The Story of the Man Who Cycled From India to Europe for Love


We’ve heard many wonderful love stories, some of which inspired us and gives us hope that we would be able to write our own love story one day. As dreamy as it sounds, real life love stories do exist and here is one who might just inspire you to believe in love. 

The Man Who Cycled for Love


This is a classic boy meets girl, falls in love story, but with strength and dedication. The English translation of this story – The Amazing Story Of The Man Who Cycled From India To Europe For Love – by Swedish author Per J. Andersson was released last month.

Speaking to The Sunday Times via Skype from their home in Boras, Sweden, the couple still vividly remember their chance meeting more than 40 years ago. Let me bring you back to the start where they first met. Shall we? 

A throwback to a winter evening in Delhi, 1975, Mr P.K. Mahanandia is a 24-year-old sketch artist who comes from a poor family. Belonging to the lowest caste in India and he makes a living by sketching and selling his artworks. On the other hand, Ms Charlotte Von Schedvin was a 20-year-old tourist from Sweden and of noble stock. 

Who would have ever thought they would have met? Through his artwork, of course. She had spotted him sitting under a fountain in Connaught Place and decided to test out his claim of “a portrait in 10 minutes” for 10 rupees. 

Love At First Sight

He recalled how it was love at first sight, seeing her long blonde hair and big blue eyes. He was nervous, with shaking hands, he was absolutely mesmerised by her. Explaining his nerves, he said it was partly due to a “prophecy” by an astrologer that his wife would belong to the sun sign of Taurus, come from a faraway land and would own a jungle.

He laughed at how he didn’t even ask for her name and jumped into questions asking if she was born in May and if she owned a jungle. In return, she kept saying yes to all his questions. He told her that she was going to be his wife, and immediately got frightened that she would go to the nearby police station because of it. 

He wasn’t the only one. She told The Sunday Times that she felt attracted to him as she had a very warm feeling. With his wide smile and curly hair, she thought that he was a nice boy. 

Happily Ever After

With love, they got married in a tribal tradition at his home state. She remembered how she felt as if she was coming home back then. Home is where the heart is, and we can see how much love she has for him. 

She then returned to Sweden and they kept in touch through letters for more than a year. Of course, he decided he had to somehow find a way to get to Sweden. Yeap that’s right, he sold his belongings, bought a second-hand bicycle and decided to hit the hippie trail after hearing how people had made their way to Europe by motorcycle. 

After four months of perseverance and more than an 11,000km distance, on May 28, he got off the train from Venice in Gothenburg, about 70km from Boras. There, his wife was waiting. She dashed towards him and held him, even as he was not pleasant smelling. This is true love man. 


Atfer so many years, they are still happily married and share a daughter and son together.

Even as their backgrounds highlighted their differences, their love was steadfast. Distance is only a measure of importance, as long as there is strength, nothing can stop you. 

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