The Mountain Man’s Taj Mahal

He was called a mountain man because he carved a road through a mountain – with his hands. He started this work in 1967 and worked on it for 22 years. It is our modern Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal took about the same time and was made by a king in memory of his dear wife and this road was built by a commoner for his wife to make her living easier.

On August 18, 2007 Bihar’s mountain main Dasrath Manjhi died at AIIMS hospital. He was suffering from cancer and suspected jaundice. He was 77. The Bihar state goverment which had decided to undertake all his expenses also gave him a state funeral.

What most newspapers reported was that his dream remained unfulfilled. Most choose to dedicate the last paragraph on what he had not achieved – which is have a metalled road done in place of the road he carved. I do not think that is the right way to summarize the life he lived.  

The story goes that in 1967 the usual route for all villagers was to walk the arduous route around the mountain to reach the city to meet daily needs. When Dasrath’s wife once got injured in that difficult route – he could not bear the frustration anymore and decided to do something about it. So he decided to build a road for his wife to end the misery. When he started with his meagre tools it was not a surprise that the villagers labelled him as crazy or mad. Slowly and eventually after twenty-two years he did complete the road.

Very soon, the news spread and we all came to know of him. Now, if Dasrath lived a life where he chose to act on the obstacles before him – hasn’t he lived a fulfilled life ?

May his soul rest in peace.


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