Ina from Adelaide was Manjula’s closest friend., amongst our guests
It was as if there was an essence of MAnjula wafting back here with me, as she regaled me with the stories of the times they’d spent together. More dimensions of my wonderful were revealed.
They’d sometimes, maybe usually arrange for Ina to visit when I was away.
I can’t think why.
After first visiting in 2014 she was back in 2015, shortly after we got engaged and then each year with breaks solely due to the pandemic.
In 2018 we had a great time (yes I was allowed to be here) celebrating Manjula’s 45th birthday, also hosting our first ‘ workawayer ‘ Willian from Brazil.
During this visit which lasted two months! The longest ever. 👍🏽🤔🤭🙂
We went to a traditional dance to share with MAnjula. Then made a special celebration of Manjula’s Birthday as Ina had missed our big event in August on her birthday itself.
Led Lucie astray.
… revisited places on Srirangaptnam close to MAnjula and I, that had featured in our wedding.
Ina together with reading ‘a pocketful of happiness’ by Richard E Grant has helped me realise — as oddball in Kelly’s Heroes would say: “less of those negative waves man,” —- that I’ve allowed the grief gravy to engulf me leaving angry bitter negativeness in its forever trail.
So I’m going to sort it and get myself back on track to rewrite our story with one or two innovative tweaks.
Ina’s farewell note:
Stephen having Manjula in my life was one of the best things that happened to me, I still think of her a lot and she continues to be a great inspiration.
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
Originally written in March 2021 but lost in the ether
I’m officially confirmed as a writer and here’s the evidence.
I have a blank page and pen. I also have a passion, here it is, at the top of the blank page.
I’ve submitted for a competition and got absolutely nowhere, so that’s the ‘rejection’ box ticked.
I‘ve got the writer’s block down to a fine art.. To be fair I think it’s proximity to the ‘wound’ or the trauma that makes it extra difficult. This month creates extra challenges as there’s a pile-up of anniversaries, our weddings and Manjula’s death, but that’s an expected part of this particular journey.
I’m reading lots of fiction, including children’s, non fiction and insights into how to write. How much is being held by this decaying brain is another matter.
I’m inadvertently following famous writers such as Paul Auster and now my writer of the moment, who I’ve only just discovered wrote ‘Stardust’ my favourite film Neil Gaiman
I must admit to liking young people’s story books. I like the pace, find them interesting and I more easily remember what I’ve read.
As the ‘passion’ would say “let’s see.”
It feels like it’s been weeks since I added to our story so I plan to have a different approach, set up my writing place, establish a routine and treat it as a ‘job.’
It’s written but as I’m a writer I’ll follow a norm and declare it just ain’t good enough
It’s going to be completely revised and restructured. I’ll break the memoir rules but I just don’t care.
Fourth update 2022 and I’m yet to start. I’ve slipped into a ‘can’t quite get my act-together phase’ I told you I was a writer.
In my new world I sometimes find myself in places or read things I wish I could share with Manjula Vellada
So I share with you.
I’m reading about ’Kabir’ in Incarnations by Sunil Khilnani . I quote from page 90 about Bhakti and Sufi movements that “both embraced the idea of a personal relationship with God. Priests or mullahs didn’t matter, precise ritual didn’t matter; caste didn’t mattter.” which remind me of the question she once raised with me: “if God is in everyone, why do we need Temples?”
That’s my thinking MAnjula and reflects our home — where caste wasn’t recognised and we were all equal.