Tapas Sandelia, a 65-year-old retired civil servant, spent 250,000 rupees (about $3,000) on a silicone statue resembling the late.
Sandiliya’s wife Indrani died in May 2021 during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Sandelia was in seclusion at the time of his wife’s death. As a result, the 59-year-old died with no one to stand by her.
In a statement to Times of IndiaSandelia recalls visiting the Iskcon Temple in Mayapur with his wife and seeing the A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami statue a decade ago.
On seeing the lifelike statue, Indrani informed her desire to have a similar one in case she died before it.
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He worked with sculptor Subimal Das, who primarily creates replicas for the museum, for six months to bring A vision of life.
Sitting in her favorite spot in the living room is the completed silicone replica weighing 30 kg (about 66 lb) and wearing the silk sari that Indrani wore at her son’s wedding.
Sandilya stated: “I had to work with Subimal in the clay molding stage, as nothing short of Indrani’s actual facial expressions. After all, I’ve lived with her for 39 years”.
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“If we can keep a framed picture in the house after someone dies, why not a statue?”
The Sandelia family did not approve of the statue at first but eventually gave in.
Indrani’s tailor also assisted in the completion of the project, as he knew Indrani’s exact measurements.
“Everything has to fit just right,” Sandelia said.
“My wife passed away on May 4, 2021, and I just wanted to fulfill her wish.”
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