A YIndian, Yorkshire by birth and Indian by marriage. Originally from the UK, I've now lived in Mysore, South India for over ten years with my beautiful wife Manjula. MeandMycycle is about the ups, downs and ups of our life in Mysore and our creations: Mysore Bed and Breakfast and MyCycle Tours.
I just had to post again. Earlier I reflected my concern about the lack of care and compassion (see last posting) when I stumbled across this photo and dickens quote
Here’s someone’s extreme lack of care and compassion preferring that we don’t support people in poverty, who are clearly undeserving feckless oiks.
Except this attitude is all too familiar, but I expect that these people (I’ve made it anonymous as we don’t want to create an internet teacup storm) aren’t demonstrating the slightest bit of self awareness by posting such crap on an insignificant page of old London photographs.
Maybe they haven’t got the slightest idea that our system is slanted in favour of the rich and powerful and blaming the powerless feeds into a narrative that maintains this unsavoury order.
Obviously I am naive about how people just accept the demonisation of poor people. I feel a Brexit moan coming on. Get real old people.
I write this having just returned (I live in India, remember?) from a one room dwelling that would have been no better and probably far worse than where those in the photograph lived.
The people are not to blame for the cycle of deprivation or their lot in life.
In my distorted view. It’s our duty in life to work out how best we can be kind and that includes showing care and compassion with a more equitable share of the resources we have at our disposal.
Assuming the immigration bureaucrats (long story) let me remain in my adopted country, we’ll continue to help where we can, through Manjula’s Mysore.
I would joke that there was life after Brexit in the U.K. as an island old people’s home.
I take it back — there’s not enough people to staff it or tomatoes to feed the residents. .
But it’s worse: the inhumanity: commodification of people care, indifference of the owners, ignorance and inaction of the families, callousness of a privatised only-care-for-the-rich system, means you’re dumped into concentrated carelessness.
We shouldn’t be surprised but why should we or how can we care?
Just make sure you,’re not feeble and alive to have to enjoy the mouldy fruits of the system
I sometimes scoff about extended supportive family networks. I shouldn’t but I do question whether they shouldn’t also be on life support. The fact is it’s the compassion and care amplified through people connections to each other we sorely need injecting to revitalise our communities
Me as a 66 year old am about to go care for an eight year old that helps blow life into this bundle of walking cobwebs.
Poor Sowbaghya has to listen when Lucie has shown me the paw and Billet-Doux treats the place like a hotel.
Are they giving me a not-so-hidden message?
OK, I’ve bored her, explaining how (she knows) I read a lot, so have a broad knowledge (superficial) of many things.
That includes what to do about my current situation.
The problem is : we know stuff but do we act on it? We may have received the information but it’s not sunk in or led to the necessary change.
It’s as if I’m in an automatic Photo Booth that’s lead lined or surrounded by an (iron) curtain that stops the information getting through. I get it but not enough as it does not lead to action.
For example Kanchana gave me the ‘secret’ book and Tom has provided all sorts of positive insights—many others have helped— but it’s not led to the realisation of awareness and ‘action.’
You know the sort of stuff.
Well it began to fall into place this week. The timings right on the fourth anniversary of losing MAnjula
For more than four years there’s been a volcanic reaction, starting with the denial, then the acute shock of loss followed by the slow constant grinding down of grief.
Leading to anger and intolerance, to myself and others. it’s all so wrong… that negativeness is not what MAnjula (aka Full Full) and I are about.
It’s had its ups as well as downs and I’m generally quite robust (or so I thought) but the biggest challenge is the blame, the guilt, the what-ifs, wrapped up in depression. I have the overall feeling that I’ve let Manjula down and now I can’t do anything about it as she’s not physically with me anymore.
But I can …
learn to forgive myself, let the past be there, continue to celebrate MAnjula and as Louise says
“Life is really very simple. What we give out, we get back”
I really believe that but now need to act on it.
I remind Kaveri to ‘be kind’ and I need to listen and act on it myself and with myself
Hay’s book appeared in Manjula’s library, on the 23rd March, a gift from Rakesh
Kaveri is a real star. You might have noticed — from my regular postings — that I’m impressed with her. She’s personable, a smart cookie and a wonderful help for me in the new challenging situation without Manjula by my side.
Manjula’s Mysore and I are committed to supporting Kaveri where we can and sponsoring her education. We hope some of our community of guests help out a bit too. But what options are the best?
So I had to do some research. I read up about it,
I have two adult sons and a granddaughter, my first career was as a social worker with children and families, then a manager of welfare services in government, worked on developing partnerships in the UK and India but you can never know too much, obviously. This is very challenging for all concerned.
So I’ve got a bit of experience at all sorts of different levels, communities and cultures.
But I know you can never have enough knowledge, insights, awareness, empathy and understanding. Even more challenging, I’m not part of the family and need to be completely in tune with their needs and wishes.
I’ve discussed the situation with a network I’ve created of educationalists, social workers, psychologists
But most importantly fully involved (including visits to schools) her mum, and madam herself.
so what’s to do?
There is a clear preference, from the family, for Kaliyuva Mane — A school FOR children and home for learning founded by M R Ananth Kumar.
It’s a free residential school for children in Kenchalagudu on the outskirts of Mysore.
I first visited the school on a cycle yatra over ten years ago. It was featured in my article
It’s child centred
It focuses on the needs of the child and so it is outside the mainstream system. It’s similar to the alternative schools found around the world.
But it’s residential.
I wonder if that’s best for an eight year old maybe in the circumstances its exactly what’s required.
You might be wondering, how did it get to this? who is Kaveri and why am I proposing that we support her?
I’m concerned that the school systems globally are not ‘fit for purpose’, in that they are more like sausage factories and don’t properly cater for the whole person and their diverse needs.
Not unlike this…..
I have also consulted books such as those by Ken Robinson, visited schools and discussed the situation with friends in Mysore and elsewhere.
In mysore we have a full range of options, not only Kalyuva Mane, and Arivu which offer something a little different, there’s also the full range of government, religious/trust and private schools covering the many curricular available in India.
There’s even agile Shala with its programme, online and education centres another valuable alternative.
What a super range of options.
I was seriously impressed and then bowled after meeting wonderfully articulate, well rounded children who’s parents provide ‘home’ schooling.
So, why the interest?
I have a particular young girl in mind. You’ve guessed it?
I’m trying to find out what would suit Kaveri
Most importantly I’ve discussed with Kaveri and her mum, it’s obviously their decision.