Falling in love again…..

It’s time.

This might sound like self imposed torture, (our initials were S&M!):

-reading through the transcripts created by Vidya from Manjula’s Kannada audio recordings, or

-watching her talking to video camera in English,

-having conversations about my love with Tanu, Satish and Ina with the help of Faizan and Sumukh who are researching and recording.

I miss and don’t want to lose any memories, of course she’s with me and to you my friends it might seem a hard thing to do, even masochistic, it’s very difficult, but it’s also wonderful in the sense that I discover even more about Manjula and fall in love all over again.

Out walking with Lucie I was bushwhacked attacked with sad feelings and tears, as if from nowhere.

Only to arrive back home to be greeted by this….

Hello Stephen, This appeared in my mind when I thought of you and Manjula: “Beautifully she lived and lives in your heart and soul, She sings through the world around you, “Express your love for me by living a kaleidoscopic life” It is written as it appeared to my mind and I felt I wanted to share it with you. Love, Kali

Thoughts and Feelings, Fond memories April 2019 onwards

Further thoughts and feelings as Manjula flies the nest.

Postings from April through to August

Grief, the three bucket method….beginning to work out how to manage some of the grief and push some away! There are all sorts of ways to deal with this situation Unreturned love of my star, including poetry and more of the journey Private mission: grief recovery and wobbles Key stages, behind the scene. Happiness is a choice you make is a very helpful perspective in this difficult situation, Three stages are quite apparent now. Stepping stones are another analog in Doddery

Memories of Manjula, key images around the house partly as a Hindu tradition. Manjula more memories flowers flowers flowers, pictures pictures, pictures Can there be too much?

A significant anniversary, four weeks after Manjula died she sponsors meals at the Ashram but what are those symbols appearing on our streets. Which change before our eyes in Mixed feelings. Seven weeks since

Ap pagal hey, are you mad?

A getaway, Lucie and I take a break and then we have to leave Kerala farewell. Election time while we’re in Kerala and a reminder of the first time Manjula voted.

Here’s a plan, friends are so helpful. AWOL two friends become directors to replace Manj I travel to Europe and north America to visit guests for Manjula hugs

To live in others hearts is not to die is such a great way to think about it

A smile, Manjula had a remarkable beacon of a smile a common theme…

What happens after we die and Helping children with death, discussing Manjula’s death with my granddaughter.

Manjula’s watching, still being the boss, sending a message from where her spirit is resting ….. did I say resting?

With a little more help from our friends an appeal for memories of Manjula. Here are some of the memories, others will be featured in other ways! Missing Manjula 2 There must be a Manjula 1 somewhere. We also remember with Jingle jangle and New thing for memory of Manjula

Manjula my muse, and she continues to be…

I’ve been fortunate to get away for almost two months in June and July Back home is a challenge

The factly fiction stories

Stop the magic roundabout and Magic roundabout again are my initial thoughts that led to the magic roundabout story.

Watch this space, the relevance of Karma. I then released my factly fiction story Magic roundabout and Magical thinking helps put it in context. Then mmm.

A factly fiction story looking for a home led to a dream for one of our guests Great response

Life in India

Phew, we have to find some help.

As part of our giving we want to do something new, but Oh no not again and

Oh no not again 2

as i realise the implications of having to relate to officialdom again. Our revise experiences of sorting out IDS, Passport, visa and registering he business with the City Corporation have been detailed in our story.

Sweet ….. Sour …… Sad

I’ve experienced an incredible mix of feelings since Manjula set off on her new journey.

It’s sweet because of our wonderful time together, our incredible memories and her presence in my heart

It’s sour as it’s awful losing one’s love and dealing with the hole she leaves

It’s sad as it leaves me stressed, anxious and depressed.

However….

Manjula and I, always looked at things, with a positive view of life….

“Love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire”

“I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise.

by Viktor E Frankl, who knows a thing or two about dealing with horrendous situations.

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On the 21st Manjula will provide meals for the older people at the Ashram we’ve previously supported. We will meet for a celebratory meal at Roopa.

” The soul is neither born,, nor does it ever die; nor having once existed, does it ever cease to be. The soul is without birth, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.” Bhagavadgita

It’s been five months now that Manjula’s spirit has left her body. The feelings I’ve shared, from these months, can be found listed on the following two pages. Here and here .

Forever Together

“This feels  com-ple-tely  weird

How the heck, did it happen?

Please, move over, I’m feeling claustrophobic. We are so, not the same size!

To me it feels like the two of us are crammed into a sleeping bag, just like the one we bought for you to go camping in England. If you curl a bit I’ll curl round you, like two spoons together. Yep, yep, that’s it.

Much better.

So you’re the Hindu, can you explain to me what’s happened?

Nope.

OK, I’ll hazard a guess.

