Kargil: untold stories from the war

Why does a group of stranded paratroopers call for Bofors’ fire upon its own position? Why is an old man in Palampur fighting for justice for his dead soldier son? What makes a martyr’s father visit a young Kashmiri girl every year?

Kargil takes you into the treacherous mountains where some of the Indian Army’s bloodiest battles were fought. Interviewing war survivors and martyrs’ families, Rachna Bisht Rawat tells stories of extraordinary human courage, of not just men in uniform but also those who loved them the most. With its gritty stories of incomparable bravery, Kargil is a tribute to the 527 young braves who gave up their lives for us—and the many who too were ready to do it.

Rachna Bisht Rawat, the wife to a happy-go-lucky Army officer whose work takes the family to some of the most remote corners of India, has written three books so far. It is in these cantonments, where time slows down, that she gets time to read, listen to music or sit with a cup of tea and her MacBook to write stories about the Army which, she says, is the only world she knows. A 2005 Harry Brittain fellow, her first story, ‘Munni Mousi’, was declared the winner of the 2008–09 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. Kargil is her fourth book after The Brave, 1965 and Shoot. Dive. Fly., all published by Penguin.