Manjula gives

She always has and always will. Whether it was her love shared through her wonderful cooking, her gifts, sometimes cash when people needed it and most of all her warm personality. It was in Manjula’s nature to love and connect with people here and around the world. Manjula would draw people to her. Her insights, generosity and extraordinarily sensitive to people’s plight was an integral part of her, maybe resulting from the hardships that she experienced throughout her life.

As a celebration of our engagement we gave gifts: she cancelled what was left of the outstanding loan to Vasanth for his auto rickshaw and gave cycles to the driver’s children and to a project that helped trafficked young people.

Her giving has continued through the funding of meals at a local ashram, the benches in our local park. What next?

We’re looking for ways to continue to reflect Manjula’s beautiful personality and her connecting to people. We’ll keep you informed through this site. Do feel free to make your own suggestions of help we can give in Manjula’s name.

Our latest guest Giacomo (aka Siva and his partner Anita) who has visited Manjula and I in Mysore many times have left a donation towards the next projects we support.

 

What helps

It’s so easy to fall into the quagmire pit of negativeness. Dwelling on the sadness of her last few weeks,the whipping stick of blame or the grief of how much I miss her. She is of course happily still with us in so many ways. I am so fortunate to have fond memories that I cherish and as the brain gets more befuddled I have lovely videos of Manjula talking to me and you. I came across one yesterday on a posting about us both coming to terms with the changes. You can find it here with her lovely humour even at the most difficult of times. I love you Manjula

lethargy no more

I’ve committed to writing our story but it’s not quite happening. I live in India where nothing goes to plan and I’m English so used to orderliness and predictability; that combination alone, can be a mountain to climb. In my careers, I’ve been: initiator of projects, corporate trainer and now cycle tour guide. I sell ideas, pass on the passion, create change. I’m a storyteller in so many ways, so how hard can it be? Surely, it’s just an extension of what I already do?

 

Yet, I’ve hit the writer’s fortified wall surrounded by an impassable moat. In the mix of emotions and challenges is the usual insecurity; the lack of direction; uncertainty about my ability to write the story; the grief itself and my remorse from a whole series of what-ifs leading to a mountain of regret.

 

I’ve read novels, guides about writing, famous memoirs which seem to go through the eyes, get mashed in the brain and somehow leave my body with only the slightest lasting impression. As part of this learning and the need for tangible experience, I’ve written a handful of short fictional stories and then invited what feels like a mangling through the raw roasting of an editor.That may have set me back.

 

As a consequence, the outlook for our story does not look good. 

 

I’ve now joined Skillshare for online training to help provide insights, direction and instil routine. I’m living in hope.

 

Since her unaccepted death I know I spend too much time fretting on what went wrong and the mistakes I’ve made.

 

To help create the story there is material from Manjula’s audio recordings in her own language, video recordings in English and interviews with friends. It’s now all down to me, the failing husband.

 

I feel I’ve let her down yet she always lifts me up. There’s a clue to what will get me out of the self-pitying, self-imposed, lethargic doldrums. 

 

The answer is my muse, my Manjula. 

 

Manjula over ten years has been our energiser. Everything was for her. Together we created a successful tourism business, a wonderful life, the envy of many of our guests. Manjula is the lettering through the English seaside rock. She is in anything and is everything; her pictures fill the house, the logo, the web site, our blog, every single aspect of my life in India is Manjula, her presence is within and around me. Her memory, my beautiful Manjula – will never be lost. I’ve found joy, wit, love and happiness and it continues. It’s Manjula who will help me to reach through the dirty, dusty, murky curtain, past the most difficult times, to that whole collection of memories that make up our life and that will lift me from the pits and motivate the telling of our story. 

 

Happy Diwali Manjula, I love you.

My beautiful star, ruled my world.

……

72062377_10156702489175544_5027947037505617920_n
there’s nothing more to tell you

You light the skies, up above me

A star, so bright, you blind me, yeah

Don’t close your eyes

Don’t fade away, don’t fade away, oh

Yeah, you and me, we can ride on a star

If you stay with me, girl

We can rule the world

Yeah, you and me, we can light up the sky

If you stay by my side

We can rule the world

If walls break down, I will comfort you

If angels cry, oh I’ll be there for you

You’ve saved my soul

Don’t leave me now, don’t leave me now, oh

Yeah, you and me, we can ride on a star

If you stay with me, girl

We can rule the world

Yeah, you and me, we can light up the sky

If you stay by my side

We can rule the world

Oh, all the stars are coming out tonight

They’re lighting up the sky tonight

For you, for you

IMG_3820

 

Manjula’s even got me into ‘Take That’ from the Stardust Movie.

The Phoenix Coup

Our factly fiction five parter: The Phoenix Coup…..

….  ‘life will never be the same again’, meet Maisie and her family and the extraordinary events they face in this five parter.

All five parts are now posted on line. Sorry for the delay do let me have your feedback to help improve my writing.

Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four

Part five

 

Screenshot 2019-08-26 at 08.00.00

Falling in love again…..

It’s time.

This might sound like self imposed torture, (our initials were S&M!):

-reading through the transcripts created by Vidya from Manjula’s Kannada audio recordings, or

-watching her talking to video camera in English,

-having conversations about my love with Tanu, Satish and Ina with the help of Faizan and Sumukh who are researching and recording.

I miss and don’t want to lose any memories, of course she’s with me and to you my friends it might seem a hard thing to do, even masochistic, it’s very difficult, but it’s also wonderful in the sense that I discover even more about Manjula and fall in love all over again.

Out walking with Lucie I was bushwhacked attacked with sad feelings and tears, as if from nowhere.

Only to arrive back home to be greeted by this….

Hello Stephen, This appeared in my mind when I thought of you and Manjula: “Beautifully she lived and lives in your heart and soul, She sings through the world around you, “Express your love for me by living a kaleidoscopic life” It is written as it appeared to my mind and I felt I wanted to share it with you. Love, Kali