Manjula’s Mysore News : October 2022

STOP PRESS CHECK THE VIDEO

Manjula’s Mysore is now the name of the new business. and we’ve already done a few things…

A fun day of activities for forty young visually impaired women on what would have been Manjula’s 49th birthday. Please Check the video created by Faizan.

We’ll always do something on her birthday

Created a garden in the park opposite.

A holiday in Kannur for our extended team

Reopened mysore bed and breakfast and mycycle tours. This month the MCC : Mysore City Corporation issued a business licence and so we’ve officially welcomed our first guests.

The new business has allowed Stephen to get a business visa, to continue to stay in India. So far he’s not been able to get an OCI (overseas citizen of india) and most importantly it’s another way to celebrate MAnjula

Manjula’s Mysore is a three year project to do good as MAnjula would have wanted

Teeny profile

Our local Karnataka media showed interest in young visually impaired women cycling on the fun day organised by Manjula’s Mysore.

Prajavani

Prajavani on the left, Kannada Prabha on the right.

Kannada Prabha

This is important recognition for our young team who gave a great opportunity to the young women and returned two weeks later to give rides to the young women who missed out.

Here’s our press release and announcement about ManjulasMysore

Press Release

Flying Cycles 

Forty young visually impaired women took to the streets of Mysore in celebration of the life of Manjula on her 49th birth anniversary. 

On Manjula’s Fun Day, sighted guides acted as ‘pilots’ steering and pedalling a tandem (cycle made for two) with the visually impaired young women acting as ‘stokers’ pedalling behind, enjoying the wind in their faces, the passing sounds and the sense of movement that is like flying.

It was the highlight of the day of activities, riding MyCycle’s tandem (a cycle for two people), for the young women that included games, music, storytelling, singing, food, drinks, cakes and cookies.

Tushar of MyCycle Tours said: “We could tell from their oohs and aahs that the young women, without sight, were having great fun. It reminded me of when I first rode a bicycle – they felt a great sense of freedom.”

Yamunavva said: “I was scared in the beginning, but the fear left. I felt very happy.” Gowri added: “The cycling experience was so good and I felt so happy that I asked for another ride.”

It wasn’t just the young women who benefited from the fun-filled day. “I began to understand the strength and courage that these young women need to be able to face life’s challenges,” said Meghana from Manjula’s Mysore “They taught us the value of a positive can-do attitude.”

Stephen, Manjula’s husband added: “That was just like Manjula. Together we remembered and celebrated Manjula’s life, her strength and kindness. With her radiant presence and infectious smile, like the sun, she magically brought life and warmth to all she met.”

“What a day. We all left feeling that warmth,” said Sarvesh who organised the day on behalf of Manjula’s Mysore.

The day demonstrated how organisations can come together to make a difference. Businesses such as SAPA, Aroma and Mysore Bed and Breakfast providing the cookies, cakes and meals as responsible businesses. Local community and art organisations of Mysore Storyteller’s Network, Vishnu Sharma Company, Divya Jyothi Charitable Trust, Faizan Baksh and MyCycle Tours gave their services.

Manjula and Stephen were partners for nine years after setting up their business, fell in love and got married. Unlike these young women, Manjula could see but she had difficult times throughout her life. She had to believe in herself and seize opportunities to create the life she wanted. She shared her home and is now known throughout the world for welcoming international tourists to Mysore until her untimely death three years ago.

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

Manjula seized the opportunity to set up Mysore Bed and Breakfast with an English guy Stephen and they fell in love. On getting engaged it was her wish to give gifts to people rather than receive them herself. Kindness from the very beginning.They began by gifting bicycles to organisation working in the community a total which has now almost reached 50. 

Her business has now evolved to become “Manjula’s Mysore’ providing accommodation to tourists through Mysore Bed and Breakfast and MyCycle tours, which has been available for the past ten years. But now with the added extra of working with young people, to help them grow, develop and thrive.

Manjula’s Mysore is looking for ideas to do more good in the community.

Further details of our partners.

What and why did Manjula give?

On 21st August 2022 on Manjula’s Birth Anniversary we created a day of activity for visually impaired young women living at the Divya Jyothi Trust in Mysore.

…..

Here are useful links to those who made it a great success, explaining who we are and why we did it.

…….

Manjula’s Mysore Continues Manjula’s work including Mysore Bed and Breakfast, MyCycle Tours and working with young people. We organised the event, sang songs, accompanied the young people’s singing and provided cycling. Our team was: Sarvesh, Satish, Sowbaghya, Tushar, Megha, Poornima and Stephen

Satish founder Director of Manjula’s Mysore, finding a useful role.

Our Partners are Manjula’s Kind

Thanks for making this a great success.

Mysore Storyteller’s Network: enables people to revive traditional and modern art forms of India through storytelling. Inspiring and mobilising communities to share their deepest vulnerabilities through stories, using Indian arts(visual, performing and fine arts). They organised games, taught songs, shared stories, played unusual instruments, from Madhavi, Sridevi Iyengar, Gauri Nadig, Shahana, Aditya Swarup

Vishnu Sharma Company: Vishnu Sharma hosted the entertainments, played music, organised the PA, sang songs, and acted as MC 

Poornima sang songs and can be contacted via Manjulasmysore

Local businesses, active in their communities, demonstrating their caring shared responsibility. 

