Old times

“Returned to the creek, and life became busy and expectant, and the valley echoed with the sounds of bridge-building and a young woman’s laughter, and Marvellous was suddenly wrenched out of old age like a seed potato wrenched out of the familiar comfort of dark.  ….. And Marvellous blossomed, having quite forgotten what an exciting and necessary jolt being needed gave.”


from a Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman. What a wonderful way with words she has.
It resonates.

Manjula gives

She always has and always will. Whether it was her love shared through her wonderful cooking, her gifts, sometimes cash when people needed it and most of all her warm personality. It was in Manjula’s nature to love and connect with people here and around the world. Manjula would draw people to her. Her insights, generosity and extraordinarily sensitive to people’s plight was an integral part of her, maybe resulting from the hardships that she experienced throughout her life.

As a celebration of our engagement we gave gifts: she cancelled what was left of the outstanding loan to Vasanth for his auto rickshaw and gave cycles to the driver’s children and to a project that helped trafficked young people.

Her giving has continued through the funding of meals at a local ashram, the benches in our local park. What next?

We’re looking for ways to continue to reflect Manjula’s beautiful personality and her connecting to people. We’ll keep you informed through this site. Do feel free to make your own suggestions of help we can give in Manjula’s name.

Our latest guest Giacomo (aka Siva and his partner Anita) who has visited Manjula and I in Mysore many times have left a donation towards the next projects we support.


A woman’s lot in life

I’m at an international airport to check in for a flight, I then go to passport control and finally through security. ALL the employees are women and all the security staff are muslim women.

At a different airport almost all the employees are men.

There’s quite a different atmosphere and vibe between the two.

The former was Phuket Airport in Thailand, the latter Bangalore in South India.

This difference was also reflected in my day to day experiences: most of the people serving in shops, at restaurants, hotels and their local equivalent of the auto rickshaw (a two wheeler with a walk-in side car for passengers) in Thailand were women.

I most often meet working women in Mysore in India in the banks and my accountants office, otherwise it’s almost exclusively men. Women’s presence is at home, in the office and behind the scenes.

While I’ve been away there’s been another shocking rape in India. But this is not the way to deal with it……


as summarised in this article

It will not solve the problem and exacerbate the situation with more macho male culture…

this will also NOT solve the problem


The attitude and dominance of men and their way of doing things, society’s patriarchy and women’s inequality is at the core of this. Equality and acceptance of diversity in terms of gender, race, religion, sexuality, class and caste is the only way forward.

Our story….

I’m at the street food place near Mysore Bed and Breakfast with the sugar-cane-juice-man. What’s his T shirt say?

Life is the sum of all your choices.

Now that might prove to be a clue to a key thread of our story

It may however take a lot longer to appear than first thought

its not an easy process or time


Last holiday


In Kannur for our last holiday together. It was also the place of our first. 🙂


you’ll not see such photos generally, bit physical 🙂


I’ve just been to sell the portable oxygen concentrator I bought to enable Manj to go on holiday.


Thank you

Alan Jewell
Alan Jewell
User Info

When you meet up with an old friend, maybe after one year of absence, maybe after five years, maybe 10, chances are the conversation will pick up right where it left off, some time ago. Seamless. Timeless. Effortless. Those conversations between old friends are that way. There is no difficulty with restarting the long-held warmth, nor is it necessary to raise your defenses to protect yourself from someone that wishes you ill will.

Old friends are one of the blessings of life.

Steven is an old friend that I just have met. For the first time, but not the last.

If your plans allow to spend time with Steven, you will find that he truly likes people, and from there, his tour by bicycle begins. There will be no canned speeches, no delivery that was practiced to a flat consistency, but a delivery that incorporates the here and now. Be prepared to laugh at yourself, laugh (and contemplate) the “Consistent Inconsistency” of the Indian culture, observed by a sharply witted (and ?proper?) Englishman, that has lived in India for 15 or so years. Expect the wry, dry musings that simultaneously cause you to think.

Although I have been in India three times, Steven’s insight into the life here, starting with a primer of the history of Mysore, to the modern-day living details of the lives of his neighbors, has given me a new appreciation for the real people here. He will tailor your time with him to fit your desires and abilities. (Thanks again, Steven, for allowing a guy with a brand-new titanium hip replacement to get along just fine).

I would not have expected less from a guy from Yorkshire…

Alan Jewell