his wife that he is being shifted to the border and it will be tough to communicate for a few days.
Havildar #Palani’s last family pic who lost his life in #IndiaChinaFaceOff in the #GalwanValley ! My heartfelt condolences. He served in the #IndianArmy for 22 yrs & gave his life. @CMOTamilNadu announced ₹20 Lakhs & Govt. job to his family member.#WeStandWithINDIANArmy 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/lF9gDG1ynR— THALA FANS COMMUNITY™ (Back Up) (@TFC_Ajithians) June 17, 2020
And on June 3, his birthday, he had his last conversation with her.
Palani was disappointed that he couldn't be a part of the celebrations but promised he will be back soon. That day never came.
What hurts the most is that the corridors of the house he built with so much passion, will only see him wrapped in the tricolour. He couldn't touch its walls, couldn't play with his kids in that home, couldn't hold his wife.
He was just 18 when poverty & passion drove him to join the Indian Army. He served for 22 yrs. Died just an year before he was planning to retire. The story of soldier from TN who lost life in Ladakh.https://t.co/Tqww2hCoaP@NewIndianXpress #GalwanValley #laddakh #IndianArmy— J Santhosh (@santhoshexpress) June 16, 2020
His brother broke the unfortunate news to the family on Tuesday, and his wife fainted on the spot.
Later, as the relatives tried to console the family, some information was given to the media. Not from an affluent family, Palani joined the Army at the age of 18 after finishing class 10. It was while serving the nation that he completed his education and became a graduate.
My heart goes to the heroes who lost their lives in Ladakh. The nation will remember your sacrifice and our prayers to the families and dear ones. Palani of Ramanathapuram who has served the nation for 22 years is one amongst them. #IndianArmy— Tanish Kumar (@Imtanishkumar) June 16, 2020
Respectful Tribute to Havildar Palani who was martyred in face-off with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley. He is from Ramanathapuram district and serving for Indian Army for 22 years .— Police Ragu (@vkragupathy) June 17, 2020
Your Bravery & Sacrifice will not be forgotten. Jai Hind
Eventually he got married and had kids, but his heart was always set on building a house. He even pledged his wife's jewellery for the same, and just wanted the construction to be successful.
That happened, but too late.