The Tiger bit me!

Which Tiger bit you? Where?

Ok its not a real tiger, but it did bite me!

I’d called at the shopping mall and parked the Enfield (aka CE) just outside on a grotty verge near to some street food stalls. I couldn’t have been much more than twenty minutes, time to grab a snack and Nutella stuff for the children for tomorrow’s pancake breakfast. (the Maple syrup fresh from Canada will NOT be opened).

I’m trying to write this at the dining table and Manjula has just brought tea and biscuits. I’m on a fitness and not-eating-crap period and she knows it. She’s trying to entice me with the biscuits. Now she’s got one half in her mouth and waving it in my direction. She’s a minx!

back to the nonsense of today….

On finishing shopping and returning outside, it all looked odd and I felt seriously uncomfortable. The verge was completely empty and there was no bike to be seen. Sugar! I also couldn’t find my keys…… nicked? God knows!

It’s then I saw the Tiger.

Its a pick up truck operated by the Police that goes around the city lifting illegally parked two wheelers. The policeman and I didn’t really understand each other but if they had it, it was at the Transport Police depot on my way home. So I trudged off……. waaaay!

IMG_5904She was there!

You can see her peeking out from the corner of the police station, with my red helmet still on her seat.

What a relief, she hadn’t been stolen!

So I turned up with my documents. They knew nothing about the keys. so actually its quite a relief that the Police picked it up, otherwise someone might have found the keys and nicked it!

Things work out in the end, or so we need to tell ourselves in dealing with the OTHER big issue in our lives, at the moment.

I paid my fine of 200 Rs and an additional 100 Rs charge to pay for the Tiger, picking up and transporting it. So that’s no big deal. but hang on a minute. The minimum pay which many people don’t even get is 200 Rs per day. So it has cost quite a lot of money to someone with little. To them itsIMG_0925 the equivalent of a day and a half’s pay!

But then again they  probably wouldn’t have been an idiot and got the bike picked up in the first place! 🙂

So why am I telling you all about this? Maybe it’s distraction therapy…. eh and guess what happened when I got back to the bike…….



all she wished for was a holiday

Manjula doesn’t wish to move there, or rip of the NHS, become an illegal immigrant, apply for refugee status or go underground and try not to return to the UK.

Manjula is a really honest, straightforward, easy-going person that wouldn’t wish to play a trick or be dishonest.

Manjula’s home is here with me in Mysore, we have an established business that has bookings through to March 2017

Manjula has responsibilities here such as looking after her mother and doesn’t intend to move away and neglect her.

Manjula doesn’t need any money to go on holiday to the UK. I’d cover everything and many friends including plenty who have visited Mysore Bed and Breakfast have kindly agreed to provide accommodation

Manjula is an innocent

The visa system involves completing a form online and submitting supporting documents to an office in Bangalore. The form, bio data and info is then passed on. The decision is made without any dialogue or any form of two-way communication by someone at the High Commission. There is no opportunity for questions or providing additional information in case anything is missing, one has to second guess what’s required and get it right, the first time. There is no discussion, debate or opportunity to tease out the nuances of the bland guidance notes.

They’ve rejected her on the grounds that she might not return to India after the holiday.

The amateur, yes that’s me, who completed the form for Manjula thought that by  agreeing to be her sponsor for the trip and demonstrating that we had a thriving business and established life in Mysore to which we needed to return to, would be sufficient. Obviously it wasn’t!

so what to do!?

who wants a holiday in the UK?

Well Manjula does obviously! I’ll be in the UK on one of my three trips per annum in July and plans are in place to take Manj.

An application for a tourist visa has therefore been submitted to the British Government.

We used the opportunity, in yet another trip to Bangalore, to see the sites and grab some food. No micro-brewery as I’m off alcohol, partly to reduce the flab!

I’ve pretty much done all the work on the visa application. I’m not quite sure that Manjula completely understands about the process and rules. I’m not sure that I do myself. Does anyone?

I’ve explained, in the application, I hope, that Manjula as my fiancée, really is my dependent so I’ll be financing the whole trip. We have an established business here in Mysore and Manj has her mum to care for, so we will be returning. I think there are two main areas of concern they will have: that there is enough money available and that she has an established life here and will definitely be returning.

The excitement is palpable and I’m trying to tone it down a bit, explaining that we might fail and why the UK Govt might not give it.

Anyway it was submitted two weeks ago. We now await the result and we expect it VERY soon.

I think we should try

IMG_1143I still facilitate ‘training’ workshops for corporate clients. An absolutely critical part of the sessions is to help people see things from the others’ point of view. This is, of course,  not just relevant to business.

Alexander McCall Smith puts it like this….

“People tried to understand, and many did, but not everybody could make the imaginative leap that landed one in a position of another person, in their shoes, in their very garments, looking out on the world with their eyes, feeling what went on inside their hearts; being made to cry by the things that made them want to cry. That was easy in theory, but hard in practice. They pretended to understand because they could not know – not really know – what it was like to be the other. That was because it was not them. That was why they could not think that. It had to be you.”

in his novel: Trains and Lovers.

If I understand some of his teachings correctly the Dalai Lama shows that this is what compassion is about. Seeing things from the others’ point of view.

I know its hard but in life, it’s important that we should try.

Meet Mr Pye

Meet Mr Pai, he’s not unlike the literary Mr Pye he’s most definitely a dreamer. One Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 2.30.36 pmof the many ways they differ however is our Mysore Mr Pai or I should rightly say Dr Pai is also very much a deliverer.

Mr Pai,now in his late 70’s, is a successful entrepreneur, who is the founder and Managing Director of VWF Industries (P) Ltd which does of things to do with wire and lighting which I don’t really understand. The point is, he is an enthusiastic initiator with a strong track record in business and follows through on his ideas.

It’s his more recent interest and enthusiasms that have grabbed me.

Manjula and I met him today during a sort of meditative session at the Himalayan Crystal Salt Cave. Ok its a room rather than a natural cave but how amazing and it’s one of his initiatives. It is 360 degrees of salt from left to right, top to bottom, under and over… The cave is the first proper one in India and we have it here in Mysore.  You book an hours session and hang out in the positive ions man!  Just breath it all in. Supporters suggest it has general health benefits and specifically for those with any problems with their lungs. It reminds me of the Himalayan salt lamp in my UK home, years ago. Well, we went to test it out and we were very impressed. More of that later.

But that’s not all he’s now got into a range of initiatives with local communities through his foundation and his latest business idea relates to what he calls structured water.

So as you can tell I was really impressed with Dr Pai’s enthusiasm and spirit. He’s one of the great people we’ve met in our life here in Mysore. He very much reminds me of another entrepreneur who I had the great fortune to meet before he died.  Ray Anderson of Interface was also an inspiration. In Ray’s case he was an astonishing leader in introducing innovations and in many ways made sustainable business make sense. I salute them both!