William Shakespeare once wrote, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”
This was certainly the case for PK Mahanandia, who rode his bicycle all the way from India to Sweden to reunite with his love.
PK was a poor young Indian artist, who made his money by painting portraits of people on the street. One day, a young woman named Charlotte Von Schedvin noticed PK’s artwork and asked to have her own portrait painted. PK agreed and painted it. However, Charlotte wasn’t satisfied. She asked if he could repaint her portrait the next day.
Again, he failed to paint a portrait that Charlotte was satisfied with. But in his defense, PK had an excuse. He said he was distracted by something his mother had told him when he was just a little boy.
One day, after PK was bullied at school for being from a poor family at the bottom of India’s caste system, his mother told him that he would marry a woman whose zodiac sign was Taurus. His mother also said that the woman would be musical and own a jungle.
For some reason, meeting Charlotte had made him think about his mother’s prophecy. He asked her if she owned a jungle and whether or not she was musical. Since Charlotte’s family was of Swedish nobility, she replied that her family did indeed own a forest. And as fate would have it, her zodiac sign was Taurus. She also played the piano.
PK describes meeting Charlotte as “love at first sight.” He says they were drawn to each other like magnets. So when Charlotte had to return to Sweden, he was determined to see her again. Because he had very little money he knew he wouldn’t be able to fly or take a train. So, he sold all of his stuff and bought a bicycle.
He began his trip on January 22nd, 1977. Along the way, he paid for food and shelter by painting people’s portraits. PK said, “My legs would hurt, but the excitement of meeting Charlotte and seeing new places kept me going.” 70 kilometers-a-day and four months later he finally reached Europe.
Soon after, Charlotte and PK were married. They now have two children and are still together. “I am still in love just as I was in 1975,” he says. The road to his true love wasn’t necessarily smooth, but it sure was worth it.