I’d gone into the city for one of the endless visits to the city corporation (more of that later) then diverted to buy flowers in the Market. These will traditionally float in water in the brass Urli bowl beneath Madam’s photo and garland to go the photos themselves in each of our two halls (aka lounge or living room).
In the city were so many local women in sari’s going about their business, it reminded me of Manjula and how she connected me to so many aspects of life here. It brought a tear to my eye, not that that’s unusual.
I’d passed the iconic Lansdown building that has now been waiting years for a decision of whether they will renovate or demolish and rebuild. There’s no prize for guessing which the politicians in cahoots with the developers would prefer and why.
Then the day began to turn.
I went to a favourite ‘hotel’ (aka cafe) the Indra Paras, the owners son, manning the cash desk and the waiters all recognised and acknowledged me, creating a good feeling as I ate my Masala Dosa and Sev Dahi Potato Puri (crispy hollow puri balls, filled with a mix of crunchy, yoghurt, potato and a tinge of sweet) another favourite.
Then I squeezed past the guys selling clothing and material on the pavement and round the corner to the fruit salad, ice cream and traditional juices shop for my regular sarsaparilla and soda. Again the guys at the shop all asked how I’d been and wondered if I’d just come back. No I’ve been at home here in Mysore for two years, gifting me another warm vibe.
Then the usual, trying to find an auto with a working meter, after rejecting one and hanging about aimlessly by the roadside a guy hailed my as his friend stepped out from sharing the front bench seat.
The driver knew me, and Vasanth, and had taken many of our guests back home to the BnB. He’s friend couldn’t quite place me.
“It’s the cycle man”
So I pulled down my mask and he remembered me from nine years before when Vinay and I had started the cycle tours and he knew of our base at the Palace Plaza Hotel.
So a bittersweet mix, of missing Manjula and realising how she critically helped me adjust to my adopted city through re-connecting with people and sharing memories.
Last night I completed chapter eight of our story Full Full (working title), of draft three (with many more to come) it was particularly difficult to work on, as it related the story of her last year. In some ways it also helped.
This morning I was outside our house, sitting on a stone slab bench, beneath our wonderful strong shading tree. I was waiting for my neighbour, for our morning cycle.
A friend came along
It was a messenger from Manjula to reveal she knew what I was doing, supported me and sent her love.
With critical timing.
I’ve had a few messengers now.
Equally impressive was the circling dragonfly and even pretty moths get in on the act.
Their latest event on 11th July focussed on the monsoon . The event was wonderfully entertaining with participants from throughout India and a rich mix of contributions from storytellers, musicians, lyricists, singers, poets and polemicists.
For what it’s worth here’s my contribution.
I have much experience of rain in the ‘land of grey” as I’m from one of the rainiest parts of England, and even though I moved to live in Mysore I still have little experience of the extremes of the monsoon phenomenon. Life is so easy in so many ways in Mysore
This is unapologetically raising broad challenging questions
I can feel it at the end of our noses
It’s no poem
A serious story the message is not hidden.
It’s a wake up late at night.
I’ve moved to Mysore in India, its my first time out on my Enfield
I’m new to this.
I wonder why are all the two wheelers stopping under the bridges, or the flyovers or the riders finding shelter at the shops?
Because I’m new to this
but realise why, as the rain falls
It is the monsoon, I’ll know better next time.
Did you feel a spot of rain?
We got our brollies out and opened them just in time
We knew it was the monsoon.
We had torrential rain for weeks
The rains have broken the roads
no one expected the monsoon
the construction site sand has run away after a heavy shower
and escaped down the road blocking the drains
no one expected the monsoon
water seeps into the tarmac cracks and pushes them open
no one expected the monsoon
fires devastated the forests in Australia and California
we didn’t expect that
the heatwave killed people in USA and Canada
we didn’t expect that either
Had anyone expected that
or does no one care
We stumble through life being uncertain about what will happen and
how to deal with the challenges we face.
its part of life and how we learn
we hear whispers,
our gut sends messages
its in the papers,
the UN discusses
but do we listen and if we do
can we act?
We knew all about the monsoon, the fires, the heatwave, the pandemic, wave one two and three, so why didn’t we act?
Were we Breathing Lethargy Air?
Following the submissive path? Who knows?
Check them out nd join in, as there’s all sorts of different events like celebrating art.
Because our attention shapes our entire experience of the world — this, after all, is the foundation of all Eastern traditions of mindfulness, which train the attention in order to anneal our quality of presence — the objects of our attention end up, in a subtle but profound way, shaping who we are.
Because there is hardly a condition of consciousness that focuses the attention more sharply and totally upon its object than love, what and whom we love is the ultimate revelation of what and who we are.
That is what the great Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset(May 9, 1883–October 18, 1955) explores in a series of essays originally written for the Madrid newspaper El Sol and posthumously published in English as On Love: Aspects of a Single Theme (public library) — a singular culmination of Ortega’s philosophic investigation of Western culture’s blind spots, biases, and touching self-delusions about love, that is, about who and what we are.
Lucie is increasingly impatient and frustrated while waiting for me to find my specs, mask, hat, her lead and then all jobs that meed to be done before we get out of the door onto a walk….. four times a day. I can feel her telepathic shouting AT LAST when we do eventually: ‘leave the premises.’
But I noticed today it’s catching. She stopped at the top of the stairs and before descending looked through the doorway into the library and then to me as if to say ‘have you checked the balcony door is closed?’
Just as Manjula would insist to stop the monkeys getting in.