What comes to your mind when you think of or look at the Taj Mahal? Well undoubtedly, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this majestic and mesmerising monument communicates the meaning of eternal love, which one man had for his wife. His wish to be buried right next to his begum’s grave just further goes on to prove the phrase- ‘together forever’! And centuries later, history repeats itself, as an 80-year-old postmaster from Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, replicates this emblem of love for his late wife.
Image Courtesy: Narendra Kaushik
Faizul Hasan Qadri has been a postmaster all his life in the village of Kaser Kalan, situated about 50 kilometers away from Bulandshahr. He and his wife, Tajamulli, got married in the year 1953. And 58 years later, due to a tragic turn of events, his wife lost her life to throat cancer as the doctors could not detect her illness on time. Now retired, Qadri Sahib has built the replica of Taj Mahal for his wife. And just like the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, he too has asked to be buried next to his wife’s grave when he dies.
Image Courtesy: Narendra Kaushik
So, how does a retired postmaster from a small village in the interiors of UP manage to build a Taj Mahal you wonder? Well, after his wife passed away, he buried her on the agricultural land that he owned (on which he started building the replica of Taj Mahal). He sold some of his land and her jewellery, and started the construction.
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In an interview to Hindustan Times, he narrated his journey to build his Taj Mahal.
“Initially, I sold a piece of land for Rs. 6 lakh, and my wife’s gold and silver jewellery for Rs. 1.5 lakh and got the makbara (mausoleum) constructed with the help of a local mason named, Asgar. A total of Rs. 11 lakh was spent, but now I have to get marble studded on the monument and also to build a lush green park around it, both of which is likely to cost me another Rs. 6-7 lakh’’.
But now, his finances have exhausted and he requires more money to complete the construction. He, being a man of honour, does not want to accept cash donations from others (which a lot of people have offered him). He further adds,
“Asgar prepared the dome and constructed the four minars around the central building, which is a little more than 27-feet in height. “
Images Courtesy: Hindustan Times
Talking about the structure, he further added:
“The structure is built on my own land and I have also tried to plant some trees around it and have a small water body at the back side of the building. However, work has mostly been held up due to finances as marble costs are high. A number of people have offered me money that I have refused to accept so far. This is my personal endeavour for my late wife and embodies my love for her. So I should do this on my own’’.
Image Courtesy: AP
Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of UP, has also shown a keen interest in meeting Qadri himself and offer him any assistance that he needs. But, this guy has a heart of gold as he is planning to refuse any financial aid. He is instead, thinking of asking the CM of getting their village school authorised. Talk about being selfless!
But, what prompted Qadri to build this structure? The answer to that as the man himself explains, is, he and his wife often wondered whether people would remember them after their death or not? And this was his way to make him, his wife and their love memorable forever!
In the end, Qadri explains about his wish after death:
‘’ I have told my brother to bury me here by the side of my wife. I have deposited the fees with the Wakf board also. Everything that comes has to go away some day. My wife is dead. I will also die some day. The monument too might not stand forever. I just wish to see it complete before I die’’.
Image Courtesy: Nardendra Kaushik
Well, this gesture of Faizul Hasan Qadri for his wife would definitely reserve a soft corner in the hearts of everyone for the years to come. And without a doubt, stories like this reconfirm our faith in the existence of pure, surreal and soulful love.
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