What this father did at his sons wedding will shock you and then leave you in awe!

As far as wedding gift ideas go, we have a gazillion options for products which can be gifted and if nothing else, there is always the envelope filled with money and a coin for shagun. But what Rakesh Vaishnav asked for was something you can never ever imagine.

When Rakesh Vaishnav decided to get his two sons, Arun and Alpesh married, he envisioned setting an example which has never been set before. The wedding took place at Ramganjmandi town in Kota Rajasthan.

To give you a bit of background, Rakesh lost a family member from complications owing to lack of blood and has since been donating blood regularly.

So at his sons weddin, he saw and opportunity and seized it and requested his guests to give him just one gift, that of donating blood. He set up a blood donation camp at the wedding venue.

historic-indian-wedding-decor-ideas-2 (1)

Even the wedding invitations read,”Uphaar ho to aisa, raktdan jaisa” (no better gift than blood donation).

While he made it clear to his guests, that in no way should they feel obliged to donate, his efforts inspired so many of his guests to actively participate in a cause that can make a huge difference to the current state of affairs in the country.

His request did inspire many attendees at the wedding to donate their blood, including his 21-year-old nephew Rahul Vaishnav and guest Saroj Sharma, who at aged 39 donated blood for the very first time. As many as 26 units of blood had been collected in one afternoon, and more was expected to be donated in the evening.

This wedding camp is not Rakesh’s only initiative. He has also worked on awareness campaigns, encouraging others to donate blood and assisting those in need of a donation. “I started a group called ‘Raktdata Jeevandata Samooh’ in 2012. It is connected with voluntary blood donation organizations in nine states and provides blood to the needy people,” he said.

All we can say is kudos, we can not draw enough inspiration from you Mr.Rakesh Vaishnav, and it’s such small beautiful gestures by citizens which will make our great country a shining light on the global stage.

A wedding story which will make you cry…and then smile because love always wins!

After a petty family dispute, Lalita Bansi was scarred for life when her idiot and scum cousins threw acid on her in their village in Azamgarh, UttarPradesh in 2012.

This brave heart did not let this affect her spirit and moved on, undergoing 17 surgeries at Mumbai’s Bombay Hospital and has 12 more to go.

As fate would have it, the universe aligned to give Lalita the life she actually deserved after she got a response from a wrong number she had dialled. When the person called back, Lalita had scolded him and he had hung up.

He called back 15 days later to explain what had happened and that is when cupid struck!

Rahul kumar, a data entry operator from Malad was smitten by how frank a nature Lalita has and proposed to her after a couple of months of phone conversation!

Rahul Says,””Sirf ek wrong number ne meri zindagi badal di, Three months ago, I got a missed call from an unknown number. When I called back, I was scolded and I disconnected the call.”

That’s when the love story began.

“Within 15 days of talking to Lalita, she told me her face was burnt. I told her, ‘Jinka chehra jala hota hai unki life nahi hoti kya? Tum bus tayaar ho, main tumse shaadi karunga (Does someone whose face is burnt not have a life? You get ready, I am going to marry you)‘ and she agreed.”

“My parents had a love marriage so they didn’t have any problem with my choice,” he adds.

After two months of telephonic conversations, Rahul went to Lalita’s house to meet her and as they say, rest is history.

The wedding was held at the D’Silva Technical College in Dadar, central Mumbai, thanks to the efforts of Udyami Maharashtra along with the Acid Survivors Saahas Foundation, who made Lalita’s dream a reality.

There was a beautifully decorated mandap, a lavish food spread, celebrities in attendance, and the overwhelming media going click, click at the drop of a hat.

Some Photos of their Lovely wedding!

Lalita changed into a red bridal outfit and was joined by her make up artist.
Despite the chaos around her, not once did the smile vanish from her face.
The acid attack survivor had been preparing for this day for a month.

Mehendi and lavish jeweller adorned the beautiful bride!

The Groom Rahul Kumar

The Happily Married Couple.

We wish them the best life has to offer and a lot more!

Actor Vivek Oberoi graced the occasion with his presence and was kind enough to gift the newlyweds a new house 🙂

It takes a special kind of courage to overcome odds in life. Each individual is fighting their own battles and it is only love which brings people together.

We wish Rahul and Lalita a very happily married life together!

Celebrities who weren’t afraid to be Happy and Gay!

We all heard of Jim Parsons tying the knot this May to Todd Spiewak, his long-time partner who he has been happy and celebrating life with since 2002.

We, of course, can not think of a better way to celebrate their love for each other than making it official.

As we congratulate Jim and Todd for being the men that they are, being an example for so many others to be themselves, we list down some others who have stepped out and inspired so many people.

ELLEN DEGENERES AND PORTIA DE ROSSI

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi reportedly first met through mutual friends back in 2001.After the California Supreme Court overthrew the ban on same-sex marriage on 16th May 2008, they married on 13th August 2008 at their Beverly Hills home and have been happily married since.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS AND DAVID BURTKA

“How I Met Your Mother” star Harris fell for David Burtka, 36, eight years ago. After nearly 10 years together and adopting fraternal twins, the pair tied the knot in September 2014 in Italy. Neil says, “Yup, we put the ‘n’ and ‘d’ in ‘husband’.

SIR ELTON JOHN AND DAVID FURNISH

Five months after they got together, the smiles on their faces said it all at Sir Elton John’s AIDS Foundation party after the Oscars in LA way back in February 1994.Their son, Zachary, was born in December 2010, to a surrogate mother. In December 2014, following the legalization of gay marriage, the couple wed at their home at Old Windsor.Furnish told Attitude magazine: ‘As a high-profile couple, we feel it is our duty to do it to make sure that everyone knows this is something that many gay men living in this country never dreamed would happen.’ Take a bow!

CYNTHIA NIXON AND CHRISTINE MARINONI

The Sex and the City actress, 46, and the education activist, 45, have been together since 2004. Marinoni gave birth to their son, Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni, in February 2011. The couple waited to marry until it was legal in New York State and finally got married on 27th May 2012.

LANCE BASS AND MICHAEL TURCHIN

Their journey towards the aisle actually began – or, rather, almost didn’t begin – in 2010 when the two started a friendship that neither thought would become anything more.The couple made history as the first-ever same-sex couple to be married on an American television network!The ceremony itself took place at the Park Plaza Hotel in 2014.

We know the struggle is real, and we respect them for standing together through thick and thin so that so many others have hope and can envision these days happening for them 🙂

Forget about finding your soulmate…people have started marrying themselves!

Marriage since time immemorial has been a ceremony where two souls become one and an institution is created. One of Family and love where two people live happily ever after till death do them part.

But, hang on. There is a new relationship trend in town.

People are marrying themselves. The concept of Sologamy is when a person loves himself/herself so much that they want to get married. Literally, you read it right.

Take the case of Erika Anderson.

In her own words,”“I would describe it as women saying yes to themselves,” Anderson said. “It means that we are enough, even if we are not partnered with someone else.”

Apparently, when she walked down the aisle, there was no one looking at her, which is how she wanted it.

Anderson said she grew tired of people asking why she was still single. So, in front of family and friends, she married herself.

Self-marriage—or sologamy—is growing. Partly because it’s popping up in pop culture, like when an episode of ‘Sex and the City’ floated the idea.

Anderson married herself to celebrate independence and believes others should, too.

“You’re worth it!” Anderson exclaimed.

She celebrated her anniversary by going on a solo trip to Mexico.

Now the best part, she also dates and is open to marrying someone else. Would that mean she is cheating on herself?

Slowly and steadily, the trend is catching on and many businesses seem to be using this stupidity as a business opportunity, offering sologamy ceremony kits, wedding bands etc.

What do you think? Would you marry yourself?

10 Fun Foods to add a healthy twist to your Wedding Menu!

Weddings are a union of two people and their families and food is a vital part. So much so, that guests look forward to what is on the menu.

With the advent of social media, guests today are extremely well-informed and health conscious and are more receptive towards a healthy and fun twist to the wedding menu, besides the conventional hearty soul food usually served at Indian Weddings.

Here are our Favourites:

1: Baked Pani Puri Shots to bring the zing!

