The COVID-19 virus is a blight in the world that will go down in history books after it has caused millions of deaths in the world, including the wife of a 65-year-old Indian man who decided to make a life-sized dummy of her after being devastated by her death.
In a report by the Times of India, Tapas Sandilya, a retired government employee residing in Kolkata, had his beloved wife Indrani snatched away by the infectious touch of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tapas recalled that before her death, the two of them visited a temple where Indrani got her fascination for life-like statues, "We visited the Iskcon temple in Mayapur a decade ago and could not stop admiring the lifelike statue of the order's founder, AC Bhaktivedanta Swami. It was then Indrani had told me of her desire for a similar statue (of hers) if she happened to pass away before me."
When she passed away back in May 2021, Tapas decided to honor his late partner's wish by commissioning a life-sized silicone dummy made in her image.
After spending some time scouring the internet for someone who could be up for the task, he enlisted the services of Subimal Das, a sculptor who has had experience creating silicone replicas for museums.
After over six months of hard work, the result is a 30 kilogram statue complete with hair, all kinds of gold jewelries that she liked most when she was alive, and even a silk sari that she wore in their son's wedding reception.
According to Subimal, the statue took a long time to make because "it was absolutely necessary for the statue to have a realistic facial expression," explaining that he based the look from photographs of Indrani's face from different angles that were collected.
He then made a clay model that served as the foundation of the fibre moulding and silicone casting.
Tapa said that Indrana's statue, which now sits on the favorite spot of her sofa in their home, alleviates the pain of his late wife's passing and makes him feel that she is always with him. "I was in isolation at home while Indrani was taken to a hospital in south Kolkata. I can never forget that."
Because of his rather unusual way of expressing his love for his wife, he has received much attention from his neighbors, with some accusing him of "attention-grabbing," but he has adamantly denied this.
""I am, strictly speaking, fulfilling my wife's abiding wish," he stressed.