Service No : IC-72326M
Date of Birth : April 20, 1989
Place of birth : Udhampur Dist
Service : Army
Last Rank : Captain
Unit : 9 Para(SF)
Arm/Regt : The Parachute Regiment
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Awards : Shaurya Chakra
Martyrdom : February 21, 2016
Tushar in Kshitij Mishra’s words (Kshitij was Tushar’s roommate & BUDDY in the academy)
14th July 2009, a summer less hot…..
After 44 days of passing out from the hallowed portals of the National Defense Academy (NDA), Pune, all the 260 Army cadets reported to Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, for our final year of this training, the last stretch of our journey to don the stars on our shoulders. The end of this year will earn each one of us two stars that will actually be a start to our Fauji career (as we call it).
During the day, the preliminary documentation had to be carried out. The companies were yet to be allotted. Then I came to know that we had to stay on a shared basis and hence I decided to check out of my curiousness that WHO after-all would be my partner?
And that was for the first time in my life that I saw the name GC Tushar Mahajan over the board. Who knew then that this association was going to be such a bromantic (the bros’ romance) one with the word Buddy becoming an integral part of our lives ahead!!! After little enquiry, I came to know that he was from the Alfa Squadron. Squadron: A word that is equal to the word Family in our dictionaries by now maybe more than that since for the past three years all of us cried, bathed, ate and cherished everything together. At IMA, Squadron is equivalent of a Company. I always thought that India (my Squadron at NDA) and Alfa weren’t that far away and out of the 260 of us, I think he must have been the only one whom I hadn’t met or known during the three longest years of my life at NDA. Well…… I thought, let’s see who this Tushar is and since I couldn’t recollect even a bit of my association with him at NDA, I was even more curious to meet him. So after I went to my room E-15 and started settling down. Unpacking my bags…..after a few moments, there was a knock on the door!!! It was a sign of a new arrival, Indeed!
As I opened the door, I saw a thin boy having a fair look, with the friendliest smile I had ever seen in my life. “Kshitij Mishra??”, he asked. I replied, “Yes, you must be Tushar Mahajn”. We shook hands, hugged each other (as this was a formal gesture at NDA to show that one has found a home away home) and then followed our initial introduction since we hardly knew each other despite being from the same at NDA. (Yes, that can happen, when you have 376 course-mates hence 376 faces and respective names to remember). During our conversation, I got to know that he belonged to Udhampur & had an elder brother. By the time that little intro-chat finished, that was already lunch time so we proceeded to the mess. That was the simplest beginning of a forever lasting bond, which became stronger every day. And is getting intricate with each passing moment now when Mahajan Buddy is not with us anymore. The absence is only physical, I believe.
As I got to know him more, my liking and regards for him kept on increasing manifolds. A very simple guy, to whom you could go asking for help any time and you won’t return disappointed. An excellent cross country runner (ran about 12-13 km run, conducted at IMA every six months as the Intercompany competition), firer, sportsman and in academics too he was a genius. An all rounder in true sense you could say!!! We were exactly similar in terms of some habits and the most important out of those was laziness (in terms of who would get up first in the morning and wake the other one up. We even made a weekly schedule for the same but failed miserably to follow that and everyday would begin with “Buddy tu jaa pehle, kal meri baari thi”,being the common dialogue by both of us). And if we were similar in some habits, we were totally opposite in some. He loved to flirt with dangers, that risk-taking capability of him inspite of knowing it would invite trouble (Punishments, well that’s what one ends up having!!! The more mess you create, the more Ps you get) was beyond my understandings. Whenever I would try and stop him he would just pat my back and say “Buddy, life enjoy kar, aise dar dar ke jeene ke liye life bahut chhoti hai, chal tu bhi aaja……….bahut maza aega”, to which I would politely deny saying “Nahi bhai tu hi kar”. If I would have known that my time with my-Buddy would be so short-lived, then I would have ventured with him on all those small adventures for sure, like bunking a lecture and trying to catch some vital sleep in the room. Often, he got caught too, but as I said, he wasn’t the one who would fear the consequences! In the first six months, our friendship had gone from being a fresh one to a very strong-unmatchable bond. We calling each other “Budddeeeeeee” had gone on to become quite popular among other course-mates in the company.
Time passed in his company so swiftly and so soon that the term came to an end in December and we bid goodbye to each other and proceeded on a month-long term break to our homes. In January, a horror awaited us upon our return to IMA. The rooms had been changed, even though still on a sharing basis, but that was an unexpected change. The horrifying part for me and Mahajan was that we were not roommates any more due to an order that No Ex-NDAs could be room-mates. Certainly, the news damped the high spirits of seeing my buddy again after the term break. Both of us were sad, even tried to reason it with the SUO, CSM of our company (the appointments) but the orders were clear and there was no immediate way around it. But we had a plan which could not have been implemented immediately, so we waited for a month and a half to pass and at the very first opportunity, we were buddies again, this time our abode being C-5. That night we celebrated our rejuvenated buddyship with samosas, pastries and a 2 ltr bottle of Pepsi. (As cadets that were considered a big celebration).
