Sign up with your email address to be the first to know about new products, VIP offers, blog features & more.

The true love story of the Indian who rode a bicycle all the way to Sweden

PK-Lotta_NewDelhi_1976.jpg

Lotta von Schedvin and Pradyumna Kumar (PK) Mahanandia in Lody Colony in New Delhi 1976.

My book New Delhi-Borås – with the true love story about PK who rode a bike all the way (7.000 km) from India to Sweden – has became viral on social media in India last week, when Satyanarayan Patri in Navi Mumbai, among others, published a short version of the story on Facebook. Satyanarayan’s story has been liked more then 113 000 times and shared 82 000 times. Awesome!

My inbox and my phone, as well as PK:s, has therefore during the last days been full of questions from English speaking Indians about when the English translation of the book is going to be released.

And the answer is that this fantastic love story will be out in English during August-September 2016. The publisher will be the British Oneworld – and in India it will be distributed by PanMacmillian.

However, while waiting for my book to be translated into English, you can here on my India blog read my short version of the book in English.

During 2014 it was published in French, Danish and German (where it became a national bestseller with more then 140 000 sold copies in a few months) – and during 2016 it will be published, besides English, in Chinese/Mandarin, Korean, Icelandic, Polish and Norwegian.

And watch out, next week I will publish a YouTube-film about PK:s story and my book, produced by Johannes Stålnacke Nero.

But for know, the core of the story – in English:

This shimmering saga tells the real-life story of Pradyumna Kumar, who was born poor and as an outcast/dalit in a small village in Orissa in eastern India. He calls himself PK and all his life he has kept a palm leaf bearing an astrologer’s prophecy: ”You will marry a girl who is not from the village, not from the district, not even from our country; she will be musical, own a jungle and be born under the sign of the ox.”

The prophecy follows him throughout his life, but he suffers several difficult setbacks and is often beset by doubt.

1. Per_och_Pikej_Puri_Indien_2007.jpg

Me, the writer of the book, together with PK at Puri Beach in Odisha in 2007.

At art school in New Delhi, he learns to do portraits. Every night, he stands in a park drawing people to earn his daily bread. His life is full of contrasts – one minute he is starving and sleeping on the streets, while the next he is invited to the home of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who wants him to paint her portrait.

One evening when PK is drawing in the park as usual, a young blonde woman appears in the light beside his easel. Lotta von Schedvin has felt drawn to India ever since she was a child and has travelled there by VW bus from Borås. She was born under the sign of the ox, would like to be a music teacher and her family owns some woodland in southern Sweden.

And so this breath-taking love story begins. The chances that these two young people will see each other again after Lotta has gone back home to Borås might seem slight – if it were not for a second-hand ladies’ Raleigh bicycle. The bike takes PK overland from Asia to Europe. Despite the hardship and endless setbacks, he stubbornly makes his way westwards.

Today PK and Lotta are married and have two children. They live together in a yellow wooden house in the woods in Sjuhäradsbygden outside Borås. PK has worked as an art teacher and Lotta still teaches music at Engelbrektsskolan in town.

​NEW DELHI – BORÅS
teaches us that everything is possible; reality surpasses fiction and love conquers all. All that is needed is confidence, tenacity and a second-hand bike.

Reviews:

”This story makes me believe in the goodness of humans and the power of love.”
– LitteraturMagazinet

”PK’s life story has what it takes to make a brilliant page turner.”
– Svenska Dagbladet

Franska_danska_Tyska_bocker.jpg

The book has so far been published in Swedish (2013), Danish and French (2014) and German (2015). During 2016 it is going to be released in English, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Icelandic and Norwegian. Still waiting for a publisher keen to make a Hindi version – or even a version in Oriyah.

Here is an interview with PK and Lotta in Odia and English in Kanak TV broadcasted from Bhubaneshwar:

And here is a long interview with PK and Lotta in Swedish in the biggest Swedish private National Television channel (TV4) at the time of the release of the book in February 2013: