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On Army Day, Family Fondly Remembers 'Spiritual' Son Who Sacrificed Life in Line of Duty

Rifleman Gurung of 2/1 Gorkha regiment was posted in the Nowshera sector of J&K’s Rajouri district.

Karishma Hasnat | CNN-News18

Updated:January 15, 2019, 6:58 PM IST
On Army Day, Family Fondly Remembers 'Spiritual' Son Who Sacrificed Life in Line of Duty
Jivan Gurung was killed in an IED blast on January 11 in J&K's Rajouri district.

Guwahati: On 71st Army Day, Binu Gurung feels extremely proud of her younger brother’s sacrifice, 24-year-old rifleman Jivan Gurung. He was martyred in an IED blast near the Line of Control in Jammu on January 11.

“I am so proud of him. Not many get the chance to die for the nation. He was God’s chosen one,” says Binu.

Rifleman Gurung of 2/1 Gorkha regiment was posted in the Nowshera sector of J&K’s Rajouri district. Jivan Gurung joined the Indian Army on July 14, 2014. His uncle, Ambar Gurung, recalls the day he got selected, saying it was unexpected of a spiritual boy like him to join the military.

Jivan hailed from Lamahatta area, nestled amidst lush tea gardens, 27 km from Darjeeling town. His father, Kiran Gurung, is a government employee in Arunachal Pradesh.

“He used to go to the Jalpahar field every day for morning walk, the same place where they held an army recruitment rally. He appeared in the test, got selected and returned home to tell us. Yes, we were very happy, and surprised too,” says Ambar, Gurung’s uncle, who took care of his education till the 12th standard.

Jivan, a Sai Baba devotee, was barely 3 years old when he joined a nine-year-long spiritual course at the Shri Satya Sai Organisation. He also took lessons in Indian classical music, and was even selected for a reality show audition on national television.

“We didn’t let him go for the auditions as he was only in Class 7 then, but he sang so beautifully. He would sing and dance to win over his mother on days when she would be upset with him,” recalls Binu.

The youngest in the family, Jivan was also the most adored among the siblings. His elder brother, Rupan Gurung, fondly recalls how they would watch Hollywood war movies on his cell phone, and how Jivan was influenced by the military heroes on screen. But Rupan, a graduate in Hotel Management who works at a restaurant in Karnataka, regrets not receiving his brother's call two days before his death.

“He called me at least five times on January 9, but I could not answer as I was sleeping. Later, I texted him saying I would call when I get free. We used to talk every day…I don’t understand why I missed his call that morning.”

Jivan had promised to return in April and help his brother get their house painted. The family remembers his last surprise – when Jivan was home for Dussehra in October last year.

“He told us his leave was not approved, and then over an audio call around midnight announced ‘Surprise’ when he landed home. We had a great time, and never knew it would be the last time we were seeing him,” Rupan recalls.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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