Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal to house the tomb of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal. And more than three-and-a-half centuries later, an 80-year-old man from Bulandshahr is building another one in memory of his late ‘Begum’.
Faizul Hasan Qadri, a retired postmaster from Kaser Kalan village (around 50km from Bulandshahr in western Uttar Pradesh), married Tajamulli in 1953.
Fifty-eight years later when Tajamulli Begum died due to throat cancer in 2011, Qadri devoted all his finances in setting up a ‘mini Taj Mahal’ – a structure to embody his love for her. But time is slowly ticking away for the retired postmaster.
“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,” Qadri said.
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,” he added.
The old man was recently called for a meeting with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow which he very eagerly is looking forward to.