When Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia was little, his mother told him about his prophecy. He was told that his fate involved marrying someone from a faraway land that belonged to a high-class family. He never thought about this too much, but after 17 years he met someone that would turn his world upside down. Since he was from a lower caste in India, he never imagined that his life would take him where he was years later. This story will definitely make you believe in fate.

Where It Began

Back in 1949, Pradyumna Kumar “PK” Mahanandia was welcomed by his parents in the humble village of Kandhapada, which lies in the middle of the river and mountains in the Odisha district, all the way in India. India has a social caste system and since Mahanandia was born to the lowest caste, he faced discrimination and poverty when he grew up. When interviewed years later, he would recollect his memories and remember the humiliation and frustration he went through as a youngster. He would face ridicule when he went to temples or holy places. “People started throwing stones. I was below the dogs and cows. Those things, I never forget,” he said and remembers people washing if he ever came near them.Image result for odisha

Then One Night…

On the evening of December 17, 1975, there was a gorgeous woman who had big blue eyes and blonde hair making her way towards Mahanandia. She went up to him while he was still drawing other portraits. She stood behind him and was in awe of how quickly Mahanandia could sketch an impressive portrait of people in under 10 minutes. As Mahanandia spoke to her, he was mesmerized by her eyes. “Her eyes were so blue and big and round, I felt as if she was not looking at me, she was looking at me, like an X-ray machine! I thought I must do justice to her beauty,” he revealed in an interview. Mahanandia was completely enchanted by her gorgeous blue eyes and did not want to disappoint her.Charlotte Von Schedvin - A True Love Long Distance Relationship

The Road To Love

Mahanandia rode on his cycle covering 70 km (44 miles) every day, sometimes hitching rides on trucks. He would rest on his sleeping bag and stay at stranger’s places in exchange for his sketches. He struck up friendships with a lot of hippies he had met along the way. He never felt alone because Von Schedvin would keep sending him a letter of encouragement throughout his journey. The hippie trail that he followed went to 8 countries and this was during the 70s where visas did not exist yet. The only thing that could stop him was his own will. “The world and humanity can only survive through love,” Mahanandia explains, “I’ll do it or I’ll die,” he further claimed. His love for Von Schedvin was so strong that he claimed he would meet her in another life if ever he failed to meet her again.Traveling The Hippie Trail - A True Love Long Distance Relationship

The Reunion

The two finally met again after so much time apart. They reunited with tears of joy. They are the true examples that when it comes to true love, no amount of time or distance can ever hamper a couple’s happiness. Mahanandia felt a massive amount of culture shock upon reaching Sweden but he could manage to impress Von Schedvin’s parents. Everyone got along so well instantly. Many people were skeptical about their love and called it just a “holiday romance,” but PK and Lotta (as they call themselves) went against all odds and proved them wrong. They officially got married in 1979 and started their own family. They have two kids named Siddharth (Karle) and Emelie. Mahanandia still finds it confusing why people till date are so shocked about what he did. He blames true love for all that he did.

The Reunion - A True Love Long Distance Relationship

A Beautiful Life

They have been blissfully married for 40 years now and reside in Sweden. Together they help underprivileged Indians to get cultural scholarships. In 2012, Mahanandia received an honorary degree from the Utkal University of Culture in Odisha. The couple also won the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards because of their remarkable love story. Mahanandia still remembers his roots though. Mahanandia visited his school in 1997 and had to be helicoptered to get to the school’s field because of heavy floods. “Love had given me the power to forgive the people throwing stones at me,” he stated. He even told a tall student to ‘kneel down’ in his mother tongue because he was bullying another student. This boy has grown up and laughs about the incident and remembers his teacher’s eyes that filled up with fright.Happily Married - A True Love Long Distance Relationship