It’s big

it’s the first day of the biggest event in our calendar. A great opportunity to show the marvels of Mysore. It’s late in the afternoon , yes peak travel time.

and so they decide to block half the road to lay tarmac and patch the road as part of the preparation for the big event.

Presumably they didn’t know when the event was happening and there was only a year to plan.

Strike!

The Pourakarmikas who clean our streets and collect our rubbish are gradually coming back to work. They’ve been on a strike related to conditions of employment (promised contracts not having materialised) and pay.

Their timing has been spot on as the big event of the year in Mysore starts today. We can’t have litter filled streets now can we? Well some might wonder if we’ve been able to tell any difference in the ordinarily messy streets. Well we have. It’s been even messier. It’s one of the many things that visitors just can’t get. How come people just dump their rubbish in the streets. We’ll return to that subject.

Reading and walking

“One misses some quality …. could perhaps be called ‘natural good manners’ yet that won’t do, for it implies that the Baltis are I’ll-mannered. What I am trying to express is something more negativeand elusive: perhaps simply a basic insensitivity to others, bred by the Baltis’ exceptionally arduous struggle to survive, which can leave little over for the development of any social relationships not biologically or economically essential” from the book I’m reading: Where the Indus is Young-a winter in Baltistan by Dervla Murphy.

So how might this relate to life in Mysore?

Is it time to go yet?

Happy .,,,

Happy Gowrie Ganesh, today we recognise the big guys mum.

And here she is…. Gowrie

Lord Ganesha himself has arrived in our Pooja room and will be celebrated properly from tomorrow.

Manjula has bathed and completed the Pooja of which she’s really pleased.

This time last year she was in hospital with Dengue fever. What a difference a year makes. Well done Manj!

It’s the BIG boy’s event

It’s Ganesh’s Big Day

I was deputed to go buy Ganesh in the city centre.

I might be a shopper but sometimes there’s just too much choice!

Well the Pooja room is cleaned and prepared

Ganesh and his mum wait patiently on the dining table. I have to bathe before I can enter and place him on his stool!

Mind the gap.

She was only a little mite but even in a very short time has left a gaping hole.

I first heard her yelping as we passed during one of our MYCycle Tours on Srirangapatnam. It was as if one of the guys at a chai shop was teasing or hurting her. I sort of adopted her. For the next week, I  saw her every time we passed by.

First impressions were not good. She was slow, almost subdued, had what seemed to be a scar on her head, was pretty run down and a couple of days later was completely covered in fleas. I fed her with milk each time and the locals, who have got to know me over the years realised she was adopted. Typical firangi! She seemed to be really very young but was already lapping up her milk. Her mother was nowhere to be seen. Pups are often cruelly separated and dumped. I treated her and got rid of the fleas. I decided to kidnap her (no one gave a damn) and took her to People for Animals ‘rescue centre’ aka death camp. ( a bit unfair but the level of illness and death is known to be high).

Ruby, as she became known with variants of Too, two and tue…. was left at the rescue centre for a check up and treatment but not for too long. It’s a lovely place with caring staff and volunteers but a lot of illness for puppies. I brought her home after a week. That in itself was a quandary. Should I have left her there for longer? What would the women of the household think?

At first she seemed to be managing OK. Eating, although not very much, the quantity of worms she expelled was amazing. This was the first of three lots. Her means of carriage, the princesses pumpkin with handles aka the shopping bag was ideal and endlessly entertained the local children. They couldn’t believe it when they noticed her little head popping out, I have of course reinforced their view that foreigners are more than a bit weird,

F8F64B73-ED8C-4DB8-9158-40B44D5B0DD0

Lucie and Ruby’s relationship was a ‘work in progress’ they generally kept a discreet distance.

She developed a cough and chest infection, laboured breathing, running nose and constant diarrhoea. We seem to be at the vets every other day. They’ve stuffed her with antibiotics, a drip and minerals to rehydrate, vitamins, powder to stop the shits you name it, she’s had it. Michael-virtual-vet-Heath, in Australia was advising from afar. Back at home I created a den out of a cardboard box with a lovely bed with pillow, blanket and neat little door to get in and out. As things seemed to be getting worse I’d just nurse her. Manjula reckons for most of the day. Then the three of us would go out on our Adams family jaunts.

On reflection if might have been better for her to stay longer at the centre and perhaps she was too vulnerable even for the bath. Who really knows. We did our best but for our lovely Ruby the roller coaster ride is over.

We now are left with fond memories and are pleased we could spend that precious time together.

Manjula who was all no-no-no (she was the same with Billi) was won over after just a few days.

It helps me realise together with some of our other experiences (this is not the most challenging by any means) , what a hard life it can be here and how important it is to make the most of it.

so this is just the latest example of …. it’s been a bit of a weird year, more of that later.

Ups and downs

I’ve been on a rollercoaster.

Well I haven’t really. I’m too small and too young but I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it might be like.

It’s been exhilarating, my stomachs been filled, gone up as if into my mouth then rushed back down again. Whoops, and I’ve let it out.

I’ve been overawed, never quite knowing what to expect, given new experiences, found new things. Been warm and comfortable, cold and shocked. I’ve sometimes left a mess, I’m sorry!

Its been confusing and I sometimes wish I’d never been on the journey. I’ve felt awful, wanted, not wanted, sick, with the runs, full stomach, empty stomach, coughing fits, difficulty breathing, tears in my runny eyes, wishing it was over. Sometimes all alone and others feeling part of my family.

Hang on, hang on…. what is this? there’s a whoosh of water that fair takes my breath away. Didn’t expect that and could have done without it. Baths are overrated.

The rollercoaster has this amazing carriage. My aerial transporter my very own time travelling Tardis. I’ve seen places I wouldn’t have imagined. Its fun together.

Yes, I’ve been some strange places with odd people, had things stuck up my bum, had needles in my thin spindly legs, had endless concoctions squirted in my mouth.

It’s been a bit hectic and intense.

Sometimes I’m ecstatic, in love with the newness, the hugs the cuddles, our time together.

Sometimes in the middle of it all I just want it to end.

Sometimes I just wish my big-new-friend, the BNF would have left me there, on the pavement by the chai shop. It was maybe a little dull but it had its traumas too, but no….. On reflection I realise, what’s good, My new life is fun, I don’t want it to change, I like my new life. Just without the illness, please.

I’m maybe just not quite sure about that BIG black thing: Lucie.

our time together, me and the BNF has been short but really special, not easy but full of kindness, I know it’s important we make the best of what we have. I know I am loved and cherished and that’s right for me.

Ruby Too

……

The BNF in a fitful sleep was woken by an unusual cry at 3.35 am was that Ruby? BNF rushed downstairs, took her in his arms and finally with an unmistakable rattle at 3.45 Ruby 2, too and tue passed away.

I wish I could have done more.

Stephen