Tomorrow we all go to the vet hospital.
It gets worse every day
The bad behaviour becomes more apparent as the traffic increases., that will get worse as we become more ‘developed’.
Where to start…
The chaos at junctions when the lights turn green, as many are in the wrong lanes and there are more lanes than the markings indicate. The erratic driving which is not always because they’ve poor driving skills, most drivers are on the phone, but it’s not smart….
The lack of awareness and perennial indifference carry some of the blame, but it begins early on at the driving school and how people get their licence is a wonder to behold.
Many driving schools bring their learners through Siddarthanagar, our layout, for lessons, it’s unbelievable. I couldn’t even begin to tell you and I’ll leave my grumbles about what they’re taught to do with the horn, to the next posting.
Here’s examples that friends have told me about their tests.
An American friend had both a two wheeler (motorbike) and four wheeler (car) test on different days.
The examiner instructed him to drive up the road, round the roundabout and back to the start. He passed.
Next the examiner got in the car. Already an improvement. “Drive ahead, turn left , straight, turn right, stop.” My friend thought this was serious. “Stop here” The examiner got out of the car and entered a hotel (restaurant) leaving a few minutes later with ‘a parcel’ (takeaways) for the office. “Drive back to the RTO (office). You’ve passed.”
A neighbour’s daughter just paid the bribe, probably through a middle-man I’m not sure whether she’s actually driven to this day.
Another friend went to the new ‘automated’ track designed to put you through a series of situations and manoeuvres. The examiner gets in the car, you move forward, pay your bribe and you’re off. The examiner uses the (dual drive) pedals to ensure you brake properly and even helps you steer by lightly holding the steering wheel. Once again, it’s a pass.
If that wasn’t bad enough one proposal is to delegate the issuing of driving licences to the instructors. Really?
This Facebook posting following a column in the ‘Star of Mysore’ is what got me going. I’ve cycled, and ridden scooters, Enfield, van, Jeep and Manjula’s beautiful Ambassador on local roads.
The biggest challenge?
It’s a toss up between the ‘rash’ driving and constant pot holes, even on newly repaired roads it sometimes feels like you’re driving sideways.
Doing my duty…
When one suffers such loss that forms a trauma and it’s aftermath, it’s an extra challenge to focus on the positive.
It’s especially difficult at anniversary time. There’s a preoccupation with the loss, the guilt, a blaming.
In this month there’s also helpful reminders of good, our wedding ceremonies.
Some might wonder why I follow so ‘religiously’ the traditions. It’s simply my love and devotion for MAnjula.
The day afterwards brings out memories of when she was laid to rest on her bed, outside our house with the tell tale symbols of the smouldering wood informing the neighbourhood what was happening. Next we’d go to the industrial shed-oven aka crematorium and before that a puja by the side led by Manjula’s brother.
A kindly neighbour brought Bhagavad Gita to help emphasise our duty not to become too attached to our loved ones and to help their soul spirit move onto another body.
Do follow the link and check the video at the end where I’m at one of the most significant places on Srirangaptnam; visited on every cycle tour over the past ten years.
The third death anniversary of Manjula. We try to do all the right things.
Ina the Scottish Australian who became a great friend of ours and especially Manjula calls and arranges to visit later in the year.
I have another bright idea, I might regret it.
Smileys appear on our street.
I’m reminded of how I’d felt the need to protect my broken heart — like this one in a bottle — while looking around me at the images of my beautiful MAnjula which trigger happy joyful memories of our wonderful but short time together.
Tomorrow we’ll share a meal with MAnjula and a few close friends.
Today’s cherishable sad and sweet memories are the times Manjula and I spent together.
The writer Didion coined the term ‘vortex’ in her book ‘a year of magical thinking’ about the year after her husband died.
It helpfully describes when one is ambushed by trigger memories of good times spent together.
But I wasn’t ambushed, as I fully expected it.
These are sad and tearful yet happy treasured moments in central London. I know it so well yet it now has an other dimension.
For almost 2 1/2 years I’ve received daily iPhone notifications —like the one below —reminding me to switch the water on and off. This is to pump water from the sump to the header tank and for the house to not run dry (a common system where we live). The messages were set up by Tom after we realised I needed a reminder. Without Manjula’s physical presence in the house it wouldn’t get done.
MAnjula collected coins in a make up bag. Each morning I take out ten rupees for my morning tea break while walking with Lucie. Thanks Manj.
Lucie waits patiently at the top of the stairs for me to go backwards and forwards getting ready to walk. At the last moment she peers in manjulas library as a reminder to check that I’ve bolted the balcony door.
I look in and smile at two of the many portraits of Manjula that fill the house.
Occasionally placing a T light in this wonderful engagement present brought all the way from Australia
All pieces of the jigsaw of our life. The missing pieces’ essence is present in every one of them.
I’ve chosen to deal with my grief companion head-on. Others will do it differently. Who knows what’s the best way, our experiences are completely individual. The pain is there, whatever but I try to minimise the suffering.
I share Manjula’s story wherever and whenever I can. In the dentists waiting room, even the treatment chair, during the morning tea break, handing out cards inviting people to appreciate our garden.
It’s important to me.
She probably thinks I’m ridiculous. 🤭
Last night was my second appearance at an open mic. MAnjula did get a mention (that’s the point) it was three intertwined love stories. But I ran out of time. The story of my life. If reincarnation and reconnecting souls is true, maybe I’ll have more time with Manjula’s sweet kind soul.
I discretely followed it to try and take a photo but I could only get this silhouette before it flew away.
An hour later Lucie and returned home to it resting on the door knob. only to surprise me again and land on one of our windows.
It has the scary images of two reflective eyes on its wings, it’s wing span is seven inches or more and now it’s gone.
It arrived a day after I had, once again, in exasperation called out to Manjula complaining that I couldn’t feel her presence or hear a message.
I’m happier now.
Tanuja tells me it’s a moth. So now we know messages come via Dragonflies, Butterflies and Moths.
We’ll keep you posted as more messengers are added to the list. 🙂🙃🤭😉🌞
as we approached the second anniversary of losing Manjula I took myself on one side and had a chat.
I will always have grief gravy to deal with, hopefully the flood that’s now a river, becomes a stream and in time a puddle. As part of that there is a shift towards pushing aside more of the upset and blame, allowing more space to remember the positives and her joyfulness.
The latest sign in response to that positiveness was three examples of people contacting me who might help create the garden, do interviews for ‘our story’ and help reach our story to more people. How cool is that? It’s another sign.
Another is our flag.
Out the front of our house its flapping to show, the Union Jack representing me, with the sun rising to provide a beacon of kindness, that’s Manjula and a crown because she’s a queen.
Here’s this weeks postings, if you missed them:
In planning for this anniversary we sponsor meals at the old people’s home
Manjula’s Anniversary Continuing, lunch and pooja to celebrate and help her soul find its new home, if she’s not already there, who else gets fed?
There was an earlier sign
The anniversary reminded me of facing one of the most difficult decisions in my life which should not have arisen. Another example of me stumbling through life
My good friend Brian, who has a cameo appearance in my short story ‘looking for a home’ also sent a kind thoughtful poem on Manjula’s second death anniversary.
step by step
the world you showed me
and remember my hand
is in your hand still
and remember my body
is the hammock of your presence
think of this—love ends
where the void begins
and we pierce the void together.”
From the poem A Fernando