Rebel Two

She lives in Hinkal on the other side of Mysore but I get to see her some weekends and during the school summer holiday, when she visits her grandmother, who lives opposite our house.

We’re in the midst of school holidays so she’s here everyday for a few weeks and I’ve introduced ta – ra ta -ra….

Steve’s Summer Camp for Kaveri

We’ve already had walking Lucie, cycling single and tandem, many trips to the cafe, the infamous holiday, games on and off screen, trips to various institutions namely the vets and dentist, outings in the Ambassador, storytelling, shopping for birthday present clothes more and more….

There’s a serious reason for all this related to MAnjula.

The days after, three years ago

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.

I always tried my best to do what she wanted
And she was bossy

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.

Here’s me doing precisely that…..

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.

I was so lucky

The day itself.

The third death anniversary of Manjula. We try to do all the right things.

I close the hall (lounge) door behind me as we all leave the house. This is to allow Manjula’s soul spirit to eat. We’ll gently knock on re-entering so she knows to go.
Over the years friends have created a MAnjula memory tree.

Ina the Scottish Australian who became a great friend of ours and especially Manjula calls and arranges to visit later in the year.

Thank you MAnjula for being the all-embracing you, we all miss and cherish you while continuing to feel your presence.

I have another bright idea, I might regret it.

The evening before

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.

This week

March is a month of significant memories.

It began with our wedding at the city corporation, followed a few days later with a celebration on Srirangaptnam.

Two years running she was admitted to intensive care and sadly and devastatingly died three years ago on the 23rd.

We do Pooja on that anniversary, help her on her way and remember fantastic times with a wonderful woman.

Here’s a video memory created by our good friend Tom, Manjula showing one of her many skills and most importantly her kindness of giving.

Imperfection

After I’d asked for a sign a messenger came to visit. Thank you Manjula.

Within a day or so the bullock’s head holding Manjula’s pennant fell off the wall and broke.

It probably wasn’t a sign just a clumsy Yindian, yes it was the idiot from Yorkshire that probably dislodged it.

Some time later I was introduced to Wabi Sabi by my friend Kamakshi

and my daughter-in-law Alice, son Ben and granddaughter Poppy gave me a present to fix things the Japanese way

I seem to be being pushed and prodded so I gave it a try,

ta ra ta ra

I can do imperfection (we’re good at that in Yorkshire too)

and now it’s fixed imperfectly

Cherishable

Today’s cherishable sad and sweet memories are the times Manjula and I spent together.

Here

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.