“We had dug a bunker, expecting a counter attack from Pakistan,” Dhan Bahadur recalls. “They did not retaliate, but they kept sending planes on reconnaissance.”
A cheer went up from the Indian troops when the Pakistani plane went down. And till today, the 7/11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army carries the cockpit of the F-6 and Dhan Bahadur’s Vir Chakra medal as souvenirs wherever it is deployed.
Dhan Bahadur was congratulated by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and was promoted to Lance Corporal. He wanted to retire, but a decorated soldier was not allowed to. So he went on to serve in Jammu and Kashmir, Darjeeling and Ladakh.
When he did retire in 1980, Dhan Bahadur returned to his village in Nepal where he lives to this day. He tried to change his name to Dhan Bahadur Rai so that his sons could also join the Indian or British armies, but he could not do it.
Regardless, his seven sons and a daughter have gone on to build their careers and now have their own businesses in Dharan, that they have named after their famous father. father.
Dhan Bahadur now uses a cane as walks in his cardamom field, and says he is enjoying retirement in the village where he was born. “I like village life. I grow cardamom, and I want to live here for the rest of my life,” he says.