When Major Jotin Laishram left home in January, his family was under the impression that he was headed for Congo. So, when news came on Friday that he had been killed in the bomb blast in Kabul along with other Indians, his family was not just dealt a body blow but rendered speechless about how their boy ended up in Afghanistan.

Once the cold reality of death sank in and they managed to find words, family members rationalised that Jotin must have kept his assignment with the Indian medical mission a secret from his family because he knew the risk he was taking in being part of India’s humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan. While family elders began to prepare to head for New Delhi to get his body, others lamented the fact that the preparations they had begun to find him a bride would now have to give way to a funeral.

Son of Markando Laishram, a retired bureaucrat with the State Agriculture Department, Major Laishram was a bright student. One of four children, he hailed from Nambol Awang Leikai in the Bishnupur district.

An alumnus of Manipur Public School, Koirengei, Major Laishram cleared the medical entrance to join the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences here. Teachers and fellow students remember him as someone who was exceptionally brilliant and very studious. He is also remembered for his great sense of humour and as a friend of all.

After doing his MBBS, he joined the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research in Chandigarh for a masters in Sports Medicine before joining the medical corps of the Army. Now, he joins the ranks of bravehearts from the North-East such as Neikezhakuo Kenguruse and Keishing Clifford Nongrum who died in the Kargil heights.