The remaining three and a half months also passed and I got to know more-and-more about him as a person. He was a really caring soul who would go out of limit to make sure that you have no discomfort around him. The manner, in which he took care of me when I was down with fever for 5 days, just can’t be explained in words and then respect in my eyes grew even more. As happens in all relationships, all can’t be merry at all times, we too had our share of arguements, which were mostly due to his pet dialogue “Arey buddy, chhor na, koi fark nahi padta, sab moh maya hai”. Whenever he was sad, felt a bit down, and I will try to cheer him up, no matter what I said but he used to come up with his “Moh Maya” sentence that simply irked me and a small argument ensued and we didn’t speak, though, that duration never went beyond an hour, after which we would be back to our laughters in some of the other leg pulling ways. One habit of his always brings a smile on my face, even to this date whenever I remember it, even though the last memory of it was some 7 years ago. Whenever both of us would be walking together, discussing something and he would say something which I disagreed to, I would stop there while he would go ahead a few steps, talking in the same momentum and on realizing that I was left behind, he would come back and say “Yaar, buddy tu chalte chalte ruka na kar, baato ka saraa flow kharab ho jata hai” and I would say “Accha aage se nhi karunga buddy” but I would repeat it many times, just to see that look on his face and be amused.
By the time we passed out from IMA, we were no more only buddies, the friendship and the strings attached were so strong that we could easily pass away as brothers in front of people meeting both of us for the first time, such was the bond, which formed hardly a year ago.
I met his parents on the Passing out day and since we (me and my parents) had planned a visit to Vaishno Devi after the Passing out Parade itself, I and buddy gave a twist to the plan so that we could extend the time we could spend together by a few more hours. Me, Tushar along with our families met at the Jammu Station the next day and there we decided to go to his house at Udhampur, from where we would be going to Vaishno Devi. He too came with us to Vaishno Devi and then came all the way to Jammu to see us off from the station. When I bid goodbye to him at the platform the reality finally struck, THIS WAS IT!!! no more fights as to who would wake up first everyday, no more going for runs together, camps together, meals together no more of seeing Tushar everyday to cheer me up, and tears rolled down. After that emotional farewell on 15th June, 2010 at Jammu, with a promise to stay ‘buddieeeeees’ forever, we finally departed, embarking on our different journeys as newly commissioned Officers in the Indian Army. Sure about crossing paths in future, as they say it’s a small world and in that world Indian Army is even smaller.
I had opted for the Engineering branch in the army whereas he had volunteered for the Elite Special Forces where he was to undergo probation for three month, to check his suitability for joining the ‘9 Para SF Battalion’. His volunteering for the Special Forces probation came as a great surprise for all of us, not because he wasn’t suited for it, but because in the complete one year of training he had never mentioned about this desire of his.
I got posted in West Bengal and started learning the rules, traditions and etiquette various facets of the Army as a Lieutenant and he started with his probation. We spoke to each other whenever managed to sneak an opportunity to get hold of a cell phone and call, since mobiles were not allowed during the probation period. Even in those tough conditions, sleep deprived, drained mentally and physically he never forgot to call me, whenever he could lay his hands on a cell phone, that’s how he was. Those 2-3 minute conversations were enough to keep our brotherhood alive.
Time passed and I was sent to an area with no mobile connectivity so I couldn’t speak to him for two month. When I got back to the area with mobile networks, I called him up, and came to know that he had successfully cleared his probation and was a part of ‘9 PARA (SF)’. I could sense his happiness from his voice and I too was really happy for him as it is not an easy task to achieve what he had! That was in Oct 2010.
After that we remained in touch, speaking to each other whenever both of us could be in network at the same time. I will always come to know of one or the other news which will once again make me believe that he probably hasn’t been gifted with a heart from God. Man, he would simply not get scared with any operations and will explain the stories as if it was not about the bullets and bombs but some Diwali crackers, he was playing with. And perhaps that’s the only reason why such people are chosen over all to serve this Nation, to fight till your last breath and don’t let anyone harm the respect of a name called India.
I was really lucky to have met him on his birthday, 20th April, 2013 at Pune (he always used to say with proud that he shared his birthday with Hitler!!!). It was just by luck that he happened to be at Pune on his birthday and that too when I was there too. We met almost after three year, remembered old stories, laughed, celebrated his birthday and then he went back. That was the last time I saw my ‘Mahajan Buddy’ in flesh and blood. On 21st Feb, 2016, I came to know about the martyrdom of Capt. Tushar Mahajan of ‘9 PARA (SF)’ through the News channels and it felt as if something sank in my heart. Well….. one is ready to watch anything or everything over televisions but seeing your loved one losing his life is something you never want to see till you are alive. I tried reaching him on call, on whatsapp, SMS in a hope that the news channels might be wrong and there still might be some hope but there was no reply to anything. I immediately got my tickets booked to his home from my location but I was unfortunate enough that I could not be a part of his last journey as I was posted at such a place that in spite of my best efforts I could only reach Udhampur on 23rd Feb, 2016, my second visit to his house after June 2010,,,,, the only difference was that my Buddy wasn’t there with me, ready and smiling to go to Vaishno Devi once again.
