How far would you travel for true love? Would you sell all your belongings and ride a bicycle from India to Europe? That’s exactly what Indian artist PK Mahanandia did.
As a child, Mahanandia’s mother assured him that, according to his star sign, he would meet and marry a woman whose zodiac was Taurus, and “she would come from a far away land, she would be musical and would own a jungle.” One day in 1975, a Swedish tourist named Charlotte Von Schedvin stopped by Mahanandia’s studio setup in Delhi to have a portrait drawn. Charlotte reminded Mahandandia immediately of his mother’s uplifting prediction, and he learned quickly that Charlotte’s family did in fact own a forest, she played the piano and, to top it all off, she was born under the zodiac sign of Taurus.
The two struck up a friendship, and Charlotte spent a lot of her time in India traveling with Mahanandia. The two fell in love and married according to the man’s tribal customs.
But Charlotte had to return home to Sweden. Their Indian romance came quickly to a halt, but Mahanandia promised to follow his bride to her hometown of Boras as soon as he was able. This was easier said than done, however. Even after more than a year of writing letters back and forth, Mahanandia still lacked the funds for a plane ticket. But that didn’t stop him.
He sold everything he owned except for a bicycle and began his journey on January 22, 1977 to reunite with his destined wife. He cycles about 44 miles every day, paying his way with spontaneous portraits and pieces of art traded for food, shelter and money.
“My legs would hurt,” Mahanandia told BBC News. “But the excitement of meeting Charlotte and seeing new places kept me going.”
He reached his wife on May 28, 1977, after 127 days of travel through two continents. The two married officially in Sweden.
The was more than 38 years ago. The two now live in Sweden with their two children. Mahanandia, now 64-years-old, still works as an artist, and is still in love with the woman his mother told him about all those years ago.
“I did what I had to,” he said. “I had no money but I had to meet her. I was cycling for love, but never loved cycling. It’s simple.”
Source: BBC News
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