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 apologise for ever complaining about Indian bureaucracy
In any case I usually blame the British Raj and maybe the current British Administration might value a lesson.
I travelled to Bangalore last month, a five hour round trip, to submit my passport for renewal.
Yesterday I received an email from the passport office in Liverpool England, with a formal letter attached.
My photos have been rejected for a range of possible reasons. They haven’t indicated which one: it could be only one photo sent, head too small (in real life, opposite being the problem) or any number of other options. They’ve kept that secret.
Clearly my approach of carrying a selection of photos to Bangalore and asking their staff member which ones were suitable and they selecting them ( yes there were two) , didn’t do the trick.
I have twenty days to send to England otherwise my request might be rejected.
I have a new photo taken and place them in envelope ready to send. I avoid writing a sarcastic note about having asked their representative for guidance. I just plead to get it back asap so I can travel again.
At the central post office.
Take a ticket for your place in the queue. We all take one but then ignore the system.
Speed post Sir?
Yes please, how quick will it be?
I’ll send positive affirmation vibes against any delays and rejection of my application.
Please complete the declaration form and sign
Here it is
There’s a xerox machine. Gets jammed but quickly sorted.
Copied and signed
ID please with address.
I have my Adhaar card.
Two copies please
Back to the xerox
I Zap the equivalent of £19 via QR Code (bet you can’t do that in Britland) It’s done.
Yes I can hear you saying. Why doesn’t he send the photographs digitally?
Because you can only do that if you’ve completed an online form and you can’t do it online when requesting a renewal from outside the U.K.
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.”
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.’
It’s written but as I’m a writer I’ll follow a norm and declare it just ain’t good enough
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.
E P Thompson (English social historian) reckoned you could find examples of any thoughts, philosophies, beliefs, ways of organising that exists, here in India. It’s like it represents an open book on the world I agree and so much more is true.
Where do you think monty pythons ground breaking comedy came from? I’m forever re-visiting their skits…. nudge-nudge, wink-wink, (meeting with the FRRO), bicycle repair man by the roadside, haggling and ‘look on the bright side’ in ‘Life of Brian’ there is so much that
Manana, think it’s from Spain, south or Central America, then think again.
Catch 22, novel about Vietnam, or maybe the vagaries of Kafkaesque bureaucracy. It’s all here.
They all resonate with, yes you’ve guessed it. The consistently inconsistent mish mash, the wonderful yet infuriating India.
After meeting up with our mysore BnB family at WOMAD and knocking on a few of their doors I went camping.
I shouldn’t have been.
It proved to be a tonic.
over to bee-man Stephen to drop our beautiful tent, return the fancy hire car and prepare to return home
In my experience, when grieving, we regularly get ambushed by memories of magical times together. They make me both happy and sad. I’ve learned not to run away but to face them, even create them, so it was ok to retrace my steps.
Thank you for joining my journey and your support.