He was a young Major in 5 Gorkha Rifles in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
One day during the war the Major was making his way to aid a wounded soldier. He didn’t know he was walking on a mine field. He stepped on a landmine that blew his left leg off. He was rushed to the battalion camp hospital.
“Give me some morphine,” he asked the doctor.
“It’s finished, Sir.”
“Do you have Pethidine?”
“Can you cut this off?”
“I don’t have any instrument.”
“Where is my khukri?”
“It’s here, Sir.”
“Cut off the leg.”
“I can’t do it, Sir.”
“Give the khukri to me.”
The Major cut his leg off himself and ordered, “Now go and bury it.”
The amputated leg was later replaced by a wooden one. In his mind, he felt he still had 2 legs.
He dreamt of commanding a battalion and started preparing his mind and body.
He took a rigorous battle fitness test in which he left behind 7 able-bodied officers.
He was asked to accompany the Army’s Vice-Chief to J&K. The VC’s copter landed on a helipad 6000 feet above the army camp.
The man couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the Major climb 6000 feet to the helipad unaided. It was a demonstration of superhuman strength and human endeavour.
A promotion followed soon after, with command of a battalion and a brigade.
“Major General Ian Cardozo”