Thiruvananthapuram: The only wreath placed at the memorial of Kargil martyr M.O. Shijukumar right outside his house at Vazhuthacaud on Kargil Vijay Diwas was from Kerala State Ex-Services League.
CPM district secretary Anavoor Nagappan and DCC president Neyyattinkara Sanal said that there were no programmes for Kargil martyrs. The BJP, which has often hailed footmen on the border, did not visit the martyr’s house. According to BJP district president S. Suresh, RSS affiliated Poorva Sainik Seva Parishad was at the Palayam war memorial to offer floral tribute, and at St Joseph’s HSS to speak about Kargil war.
A quiet surrounded Shijukumar’s house, next to Sasthamangalam village office at Vazhuthacaud. His mother was at home. The blazing afternoon light outside could not remove the gloom inside her room. When her name was asked, he said “L Omana.” She shares every name the way it is in official records, perhaps because she is used to the annual visit of journalists to her house.
Other than the ex-servicemen, students of Government GHSS Cotton Hill also visited them on Wednesday morning. “The ex-servicemen have visited them all the 17 years. Sometimes, people at Pangode Army camp would also come. They always ring us up to ask how we are,” says Swapna Rajeev, Shijukumar’s sister. Omana tries to respond to questions, but bites her lip. Her face quivers as she fights her tears. “He was 19 years. He was good at cricket, football and NCC activities. We are proud that he could lay his life down for the nation,” she strings together short sentences.
“His father passed away due to kidney failure 13 years ago. I have lost two people. There is no end to my grief,” she says.
The mother looks more withered than she ought to be at 60 years. She was severely ill last year. “My wish is to be able to walk, step out and see the light outside,” she says. She lies awake at night until sleep visits around 5 am. The happiest hours are when her daughter’s children return from school. But loss cannot be replaced, she says. “I had only one son,” she adds....