True love knows no boundaries. Just ask Dr Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia who traveled more than 4,000 miles and across eight countries to be with his beloved.
This story is the stuff for the movies, one that may have renowned Indian filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali producing a film about the life of this couple who endured many years apart and quite the distance for love.
The year was 1975. Indian born portrait artist affectionately known as ?PK? Mahanandia had received permission to sit under holy fountain at Connaught place, one of the largest financial and commercial centers in New Delhi, to draw portraits. It was here that he was approached by Charlotte Von Schedvin, a Swedish student of noble blood who had come to India to have her portrait painted. They talked, he painted. They talked even more and he continued to paint, and at the end of this single event they fell in love. With the consent of his father, they married shortly after.
A few years later, while Mahanandia was completing his studies in Fine Arts at the College of Art, Delhi when Von Schedvin had to return to Sweden ? alone. With none of the conveniences of modern technology, their long distance love was maintained through handwritten letters and phone calls.
When it was time for him to join his wife his Sweden, he opted to complete the journey on his own. As a symbol of finality, he sold all of his belongings, purchased a second hand bicycle and set out on his journey from New Delhi, India to Gothenberg, Sweden.
Surviving brutal weather conditions, a detention, less than optimal physical conditions and unpleasant inquisitions at the Swedish border, he traveled through Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Germany, Austria and Denmark before finally arriving in Sweden.
It took him 4 months and 3 weeks to make this journey.
The unlikely love story of a humble artist and a woman of noble blood has a fairy tale ending. After 40 years of marriage, Mahanandia serves as the Art and Culture Adviser under the Swedish Government, and is the Odiya Cultural Ambassador of India to Sweden.
Mahanandia lives with his wife Charlotte and their two children in Sweden, and while it will be safe to conclude the story at this point, we believe this is one love story that will truly never end.