“the longest continued feat ... of sheer cold courage”.
From the battlefield, Prem would write letters to his beloved Mohini, but he never talked about his brushes with death; instead, he kept Mohini amused with descriptions of his disastrous attempts at cooking and the coterie of animals he had adopted! After the war, he returned home a hero but thought lightly of it, and, interestingly, according to him his greatest feat was to have obtained permission from Mohini’s father to marry her.
This memoir by their daughter describes the lives of Mohini and Prem together; first, as they faced the tragedy of India’s partition and then his career as an up-and-coming soldier in independent India. This book also touches upon the India–China war, Bhagat’s warnings as the Director of the Military Intelligence and the Henderson Brooks/Bhagat Report concerning the enquiry Bhagat was involved with after the debacle of the China war.
Though Lt. Gen. Bhagat was considered the natural choice for the post of the Army chief, he was superseded. He then went on to become the Chairman of the Damodar Valley Corporation,
where he became famous for his management style by turning around a moribund organization in just 10 months.
The author weaves the story around her mother’s memories of her life with Prem. Despite having been struck down by the most painful terminal cancer, Mohini’s desire to have her husband’s legend live on and her fortitude through her formidable illness give a whole new dimension to the words courage and love—themes that run through this sensitively written book about the lives of two extraordinary people.