Every mug tells a story.

I thought I’d share this after revealing to a new friend Anjali

We have a cup caste regime

From the left steel glass ( I know it’s not glass, just ask an Indian) can be used anywhere and everywhere. Middle, one of our favourite cups with emotional attachment so can only be used in upstairs hall (lounge for you foreigners) and number three can be used anywhere in the house or downstairs sit out as we care less.
The most precious, heaps of history and irreplaceable so use is severely restricted.

The point is they can be used by anyone: guests, staff, family some are higher value so should be looked after more than others.

Why do I tell you this?

I joked about the caste of cups because believe it or not in some houses in India the servants aka lower caste are only allowed to drink or eat from separate cups/glasses/plates and utensils. This presumably originates from a belief that they might defile the superior caste.

I tell you this, as you know I love and I’ve adopted India and one wonderful woman in particular. We created a shared home that didn’t reflect those primitive traditional let’s say mediaeval practices.

They need to go.

Watch for more on caste.

Happy Ugadi

Sowbhagya prepares the house, the Pooja room
And finally all the Gods and Goddesses including MAnjula get a turn with a agarbati and flaming camphor
Lucie is sad, as she probably misses MAnjula doing the puja rituals.

It’s times like this we miss our closest. It’s also why they also remember us and send a love message.

This time the messenger came to my bedroom window.
It’s probably why I felt out of sorts this morning.

Outcast

Yesterday at a village Temple close to here one group of people had to sit outside and were not allowed to enter or fully participate in the puja.

Why?

Here’s a clue

The people were from what’s called a scheduled caste and who were the superior one’s allowed inside?

This is 2021.

Lucie’s Liver 2

We went to the vets again today as Lucie was sick a few times last week.

She loves her trips out in auto and ambassador.

She has problems with her liver and kidneys maybe due to Tick Fever she caught a year ago.

It’s a chronic condition, just medication to help her organs function but not cure.

It’s very serious.

We stocked up on specialist renal diet from Austria (!) and now two drugs, probiotics and two vitamins. It’s not cheap but who cares? I’ve been here before.

It’s been a difficult few years.

The ox fell off and lost his horns.
But let’s no loose sight of the positive.
The Bul Bul returns. This is the fourth time a Bul Bul has nested here. First on the roof, next on the middle level, then in the drive and now in our back yard. This made MAnjula so happy.

New arrivals

A MAnjula print — as we clearly don’t have enough already — from our first holiday in Hampi, the year we got engaged.
Catherine has kindly donated a wonderful cabinet for Manjula’s library. Those with eagle eyes will have spotted one of our awards from Trip Advisor. We’ve been number one in Mysore, because of great guest reviews, since our first year.
One of Manjula’s ‘I love you’ messengers never left. It was S/he’s last journey.

We keep getting them.

Families enjoying Manjula’s bench.

All these arrival are especially important as we’re missing real life people coming to stay with us.

Kindergarten Korner

weeeeeeee, screeeeee, grrrrrrrrrr, waaaaaaaa….

This is the grinding, cutting screeching of the little mesters, the small independent traditional workshops making knives in my home city of Sheffield the cutlery capital of England. 

Except it isn’t.

It feels like they’ve followed me all the way to where I live now in the genteel middle-class Siddarthanagar in Mysore.

It’s the third night of this infernal racket going on past 9 in the evening and comes from the construction site behind — making it almost impossible to have evening (international time difference) important zoom calls — so,  I complain to the workers. They are cutting and grinding marble, tiles, steel and concrete. The noise should stop at the very latest at 7.00, (the actual rule is they should stop earlier) one of the workers seems to understand. That’s good, message received and understood.

But it’s not so straightforward. Is anything in India?

The construction site belongs to the next door downstairs neighbour (Jain), and he discussed this with his upstairs neighbour (who’s Brahmin) who raises it with his neighbour (Lingayat), who I cycle with most mornings, who talks to me (the Firangi aka foreigner). I might be joking but these labels of religion and community are very significant. So a simple matter of neighbourliness, and sound sensitivity becomes a big issue at the corner. They, that’s the Jain with the support of the Brahmin decide to allow the workers to continue making the noise into the evening and ignore me. The Lingayat is just the messenger 🙂

Once I realise the molehill is becoming a foot hill, I go to speak directly to the site owner, my neighbour of some years. He refuses to speak, looks down, can’t catch me in the eye and does some rude brushing away movement with his hands. Blimey.

There’s more to being kind than feeding the cows

Frankly, in my view, it should be obvious that such noise in the evening isn’t on, regardless that it’s against the regulations. Rules, what are they? Various friends agree. But lack of awareness, indifference, who knows what has stopped the bleeding obvious being well, obvious. Now they know but don’t care, they stick the proverbial finger up.

To make sure I understand, I’m cold-shouldered by the Jains and the Brahmins. 

The foothill becomes a mountain. This is quite unbelievable.

The fool of the father (Jain) even instructs his young daughters to have nothing to do with the foreigner. 

On a normal day and time, Lucie and I are constantly greeted, by the local children, as we walk down the street with smiles, hellos and waves but not by his two, not anymore. Hence  I refer to the infantile behaviour of the kindergarten. The poor girls stick out like a sore thumb not greeting the foreigner, because of the childishness of their father.

I now realise its a common unsophisticated way of communication. For example: there’s three parts of a family live a few hundred yards away from each other who have not communicated for decades. I hear of families not talking because of perceived snubs at a wedding and how the invites had been issued. 

I’ve discussed with people that I know from the Jain community who are embarrassed and apologetic and Brahmin friends, who are politically liberal anti-elitist, just shrug their shoulders and ask why I’m surprised. People talk about bad karma for the house and how they shouldn’t treat ‘guests’ like this. Me, I’ve given up.

Jain friends in England point out, that there’s more to being kind than feeding cows by the roadside.

Come on guys, get a grip. Life is too short. So I have to take the high road and provide a different example.

So Let’s be positive.

following the path of Manjula the muse, the moose, my guru

being kind 

I therefore haven’t pursued this, previously I might have, mercilessly. Now I’ve adjusted, live and let live. 

I don’t want the poor innocent girls affected anymore, or their new house to have a bad vibe, our respective rewards will arrive.

I hope Manjula will be contentedly happy with my approach.    

Farrell Factoid 

Here’s more information about the little mesters. 

Little mesters and their

Resurgence

What happens to old and disabled cows?

Where do the elderly cows go? and the bulls no one wants?

Out cycling today Veerendra and were invited into the local Pinjrapole society to see their work.

Imagine an old people’s home for cows.

I’ve visited many times over the years, we even used to visit as part of a cycle tour for veterinarians. They were ‘vets beyond borders’ volunteers working on a dog project in the Tibetan settlement in Bylakuppe the vets would often stay with us at Mysore Bed and Breakfast.

It’s a great place.