Major Prafulla Moharkar, the Indian army officer who was martyred in a recent ceasefire violation, was on Thursday cremated with full military honours. His hometown, Maharashtra’s Pauni, observed a mourning for its departed son. Each of his friends and family members have a story to tell. However, all they are left today with are memories of Prafulla’s childhood. Moharkar was born to a teacher couple in Maharashtra. He spent his childhood moving between homes in rural Maharashtra, following her mother who was a teacher in a government school.
Moharkar did his schooling at Nagpur’s Somalia school. After schooling, he studied mechanical engineering in Nagpur. It was during his engineering course that Moharkar applied for technical entry scheme in the Army. He cracked the exam and entered the IMA in 2002 as a 17-year-old. A year later, Moharkar moved to the College of Military Engineering in Pune. Here he studied for four years before being commissioned in 2007.
Moharkar’s family and friends recall him as a sportsman, a person who was obsessed with cleanliness and as someone who thought it was his duty to make others happy. He was an affectionate brother to Paresh Moharkar, who is three years younger to him.
Moharkar was married to Aboli for the past four years. An investment banker, Aboli had met Moharkar several years ago through some of her relatives.
Aboli told the Indian Express that she and Prafulla were together for 10 years. The couple could only spend two years living with each other when Moharkar was posted at Samba near Jammu.
The grieving wife recalls stories of Prafulla’s strength. Prafulla and Abola got married on December 23, 2014. In March 2015, just three months after their wedding, the station where Moharkar was posted was attacked. “He woke up and without saying anything, began to put on his uniform. I woke up, and even as the firing was on, went outside, got the car out from the garage, and parked it outside the gate. Just so he wouldn’t waste any time in the process. He was the first officer on the spot, and the attack was neutralised,” Abola tells The Indian Express.
Sudha Moharkar, Prafulla’s mother, remembers him as a person who had a developed sense of responsibility at an early age. Even when Prafulla was two years old, he would follow his mother to school to sit and learn with the younger children, she recalls. Sudha says that by Class IV, Prafulla had finished every book on patriotism in his small library.