Faizan Baksh photographed and videoed the event. Photos of the event and Manjula, are available. A video is being prepared. Faizan provides video and photograpphy services for events and promotions. Contact Instagram @faizanbaksh

The bakers SAPA and Aroma donated cookies and cakes. 

SAPA started by Dina Weber is an artisan bakery, crafting sourdough breads and fine pastries with patience and love, giving their loaves the distinct flavours of naturally leavened breads.

Aroma is a bakery that offers high quality personalised cakes in its wide range of baked goods, since 1989

Mysore Bed and Breakfast sponsored all the meals for the day

MyCycle cycle tours loaned their tandem supported by their volunteers.

The event was hosted by Divya Jyothi Trust Founder Shivaprakash, co-ordinator Kavya, and is the NGO where the young women live.

Why did we organise the event?

To help our community.

Manjula’s kind

Manjula seized the opportunity to set up Mysore Bed and Breakfast with an English guy Stephen and they fell in love. On getting engaged it was her wish to give gifts to people rather than receive them herself. Kindness from the very beginning.They began by gifting bicycles to organisation working in the community a total which has now almost reached 50. Her business has now evolved to become “Manjula’s Mysore’ providing accommodation to tourists through Mysore Bed and Breakfast and MyCycle tours, available for the past ten years. But now with the added extra of working with young people, to help them grow, develop and thrive. 

This was a celebration of Manjula who would have been forty-nine on the day. This strong woman created Mysore Bed and Breakfast and is now known throughout the world for welcoming international tourists to Mysore until her untimely death three years ago.

Stephen is Manjula’s husband, always on the look out, for ways to remember Manjula and share her with more people. 

“I was riding my Enfield through Mysore city centre. In one of the busiest junctions were two young woman one with a white stick so one at least was visually impaired. They were trying to cross. I couldn’t stop and as far as I could see, no one helped so I wondered what it was like for young recently impaired women in Mysore. 

If Manjula was here we would’ve discussed it and she would’ve been keen for us to find out and do something. So I contacted  Divya Jyothi Trust and went with Sarvesh to meet the centre staff, the founder and the young women who live there. As a result we’ve organised activity on what would’ve been Manjula’s 49th birthday and who knows where else it might lead.”

What’s Next from Manjula’s Mysore?

“Manjula’s Mysore will continues to do good, continuing Manjula’s kindness, through partnerships of NGOs, business and community volunteers.”

Let us have your ideas

Manjula’s Gift on her birthday

We celebrated Manjula’s birth anniversary, on the 21st August 2022 with a day crammed full of activity of cycling, games, music, storytelling, singing, drinks, cakes and cookies for the forty visually impaired young women who live at Divya Jyothi Charitable Trust.

Our day was a rich mix of sounds and fun: laughter, singing, clapping, some hesitancy — then enthusiasm, excitement, care, trust and beaming smiles. 

Organised by Manjula’s Mysore with our partners: Mysore Storytellers Network, Vishnu Sharma Company, in memory of Manjula.

The young women especially liked the game ‘What’s in the box’ identifying objects through touch and smell, organised by Gauri Nadig. Then we all shared songs with Poornima singing and Vishnu Sharma playing guitar, Sridevi teaching songs, accompanied by Sarvesh on his Cajon clap box

Shahana told stories

Aditya Swarup and his group filled the room with unusual music by playing singing bowl, Handpan drum, Didgeridoo, and tweeting clay bird

Cycling was a big hit with Tusharr and Megha, volunteers from MyCycle tours giving rides on a tandem (cycle for two people). For all the blind women this was their first time on a bicycle. LINK

Sowbaghya and staff from the centre looked after us all day. Satish presented Manjula’s Mysore and Sarvesh was event organiser.

Stephen, Manjula’s husband, smiled throughout and enjoyed it all.

We ended the day with cookies and cake, after listening to Manjula sharing her own stories from recordings made in the last years of her life. “Hearing Manjula speak.” “Learning about Manjula.” “Finding out she was like us.” “Her love story” were some of the comments we overheard from the young women.

We all learned a lot from our day together. We found out about and better understand, what life is like for young women who are visually impaired. Realising how resilient they are to face their daily challenges. The confidence and trust they quickly develop to get the most out of a situation. Their positive joyful attitude from which we can all benefit.

This was also a celebration of Manjula who would have been 49 on the day. This strong woman created Mysore Bed and Breakfast and is now known throughout the world for welcoming international tourists to Mysore until her untimely death three years ago.

Our thanks to each of our partners and the support of local bakers SAPA and Aroma.

Observations from behind the scenes.

“We could tell they loved taking part.”

“There was a buzz throughout the day amongst the young women and our team of organisers and entertainers.” 

“Waves of smiles and chatter passed through group who sat crosslegged on the mat as each entertainer began”

“The enthusiasm hit the roof with the games and sing-a-long.”  

