Magic roundabout again

It has occurred to me that there could’ve been a third roundabout or Merry-go-round. That wouldn’t have been as merry.

If we hadn’t met, spotted her illness when we did and had our resources available Manjula would almost certainly have died a year ago maybe sooner. She would have suffered much much more.

She might have continued as a maid, tying flowers at night, paying off her previous husbands debts, living in a one room house and not feeling as happy and fulfilled, as I know she did.

I had never ever expected to work with my partner. It was however amazing. We were a great team (including Lucie), complemented each other admirably, created a wonderful open welcoming place with a super life which, of course, was fun not work!

That would never have happened if we hadn’t met.

We got married, went on holidays, established a world wide family of friends, Manjula learned English (and unfortunately English humour), showed her wit and intelligence, grew into her new role and blossomed.

Non of this would have happened if we’d not met.

I’m slowly learning to accept and acknowledge what is and to be somewhat grateful for what we had.

Her place in my heart makes me moistly smile.

Stop the magic roundabout

I want to help Manjula get off and get back on at an earlier time, let’s relive…. let’s try again…. if only

The special flexi specs (First introduced here) aren’t good enough. I need a Tardis. (Dr Who’s time travelling gizmo)

or….. I want to jump to an alternative reality rather than just time travel so that I can rerun our life but with a different outcome!. Let’s try again. I help Manjula get off one merry go round and then jump on another. In my magical thinking in this alternate world…. We meet, fall in love, this time she doesn’t get the series of crushing illnesses and we live happily ever after.

Maybe in this current world where she’s died she only had a very limited cache of ‘good’ luck; she used all the good luck that was left over in her life in the nine years we were together and thats why she had to go. In this alternative world she’d have more good luck.

You will see more of the total picture when I share her story. She did have a very very very tough time throughout her life and what seems like astonishingly bad luck in the 36 years before we met.

Yet she remained positive, a bright light with a beautiful smile she radiated joy.

Since we met she’s had better luck and we’ve had a wonderful life but Manjula still had to deal with her illness and its impact.

Maybe this bad luck in Manjula’s life would be interpreted by some Hindu’s as repayment for ‘mistakes’ or even repayment for ‘bad’ in a previous life. Whatever, there can be no doubt that she has now well and truly repaid her debt for any transgressions in that life.

Surely she now has a massive deposit of wealth in the Karma bank because of the good soul she has been in this life. So I hope and believe she will be kindly rewarded in her next life.

and not just with ice cream

So where is that other magic roundabout to jump onto and experience the different alternate reality? I realise I’m rambling now but miss her terribly and want her here with me now.

We have sent her off with our love and kept some of her in our own hearts.

Today is a difficult day

To live in others hearts is not to die

Manjula’s Mysore, our shared passion, will continue

Manjula has created a home to share, where people from around the world have visited and connected with others of like minded openness.

Her essence permeates the space and she’s left a piece, a mark with all of us.

We will honour her wishes, her work, and follow her pattern.

Manjula’s Mysore Bed and Breakfast will remain and change. We’ll build on what Manjula created and ensure it’s the same but different.

You can help

Come to visit and send your friends.

If you’d like to get more involved we also invite old and new friends come and help out. For a couple of weeks or longer come and help look after the place. In return for bed and breakfast help keep the place clean, welcome guests and maybe help create a new dimension to Manjula’s place.

There’s even been a few guests interested in setting up their own BnB so why not come give it a try and dip your toes in the water, just learn by doing.

I’ll be away over the next two months then reopen.

Kerala farewell

We’re slap bang in the middle of a highway

Winds are picking up and rushing through Lucie’s hairs.

The traffic is relentless but not orderly. We are in India. There are always patterns so it’s invariably differently organised from what you’d expect from the point of view of a westerner.

Much of the traffic is fully loaded others on the lookout antennae twitching, scouring, searching for its next load to carry back to the nest.

I wonder….What time do ants get up to start their working day?

The sun rises burning off the moisture lifting the misty fog.

It’s quite noisy with bird life making its presence known. Now and then the crack of a gun. What do they shoot out here? Rabbits? Birds? Wild boar?

Manjula is with us on the rocky outcrop in the mini photo I’ve introduced to everyone we met on this trip. She’s probably met as many people as we did on our mini holidays. It’s a bit weird as I don’t give the full details, just that she’s my wife from Mysore.

