making connections

Thankyou to Aarthi, mum, daughter Aria and son Aroh, oh and the irrepressible dad Ajit — visiting from Canada — for a lovely opportunity to meet and get to know each other. We had great fun cycling on the amazing Srirangaptnam.

Well done to Aroh for cycling the whole distance independently on a child size cycle.

What a wonderful family who have reinforced an important lesson.

It was equally a pleasure to meet Paul, originally from the UK who after a spell of work in Bangalore also joined the tour before returning to Australia where he now lives.

Coconut water continues to be an essential part of our tours, complete with SS re-usable straws.

There’s lots of interest on our tours… history, culture, birds, each other and….

dung beetles….
Soda bottles using co2 and a marble to seal the bottle were a great discovery, now being carried back to Canada as a souvenir.

It’s why we do it…. What? …. It’s meeting and connecting with people and hopefully adding to their enjoyment of their visit to Mysore. We’ve been doing it since starting Mycycle tours and Mysore Bed and Breakfast ten years ago.

It is especially important as with the loss of my Manjula combined with the closure of the business because of the pandemic I’ve become more isolated. Haven’t we all?

The advice from the new book I’m reading is ….

that …. Connecting with people, realising how we’re part of something bigger and helping us feel good is critical for a healthy heart.

Obvious really but we need reminding…

Thanks guys…

What better way is there to connect than to lead cycle tours and share our home?

So MyCycle Tours are now available again as will be Mysore Bed and Breakfast.

Disintegrating Britain

One of Margaret Thatcher’s preferred tools was to scare us shitless by revealing a terrible plan. This enabled her to more easily get agreement to do something that seemed only half as bad.

Johnson has another favourite, from the Tory tool box.

He creates a cloud of confusion, like the airforce plane that throws out flack so the missile misses its target, he launches dead cats and kittens, custard pie distractions to keep the pressure up and to help him get through inane policies that help the very few that already ‘have’. The opposition misses its target and the general population is worn down, losing the will to live.

The so-called ‘culture wars’ is part of this, the latest being the decimation of the Civil Service and destruction of effective governance.

What are they doing? Taking the piss. They (the govt/ruling party/oligarchy/elite) — delete as appropriate— seem to have become so comfortable and confident in their domination of the masses that they can’t be bothered to hide how they use their power with complete disregard for the impact on what in India they call the ‘common man.’ We get what we deserve and of course none of it is anything to do with Brexit, that con to help them keep their millions.. Thanks Marina for the entertainment as the titanic sinks.

Kaveri and Manjula’s Mysore

Manjula wished to be reincarnated as a tree as it protected and supported people. I was keen to develop projects that reflected Manjula’s open heart, and kindness. Manjula’s Mysore, our new company, aims to reflect that approach and so Manjula continues to give

The reason why Kaveri has featured so much in the postings is that Manjula’s Mysore (MM) is considering her for an educational scholarship.

We wish to identify a young girl with the potential and to provide opportunities that weren’t available to Manjula.

Meetings held by Kanchana and Sowbaghya with her family, the holiday in Kannur, given by Manjula’s Mysore, and the school holiday activities organised by Stephen has provided ample opportunity to get to know Kaveri.

There are many similarities between Kaveri and Manjula’s early childhood. I’ll not detail them out of respect for Kaveri and her family’s privacy.

We’ve now met all Kaveri’s family and the MM director’s with Stephen’s support consider her eligible for an education scholarship.

Footnote

Kanchana is a social worker here in Mysore, Stephen qualified as a social worker in the U.K. in the early 80s. He’s since worked managing grant and developing community projects and partnerships for trusts, government and multi-national corporations.

Stephen is Manjula’s husband.

The Directors of Manjula’s Mysore are Tanuja and Satish friends of Manjula who were instrumental in supporting and remembering her after she died.

Sowbhaghya and Sarvesh have helped as part of our wider team.

We’re a team

Kaveri has compared us to famous characters.

Big Panda and Little Dragon

I love the reflective insightful beautifully balanced relationship. I am surprised little dragon doesn’t get fed up with Panda’s clever-dickness or in our case my bossiness.

Masha is a handful and the bear constantly stumbles to manage her whirlwind. Not unlike us. Kaveri can be challenging. 🤔

Stephen and Kaveri have a mix of both relationships, above all it’s fun.

I’ve added ……. another

Pooh and Piglet.

Fond farewell

It’s the end, my friend.
Lucie, Sowbhaghya, Rhadika, grandmother and Kaveri before we set off
Satish actually takes us in his auto rickshaw.

My new best friend and gang leader (she’s promised that I can join) has returned home today.

She lives in Hinkal over the other side of Mysore. Seen here with her mum and auntie.
I’ll miss her

Rebel’s Birthday

We celebrated with…

One Temple visit and

a cake … no

Two cakes …..

Feeding each other cake on one’s birthday is common here in India.

We often see groups of young people cake sharing in our park. Some believe it’s imported from England. I don’t think so ….

We’d catered for Kaveri’s auntie, uncle, grandmother, and wonderful that her mother and partner visited from the other side of Mysore.

That’s confirmed for me that there’s positive results from our ‘summer camp’. …. more later

Kaveri again

I’m in another farrell flurry

In hospital (more later) and just realised Kaveri’s birthday is tomorrow and not two days later as she told me.

So I’m getting the team activated from my angio bed.

I need to fill you in more

One of the summer camp activities was shopping for clothes for the birthday princess

No the rich Firangi didn’t buy them all

More food on the top floor and we were a magnet for attraction.

I don’t know why.

Rebel three

Eating a lot

But still not enoughD

She’s too thin and her grandmother worries.

We’ve already established a few goody rituals. Stopping for Pani Puri or rice bhath on the street or an ice cream at our usual cafe or as today the whole lot plus roti, dhal and fruit salad back at my house.

She will often ask for a parcel (take out) of what’s leftover her her teenage auntie back at her grandmothers.

A generous foreigner is too good an opportunity to miss and it is summer camp.

She isn’t greedy but is keen to share her good fortune.

Rebel Two

She lives in Hinkal on the other side of Mysore but I get to see her some weekends and during the school summer holiday, when she visits her grandmother, who lives opposite our house.

We’re in the midst of school holidays so she’s here everyday for a few weeks and I’ve introduced ta – ra ta -ra….

Steve’s Summer Camp for Kaveri

We’ve already had walking Lucie, cycling single and tandem, many trips to the cafe, the infamous holiday, games on and off screen, trips to various institutions namely the vets and dentist, outings in the Ambassador, storytelling, shopping for birthday present clothes more and more….

There’s a serious reason for all this related to MAnjula.