Books

New Delhi - Borås

Author
Andersson, Per J
Swedish title
New Delhi - Borås
Category
Non Fiction \ Narrative non-fiction & Essays
Pub Date
Mar 06, 2013

The larger-than-life story of a casteless Indian man who falls in love with a Swedish girl, and cycles across half the world to follow his heart. Now sold in nine countries!

This real-life saga tells story of Pradyumna Kumar, PK, who was born poor and casteless in a small village in Orissa in eastern India. 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.

At art school in New Delhi, he learns to make portraits. Every evening, 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, 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 the little town of Borås, Sweden. 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.

="">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.

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"Charming...epic...a journey repeatedly facilitated by the knidness of strangers, but also fraught with danger and pitfalls...[a] 7,000-mile journey across continents, lasting almost five months - all in the name of love.'

-Daily Mail

"A must-read because you won't find any other love story that is so beautiful, touching, and - above all - true."

-Grazia

"But to say that this book is simply a heartwarming, charming love story would be a great disservice to the novel. This isn't just a book about an impossible romance. It is a chronicle of the Indian caste system, of a dalit's life and psyche, and of 'upper caste' Indians' closed mentality towards 'untouchables'. This is a story about overcoming gargantuan obstacles through the power of unwavering optimism and faith."

- Hindustan Times