Valentine's Day: Truly madly still exists. These people prove it
We live in the age of Tinder, one-night stands and harmonious break-ups, a time when the mention of happily-ever-afters and forevers get smirks and eyerolls. Valentine's Day may have become too corny, but love is still as sought after as ever. This February 14, we therefore celebrate extraordinary tales of seemingly-ordinary Indians who fell in love and didn't let go despite all odds.
Vijaykanth and Leela from Alwar went on a pilgrimage to Uttarakhand in June 2013. Caught in the devastating flood, Leela went missing. She was declared dead. A compensation was given to the family. But Vijaykanth didn't stop looking for her until he found her in Gongoli village 19 months later. Under trauma, she didn't recognize him initially but is now recovering with her family.
In 1975, Pradyumna Mahanandia cycled from India to Sweden - 11,265km across eight nations for five months - to see his wife Charlotte Von Schedvin. They met on Charlotte's India visit, fell in love and got married. When Charlotte left for Sweden, Pradyumna promised to see her soon. Too poor to afford a flight ticket, he cycled all the way to meet her again.
Charlotte and Pradyumna's romance was penned down by Per J Andersson into a book called 'The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love'. Published in 15 languages, it is loved across the world.
The face of acid attack victims in India, Laxmi's story of fortitude and perseverance is an inspiration for all. She was thrown acid at, when she was 15. It changed her life but not her indomitable spirit. Despite her scars, she found love, in social activist Alok Dixit. Inseparable since 2014, they now have a daughter together and raise awareness about the heinous crime.
He's no emperor but he dared to build another Taj Mahal in the memory of his deceased wife, much like Shah Jahan. Once a postmaster, Faisal Quadri, used up all his savings to construct a Taj replica near his house in Uttar Pradesh, keeping the promise he gave to his wife of 58 years, Begum Tajmulli that she'd be remembered long after her death.