One was planning the wedding of his daughter, the other eagerly awaiting the arrival of his second child.
The dreams of Sanjay Kumar Sinha and Ratan Kumar Thakur went up in smoke in a trice. They were among the 45 CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the brazen suicide attack at Pulwama in Kashmir on Thursday.
The family and friends of Sinha received the earth-shattering news of his death with sorrow, anger and disbelief.
His father Mahendra Prasad, who himself served in the CRPF, is proud of his son but equally concerned about what would happen to his family.
"My son attained veergati (martyrdom). I hope the government now takes care of the gati (future) of his family," he said.
Sinha had left his village Taregana Dih on the outskirs of the state capital for Kashmir only last week after a vacation.
"He has two grown-up, unmarried daughters. While leaving for duty, he had said that on his next visit to the village he would finalize the marriage of the elder one. We are distraught," says the grief-stricken father of Sinha.
Sinha's wife Babita is inconsolable ever since the family got the news Thursday night, alternating between spells of stupor from exhaustion and uncontrollable wailing as her two daughters try to comfort her, struggling to retain composure themselves.
The villagers are livid and want his death avenged.
"We want a strong retaliation. There should be another surgical strike. How long will we go on losing our people to dastardly attacks by terrorists from across the border?" they said.
The atmosphere is sombre at Thakur's home in Bhagalpur, some 240 km from Patna.
He has left behind a four-year-old son and a wife who is expecting their second child.
"We were expecting a call from Ratan by the evening as he had told us he would speak to us after joining duty in Srinagar. Instead, we received a call from one of his superiors who broke to us the terrible news," Niranjan Thakur, the slain CRPF constable's father, said.
The family had recently shifted to a rented accomodation in Bhagalpur town from a village in Kahalgaon tehsil.
"With Ratan landing a job with the CRPF, we were looking forward to a bright future for his younger brother who is studying in BA. We hoped he will ensure good education for his own children. I am ready to let my younger son join the force, but the enemy must be taught a lesson," a crestfallen Thakur said.
The thought of how his daughter-in-law will cope with the loss leaves him distraught.
"I shudder to think of Rajnandini (Ratan's widow). She is so young and has such a long life before her. How will she bring up her children?" he said, bewilderment writ large on his shrivelled face.