I must say, as cramped as this is, I am so pleased to be with you, I know its not exactly physical, more meta-physical but I can actually feel you and its wonderful. I just don’t care about anything else. I lost you and I’ve found you again. Super!

Its also amazing how we can communicate just through thoughts. Are you thinking in Kannada or English?

A mix of both.

You clever dick. You’re the boss. 🙂

Ok so here’s my take on it.

I think it’s something to do with reincarnation. Once we die and we’re released from our body our spirit finds a new home, a new body and begins its next life. Agreed?

Well, there’s also a belief amongst some people that couples can be reunited in their new life.

Yes, I remember discussing this with friends and joking about whether we’d wish to be reincarnated with our husbands! Most didn’t seem to want to be.

I did though!

You and I have had some disagreements. I don’t think you realised how hard it was for me, at times but I loved you to the end of the earth, and beyond

Remember me saying that?

Of course

I love you too.

So how have we ended up here?

The last I remember, you had a second heart attack and you didn’t want to go back on a ventilator, you’d hated that the year before, even though it gave us another year together. So I asked the Doctors not to resuscitate and you died.

Afterwards, I was on my Enfield, squinting through the tears on my way back to Siddartha Layout, to sort things out so I could bring your body home, when ….

BANG.

A lorry knocked me off the two wheeler and next thing I know I was here with you.

Where is here? by the way.

I don’t know but I’m beginning to adjust, I’m not feeling bunched up anymore – I’m getting used to it.

I remember being in hospital and you made a joke about me not smiling so I giggled and smiled, last thing I remember I was complaining that my head hurt.

Then I was in a valley, having passed through a bright sun light. People were singing and dancing. I thought of you and whispered a message, that I loved you, to a passing dragonfly. Then as if by Magic, you appeared and I saw you through the crowd coming towards me.

Wow. So let me get this right, we’ve died within minutes of each other and somehow our souls have joined together, reincarnated into the same body. How amazing is that?

I feel that we’re gently melding together, we’re becoming as one.

Well, I didn’t read about this in the Bhagavad Gita! Did you?

Waahay, this could be fun. Maybe we could give a TED Talk.

Tom and Amy

img_0246Tom and Amy first keep to visit us what to them might seem like a hundred years ago. They were introduced to us by the lovely people at Indiasomeday which continues to be our favourite agency.

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After that first trip, we decided to designate them as our adopted children as we got on really really well. On their return home they got married, resigned from their jobs and became nomads.
They now have an exciting adventure filled life as itinerant travellers working then travelling, travelling and working.

 

Tamy have become part of our lives. Amy was our celebrant at our wedding and Tom took the photos. They continued to be with us during Manjula’s difficult times due to her illness. When she died earlier this year, they immediately changed their plans, rode over the hill to the rescue….. well, flew back to India to stay with me for a couple of weeks. I hadn’t realised how important that was to me, they were a godsend . They’ve now visited three times, this year alone and some guests have come to think they actually live here.

We meet up to eat a vegan when our paths cross in London.

They’ve created two lovely videos of Manjula and I and our work here. Please check here for the videos and a link to their own seeking skies site.

Manjula absolutely adored them, Tom and Madam’s witty banter and humour fed off each other.

Did I mention they’re vegan? Real activists who live their beliefs, working hard to try and save our planet, to show the older generation their mistakes and provide a positive path to the future.

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Thank you Tom and Amy for helping me survive this incredibly difficult time.

 

SF

11th August 2019

Satish

Satish became such a close friend (or brother) to Manjula she would telephone him most days to bend his ear and share her stories. He was a source of invaluable support, especially in her last few months.

He’s one of our main drivers and been an incredible help in so many ways. We spent days hunting down our Ambassador car (which he hopes to get in due course) and his project management skills came in handy to prepare for our wedding ceremony.

Tanu and Satish have joined me as Directors of the business in Manjula’s place.

Today Ina and I were invited to his home for lunch as it’s Mahalakshmi’s big day (more info here).

Delicious!!

We’re working on a new project….. more later.

Faizan

Faizan, aka Fez, first came into our lives through his work with Royal Mysore Walks.

He has many talents and way up the list is his creative eye. The videos and still shots he takes and crafts are wonderful.

A few days after Manjula and I got married he arrived on the doorstep with a lovely wedding present.

It’s inlay work for which Mysore is rightly famous. He’s just got married himself to the lovely Abida and here we are together at their celebration.

I met his mum and three sisters, there, yes, he comes from a female household. I was struck by their open, friendly approach which of course is not uncommon in India. But there was something else. They were all enthusiastic, dynamic souls, very engaging, great connectors and clearly with a strong social conscience. A real credit to their mum. They also remind me of someone else who was similarly very special.

Faizan is working on a video project for me but look at this one he made earlier. Sad but Grand!

I was away earlier this year for a couple of months and Faizan kindly looked after Lucie and the house while I was away. They are now the best of buddies.

He’s on Instagram as Faizanbaksh and facethingy.