“Once they felt comfortable and confident. They oohed and aahed with beaming smiles on their faces as we cycled around the area.”

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

Manjula seized the opportunity to set up Mysore Bed and Breakfast with an English guy Stephen and they fell in love. On getting engaged it was her wish to give gifts to people rather than receive them herself. Kindness from the very beginning.They began by gifting bicycles to organisation working in the community a total which has now almost reached 50. 

Her business has now evolved to become “Manjula’s Mysore’ providing accommodation to tourists through Mysore Bed and Breakfast and MyCycle tours, which has been available for the past ten years. But now with the added extra of working with young people, to help them grow, develop and thrive.

Can you ride tandem?

A Tandem is a cycle made for two people.

It’s an old joke and a serious question this week in Mysore. 

Megha and Tushar

Remember the first time you rode a bicycyle? As a child you have no fear but when you’re older it can be scary.

The uncertainty …. Your nervousness, worry, hesitancy … once on the cycle your sweating, hands are clammy, the whole thing wobbling, feet slipping from the pedals, 

Now imagine your first time, if you were blind…..

You’ve never seen a cycle, what does it look like? How do you get on and pedal? 

We wondered if it was possible for a visually impaired person to cycle with our tandem.

On the ‘Manjula’s Gift fun day’ organised by Manjula’s Mysore and its partners, three young volunteers: Tusharr, Megha and Sarvesh from MYCycle Tours were there to guide. They provided clear instructions: explained how to get on, feel the saddle, hold the handlebars, step over the frame, find the pedals and sit comfortably. A sighted person on the front steered, set the pace and kept the balance. Another volunteer cycled along and explained what was happening. 

Megha carefully explains with Tusharr and Sarvesh preparing for the next ride

“After 1-2-3 we’ll be off, 1-2-3 we’re turning a corner, 1-2-3 there’s a hump coming up. Now let’s freewheel down the hill.”  

Now think back to your first time, when you’re cycling along, remember the breeze in your hair and a smile on your face. Was it like flying along?

our volunteers Sarvesh and Tushar
loving it

We could tell from their oohs, aahs and  boundless enthusiasm that for the young women who are visually impaired, it was a transformational experience. 

We now know that someone who is visually impaired, with our caring support and their trust, can ride tandems.

Yes they can with Tushar’s help

It was part of a day of activities to entertain forty visually impaired young women who live at Divya Jyothi Trust in Mysore and celebrate our founder Manjula on her birth anniversary, organised by Manjula’s Mysore and their community partners.  

The women had great fun, we also learned a lot: realising what strength, courage and confidence these young women need to face life’s challenges.  

Volunteer Sowbaghya giving an extra helping hand and getting feedback after their rides.

Further background information about the day and its partners visit: http://www.meandmycycle.com

Durdle Dor in Dorset England

A wonderful place to visit in south of England.

I’ve been here before with ‘you know who’.

This time it’s not raining

There are always one or two other people but not on the scale of India

While sitting in a cave reminding me of my teenage trip Crete and Joni Mitchell but it’s the family camping visit here to commemorate my eldest son’s wedding and my 60th birthday and with my beautiful wife-to-be makes me happiest.

It was our second big trip together in the U.K.

Baby Dor

above all adding to my magical memories of time spent with my MAnjula

Making different connections

Great things happen unexpectedly, just when you need them.

I’d just finished packing my bags, here in Vancouver, ready for the flight back to London, when Sharon — a friend of my son Oliver — came calling to say farewell.

What a wonderful surprise.

To be able to have an open conversation of the trials and tribulations of dealing with our lifelong unwanted friend yes….. grief

No one can ever know what it’s like for another but we’ve come pretty close.

It isn’t about ‘getting over it’ … both of us remember and celebrate — not only in our hearts — but also the physical reminders, the photos, the wonderfulness and the flotsam of souls grown together. We have both kept our original house and are surrounded by the loved one we fondly remember, deal with the difficult times, but also continue to laugh together.

A sustaining gift for my journey.

Thank you Sharon, a great new friend

It’s good to share, as I have done personally and online. As reflected in this article.

Rebellious

meet Kaveri

over the next few weeks I’ll post an evolving introduction to one of our new friends.

I can hear her now. Her bossy tone wafting over — from her grandmother’s home — on the other side of the park outside our house .

She’s already featured on a few entries on meandmycycle, most notably this month when she joined the ‘Manjula’s Mysore” outing to Kerala. Check here

We began making connections some time ago

So come and say hello to Kaveri…

Rebel Number One, ….an earlier posting saw Kaveri :

⁃ stuffing herself (under her grandmother’s encouragement we’re trying to feed her up, she is very skinny),

⁃ completing her “How to draw almost Everything for Kids’ sourcebook

⁃ playing in the park

and of course she was part of the Madness in Kerala

So why am I introducing you to Kaveri? …. bear with me, you’ll see.

The famous five have expanded and are in Kerala.

Three separate vehicles travelled from in and around Mysore to Kannur

Our roles began to evolve within the first few hours.

Shafi drove our group.

We’re at Chera Rocks, a great venue so let’s discover the sea.