Doddery

I’m stepping over stones into my new world.

As I prepare to return to Mysore after almost two months away it seems daunting.

I’m tired and it’s exhausting dealing with the turmoil of my emotions.

I really don’t know if I’m ready to go back. I need to but I worry what it will be like. Maybe I should have planned to be away longer but that would mean putting off the inevitable. I need to follow my own insights and advice and remember our wonderful time together over nine years, our fun growing together and creating something special.

Wherever I am whatever I do, I carry Manjula with me. I’m always bumping into memories of Manjula. I miss her so much. I wonder if I will ever move on from all this and if I really want to. Am I going about it the best way? Am I expecting too much too soon? I just don’t know. For much of the time I’m not really motivated to do anything. I think about her constantly, miss her terribly, I have lovely memories and overwhelming sadnesss. It’s a friggin nightmare.

But it’s not the total picture.

It’s as if……

I’m crossing a river.

I step gingerly, stone by stone, crossing the unwelcoming swirling white water. I step on a wobbly stone that pushes my heart into my mouth and brings tears to my eyes, others are unpredictable being partially immersed, others shift erratically with a manic intent to topple me into the churning waves. If I was to fall in at this depth it would be of little consequence but in this current state it’s maybe a challenge for which I’m not equipped.

My muse, Manjula continues to stimulate, encouraging me to act and move forward. I find a firmer footing. I feel her support, her arms hugging me, she whispers her love. I realise that we choose the routes we take.

I can look back and can see that there might have been different approaches to the challenges we faced. An alternative might have rescued my darling from this untimely death but we just don’t know and have to go with what we did choose and hold our wonderful memories close.

I know she forgives me and will always be with me.

Missing Manjula 2

It’s fifteen weeks now.

There have been so many goodwill messages I’m stuck for how to share them all…

Here are a selection from friends around the world.

“To live in other’s hearts is not to die”

Isn’t that wonderful?

a Fante Ghanaian quote

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Hi Stephen

In the very brief time I knew Manjula she made an impact on me with her kind nature and cheeky sense of humour.

I saw how much she was loved by people within the community.

While going through her serious health problems she still went out of her way to see if I was ok and enjoying my trip.

I was so saddened to hear of her passing and my condolences and warmest wishes are with you

Lawrence

x

Such sad news Stephen. We loved our time with you both at the BnB. Manjula was a beautiful person…. she will be missed by many.

Sending you lots of love Ruth & Alan xx

such a beautiful funny lady so very sad ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️xxxxx

So sorry for your loss, Stephen. Manjula was an angel and is shining her light and love over you, always.

So so sorry to hear of your loss. Have followed your beautiful journey thru FB…She spread her radiant smile far and beyond….Even to the unknown. Wish you all the strength.

Farewell Manjula.

You always had a smile and an impish laugh, for everyone.

Will miss you, as will everyone you touched.

Steven Robert Heath

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I’m so sorry Stephen. Manjula bought such a ray of sunshine to all she met.

Her beauty was both outside and within.

Her killer humour, her untold skills and cleverness.

You had the enormous joy to share this.

Your memories of her trip to UK.

Everyone who met her loved her.

She will always be in our hearts and yours.

With such sadness. Libby and Andrea Smith.

Manjula, dear, funny, clever, beautiful inside and out. You are in my heart forever 💕💕💕

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A truly inspiring couple… And am gald to have met an amazing and radiant soul in Manjula…

Prayers for her sadhgathi…

And your feelings and thoughts are so well penned down Stephen…

Prayers n much luv…

Guru Dutt Bharadwaj

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Some people come into our lives very briefly but leave a lasting impression ; Manjula Vellada was one such person #flyhighlovelylady

Mo Willot Hunstone

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I’m sure the house is feeling very lonely without her warmth! You two inspired a lot of people around the world … me included! You are loved by so many people … please hang in there! So many in life never get to experience the kind of special connection you two shared – feel blessed for that! Hugging my hubby a little tighter tonight … and sending you all my love! 🤗 😢

Emily

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Love is Sweet! and life changing, Noah Jamilu

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This is such a heart touching tribute to an extraordinary woman. Manjula will always be synonymous with Mysore and the beautiful memories we made there. Her dry humour and hospitality will live on… Ankara Anson

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Manjula was that little spark of surprise in the day, her food was delicious her face could light up a room, I am so sorry for your loss Stephen. Love and kind wishes Vicki and Ron

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One moment at a time.

