Pradeep Pattanayak

We all know death is inevitable. We also know that we cannot take anything with us at the time of death. Yet, all of us dream to have a beautiful house with all the luxuries of the world. 

However, an elderly couple from Gajapati district is an exception. 

Instead of getting a building constructed, they have constructed graves for themselves. For this strange reason, the couple is at the centre of discussion in the locality. 

Laxman Bhuyan, 80, and his wife Jengi Bhuyan, 70, are living in an asbestos-roofed house at Souri village under Nuagarh block of Gajapati district. Though they have sons and daughters and daughters-in-law and sons-in-law, they are living a lonely life. 

Fed up with all the flaws in the society, they have long snapped their attachments with their children as well as moveable and immovable assets. 

Unlike most of us, they have not spent their lifelong savings on constructing a big house. Rather, Laxman has constructed a marble-fitted grave with a tomb for him and his wife, spending Rs 1,50,000. To fund the construction cost, he had to sell away whatever assets he had. 

“I am now 80 years old. I have one foot in the grave. I do not know when we will die. However, we will live here in the grave after our death. I have constructed it on my own will. No one has asked me to do so,” said Laxman Bhuyan. 

“When I saw him collecting sand, cement and other construction materials, I asked him the reason and his answer left me baffled. He said he was constructing graves for him and his wife,” said Madhiu Gamanga, a local teacher. 

The graves were constructed three to four years ago. But Laxman is visiting the graves everyday to see whether it is intact or not, as if someone was taking care of his house. 

“After death, can I see what my children will do with our bodies?  They may bury them without any dignity. So I have constructed the graves for us so that we can lie in peace at least after death,” said a visibly satisfied Laxman. 

“He has spent Rs 1, 50,000 in the grave. He is saying he wouldn’t have problem in the grave after being put into it by his relatives after his death,” said Rakesh Bhuyan, a villager.


(Reported by Mihir Jati, OTV)