In what can only be described as a true life fairy tale, one lovesick artist biked across the world, traveling to the woman he loved.
PK Mahanandia was born into the traditional Indian caste system ranking him “lower than even cows and dogs.” That fact didn’t stop the man from becoming a well-known (but still poor) portrait artist by his mid twenties.
Then he met Charlotte Von Schedvin, the woman he would bike 4,000 miles for. The London university student was a true ‘princess’ and could trace her lineage back to Swedish royalty. Upon requesting a portrait from PK, Charlotte quickly fell head over heels.
The lovebirds were married shortly after when Charlotte invited PK to travel back to Sweden with her. The penniless artist promised to do so on one condition: he would make the journey once he’d earned enough money to support his wife.
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Time apart eventually became taxing for the couple. After two years of scrimping and saving, PK couldn’t take it anymore and decided to make the trip…even without the money he needed to travel. What could he afford? A second-hand bicycle.
The artist set his sights on the love of his life, biking as much as 40 to 45 miles a day to get to her. Pedaling through Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and parts of Eastern Europe, PK made the journey. The lovesick husband ended up biking through a total of ten countries before he was reunited with his blushing bride.
Two children and forty years later, Charlotte and PK are still happily married.
“I never loved biking,” PK explained. “…but I bicycled for love.”