Do you want to hear the short version? Or do you have time for the long one?

The short version is:

This story is about a Russian guy who lived in Paris, who made a short visit to Trichy in India, where he met a Belgium girl, to which he fell in love with, and planned a wedding to the same spot he met her at…the Ashram in India.

Now for the long one:

Heleen and Evguini told me how they met in such a wonderful and beautiful way, with so many romantic and cute details that I knew I had to try my best to give their beautiful romantic story some justice. So i’ll add the details I can remember, and you can enjoy them with the images to come.

Once upon a time, a few years ago…Heleen was too ill, and none of the doctors in Belguim had a cure for her condition. It was her pharmacist brother who was working at an orphanage in Trichy for over a year that had asked her to visit him in India. He wanted her to see the different life he’s led…away from Belgium and away from materialism that the rest of the world had. Initially, she’d scheduled her trip to India to be a short one, just as her brother did before, but once she met with the 400 orphans from toddler age to 12, she understood why her brother called the Ashram his home.

It was during Heleen’s visit to see her brother, that she met Evguini, and the two began a strong friendship that grew more with time. The young Russian loved Heleen’s wit and bubbly character, as everyone who meets her would agree. And she fell in love with calm demeanour, and his constant positiveness. His love, the kids around them, and the great soulfulness found at the Ashram, somehow healed Heleen.

Since Heleen fell in love in a place surrounded by children, with Hinduism and of course with Evguini, it only made sense that they celebrate their Hindu wedding only with a handful of their friends and relatives, at the Ashram they met in. A few hours drive away from Chennai, Trichy was a small town that was nestled away from city life. It wasn’t a coincidence of course that the wedding date be an annual celebration at the Ashram, so it added to the culture combination seen there. The European bride wearing a beaded sari and getting henna Mehndi designs by the young Indian girls was the excitement of the whole ashram. You’d see the kids running around decorating with flowers and leaves, and the French old ladies chirping on how excited everyone is for the Hindu ceremony with the beautiful couple celebrating their wedding.

Heleen and Evguini, thank you for letting me participate in a memorable trip that I’ll never forget. I’ve traveled to India many times, and for several weddings, but know that the experiences I had traveling with your parents and friends were special. I had a blast and look forward to seeing you in France, or even back in India! Also thanks to Elizabeth & Daria, the best room-mates I could ask for in our crazy adventure xx

01 / 16