Major Mukund Varadarajan (31), who was killed in an encounter with militants in South Kashmir, was just another lad from Selaiyur, proud to have studied in the Madras Christian College and working in a call centre until the time came for him to chase his childhood dream of joining the defence forces.
His father R Varadarajan, a retired bank manager, recalled his son, the youngest of three siblings, telling him at the tender age of six that he wanted to join the forces after having been inspired by his uncles already in the defence forces.
An alumni of Officers Training Academy, the Major was posted in various locations including Jammu, Kashmir, Mhow cantonment in Indore as a lecturer in the infantry school and as part of the UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon for a year before being posted in Shopian in December 2012. “I remember him telling me when he was in Class III that he wanted to join the forces. After graduating in journalism, he studied diploma in MCC only because he wanted to study there. He worked in a call centre for a month before passing the SSB, though I encouraged him to study MBA,” recalled his father. A proud Army Major who knew the perils of his job, Mukund never used to tell his family about his injuries. “But we knew about his job. Once a bullet grazed him. But he never told us,” he added.
“But we knew about his job. Once a bullet grazed him. But he never told us because he thought it would scare us. When I asked him after seeing the injury, he simply said ‘Even if you walk on the road, you can die of an accident’,” Varadarajan recalled.
Having visited his parents in January, Mukund wanted to pay his wife Indu, who was living in the military quarters in Bangalore along with their 3-year-old daughter Arshea, a surprise visit on May 1.
“We sent him a message on Whatsapp wishing him on his birthday on April 12. He replied saying he was busy. When he last called me, he said he was planning to avail of leave for a week for his daughter’s surgery and told me not to tell his wife as he wanted to it to be a surprise. But now, he has given us a surprise,” Varadarajan said with tears in his eyes.
Mukund’s family members said it was through a relative in Dubai, who first saw the news of the Major’s death online, that they got to know the news. “Then I called his phone. Someone picked up and hung up. His brother-in-law again attempted and got through and we were informed about his demise,” Varadarajan said and added that Mukund’s mortal remains are likely to be brought to Chennai late on Sunday evening.
Mukund Varadarajan, who passed out of the OTA in 2004, is survived by his parents, R Varadarajan and Geetha Varadarajan, sisters Swetha and Nithya, wife Indu and daughter Arshea.