Mind the gap.

She was only a little mite but even in a very short time has left a gaping hole.

I first heard her yelping as we passed during one of our MYCycle Tours on Srirangapatnam. It was as if one of the guys at a chai shop was teasing or hurting her. I sort of adopted her. For the next week, I  saw her every time we passed by.

First impressions were not good. She was slow, almost subdued, had what seemed to be a scar on her head, was pretty run down and a couple of days later was completely covered in fleas. I fed her with milk each time and the locals, who have got to know me over the years realised she was adopted. Typical firangi! She seemed to be really very young but was already lapping up her milk. Her mother was nowhere to be seen. Pups are often cruelly separated and dumped. I treated her and got rid of the fleas. I decided to kidnap her (no one gave a damn) and took her to People for Animals ‘rescue centre’ aka death camp. ( a bit unfair but the level of illness and death is known to be high).

Ruby, as she became known with variants of Too, two and tue…. was left at the rescue centre for a check up and treatment but not for too long. It’s a lovely place with caring staff and volunteers but a lot of illness for puppies. I brought her home after a week. That in itself was a quandary. Should I have left her there for longer? What would the women of the household think?

At first she seemed to be managing OK. Eating, although not very much, the quantity of worms she expelled was amazing. This was the first of three lots. Her means of carriage, the princesses pumpkin with handles aka the shopping bag was ideal and endlessly entertained the local children. They couldn’t believe it when they noticed her little head popping out, I have of course reinforced their view that foreigners are more than a bit weird,

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Lucie and Ruby’s relationship was a ‘work in progress’ they generally kept a discreet distance.

She developed a cough and chest infection, laboured breathing, running nose and constant diarrhoea. We seem to be at the vets every other day. They’ve stuffed her with antibiotics, a drip and minerals to rehydrate, vitamins, powder to stop the shits you name it, she’s had it. Michael-virtual-vet-Heath, in Australia was advising from afar. Back at home I created a den out of a cardboard box with a lovely bed with pillow, blanket and neat little door to get in and out. As things seemed to be getting worse I’d just nurse her. Manjula reckons for most of the day. Then the three of us would go out on our Adams family jaunts.

On reflection if might have been better for her to stay longer at the centre and perhaps she was too vulnerable even for the bath. Who really knows. We did our best but for our lovely Ruby the roller coaster ride is over.

We now are left with fond memories and are pleased we could spend that precious time together.

Manjula who was all no-no-no (she was the same with Billi) was won over after just a few days.

It helps me realise together with some of our other experiences (this is not the most challenging by any means) , what a hard life it can be here and how important it is to make the most of it.

so this is just the latest example of …. it’s been a bit of a weird year, more of that later.

Ups and downs

I’ve been on a rollercoaster.

Well I haven’t really. I’m too small and too young but I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it might be like.

It’s been exhilarating, my stomachs been filled, gone up as if into my mouth then rushed back down again. Whoops, and I’ve let it out.

I’ve been overawed, never quite knowing what to expect, given new experiences, found new things. Been warm and comfortable, cold and shocked. I’ve sometimes left a mess, I’m sorry!

Its been confusing and I sometimes wish I’d never been on the journey. I’ve felt awful, wanted, not wanted, sick, with the runs, full stomach, empty stomach, coughing fits, difficulty breathing, tears in my runny eyes, wishing it was over. Sometimes all alone and others feeling part of my family.

Hang on, hang on…. what is this? there’s a whoosh of water that fair takes my breath away. Didn’t expect that and could have done without it. Baths are overrated.

The rollercoaster has this amazing carriage. My aerial transporter my very own time travelling Tardis. I’ve seen places I wouldn’t have imagined. Its fun together.

Yes, I’ve been some strange places with odd people, had things stuck up my bum, had needles in my thin spindly legs, had endless concoctions squirted in my mouth.

It’s been a bit hectic and intense.

Sometimes I’m ecstatic, in love with the newness, the hugs the cuddles, our time together.

Sometimes in the middle of it all I just want it to end.

Sometimes I just wish my big-new-friend, the BNF would have left me there, on the pavement by the chai shop. It was maybe a little dull but it had its traumas too, but no….. On reflection I realise, what’s good, My new life is fun, I don’t want it to change, I like my new life. Just without the illness, please.

I’m maybe just not quite sure about that BIG black thing: Lucie.

our time together, me and the BNF has been short but really special, not easy but full of kindness, I know it’s important we make the best of what we have. I know I am loved and cherished and that’s right for me.

Ruby Too

……

The BNF in a fitful sleep was woken by an unusual cry at 3.35 am was that Ruby? BNF rushed downstairs, took her in his arms and finally with an unmistakable rattle at 3.45 Ruby 2, too and tue passed away.

I wish I could have done more.

Stephen

Why a blog?

the journal, our bloglet  is an experiment. Is there a story to tell? can it be told competently and ultimately, will it be engaging?

Only you and time will tell.

Our guests at the BnB are always asking for our story and often  suggest we share it to a wider audience. So here is our humble attempt, to relay our story of life in India. Manjula as a ‘young’ Indian woman and me as a much much older English guy. (the age gap isn’t a big as it looks…. he said defensively!)

We intend to introduce ourselves and our life here in India, local characters and the wonderful guests, from around the world, who come to Mysore to join our Mycycle tours and stay in our Mysore Bed and Breakfast. Its already a bit of a mad mix. On the way we hope to share insights into this amazing, crazy, challenging, annoying, ‘consistently inconsistent’ beautiful place and it’s people.

Please do regularly check into meandmycycle.com

If it’s of interest do share and pass on to others.

We value your opinion.

Do you want more of the same or something different? what shall we post? insights into Manjula’s life as a poor woman in modern India? an understanding of what its like for me as an English guy adjusting to life in this ‘differently organised’ world? our personal story of coming together from different cultures and backgrounds, the fun we have and the challenges we face? a better understanding of India (is that possible?) from our own limited experience.

Do let us know.

our very best wishes,

Manjula and Stephen

Oh, and exactly on cue I hear Lucy calling from downstairs. We haven’t forgotten she is of course the third and, dearly loved, part of our family here in India.

and Lucy, of course…

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