It’s time to move. The old mans knees and calf muscles are showing signs of age as every day passes

Lucie the pack leader that she is, the one to track through memory and smell leads the way.

A siren blares. Think Second World War. It’s time for work at the tea plantation or factory.

“Luce wait for me.”

She chooses not to wait for me. By the time I reach our hillside cottage she’s way past it down at the bottom waiting for breakfast.

Another great Kerala Wayanad breakfast and now it’s time to move again and leave the Dhanagiri homestay.

Thanks to Anant and his lovely family.

Election time

We’re in Wayanad at election time. The country is so big with so many people it’s taking weeks for the election to be held.

Here in wayanad the leader of congress Rahul Gandhi is standing. They seem to choose to stand for election wherever they want regardless of any local links. Here we also see the BJP leader supporting the local candidate and the third often biggest local party are the communists.

A book I read recently by Naomi Klein suggests Modi is part of a wave of right wing political leaders that includes The Donald.

How sweet! She looks so young 🙂

This reminds me of an earlier posting of Manjula’s first vote five years ago. Here

Here’s a plan

As we breath in the fresh country air with the birdsong and circular saw sound in the background.

Two friends, chosen brother and sister of Manjula have kindly agreed to step into the breach and replace her as director on the company

Mysore Bed and Breakfast will continue with the support of our wonderful local friends and those around the world. Open August and full on open October onwards.

Faizan comes to live at the house for May and June to look after it and comfort Lucie.

I’ll visit friends and family for Manjula love and hugs in UK, Canada and USA in May and June.

So far…..

Unreturned love of my star

This poem is not about my situation at all. But is it or isn’t it?

In my current state, I’ve become ‘masterful’ at Seeing the world through my very specific spectacles (flexi specs) Without a doubt they are not bifocal or even trifocals, they are progressives.

I can see all sorts of things. I can see what I want to see.

I’ve got them on now, I turn the metaphorical (!?) dial.

First setting ‘reality’ to see the smile that lights up the room of my beautiful my lovable (it’s what Manjula means) Manjula, the one who I adore whose presence I carry with me and who I miss intently. She’s absolutely perfect (OK, that’s the rose tinted setting and comes with the territory).

Second, I look back to see how Manjula grew and blossomed, showed strength through endless challenges, changed me in so many ways and through the connections she made, left a part of her with her friends throughout the world.


Oh no, I slipped and mistakenly landed on grief 2 (you know the guilt trip, ‘what if’ one where we don’t HAVE to be there) whoops, move it back a step to grief 1 (dealing with the gaping hole, the big loss, we just have to manage this one)

And finally I turn it to magical thinking to cherish and hold her with me as a star in the sky, she’s not quite here or there for that matter, maybe she does feel something, maybe not but it doesn’t matter, as my love, sent out as a ray, a beam will still hold strong. I can be the more loving one, in fact I’m the one that’s left, so I have to be

by W.H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

A getaway

Lucie and I are away on our own in Wayanad.

Anjum the ever enthusiastic drove us.

And here’s the the view at Dhanagiri homestay.

She’s been on edge. Primarily of course she’s sad dog as we’ve lost something from our heart. Then with me getting ready and packed she thinks I’m going to leave her, no sweat there but then the longest car ride ever, almost four hours. Now plumped in a coffee plantation.

Where are we, what’s happening? Tell me!


Thunder, lightening, rain….. strange environment, she is sooooo not impressed.

Update again.

Breakfast finished, next to walk up the hill with Manjula, Lucie and Abha.

Guess who’s with us in more ways than one.

This trip is proving useful to help me connect with the spirit of my soul. I know, it all sounds a bit new age or Hebden Bridge (the alternative place where my house is in the U.K.). I realise it’s one of the messages from Manjula that I now see more clearly. It’s not really new age, more slowing down the hare and learning from Manjula’s grace. More later.

ap pagal hey

I’m getting into a weekly routine. Buying gorgeously fragrant flowers

Then back to the Ashram as lunch arrives.

I’m invited to partake but I’m not taking photos of the people who live her as requested by the home.

And a word from one of the sponsors

Tom and Amy remembering…

‘ap pagal hey’ is what Manj and Tom used to say to each other all the time. Means you’re crazy. Haha

On my remembering, it’s sometimes getting harder. It’s easy to remember the last few weeks of her life but more difficult to recall the older more positive memories without falling into the blubbering brook