Capt Tushar Mahajan was a man who wore his heart on his sleeve. If the phrase “Nerves of steel and a heart of gold” could epitomize a person, there would be no man more suitable than him to do so. I have been lucky enough to have known him, to have lived with him for a year, being his room-mate. To have helped him, to be helped by him and to have been his brother from another mother.
You will be missed BUDDEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Whenever at IMA I used to stop walking and you moved ahead to realize I wasn’t there, you used to come back. Today again, you have gone way ahead buddy, having etched your name in history and making all of us so proud of you. If only you could come back to me like those golden IMA times…………..life would be so awesome again.
MISS YOU TUSHAR MAHAJAN !!!!!! R.I.P BUDDYYYYY!!!!!!!!
2. "He was such a boy that when he was asked to write an essay in the class he wrote that his aim was to join the Army and kill terrorists. That was the time when his other classmates did not even know what terrorists or the army was," his classmate and childhood friend Sushant said.
3. Recalling Capt Mahajan's passion for the army, his inconsolable father, Dev Raj said, "He always wanted to join the army and at the age of 16 he got selected for NDA. We never objected to it as it was his childhood dream to serve the nation." "Though I have lost my son I am proud that he laid down his life for the nation, an honour which only a few can get,"
Some of the poems written for and dedicated to Captain Mahajan….
A beautiful poem was written by a mother for her son who sacrificed his life on duty...
We thought of you with love today, But that is nothing new…
We thought about you yesterday, And the days before that too…
We think of you in silence, We often take your name…
Now all we have are your memories, And your picture in a frame…
Your memory is our keepsake, With which we’ll never part…
God has you in his keeping, We have you in our hearts….
(Poem shared by: Ms. Vijaya Singh Negi)
“A tribute to Tushar from my side“
We need peace not the war… We don’t want to loose one more Tushar…
Why this apathy? Till when will it persist?
When will we get a stern action to resist?
Proud and sad are the parents of our Martyr dear …
Every eye has shed a tear…
Were scared to see your mortal remains…
My heart skips a thousand beats and still refrains…
Your Valour we’ll remember; we’ll remember sacrifice,
Let not a single enemy of Motherland survive…
The sacrifice you made is the sacrifice supreme…
You are the brave son with persona agleam:
Sanctified yourself you for the sake of our soil,
Your dream will be taken up with all the toil.
(Poem written by Ms Neha Sharma)
तरूण सा आए थे, पवन सा चले गए,
शायद तुम दुनिया मे नही, पर दिलो पर नाम कर चले गए।
तुमहारे लहु का बदला मिलेगा, तुम वीरो सा फुल फिर कही खिलेगा,
यो निशानी अपनी छोड़ गए हो, अब ये चमन न कभी बिखरेगा ।
मॉ का लाडला, बहन का था मे रकशक, भाई का दोसत, और पिता का सहारा था।
मॉ से कहना वापिस मे आऊगा, भारत मॉ ने अभी भुलाया है।
बस मेरी राह तकना मॉ, तुझमे फिर से जनम पाऊगा मे। .
Poem written by Veenu Pandit, Jammu.
A letter by his comrade…
Shared by Varinder Singh on behalf of all comrades of Captain Tushar Mahajan…
Dearest Sir, Eight years ago I was fortunate enough to be a part of a family… a bond…a lineage… an affinity above blood and all other mortal incumbencies … Now that you have given us the proud privilege to tell the world that yes we belong to the clan of the warriors…the deadliest tribes that ever existed on this portion of our galaxy THE APACHES.
You have left behind a legacy for all of us to follow and tales to tell.. We know how you are at a far much better place from us….looking at us from the galaxy of the brave hearts and smiling in your humility, A place which you rightfully deserve, a place which you have earned with your martyrdom… This ignorant Nation would never realize the very fact that what it takes to be a person like you …and the sacrifice that you have made. But this is for all those who care… Tushar Sir, you shall be there in our hearts and minds…mentoring us whenever we will be weak…guiding us our way through the darkness and kindling our hearts…
One last thing Sir: You should not have left us like this … proud of you Sir proud to be an APACHE ..
Suraj ke tej jaisa, chamke jis ka bhaag,
lalon mein lal balak, bharat mata ka lal,
sukh ko jis ne tyag kar, dharam apna mann kar,
kar diya balidaan jeevan matrabhoomi ke naam par,
woh hai shurveer dhartiputra CAPTAIN TUSHAR MAHAJAN.
By Shwetaketu Singh Jamwal(His Childhood Friend)
“He was the hell of a guy…a thorough professional…..a great lover, an avid reader, a true patriot, an awesome junior and a fierce fighter….” described by his Senior.