The Modern Day Shah Jahan, Faizul Hasan Qadri a retired postmaster from Kaser Kalan in western Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district who made replica of Taj Mahal for his late wife from his life’s savings succumbed to injuries after a road accident in Bulandshahr late Thursday night.
The man will now be buried next to his beloved ‘begum’ in the monument he built as a testimony to their love.
Qadri had shot to fame for constructing a replica of the Taj Mahal adjacent to his house in the village and for donating his land for a government girl’s school, which is now fully constructed, adjacent to the structure.
Constructed on 5,500 sq ft in the once-obscure village of Kaser Kalan in Dibai tehsil, the cement and brick structure built by Qadri may boast none of the grandeur of its white marble counterpart, but the lack of lustre is made up for in intent.
The love story that inspired it is no less tragic than the one behind the original mausoleum, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal who died in childbirth.
Mohd Aslam, Qadri’s neighbour, told TOI, “Qadri will be remembered as a modern-day Shah Jahan. He wanted to be buried next to his wife and the village will fulfill his last wish on Saturday. He brought good name to our village, we owe him that.”
The octogenarian, who had no children of his own, had donated four bighas to UP government for construction of a girl’s college near his mini Taj.
Qadri’s wife Tajamulli Begum had died due to throat cancer in December, 2011.
The two had been married in 1953.The couple did not have any children. Qadri started the construction of a replica of the Taj Mahal after his wife’s death. He buried his wife inside the structure and left a space alongside her grave where he had wished to be buried after his death. His dream, however, came to a standstill in February, 2014 when he ran out of finances but vowed he will complete the structure from his pension savings.
Qadri sold his land besides his wife’s jewelleries & started work with the help of a local mason.
“The structure is built on my own land and I have tried to plant some trees around it and have a small water body at its rear side. However, work has mostly been held up due to finances as marble costs are high. A number of people have offered me money but I have refused to accept any 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,” Qadri had told HT during a visit in August 2015.
He denied financial assistance offered by then UP CM Akhilesh Yadav
peaking to TOI in 2015, he had said, “I am scripting a poor man’s love story. I don’t know whether my Taj Mahal will be as famous as Shah Jahan’s but I know that people can see it for free.”
He will be buried next to his beloved ‘begum’ in the monument he built as a testimony to their love.
References- Times OF India, HT
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