I’m a writer.

Originally written in March 2021 but lost in the ether

I’m officially confirmed as a writer and here’s the evidence.

I have a blank page and pen. I also have a passion, here it is, at the top of the blank page.

I’ve submitted for a competition and got absolutely nowhere, so that’s the ‘rejection’ box ticked.

I‘ve got the writer’s block down to a fine art.. To be fair I think it’s proximity to the ‘wound’ or the trauma that makes it extra difficult. This month creates extra challenges as there’s a pile-up of anniversaries, our weddings and Manjula’s death, but that’s an expected part of this particular journey.

I’m reading lots of fiction, including children’s, non fiction and insights into how to write. How much is being held by this decaying brain is another matter.

I’m inadvertently following famous writers such as Paul Auster and now my writer of the moment, who I’ve only just discovered wrote ‘Stardust’ my favourite film Neil Gaiman

I must admit to liking young people’s story books. I like the pace, find them interesting and I more easily remember what I’ve read.

As the ‘passion’ would say “let’s see.”

First update

It feels like it’s been weeks since I added to our story so I plan to have a different approach, set up my writing place, establish a routine and treat it as a ‘job.’

Second update

It’s written but as I’m a writer I’ll follow a norm and declare it just ain’t good enough

Third update

It’s going to be completely revised and restructured. I’ll break the memoir rules but I just don’t care.

Fourth update 2022 and I’m yet to start. I’ve slipped into a ‘can’t quite get my act-together phase’ I told you I was a writer.

In between the enormous gaps.

It’s that day of the year …

… when the warriors ask the gods to bless their weapons

In our case the scooter, Enfield and Ambassador

Carefully washed beforehand, so that’s at least once a year.

Sb came in to work so we had a professional on the job.
Lucie couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.
Lovely guests left, to return to Bangalore

In the midst of the puja, horned beasts invaded, we have no weapons and in any case they are goddesses . So we peacefully asked them to move along.

On completing the puja, my role was to ride each vehicle to squash the limes, the goddesses returned to eat the offerings.

All the local traders (Hindus anyway) and neighbours got in on the act.

All under the watchful eye of Manjula’s representative.
And a wonky Ganesha

Near calamity

This morning

My brain was missing again

I let Lucie out the front door

There was the bag of kittens on legs waiting for me

Poor billet-doux was in shock. Ran away but was stuck

Trying to get through the gate to escape the black monster.

The bag of kittens squeezed through. I only hope there’s no long term damage.

She’s due within days.

Feeding her spirit

On Manjula’s death anniversary in March and at this time of year we especially remember MAnjula and feed her spirit. Others will remember their own relatives.

It’s the equivalent of All Hallows’ or the Mexican Day of the Dead. Here’s a bit about the Hindu version.

Close friends who could fit it in amongst their own rituals helped by preparing food and joining the puja.

Vasanth and his family and Satish together with Sowbaghya made all the preparations: the food and puja.

We were also entertained by Manjula’s videos.

Then waited outside to give her time and space to enter the house and feed.

Making plenty of noise as we re-entered so she could quietly retreat.

Only then could we eat with our Special guests Ina, Rhadika and Kaveri.

Then it was time to relax and remember, sharing Manjula’s trademark happiness.

Manjula’s Library

Somewhere to stop, read, reflect and remember.

The opportunities are not only in the library itself, but every space in and around our house offers a place for quiet reflection or when it’s not so quiet, meeting old and making new friends.

Join our family, including the birds attracted to the greenery bursting from our house, our pets… Lucie, billet-doux and

…. our garden.

Originally in pots on our roof, it’s now shifted to the park opposite with granite benches or hammocks available from the house.

Please come and enjoy.

Have we got it right? As in this article on how to nurture a personal library, “according to Cicero, if you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need.”

King Charles

A meeting with who was then the Prince of Wales and now the new king but who is that between them? 🤔

Yes it is me on the right. Probably in the year 2000

I used to work for one of his charities. On his suggestion the CEO asked me to organise Prince’s Seeing Is Believing Events in India.

First time outside the U.K. they were designed to help directors consider how they might be more responsible as businesses, usually by developing community partnerships.

I organised them in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore with many MNCs taking part.

They were followed by workshops on corporate responsibility (CSR) and leadership programmes in India and the U.K.

But back to that photograph. It’s from when I first met him at one of our events, of Business in the Community, the charity where I was a campaign director and he was president .

There was another photo circulated amongst colleagues to invite them to make jokey comments.

In the other photo there was the arm of the CEO which looked as if she was about to pull him away from me.

The man in the background?

Obviously security ready to pounce.

Factoid

More on Business in the Community.

Prince’s Seeing is Believing Programme.

Manjula’s Mysore

In Memory of Manjula, Satish and Tanuja have launched our new business.

It’s same but different….

…as it will continue to provide services to help people visiting Mysore, have a great time, through Mysore Bed and Breakfast and MyCycle Tours.

We’ll also commemorate Manjula through her gifts and now with the added extra of working with young people, to help them grow, develop and thrive..

….

Most recently we celebrated Manjula’s birth anniversary with an eventful day for visually impaired young women. Here’s our press release

We’ve helped with a young man’s education and plan to do more of that next year by supporting a young girl

We’ve also:

  • sponsored meals at an ashram for older people
  • sited benches in two parks in Mysore
  • taken our team on holiday to the beach in Kerala
  • provided almost 50 cycles as gifts to individuals and organisations
Satish helping out at our eventful day for forty visually impaired young women.

Manjula’s Mysore was our domain on the internet but we’ve now gone one step further and named the new company after the woman who made it all possible.

Manjula’s Mysore will continue to do good, reflecting Manjula’s kindness, through partnerships of NGOs, business and with our team of community volunteers.