Captain Devinder Singh Jass was to join his family in Ghaziabad for Holi celebrations, but fate willed otherwise, as he died fighting militants in north Kashmir.
A day after 26-year-old Jass was killed in an encounter with militants in Sopore, his family members are yet to come to terms with the loss.
"Two days ago, I talked to him and he assured to see me on Holi," the officer's mother Dalbeer Kaur said as tears rolled down on her face.
His father Bhupender Singh, a retired manager for Dabur India Ltd, said he received the news about his son's death on Tuesday.
"I got a call from Srinagar telling me what had happened. All I can say is that we have lost everything. We had only one son...What can we say?" he said.
Army messengers too reached his house in Abhay Khand I in Indira Puram, Ghaziabad, on Tuesday night and informed his parents about the loss.
Jass was among the three army personnel killed during an 18-hour gunbattle, which saw the elimination of five top terrorists of Pakistan-based terror outfits in Sopore.
"Our child has been martyred. He has lost his life for the country at a young age of 26," Kulwant Singh, his uncle said.
The body of the deceased officer will be flown to Ghaziabad and will be cremated at Hindon riverbank on Wednesday evening.