Nurse your broken hearts as we edge closer to Valentine’s Day with these heart-warming love stories of people ordinary and extraordinary, from all around the world.
1. The Man Who Cycled from One End of the World to the Other for His Love
In 1975, Indian portrait artist PK Mahanandia met Swedish Charlotte Von Schedvin. Charlotte had heard a lot about the artist who was quite reputed as a sketch artist, and decided to approach him when she spotted him. It was love at first sight. But Charlotte had to return home soon, and they stayed apart for over a year but kept in touch through letters.
Mahanandia didn’t have enough money for a flight ticket, but perhaps he could forage enough from his savings to buy a bicycle. He did so. Then, he bicycled all the way from India to Sweden, cycling 70 km every day, and reached Europe in four months. The two got married in Sweden, and still live there with their two children.
2. The Couple Who Died Together, Holding Hands
Norma and Gordon Yeager met when Norma was in high school and Gordon was working. Soon they were married, and stayed married for 72 years – before they were hospitalised, following a car accident.
In the hospital, they were given a shared room in intensive care. They lay side-by-side on the bed, and held hands. Gordon passed away a while later. But his heart monitor was still beeping. The nurse then noticed that the couple were still holding hands. Norma’s heart was beating through him, which is what the monitor attached to Gordon had picked up. Norma died an hour after her husband.
3. A Lifelong Togetherness
Jim and Moira met in 1929, when they were 5-year-old school children. Since then, except for about three times, they have never been apart.
The first time they were apart was when Moira was sent to a girl’s school. They were reunited as 11-year-olds when they were put in the same class. At age 17, they were separated again when Jim left school to enter the Police Cadet service. Then the War broke out. The pair kept in touch through letters, and Jim carried with him three photos of Moira, one each for the three main pockets of his uniform. They were married two years after the end of the war. Their relationship has lasted nine decades.
4. Rekindling the Desire to Live – a Bollywood Romance
When the pair met, Nargis was an established star while Sunil Dutt was merely a struggling actor. But for Dutt, Nargis was only a woman he loved, while for Nargis, Dutt was someone who treated her like a normal human being.
Nargis actually thought of committing suicide before she met Sunil Dutt. He rescued her from the accidental fire that broke out on the sets of Mother India, and in doing so, he was perhaps the first person in a long while who had actually done something for her.
5. A Professional Collaboration that Led to One of the Greatest Novels in the World
Fyodor Dostoevsky was almost 45 when he met 20-year-old Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina. She was his stenographer while he wrote Crime and Punishment. For a month, Anna helped Dostoevsky finish the novel, and between the professional sessions conversations flowed easily. They’d grown attached to each other by the end of the collaboration.
Dostoevsky proposed marriage to Anna in the most beautiful, moving way. When the sessions had ended, Dostoevsky asked Anna if she would help him in writing another novel. He began by telling her the plot, about a talented but failed writer, troubled and gloomy, who had fallen hopelessly in love with a much younger woman named “Anya” whom he did not think the writer was worthy of. He then asked her if their union was possible. Anna understood at once that this was a thinly veiled marriage proposal to herself by Dostoevsky, who was so terrified of her rejection of him that he hid behind the curtain of fiction in confessing his love.
The two were married soon, and remained very much in love with each other until Dostoevsky’s death 14 years later.