Capt Naveen Nagappa shares the entire war incident of how Capt Vikram Batra saved his life in the Kargil war. Captain Nagappa also talks about the film ‘Shershaah’, which he saw on Day 1, and Sidharth Malhotra who essayed the role of the brave soldier. He also talks about Capt Batra’s parents, brother, and Dimple Cheema.
ETimes called up Capt Nagappa and he did not take long to agree to the interview.
Capt Nagappa says that he was impress by Capt Batra in their first meeting itself, which happen at the army mess. Later, he met him at the border before the onset of the Kargil war and Capt Batra asked him to give him a hug saying, “Gale lag Na, Na Jaane Kaun si mulaqaat aakhri hogi”.
Capt Nagappa describes the time in detail when a hand grenade was hurled at his bunker. “I hurled the grenade back but unfortunately it hit a boulder and came back at me”. A few seconds later it exploded, but not before Captain Nagappa had jumped to his right. Almost the very next moment, Capt Batra was standing in front of him. “He dragged me to a point of safety and said ‘Darna Nahi, main aa Gaya hoon’.”
Capt Nagappa went on to reveal that he has a picture of Capt Batra behind his dining table. After Capt Nagappa recovered a bit–and it took him 21 long months and eight surgeries before he started even mingling with people–Capt Batra’s parents visited his house. “They saw the picture and it was a very emotional moment for them. Aunty (Mrs Batra) said, ‘Humne Vikram ko kho diya hai, Naveen ko pa liya hai’.”
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We also spoke to Capt Nagappa about ‘Shershaah’ and Sidharth Malhotra who essayed Capt Vikram Batra in the movie. Capt Nagappa said that he loved the movie and saw it just after 15 minutes, as soon as it landed on OTT.
Kiara Advani played Captain Batra’s love, Dimple Cheema. But Capt Nagappa hasn’t met her. “Vishal Batra (Capt Vikram Batra’s brother) and his parents have safeguarded Dimpleji’s privacy. I respect that and we all should”.
Today, Capt Nagappa cannot run. But he moves fast enough to do all his duties. He has a Central Govt job as a Superintendent Engineer and tells his daughter that if there was no Capt Batra, she wouldn’t have been born in this world.
The story of Naveen Nagappa
The story of Naveen Nagappa is one of courage, glory and miraculous survival. Right from his college days, Naveen Nagappa had a special lure towards the army uniform. Hence after earning a degree in mechanical engineering, he sat for the tests to enter the Indian Military Academy and was one of the two candidates out of a batch of 80 to finally get selected.
The year Naveen Nagappa got commissioned into the army was the year of the Kargil War. Nagappa remembers his senior Captain Vikram Batra had always been his role model. After two days and nights of relentless combat, Capt. Nagappa and his men were famished with no food or ammunition left.
At this crucial junction, Vikram Batra had joined the battalion of men at point 4875. Batra assured Nagappa that he would have nothing to worry about as his friend had come for him now. While fighting, Capt. Nagappa suffered serious burn injuries to his foot after a grenade explodes right next to him.
It was Vikram Batra who dragged him out of the bunker and forced him to go down to the shelters to seek treatment. Critically injured, Capt. Naveen Nagappa going down to a Srinagar hospital where he recover shortly. The country has been victorious in the war but his dear friend to whom Nagappa owed his life has been shot and fatally wounded. Capt. Nagappa left devastate.
Although Nagappa had miraculously survived his injuries, the event left him scarred physically and emotionally.