Bul Bul update.

This is the fourth Bul Bul’s nest we’ve had at Moksha Manor.

Previously on the roof garden, our mid level garden out on the first floor mini garden and even in a hanging plant above our round table in the drive.

They’re good at nesting in the most unlikely places. This time they’ve chosen our secret garden in the back yard where we hang out the washing.

There’s been a gap of two years when they didn’t nest. The year Manjula died and following year.

Not only have they returned this year Sowbaghya spotted five adult birds all gathering to welcome the new babe.

We managed to photo two of them.

They must have realised it’s been a sad time but now returned to a place they’ve made their home. They know it’s safe and welcoming, not just for our human and four legged friends.

I wonder if English birds search out quiet, withdrawn locations. Here in India they have to manage the noise and general hecticness.

Another example of Manjula’s kind.

Every mug tells a story.

I thought I’d share this after revealing to a new friend Anjali

We have a cup caste regime

From the left steel glass ( I know it’s not glass, just ask an Indian) can be used anywhere and everywhere. Middle, one of our favourite cups with emotional attachment so can only be used in upstairs hall (lounge for you foreigners) and number three can be used anywhere in the house or downstairs sit out as we care less.
The most precious, heaps of history and irreplaceable so use is severely restricted.

The point is they can be used by anyone: guests, staff, family some are higher value so should be looked after more than others.

Why do I tell you this?

I joked about the caste of cups because believe it or not in some houses in India the servants aka lower caste are only allowed to drink or eat from separate cups/glasses/plates and utensils. This presumably originates from a belief that they might defile the superior caste.

I tell you this, as you know I love and I’ve adopted India and one wonderful woman in particular. We created a shared home that didn’t reflect those primitive traditional let’s say mediaeval practices.

They need to go.

Watch for more on caste.

Manjula’s library grows

The number of books

The number and range of readers.

We’ve negotiated the loan of ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’, ‘the hungry caterpillar’ and ‘stuck’

She might be young but negotiated an extension of a seven day loan to ten days. 🙂🙃😉 our very first children to borrow books from Manjula’s library.

Happy Ugadi

Sowbhagya prepares the house, the Pooja room
And finally all the Gods and Goddesses including MAnjula get a turn with a agarbati and flaming camphor
Lucie is sad, as she probably misses MAnjula doing the puja rituals.

It’s times like this we miss our closest. It’s also why they also remember us and send a love message.

This time the messenger came to my bedroom window.
It’s probably why I felt out of sorts this morning.

Manjula’s Kind

MAnjula embraced everything and everyone.

She experienced unkindness throughout her life, yet always and especially in the last nine years was the most kind.

MAnjula continues to give

Kulfi for the cleaners. They used to work on our street, knew us and would stop for water, chai and chat (that’s talking not snacks).

Our fine house was a place of support and conversation for women and not just our guests. Manjula’s networks. We’ve continued to support our drivers and they’ve joined the Manjula Mask Movement.

Vasanth and Satish modelling our mycycle masks but the big favourite is …
the one where Manjula seems to be sniggering and who years before the pandemic was telling us to mask-up, modelled by Rakesh aka Peter Pan
And masks have been donated for the vaccinators for when they finish work.
Many cycles have been gifted here for Sowbhaghya’s son Naveen.

I still am

relying on and remembering Manjula’s kindness

Outcast

Yesterday at a village Temple close to here one group of people had to sit outside and were not allowed to enter or fully participate in the puja.

Why?

Here’s a clue

The people were from what’s called a scheduled caste and who were the superior one’s allowed inside?

This is 2021.

What a mess

That’s been with us for a thousand years.

I’m from the U.K./Britain/England/the North/Yorkshire… We often joke about the north/south divide, I mention how the British pronounce words oddly, sometimes (?) to hide their French origin, I’ll explain how my accent and the words I use enables others to place me geographically and allocate the class I was born into and then of course there’s Brexit.

The U.K. becomes more the disunited kingdom by the day, has a rich pedigree and mongrel history. There’s the rub, the divisions we recognise are far more ingrained than we realise and have been established over a thousand years.

The divisions we see, the power games and the ascendancy of certain groups, represented by ‘The Tories’ now seems to be breaking it apart.

I recommend this book . It reveals, in surprising ways, how the established patterns of behaviour are difficult to break, we continue to adapt our national house, following the foundations and seem unable to create any real and lasting change.

Manjula’s kind

more on kindness

I hope I’m getting there.

KINDNESS 
by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

This is another direct lift, aka homage to the great gathering work of Maria Popova and her brain pickings, clearly hers are not slim pickings!