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.

It’s three years today….

Manjula and I had our first wedding, the official one in the government office where they exchange contracts on immovable objects. We are undoubtedly immovable objects.

I was age 60 before I got married so there was a big build up and it took some time to move in that direction.

Manjula signed so many documents after we met: applications for passport, visas, accounts, tax returns, becoming a Director of the company, but this was the most important.
I’ve got the photo albums out, here at home.

three days later we celebrated and married again in a field

It’s a sign

As they would say in Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’

Well I’ve had a few after complaining to Manjula that I’d failed to notice any.

The first major happening was the message delivered by the Dragonfly. I’d hinted enough, not least by having one tattooed onto my shoulder.

She came through, on that one.

Today a brick fell off the wall. This thick one knocked it onto the ground and it broke.

It’s a sign.

So what’s the meaning of this sign? erm…..

Manjula is pissed off with me for not sending a Valentine’s Day message. So she threw the brick at me.

She’s actually gone. As we approach our third wedding anniversary and shortly afterwards the date she slipped through my stubby fingers two sorrowful years ago. Maybe it’s a sign that her soul spirit has found a new home and been reincarnated. It’s a realisation that our attempts to help her move on have worked.

Helping her soul on the way on the anniversary of her death.

And maybe it’s a crumbling of the wall that’s hemming me in.

Whatever I’ll look on the bright side as this is part of my journey to learn from life’s challenges and realise something or other.

and of course, no matter what she’s still with me….

For at least seven lives.

Open Mic

An open mic event at Dreamers Cafe in Mysore great young audience entertained with poetry, singing, guitar, flute, jokes and storytelling.

His notes are on his hand. Who knows what’s on the smart Phone.
Rakesh
Stephen

My very first appearance at an open mic.

The cafe has double decker seating.

Lucie and I are missing the people. The busy household, constant comings and going’s, the jokes, the kindness and our queen.

This helps replace some of the missing energy. Great evening, wonderful people, well organised.

Unveiling Beloved.

Vasanth, Lokesh, Babu and Satish modelling MAnjula masks after the grand unveiling of her ‘Beloved’ portrait.
Paparazzi clicking the MAnjula
Sowbaghya prepared Chai, Gulab Jamon and served date and walnut cake.
And welcomed the Gods again.
Sally, a regular guest whose a great support to stephen who together with Manjula gave gifts to the drivers. We’re proud to support Sally’s new venture
Our barge holiday with Mike and Sally in England.
We’re missing Manjula.
Love you Manj

More info: sally

Ayudhapuja!

It’s the one day of the year when we wash our cars, cycles, motorbikes and tools, to then ask the Gods to bless them. Originally a Pooja for our weapons!

Lucie checks they’re doing it properly at the local hotel.

It’s the penultimate day of our big annual festival (Dasra or Dusshera). Commemorating the goddess Chamundeshwari (lives on the hill behind our house), killing the demon, after which Mysore is named.

Sowbhagyhya has already instructed me to wash my Enfield, Ambassador and Specialized. She’s now done the full on Pooja.

Lucie, probably because there’s a sliver of MAnjula in her, has to check things over, again.
The family downstairs doing Puja for their transport. Meanwhile Lucie and the puppy try to co-exist, moderately successfully.
It’s over a year since MAnjula escaped to a new life so we can do Pooja’s.

we say Happy Ayudhapuja!

Anita’s Attic

Sowbhagya arrived with Dosa for her breakfast. The dining table was converted to one of my four workstations but she managed to find space. She was trapped but I blame her. She did show interest. So I launched into the synopsis of Manjula and my story, written for Anita.

SB was immediately engaged and liked it. We both enthusiastically remembered Manjula: her character, her kindness, her fun. SB could see connections with her and other women’s experiences but also how she was especially adventurous, strong and independent in the face of so many challenges.

I’m encouraged.

Last Saturday was the first session of Anita’s Attic. A programme for writers — yes, that’s me, officially a writer, of sorts — over the next twelve weeks.

There’s ten of us in the online group: taught, facilitated and mentored by Anita Nair.

Anita is a famous writer of English novels, here in India. My own favourite is Ladies Coupe and I hope that our story will feature similar expansive characters to help us discover more of India and wonderful people I’ve been fortunate to meet.

September randomness

Walking Lucie.
Chai stop
Farmers Market stop
Workers stop
Messing up our park
Will we get a play area like this? and some grass?
It’s all too much.

A little bird told us that we might get a children’s and gym play area. To replace this mess. My initial thoughts are shock horror and against losing our quiet, relaxing natural park. I’ll be waiting a long time for the corporation’s consultation. Ha ha.