Baked Pani Puri Shots

2: Gluten Free Mini Pizzas that melt in your mouth.

gluten free pizzas

Image Credit: Pinterest

3. Tender Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

chicken satay with peanut sauce

Image Credit: Google

4.Grilled Fish with Chilly Rosemary Lime Butter

grilled fish with chilly rosemary lime butter

Image Credit: http://www.chillipeppermadness.com

5.Fresh and Hot Palak Tofu

Delicious Palak Tofu

Image Credit: pickyeaterblog.com

6.Soft Baked Stuffed Kulchas

Hot Stuffed Veggie Kulchas

Image Credit: scdn.archanaskitchen.com

7.Chickpea and Vegetable Curry with Quinoa

yummy chickpea and vegetable curry with quinoa

Image Credit: http://www.staticflickr.com

8.Lo Syn Thai Prawn Curry with Rice

Low Fat Prawn Thai Curry

Image Credit: http://www.slimmingeats.com

9. Zesty Lemon Tofu Cheesecake

Tasty Lemon Tofu Cheesecake

Image Credit: ichef.bbci.co.uk

10. Baked Gulab Jamun

Hot and Sweet Baked Gulab Jamun

Image Credit: foodgawker.com

Weddings are special, the food makes them even more special 🙂 Adding a healthy and tasty twist to your wedding menu can appeal to all guests alike and make it even more memorable! 🙂

About the Author: Barkha Athania is a vastly experienced and high profile wedding planner based in Mumbai. Her creations and designs are inspired by a variety of diverse cultures, enabling her to provide her clients with an array of options

Intercaste Marriages: Cast Away the Misconceptions

Intercaste Marriages: Cast Away the Misconceptions

“Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” – Amy Bloom

Marriages are supposed to represent a union of two souls and families. Religion, caste systems and other such social dogmas are barriers that have often crippled budding relationships in our country. Couples who have found love beyond their community circles usually tend to face resistance from friends and family. But don’t fret about it. Resisting change or something new is part of human nature. The best thing to do is to ease your family into accepting what you know in your heart is best for you. We’ll have a look at how you can attempt this. We know love doesn’t see cultural and lifestyle differences before finding it’s way into one’s heart, but there are some unforeseen hiccups that we’re going to make you aware of so you can have a smooth transition into your spouse’s family.

Learn to empathize

Every parent has a set of expectations attached with the person their child will marry. One of the biggest expectations is that their child’s choice belong to the community they are familiar with. So when you spring the fact as being something else, they are bound to be upset about it. In such a situation, it will only get worse if you throw a tantrum or use the reverse psychology of lashing out at your parents so they are forced to accept your decision. If you want them to accept your love wholeheartedly, learn to empathize with their point of view and understand the fact that time is the only healer.

What’s life without a challenge

Apart from the obvious challenges, such as resistance from family and variance in religious practices, some unanticipated obstacles could be a difference in language, lifestyle, food habits, medical beliefs, etc. However, don’t let this bog you down. The key to a successful intercaste relationship is for each couple to stay true to their roots and maintain their individuality. This will be appreciated in the long run. Try and blend in as much as you can, but you’ll have to make peace with the fact that some things are simply done differently in your spouse’s family.

Mingle

The best way to blend in is to mingle with the extended family at get-togethers and functions. The first few times may prove awkward for all of you, but once you’ve overcome this phase and actually begun to enjoy the company you’re in, things will get much easier for you (and your spouse) at home. Your in-laws will appreciate the honest effort you’re making to become a member of the family and accept their traditions. All in all, it’s a win-win!

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Educate

Intercaste marriages are beneficial in so many ways, and yet, in India they remain a social taboo of sorts. People need to be made more aware of the benefits of such unions so they are more open and accepting of them. Mixed unions are so much fun! They are an opportunity to get introduced to a whole new world of culture, rituals, traditions, ideologies and philosophies. They help aid the progress of the country by bringing two communities together and eradicating communalist ideologies.

So in the spirit of acceptance, this note goes out to all the moms and dads out there. Give your sons and daughters a say in the most important decision of their lives. In the words of William Shakespeare, “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” Have confidence in your upbringing. Trust that your child will do what’s right for them and you. Keep the faith!