Kargil Martyr’s Mother Makes Kheer on His Birthday, Without Fail
Captain Vijayant Thapar was only 22 when he died.
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Camera: Abhishek Ranjan and Shiv Kumar Maurya
Producer: Vatsala Singh
(On Captain Vijayant Thapar’s birth anniversary, The Quint is republishing this piece from its archives. It was originally published on 26 December 2017.)
Tripta Thapar is busy at work in the kitchen of her Noida home. She isn’t too fond of cooking. But it’s her son’s 41st birthday and she is preparing his favourite, kheer. Kargil War hero Captain Vijayant Thapar was born on 26 December 1976. Had he been alive, he would have turned 41 today. His mother, Tripta Thapar, prepares kheer for him, as she has done every 26 December since his death.
Vijayant was only 22 when he went to Kargil. He died braving the enemy on the icy heights of Knoll and Three Pimples in Drass. He was conferred the captain's rank posthumously and was also awarded the Vir Chakra for his bravery.
Mom’s Special Kheer
As morning dawns on 26 December, Tripta gets down to making pots of kheer. It’s an open-house; friends and family members drop by to pay their respects. Over kheer, they talk about Vijayant and his achievements and the time they got to spend with him.
Tripta heats some milk in a saucepan. When it comes to a boil, she adds some washed rice. When rice is slightly cooked, she adds sugar. And then for richness in texture and flavour, she adds crushed cashew nuts and crushed almonds. In the end, she adds some cardamom powder for flavour.
If I was making this kheer for Vijayant, I would have added more cashews, almonds and raisins. He liked his kheer rich. Since, he was into physical fitness, all these were necessary.
She ladles the kheer out and garnishes it with more crushed almonds and cashew nuts. She takes some of it out in a bowl and keeps it next to a portrait of her son.
Happy 41st birthday Viajayant. I hope wherever you are, you are happy.Tripta, Vijayant Thapar’s Mother
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