Why I’m so lucky

I first shared ‘why?, in a posting in 2015

I’ve just rediscovered and want to share a recording that Manjula made that year. It’s quite long but you’ll get the gist pretty quickly.

I’ve had difficulties uploading it so please follow the link to see the video, it’s one of the best

I share this gift from Manjula — as a follow up to Why? — as we approach what would have been her 49th birthday. On her birthday itself we hope to make a few other friends. Please check back to find out what happens.

In the meantime, if you’re interested, there’s more of our story here.

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.

Eleven plus an Englishman and a dog go mad in Kerala

On MAnjula’s death anniversary, we came up with a great idea to celebrate her— even more — by going on holiday to one of her favourite places.

It may provide material for an Enid Blyton story

Kannur is where Manjula and I first went on holiday together after our engagement in 2015.

Maybe we’ll find treasure, or at least get wet.

It’ll be a great adventure with MAnjula giggling from the antics of the loosely formed team.

It’s a challenge, anywhere, to bring together fragments of four families with two additions of an Englishman and his dog but this is India. It’ll be OK.

Thankfully we’ll not be cycling.

It’s a great way to thank Sowbaghya, Tanuja and Satish for the help they’ve been in so many ways, including setting up the new business.

It’s also an opportunity to spend fun time with Kaveri and her young auntie Rhadika.

That’s Rhadika dressed up for ethnic day in the midst of her exams.

We’ve got the go ahead from Kaveri’s mum, Satish has worked it out with the school and Jo will definitely have completed her term.

So we’re good to go…

Wonderful

So which amazing place is going to host this motley crew?

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

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

Christmas

In Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire.

Travelling around 1

Catching up with friends

My first trip back to the U.K. in over two years.

The journey through the airports and flight went smoothly as fast as pre-pandemic. I had test results and certificate proving I’d had my vaccinations. No one checked anything.

Day two test negative so all ok
Celebrating Halloween.

Being entertained by and entertaining my granddaughter Poppy. She’s eight and I’ve missed seeing her for two years! All of us share that pandemic experience.

What’s the game?

Exploring Hebden Bridge with Liz, the mum of my boys, big ex or as Manjula would say: wife number one. We remain close and dear friends of over thirty years.