One hour at a time.

One day at a time.

You will get there.

I feel blessed for having met you both.

Love and Hugs.

Chris

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Dear Steve

Please accept my sincere condolences for your deep loss, and indeed the world’s loss. I can’t imagine your pain but I can feel your love for Manjula. According to a fante (Ghanaian language)saying, ‘to live in other’s hearts is not to die’. I know this to be true Steve, and I hope will bring you some comfort. I am sure your Manjula is smiling and watching over you, with endless love.

Sue

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I stumbled upon your BnB when looking for some experiences around Mysore. Never happened to visit you guys but have followed you ever since. Feel like I have known Manjula and her inspiring life over the years through your posts; thanks for sharing your journey Akshay Surve

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My dear Stephen

I am so sorry to hear this. I hope you are bearing up well. It sounds like you were expecting this.

I only met you and Manjula over a couple of days whilst staying in your home but I feel we have continued the friendship by the power of the Internet. You have kept in touch with your blogs and posts and I am sure I am not the only one who feels your loss.

Not much I can say but if you’re ever in my neck of the world you have a friend and a bed available.

With kind regards and sadness.

Stuart

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I am so very sorry for your loss. I followed your page with the hope of coming to Mysore one day. Manjula has been a luminous presence in your posts: such warmth in her smile. She was beautiful in so many ways. My deepest condolences sulwen

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Stephen I always harbored this small hope that Manjula (with you of course) would some day make it to my part of the world. Alas that will not happen but that sweet, dear face will always be a part of me.Diane

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Steve This is a very beautiful tribute to a very beautiful woman. You were both so lucky to find one another and have those years together. What a unique and special relationship it was and what a huge loss for you and the hundreds of people who met her and through you and your love of her grew to know and love her too. May she be sitting peacefully somewhere watching over you and feeling proud to have been your wife. Emma

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You were both so lucky to find each other and share those years even though they were surely not enough. They love you shared shone out so bright and clear and was wonderful to be around.

I can’t imagine your home without her spreading her warmth and I send you strength to move through the days. We send our love to you.

Your friends in Oregon.

Abby and Dean

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Farewell Manjula.

You always had a smile and an impish laugh, for everyone.

Will miss you, as will everyone you touched.

Stephen Robert Heath

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…….

Our thoughts are with you; we had the chance to meet both of you last December and we will cherish this memory of you and her together in your beautiful garden. She had such a warm smile and a gracious presence.

Marie Andree Dubrule

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I’m filled with such sadness of the passing of Manjula. However whenever I think of her I do so with remembrance of her positive spirit, her wonderful smile and her sense of humour. She has left an indelible mark of joy in all of us. — with Manjula Vellada.

Thank you Stephen for sharing! I‘ve met Manjula and you only once a time in my life but I still feel really in a relationship with both of you. I have a lot of tears in my eyes, believe me … Again a lot of power for you! Be grateful that you find each other 🐝

Sabine Willers

I am so sorry Stephen both Lorna and I have happy memories of staying with you both some years ago. The laughter and happiness in the house created such a wonderful atmosphere. Our thoughts are with you David Cross

Stephen how lucky you are to have found each other. My heart goes out to you. xxxxx Libby Sandbrook

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Dearest Stephen

Yesterday Varis and I did a puja for Manjula with a Baba in a temple at the foothills of the Himalayas. I picked some wildflowers and threw them in the waterfall coming down from the mountains and prayed for Manjula’s soul to fly free. We prayed for you too, to find the strength you need to help you through your loss and heartache. They call this place the Land of the Gods. If we couldn’t be with you in Mysore, I’m glad we were here in this special place to pray for Manjula’s soul. Sending you love and healing light 🙏🏻 — at Palampur Catherine Cullen

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A star on earth is now a star in heaven

