In a rare incident, a farmer from Ratidhar Dewti village of Lalmonirhat has bought an elephant worth Tk 16.5 lakh in order to obey "divine instructions received by his wife in her dreams".
Dulal Chandra Roy (46), had to sell off most of his cultivable lands to be able to buy the majestic animal. He has also hired a mahout for Tk 15,000 a month to take care of it.
Tulsi Rani, Dulal's wife, supposedly had a dream a few years ago where she received divine instruction to buy and rear animals including a horse, swan, goat and elephant.
Dulal and Tulsi got married 20 years ago. They have two children. Following the dream, Tulsi established several temples in the house and started performing puja there. Her health started deteriorating in the meantime.
"I was heartbroken as my wife's health deteriorated. I have done what was possible for me to fulfil her wish and to keep her healthy," Dulal, a loving husband who sold off three bighas of the total four bighas of his land, said.
Tulsi, however, said that she is feeling well following the arrival of the elephant.
"I am taking care of the animals and worshipping them as I was instructed," she said, adding that she firmly believes that none of her family members nor the animals will have to starve due to the expenses. "God will provide food for the animals in our house, we will all live together happily."
People from around the village were filled with awe after coming to know of such an incident. They are used to stories of kings and nawabs owning elephants, but a farmer owning an elephant is a first in the area.
Navendra Chandra Barman (85), a resident of Ratidhar Dewti village, told this correspondent that he had seen elephants at a local zamindar's house before. But for the first time in his life he saw an elephant in a farmer's house.
"Keeping elephants in the house is hard work. I don't know how Dulal is doing this," he said.
Atoar Rahman (55), from Nazim Khan area of Rajarhat upazila in Kurigram, said he came to see the elephant after hearing the news.
"Seeing an elephant in a farmer's house is a really rare sight. I don't know how long Dulal will be able to afford keeping an elephant in his house," he said.
"But the love he has for his wife is a rare example in today's age," he added.
Elephant mahout Shariful Islam from Patuakhali said he was hired by Dulal for a monthly salary of Tk 15,000, along with daily meals.
Two young men from the village are being trained in elephant management and he will leave once their training is completed.
"It is rare for a farmer to buy an elephant by selling his lands. I have experienced this the first time in my life," he said.