Virus update 2

16th March ish

Canada

my son Oliver and partner Rachael live and work in Vancouver. In some ways they are typical millennials with a portfolio of different jobs. Their jobs vary but might all be considered ‘casual’. They are in the service industries: fitness, restaurants, guiding tours. All are affected as things close down. If there’s no work, there’s no pay. They might just about get by for a couple of weeks but what about medium and long term?

The risk and therefore the cost is more likely to be covered by the individual rather than the company or society.

There are many people in this situation. There’s a good argument for a minimum guaranteed income.

Imagine what it’s like for poor people in India and elsewhere. Check here

in India we have a curfew day with minimal testing. It’s just not good enough  

SB has the week off on full pay which will be extended

My plans

are currently on hold. Eric was going to look after Lucie and the house while I was away for three months. He’s now back in the US under the instructions of his scholarship funders

Otherwise I’m at home or walking Lucie 

in the U.K.

at last they’re catching up …… there are clear cases of over reaction and hysteria, this is when we need the wartime posters to keep calm and carry on. Oh and learn from the Indian communities, use water and NOT toilet paper. 

Bushwacked

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Lucie let out an almighty sigh as I was writing this.. maybe she also gets bushwhacked.

Joan Didion, in her wonderful book: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ about her husband’s death would talk about entering the vortex. The unexpected ambush when reliving a previous moment from your life with your loved one.

I think of it as a bushwhack. Mostly unexpected, a memory resurfaces often with a visual trigger. Today it was seeing this…

Manjula’s signature on an application for a PAN (taxation) card from 2015. Shortly after her diagnosis and our engagement.

It happens all the time and often with bubbling tears.

Its also significant as it’s all she could write. 

Virus update 1

15th March

America recalls students. India sort of gets involved.

We’re at the end of season so our very last guest left today. a PHD student Adam who’s been recalled to the US. Eric another student who was to look after the house and Lucie while I was planning away for three months has also been recalled. He’ll not be available to help me. They have no choice as their funding was to be withdrawn if they didn’t return. It seems OTT (over the top) but who knows. Isn’t it creating unnecessary worry and travel? But Donald (Duck?) is in charge so it’ll all be OK.

I have to rethink my plans.

As I return from walking Lucie there’s a gathering of neighbours in the street. There’s been a visit from the city corporation and foreign tourists have been asked to leave. Exactly as happened to Sally in Kerala. I explain that there are no more tourists expected until August. That seems to satisfy them.

Fact is it’s only been friends staying here this season. 

I am however a foreigner, so where does that leave me?

India is typically consistently inconsistent. In this case no different from anywhere else.

Here’s a few headlines from the local paper.

closing places to reduce passing on the virus and continuing big events….. it’s a conundrum


In England
, one friend and her husband, have isolated themselves in a country cottage. Everyone seems uncertain and confused

Happenings create opportunities for the powers to promote their agenda. This may be a way to polarise and emphasise ‘the other.’

It could lead to all sorts of social changes and new challenges, both positive and negative.

 

 

Remembering.

 

It’s an important day as the Poojari  has read the stars, consulted who knows who and what to issue a hand written decree that today (12th March)  is actually Manjula’s death anniversary and not the 23rd as we mere mortals might have assumed. I was on duty this morning making breakfast for two sets of guests one from Belgium and the other from Canada had gelled wonderfully on yesterday’s cycle tours.
After breakfast the real work began preparing lunch for our immediate team and special guest Kanchana.

A BIG thank you to SB for everything, Satish was project manager and his wife on cooking duty. Good to see Vasanth and his wife

Pooja for Manjula was completed by one o’clock then we all went outside and closed the door for Manjula to come and tuck in.

should we allow five or ten minutes? I reckoned ten as she was a slow eater. We then knocked on the door to warn her and reentered. One more turn with flames. I’d forgotten to count and so might have done extra. MAnjula wouldn’t have expected anything different.

then we were allowed to eat. Quite unusually in our house. Men first on the floor, women, the sophisticates, at the table. They clearly had planned to feed the five thousand so a fair amount was distributed to the poor. Of course we’d also sponsored food at the ashram for the elderly residents as we, Tom and Amy have done numerous times.


To engage the neighbours I placed little signs by the benches and a life size photo of MAnjula out the front of the house.

Lucie got tired just being Lucie. It’s fair to say she was overcome by the emotion of it all. She’s clearly in tune.

as are the water Lilly and today’s innovation the memory tree.

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Manjula, our star, we miss and love you, sometimes it’s too much to bear but we have lots of wonderful memories to help us through.

roaring mouse

 

There was a quiet mouse who came to check whether it was worth the risk working for a strange foreign man. Thankfully she agreed to give me a chance. That was ten years ago. It’s not always been easy partly because of her illness and dealing with life in India but this small bundle of beauty, of strength, of fun…. changed my life. For that I’m eternally grateful. We had a wonderful life together.

Today is the anniversary of celebrating our weddings two years ago, in a field on Srirangaptnam Island. Please follow the links to find out more.

getting ready

our real wedding

the other one

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Get off me……..

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As we approach the anniversary of Manjula slipping through my fingers and leaving for her next life, I’ll post a mix or memories and reminiscences and continue to share with you what a wonderful strong, caring woman we’ve lost.