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

Manjula’s Library

Somewhere to stop, read, reflect and remember.

The opportunities are not only in the library itself, but every space in and around our house offers a place for quiet reflection or when it’s not so quiet, meeting old and making new friends.

Join our family, including the birds attracted to the greenery bursting from our house, our pets… Lucie, billet-doux and

…. our garden.

Originally in pots on our roof, it’s now shifted to the park opposite with granite benches or hammocks available from the house.

Please come and enjoy.

Have we got it right? As in this article on how to nurture a personal library, “according to Cicero, if you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need.”

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

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

They’re at it again

Or preparing for another one.
Satish project director with his team, planning or trying to make sense of the firangi’s bizarre ideas

The wonderful team at Mysore City Corporation

Have kindly agreed to the extension of Manjula’s Garden in the park opposite our house.

Here’s the video I provided to make the case

One of Manjula’s benches in the background.

Kaveri and Manjula’s Mysore

Manjula wished to be reincarnated as a tree as it protected and supported people. I was keen to develop projects that reflected Manjula’s open heart, and kindness. Manjula’s Mysore, our new company, aims to reflect that approach and so Manjula continues to give

The reason why Kaveri has featured so much in the postings is that Manjula’s Mysore (MM) is considering her for an educational scholarship.

We wish to identify a young girl with the potential and to provide opportunities that weren’t available to Manjula.

Meetings held by Kanchana and Sowbaghya with her family, the holiday in Kannur, given by Manjula’s Mysore, and the school holiday activities organised by Stephen has provided ample opportunity to get to know Kaveri.

There are many similarities between Kaveri and Manjula’s early childhood. I’ll not detail them out of respect for Kaveri and her family’s privacy.

We’ve now met all Kaveri’s family and the MM director’s with Stephen’s support consider her eligible for an education scholarship.

We’re now looking into what that will mean in practice with a view to finding an English medium school for Kaveri for the next academic year in 2023.

Footnote

Kanchana is a social worker here in Mysore, Stephen qualified as a social worker in the U.K. in the early 80s. He’s since worked managing grant and developing community projects and partnerships for trusts, government and multi-national corporations.

Stephen is Manjula’s husband.

The Directors of Manjula’s Mysore are Tanuja and Satish friends of Manjula who were instrumental in supporting and remembering her after she died.

Satish and Tanuja, long term friends and supporters of Manjula and our life here in Mysore, together with Tanuja’s husband and daughter.

Sowbhaghya and Sarvesh have helped as part of our wider team.

We’re a team

Kaveri has compared us to famous characters.

Big Panda and Little Dragon

I love the reflective insightful beautifully balanced relationship. I am surprised little dragon doesn’t get fed up with Panda’s clever-dickness or in our case my bossiness.

Masha is a handful and the bear constantly stumbles to manage her whirlwind. Not unlike us. Kaveri can be challenging. 🤔

Stephen and Kaveri have a mix of both relationships, above all it’s fun.

I’ve added ……. another

Pooh and Piglet.

It was fun

the survival of the famous twelve, an englishman and his dog

We’re all back home now but what an adventure.

Manjula’s Mysore, our new venture — sponsored our happy holiday — to thank everyone for their help and helping us commemorate Manjula

Enid Blyton anticipated the challenges of five young people holidaying together but eleven of all ages in India! Now that is madness. Who’s idea was that then?

Chera Rocks is a great location. Chosen because it was close to where Manjula and I first went on holiday together but had the capacity and closeness to the beach that we needed. We ate together, could join or not as we preferred and had enough to entertain us without leaving the ‘resort.’

Holidaying as a family let alone a group with no previous experience of being together can be a real challenge but what a wonderful trip it turned out to be. Maybe our angel was watching over us.

Kerala and food, enough said.

the motley bunch say farewell, for now.

some of us sneak an extra night and have the exciting storm and refreshing showers

..

Our own fragment left at last

It was a wonderful trip thanks to all and a big hug for Manjula

Five families going together on holiday together is a challenge anywhere so, the Englishman had to visit beforehand to get the ‘lie of the land’. with a half-hearted attempt at planning. Sally and Shabaz as always were an essential help.