How far would you go for love? How about over 3500km? Pradyumna Kumar “PK” Mahanandia did exactly that, on a bike. Yes, the Indian man cycled all the way from India to Sweden in order to be with the love of his life, because of an initial spark and a prophecy.
This amazing story begins when PK was born. “In India, it is common for the parents to call an astrologer when a newborn child comes to the planet,” he told National Geographic. “According to the prophecy, my wife and I were not going to have an arranged marriage like many people in India.”
“[They] also told that my wife would be from a faraway land and born under the zodiac sign of Taurus,” he said. “[And] that she would be the owner of a jungle or forest, and that she would be a musician, playing the flute.”
“I believed strongly in the prophecy and now know that everything is planned on this planet,” he added.
PK became an artist, painting portraits on the street. He even got the opportunity to paint some famous people. The likes of Gandhi and Valentina Tereshkova (the first woman in space) approached him for portraits.
But they paled into insignificance when a beautiful Swedish woman paid him a visit. Charlotte Von Schedvin was 20 years old and visiting India to experience a different culture. It took PK three sittings to paint Charlotte’s portrait, while he subtly questioned her about the prophecy.
She was from Sweden, a faraway land. She was a Taurus. Did she play the flute? Both flute and piano. This was going well. But did she own a jungle or a forest?
As it turns out, Charlotte’s ancestors were bestowed a portion of forest from the King of Switzerland in the 18th century! She had fulfilled the prophecy.
Luckily, she was smitten with PK, too. They had a whirlwind three-week courtship in India before it was time for Charlotte to go home. PK stayed in India to finish his final year of art school, but the pair wrote to each other.
Then, in 1977, PK couldn’t wait any longer. He sold all of his possessions and bought a bike. He set off and cycled the first legs of his journey. The trip also took him hitchhiking and bussing, but for the most part, he cycled.
The trip was nearly 6,500km, and he cycled over half of that distance along what is known as the “Hippie Trail”. He met with Charlotte and officially moved to Sweden.
40 years later, the couple is happily married with two children, Emelie and Sid. They still remember when he cycled all that way.
What’s the secret to a happy marriage? Well, PK doesn’t think there’s a secret per se. He said, “Marriage is a union not only physically, but also spiritually. Recognizing that allows love to then grow like ripples on water.” Very profound, and moving.
What do you think of this epic journey? Would you have cycled that far for love? Let us know in the comments, or share this with your loved ones to let them know. You can check out similar stories on Happiest.