I cycled from India to Europe for love
In 1977, an Indian street artist and a Swedish tourist fell in love at first sight. She had to return home alone but he refused to give up. Weeks later, he set off on a 7,000km bike trip to rejoin her
‘It was the moment she kissed me in the sun temple that I thought, ‘Oh, my God, now I can touch the sky!’” says Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia, known as PK, remembering his wedding day in January 1976. PK was a street artist, from what was known as the “untouchable” caste, in New Delhi, drawing portraits of tourists, when he met a young Swedish traveller, Lotta von Schedvin, after she asked him to draw her in December 1975. Now, after more than 40 years of marriage and two children – they can still remember every tiny detail of their meeting.
“We knew we had been together before – that this was just a reunion,” says Lotta. “A marriage like this means you are married physically and spiritually. We know our bodies will be recycled in a few years, so we believe that we’re always united in oneness.”