Indian cycled to Sweden to meet his lady love; kids to script movie

Vastavam web: Love knows no borders and nothing can be more apt to exemplify this old adage than the story of portrait artist Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia, who cycled all the way to Sweden in the late 70s to meet his lady love and future wife. Soon a film will bring on screen their epic love story.According to the two children of Pradyumna Kumar aka PK and Charlotte Von Schedvin, they wanted to immortalise the story of their parents and so decided to write the script themselves and co-produce it.She and her brother Siddhartha decided not to sell any rights because doing so would result in losing control over the story.

“We set a production company Kalabati Pictures (named after their grandmother) and decided to make the story true and do justice to it by producing it together with co-partners,” Emelie told.PK was born into a poor, untouchable family in a small village in Odisha. Throughout his childhood he kept a palm leaf bearing an astrologer’s prophecy: “You will marry a girl who is not from the village, not even from the country; she will be musical, own a jungle and be born under the sign of the ox.”

Incredibly, it was a prophecy that would come true, but only after the most remarkable journey that would take PK, armed with only a handful of paintbrushes and a second-hand bicycle, from the jungles of eastern India to the forests of Sweden.Slowly, he became famous and went on to draw sketches of Indira Gandhi, Fakruddin Ali Ahmed, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, B D Jatti among others.

Charlotte heard about PK and drove all the way from Sweden to have her portrait drawn. They both fell in love and got married according to tribal traditions. But soon it was time for Charlotte to leave and PK decided to stay back and join her later once he is able to establish himself.PK bought a bicycle and peddled for five months through Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey to reach Europe. He also hitchhiked and travelled by train in between.

Finally, he met Charlotte’s parents and the two got officially married in Sweden.PK works as an adviser of art and culture under the Swedish government and is based in Boras in Sweden.