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Dear Stepen, we are very sorry to hear about the death of Manjula. We remember Manjula (and you) with great love. We stayed at your BnB for 3 night almost 5 years ago, and for us, this is one of very few places in the world which made us feel like home. We wish you all the best and may you find some comfort by knowing she made an impact on people all over the world. Take care, Oren and Ofra from Israel

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Stephen Farrell these photos came up on my memories today from 2 years ago. Just check out Manjula’s cheeky smile!! I know you probably have the originals as you took the photos but wanted to share them again with you. I’m so glad we had the chance to meet her (and experience her wonderful cooking!!) Hope you’re coping okay, be strong my dear. Sending you big hugs and love. X — with Manjula Vellada and Paula Calder.

Kerry Hague

With a little more help from our friends

can you help?

Please send a short (30 second?) audio message (video if you prefer) to make us smile, a recollection, a memory of Manjula, a joke or something else reflecting your enjoyable 🙂 time at Mysore Bed and Breakfast.

Our good friend Faizan is putting together a memory of Manjula and insights into Mysore BnB and this would be a great help.

It’s easy to do on your smart phone!

Thank you so much.

Stephen and Faizan

Please upload here

Or mail it to tadrebelproductions@gmail.com

Manjula’s watching

Steevern

I know what’s happening.

Don’t for one minute think ‘out of sight – out of mind’ or that I’m not still with you.

I am here…… and you worry me

Have you learnt nothing?

I came as your maid, then nine years later, do you know what I’m going to say?

Yes, you’d become my maid.

That doesn’t mean it’s alright to lean on me soooo much. You should also stand on your own two feet.

I taught you how to manage things. All you had to do was copy me. Now look at what’s happened. The house is in a mess, the cleaners aren’t cleaning even when they manage to turn up, and you just hang around doing nothing in particular. (reading? I’ve told you its overrated) and the list of jobs, like hanging those pictures you’ve not done, just gets longer and longer. You seem to be specialising in self-pity. Now that’s sad. I don’t know about glass half full more like empty empty.

You’re a disgrace 😉.

Please get your act together.

Above all ….. realise that I love you more than anything and will always be with you.

An important ‘date’, a big event

It happens but once in a lifetime

It takes a fair amount of preparation.

The proud father.

Some are already finding it all too much

Satish explains that both he and his wife are from villages where it’s still very important to celebrate this event

On the day itself he rushed home

It’s now a couple of weeks later on a specially chosen auspicious day. Hundreds of family and friends are expected. There will be a ceremony, gift giving, photos and a slap up meal.

I think that close proximity to the only foreigner at the event might be what’s worrying them.

It’s filling up…… it’s like waiting for a performance.

It’s ….. Sukrutha, Satish daughter’s coming of age, traditionally in villages it would be very very significant as it would signify that a young woman was ready for marriage.

it’s still very important for Sukrutha and an added advantage is, she can now wear big earrings. 🙂

Manjula would have been very sorry to miss this important event in a girl’s life. When Manjula reaches the same age. She had no idea what to expect and when it happened knew absolutely nothing about it. It was an altogether different experience. There was no family there let alone a gathering. She was working away from home as a maid and her madam spotted what was happening, cleaned her up and explained that she’d started her periods.

It obviously came as a major shock to Manjula. What a difference with a stable family and caring parents.

Farrell Factoid

A girls’ first period, known by some as a ‘date’, would traditionally signify that she’s ready for marriage. Clearly not the case nowadays but still incredibly significant stage as she becomes a woman. The celebration of the event is a great opportunity to bring people together and create community, still especially important in village life.

Manjula’s very different background meant she was already out working at someone’s home separated from her family and without prior knowledge of what was to happen. Where was her mum in all this? Look at how early she was working away from home all on her own.

Manjula more memories.

It’s eight weeks now. I’m in London and carrying with me a photograph of my beautiful Manjula.

We don’t have access to Mysore Market and it’s wonderful selection of beautiful fragrant flowers.

Manjula did however love receiving roses and the local Sainsbury’s has obliged.

Manjula is, of course, in my thoughts, every single minute but I also especially remember her by placing her photo somewhere prominent and displaying flowers on the monthly anniversary of that Saturday morning when she died.