A 65-year-old man in Kolkata has installed a realistic silicon statue of his wife which costed him Rs 2.5 lakhs. The man’s wife reportedly died of COVID, and as a tribute to her, the 65-year-old husband decided to cherish the memory, and install a statue of her at their home. The incident was reported from Kolkata’s VIP Road and the 65-year-old man in question is identified as Tapas Sandilya. Earlier in August, a woman in Assam made a similar gesture and built a temple for her late husband.

In the largely Bengali neighbourhood where Mr Tapas resides, he has become somewhat of a topic of discussions. While some have called Mr Tapas’ gesture an “unhealthy obsession” and others have simply brushed aside his gesture as a way of getting attention, Mr Tapas claims to simply have honored his wife in his own way.

According to reports, Mr Tapas’ wife Indrani passed away due to COVID-19 during the second wave of pandemic. After her passing, the widower remembered how when he visited the ISKCON temple, his wife was moved by seeing the statues of deities, and asked Mr Tapas to have her statue built if she dies before him.

In a TOI report, Mr Tapas was quoted saying, “I am, strictly speaking, fulfilling my wife’s abiding wish”.

The Facts of the Matter

Losing a partner is hard on people. While some get inside a cocoon they make for themselves after their partner’s death, others go after doing little gestures and acts to honor their deceased’s partner in some way or the other. In one such incident, a 65-year-old man in Kolkata has been making news for having a silicon statue of his wife installed at his house, after she passed away due to COVID-19.

65-year-old Tapas Sandilya, a retired government officer, is now the talk of his neighbourhood in Kolkata’s Kaikhali. Some have looked at Mr Tapas’ act of installing his late wife’s lifelike statue as just a way to become famous, while others are lauding him for his grand gesture.

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“Fulfilling wife’s wishes..”

However, for Mr Tapas, this was “strictly speaking” a way to honor his wife’s last wishes. Speaking to TOI, Mr Tapas said how he had gone to an ISKCON temple with his wife Indrani once, where she was moved seeing beautiful statues of deities. Indrani had asked Mr Tapas to have something similar made for her if she passes away before him.

“I am, strictly speaking, fulfilling my wife’s abiding wish. My wife died on May 4, 2021, and I just wanted to fulfil her wish,” Mr Tapas was quoted in a TOI report saying.

Finding the Perfect Sculptor

And thus began a search for the perfect sculptor who would help realize Mr Tapas’ request. His search came to an end when he found a sculpture Subimal Das in 2022. Soon, Mr Tapas and Das both started working on the lifelike statue.

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Statue Worth Rs 2.5 Lakhs, Weighs 30 kg

For Mr Tapas, it was of utmost importance that his wife Indrani’s expressions were lifelike as he had spent decades with her.

The statue in question has since costed him Rs 2.5 lakhs. It weighs about 30 kg and is laden with gold jewellery that his wife Indrani loved the most. Further, the statue is dressed in Indrani’s Assam silk saree that she wore on her son’s wedding.

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Idea Opposed by Family

As grand a gesture Mr Tapas made, it didn’t go well with his family who were opposed to the idea of a lifelike statue of his deceased’s wife being installed at their home. “My family was strictly opposed to the idea of installing such a life-like sculpture, but gave in. Some of my relatives and neighbours helped. If we can keep framed photographs at home after someone’s death, why not a statue?” Mr Tapas was quoted asking in a TOI report.


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