Traveling in the name of love

All throughout our lives, we come across tales of love that inspire us to go out there and try to find that person who was meant for us. In this day and age, this doesn’t really go as expected. There are a lot of people out here who want to be in love and be loved, but they are just not willing to do what it takes to get the love that they want.

The quintessential love stories that everyone knows about are mostly found in storybooks, the story of St. Valentine of whom a whole day is dedicated to, Robin Hood and the fair Lady Marian and even Romeo and Juliet. All these are stories of bravery and commitment by men towards their love interests, but none is more telling than the story of these two love birds.

The Setup

At a certain arts university in India, there arose a young man who was considered to be a great student of art and culture, and was even considered a great artist himself. In a story that strongly calls for rolling of the eyes, Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia himself was from a caste that was deemed to be untouchable and despite his talent, the hate and abuse he received was absolutely appalling.

Enter Charlotte Von Schedvin. She had heard of this famous painter in India who was facing all sorts of issues because of where he was born. So, she decided to take a flight from the UK all the way to India to get her portrait done by him.

Whether it was by chance, or it was written in the stars, their different backgrounds and upbringing did little to separate them.

They fell in love.

After spending considerable time in India, she had to leave for her homeland of Sweden and he was left behind in his native India.  

From India With Love

Their relationship continued to blossom even though they were thousands of miles apart. It got to a point, where they couldn’t stand being apart from each other. So, Charlotte offered to send Kumar a plane ticket. He promptly turned down the offer. Even though they had been apart for three years, he still wasn’t going to let his pride and ego be sidestepped by the woman he loved.

What he did instead has to be considered something only a genius or a mad man would do.

As a result of the poverty and the social caste he was born into, he couldn’t make anything of himself. He didn’t have much, but the pride and love he had didn’t let him give up. What he did instead is sell every single belonging he had.

He bought a cheap bicycle with the proceeds of the sale.

Cue the perplexed expressions. Yes, Kumar’s plan was to cycle all the way from India to Sweden. It is said that love can make a man great dignity and sanity do the wildest things. So, Kumar put what he had left on his bicycle, and hopped on it.

He cycled through India, into Afghanistan, into Iran, into Turkey, into Bulgaria, into the then Yugoslavia, into Germany and finally to the homeland of the person that he loved enough to attempt such a feat; Sweden. This journey took place over five months.

And guess what? After 45 years and two children, they are still together!

Their story was recently turned into a novel that you should definitely read.

So, what have you done in the name of love?

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