Friday, April 28, 2017

How far would you pedal for love?

PK Mananandia was born into the lowest caste in India, "even lower than cows and dogs." But he worked his way through college, and by his early 20s he was a noted portrait artist. Enter Charlotte Von Schedvin, descendent of Swedish royalty. While in Delhi, she sought him out to paint her portrait. They fell in love and got married, but when she invited him to return to Sweden with her, he said he'd wait until he had enough money to support her.

                                                                                                                            PK Mahanandia
Two years later he was still poor, so he forgot his pride and decided to join Charlotte. He could not afford a plane ticket. He could only afford a used bicycle. "I never loved biking, but I bicycled for love," he said. He pedaled across Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, hitching rides when possible. He crossed Turkey and parts of Eastern Europe before biking north to Sweden -- that's 4,000 miles through ten nations. The trip took almost five months. Was it worth it? You decide. Since his trip, he and Charlotte have been together 40 years. They have two grown children, and he is an art advisor to the Swedish government. He work is so good that in 2005 he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. If this can happen to an "untouchable" from India, imagine what can happen to you. Happy cycling.

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