An ode to a postmaster

Feb 13, 2016, 18:26 IST | Anju Maskeri

A UK band pays tribute to the man who built a mini Taj Mahal for his late wife in Uttar Pradesh

In 2013, a retired postmaster, Faizul Hasan Kadari of Bulandshahr shot to fame after he decided to build his own Taj Mahal for his late wife, Begum Tajmulli, who died of cancer in 2011.

Faizul Hasan Kadari of BulandshahrFaizul Hasan Kadari of Bulandshahr

Standing tall at 561 feet and flanked by four 130-feet minarets, Kadari's mausoleum was a tribute to his everlasting love. Dredging up all of his life’s saving, Kadari spent more than 20 lakhs on the tomb. Three years later, Kadari is back in the news. This time, a multi-racial British band, Hicari is paying him a tribute with a song, Taylor Maiden that will release on Valentine’s Day.

"I happened to see a short film made by 101 India, a youth portal, on Kadari last year, and it was so touching. It moved me, both lyrically and musically," says Ryan Bickley, lead vocalist of Hicari as he talks to us over the phone from London. Bickley along with Shaayan Oshidar, Will Brown, Tatsu Saiki and Erlend Hellevik belong to a 5-piece pop band hailing from different parts of the world, who fuse their influences to create new, uplifting tracks. While Bickley and Brown are from England, Oshidar, Saiki and Hellevik belong to India, Japan and Ireland respectively.

Serendipitously, at that point of time the band was brainstorming to create a new track about unconditional love. "When we began composing the song, it was just dormant. Somewhere it lacked the substance that it needed," says Bickley.

After watching the video on Kadari, Bickley shared it with fellow band members, eliciting a similar response. "I was teary-eyed after watching it. Where do you get to see such selfless love? It was just the kind of inspiration we were looking for," says Oshidar. The short film will now be re-released with Hicari’s track playing in the background on Valentine’s Day.

The band members are a bunch of friends who started jamming together while studying together at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, founded by Paul Mccartney. It took about 3 to 4 months to get the track ready. The group uses synth-hooks drums, saxophone, piano, acoustic and electric guitar for their music, which they normally upload on Sound Cloud. “Till now most of the songs we have composed have been upbeat, fast and lounge-friendly. But this is probably the only song which is melancholic and soulful,” says Bickley.

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