Spontaneous organisation

Getting out again. A totally new experience.

I’ve worked for a Prince of Wales’s charity and been to some pretty posh do’s. This one was however something else. Yes, Indian and very special.

It was the engagement of my very good friend Vinay to a lovely woman, Tapas. Who I only met at the event itself.

How amazing, a great mix of ceremony, ritual, a spectacular celebration. It was unexpected and astonishing. 

It began with a series of traditional rituals involving the couple their parents and family. Held together by the women of the families and the direction of the priest or Poojari.

Ok, I’ve no idea what was going on but impressive, to say the least. I was interested to see another dimension of the modern entrepreneur who I first met and worked with on his then start-up, Royal Mysore Walks (Now expanded and known as Gullys).

We were at Tapas’s home, a coffee plantation, an Estate first established in the mid 19th Century west of Mysore., on the edge of Kodagu.

And then, we were transported away to another part of the estate….. and it’s where the rest of us got more involved! A fairytale.

It clearly took a lot of time, and all sorts of resources and pure dedication to organise it. Yet they managed to keep it informal, down to earth and great fun. 

Exchanging the rings

It was very special and seemed to go like a dream.

So what’s Spontaneous organisation?

It’s a new term, from me, another aspect of Indian life. It’s bordering on contradictory, a juxtaposition of potentially conflicting observations and experiences as is so much of India. It’s meaning? It’s formulating as I write.

An example of something well organised, which flows well but teetering on the edge of impossibility. It all falls nicely into place, well organised but not so much that it squeezes the life out of it. It’s a sergeant rather than a corporal. It’s built on experience, it fits well together its sophisticated, not crass nor out of place. It works beautifully and sometimes one wonders how. It is also quintessentially Indian as it never feels false or forced it just happens! …..and yet feels that at any moment it might not.

The organising sisters

Wonderful!

Thank you to Vinay and Tapas. A great way to mark a new chapter in your life. Manjula and I look forward to sharing aspects of your journey. With our warmest wishes for peas and love, for your life together.

What’s

What’s up in India?

The mobile phone is having a profound effect.

I decided to observe drivers for a few moments on the main road near our home.

Ok it wasn’t quite as jammed as this. 🙃 but even I was surprised to see the majority, yes over 50% of drivers, mostly in cars but also on two wheelers …. actually on the phone! Stuck to their ear, jammed up the crash helmet, jabbing in messages. It’s astonishing, young and old, they’re all at it.

Maybe it’s the same around the world. I don’t know.

It represents a modern day challenge….How to keep up with technological change, whilst recognising what’s appropriate and acceptable behaviour and what isn’t. We all know that our education doesn’t necessarily equip us very well for daily living. It’s nowhere more apparent than how we respond to and behave with technology. On a day to day basis we can all think of our own examples…. dangerous multi-tasking as when driving. Allowing a phone call to interrupt a conversation. Walking blindly head down texting.

You know, there are many.

It’s also true with litter. In the past in India, chai might be provided in a terracotta cup and then thrown down. Not a problem if it’s mud returning to mud but a completely different matter with plastic.

Well another example is what’s app messages. My yoga teacher put me on a what’s app group ostensibly to let me know when a class was cancelled. Well I got more than I bargained for!

In two days there were more than fifty photos, messages, quotes and videos. ALL of it unsolicited and non of it relevent.

Now I don’t want to be churlish and it’s important for me to connect with people in my adopted country. But all this garbage is filling my photo app, I can get by…..but..there is a sinister side.

Revealed in this article from the Guardian

Society here relies on the spoken word and people connections, there is less recognition of private space and people tend to accept what others say uncritically. That’s the crux of the problem with what’s app.

Filling up my phone with garbage is one thing but leading to death and mayhem, (Like this) that needs serious action.

Babel fish

I have now developed a long and significant list of excuses for why I’m unable to speak ANY foreign languages:

The British Raj, due to them the English language is so prevalent I can easily get by without Kannada here in Mysore.

British Arrogance, see above.

My parents and therefore my genetical inheritance.

Wax in my ears and assorted other hearing limitations.

A wife and extended team that speaks English and seemingly endless other languages. I get by.

Teachers that couldn’t cram French or German in me.

Probably the top of the tree…. abject laziness combined with being idle, severe inability to stick with anything for more than five minutes and being 🐻 of small brain.

This list is to help whenever I’m questioned why after nine years do I not speak Kannada. (Clearly I cant speak English properly anyway)

STOP PRESS

Manjula reckons it’s because Ive got a short stubby tongue.

Whereas Manjula, with all the languages at her disposal, yes you’ve guessed it, has a long slender one.

I rest my case

A Mysore Day….

First stop. Diagnostic centre. These places are all over Mysore. You’ll see patients traipsing around the city with files and bags full of results. Doctors having sent them to their ‘preferred’ centre so the get their backhander. But not here at Kannan, the first established here in Mysore they have a fair and transparent policy of No commissions. Lakshman the head doc has been especially helpful to Manj and I.

Well I deposited my blood and urine samples with the instructions to go have breakfast and come back to repeat the process in two hours.

Next

For Idli, (twenty rupees for two servings, that’s 4 Idlis) at reputedly one of the best joints in Mysore opposite Wellington Lodge (why’s it called that? Find out on a cycle tour…. sooo blatant! Says mythical Ed)

Number Three, chai, eight rupees.

4 shopping therapy, yes I can even get enjoyment from buying a replacement squirty water gun for the toilet. Know what it’s for? This photo is between Ashoka Road and Gandhi Square of the hardware capital of Mysore 🙃

5 next one of my fave places, old trad juice shop for sasparilla soda.

6 hotel Indra Paras for sweets!

And just to proof there’s often action here and we don’t have to wait for the big annual Dasara event which only finished last week…. a great procession brought the centre to a chaotic standstill as opposed to the usual

chaotic movement….

And finally the diagnostic centre to take the piss as they want more blood. Results back at the end of the day. Cost is very reasonable at 2200 rs. That is however almost ten times the supposed minimum daily wage.

Happy .,,,

Happy Gowrie Ganesh, today we recognise the big guys mum.

And here she is…. Gowrie

Lord Ganesha himself has arrived in our Pooja room and will be celebrated properly from tomorrow.

Manjula has bathed and completed the Pooja of which she’s really pleased.

This time last year she was in hospital with Dengue fever. What a difference a year makes. Well done Manj!

It’s the BIG boy’s event

It’s Ganesh’s Big Day

I was deputed to go buy Ganesh in the city centre.

I might be a shopper but sometimes there’s just too much choice!

Well the Pooja room is cleaned and prepared

Ganesh and his mum wait patiently on the dining table. I have to bathe before I can enter and place him on his stool!

UK refuses holiday visas

The Home Office also refused visas by saying it was not confident the applicant would leave the country at the end of their visit despite applicants clearly visiting for a specific purpose, such as a weddin; submitting evidence that they had booked and already paid for hotel accommodation ending on a certain date; presenting letters from employers, that stated they had been granted a specific period off work for the holiday; or running their own, successful business back home.”

Guardian Article

This is exactly what happened to Manjula two years ago….. check below for links to the story of Manjula’s visa application.

A holiday visa is applied for

All she wants is a holiday

Let’s try again

She did succeed in obtaining a visa and now has had two wonderful trips to the UK