Free Press Journal

Here’s the story behind the Punjab wax museum that sparked laughing riots


ludhiana wax museum

On April 1, when most people were still rolling in the bed going through forwarded Easter or April Fool’s Day messages, ANI on their official Twitter handle tweeted about Prabhakar’s Wax Museum, a quirky museum featuring wax replicas of popular figures, in Ludhiana. ANI along with the pictures of statues tweeted, “Punjab: More than 52 wax statues of famous personalities from different walks of life were installed at Prabhakar’s Wax Museum in Ludhiana.” Ideally, the pictures and the announcements should have left the visitors in awe but this museum seems to have bucked the trend. Instead, the statues have become the source of an unending spree for their unlikeliness to their real-life counterparts. There are statues of famous personalities including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, APJ Abdul Kalam, Mother Teresa, Barack Obama and Sachin Tendulkar, among others.

Most assumed it is an April Fool’s Day prank. But it wasn’t. In no time, it left the internet in splits.

One Twitter user Swati Goel, however, shared the other side of the story informing people about the artist behind the statues and his struggles. The artist Chandra Shekhar Prabhakar (71) had a heart surgery in 2005 and since then he started making wax statues to keep himself engaged. The museum is a private one and is funded completely by him. Of late, he has started charging Rs 100 as the entry fee to meet his expenses. She further added that the artist is aware of people mocking his creations but he says his creations can’t be compared to professionals since he makes statues only using the 2D photographs. Prabhakar visited Madame Tussauds in 2000 after which he decided to start his own wax museum. The museum is started in 2005 and now houses statues of 52 famous personalities.

Goel tweeted, “This ‘museum’ has become a butt of jokes and understandably so, given the quality of most of the wax statues. But since I have personally known the ‘artist’ during a short stay in Ludhiana, I would like to share something that might make you troll him a bit less”

She revealed Prabhakar’s aim to open the museum. She tweeted, “Chandra Shekhar Prabhakar is a 71 yr old man who took up this hobby way back in 2005 after a heart surgery. His motive was to keep himself engaged as he could no longer manage his business and handed over the reins to his children. He is a spirited man and very inspiring”

She further stated how the museum is getting a decent footfall. She tweeted, “It’s his private museum. He pays everything from his pocket. Of late, he has started charging Rs 100 as the entry fee to meet his expenses. In this industrial city with hardly any recreational options, it gets a decent footfall. Above all, it brings him satisfaction”

And how the artist remains unaffected even after knowing people make fun of his creation. She tweeted, “He knows ppl mock his work. But he is quite right in saying that his work can’t be compared to professionals since he makes statues only using the 2D photographs he has. Anyway, hats off to him, he’s doing it all alone with no rewards for 20 yrs now! That’s all I wanted to share”

After going through the thread, comedian Jose Covaco perfectly summed the situation in a tweet. He tweeted, “Everyone laughing at this.. You’re going straight to hell ( I’ll see you guys there ) … do check this thread out too..”

Don’t you think we on social media are too quick to judge?