Knock Knock

I’ll often joke to our guests that there might be a knock at the door….

Well there was for…,

Jony, Sue, Chris and Ruth

It wasn’t the secret police but a return visit from me.

Jony kindly put me up after passing through WOMAD on my tour of the south west that included Dorset, Trowbridge, Kingsclere and Bath.

I was also hanging out with other critical friends in Kingsclere.

At the home of Stephen who edits

After Dorset I was

Resting and reading about …

At Ruth’s in Bath and reading from her latest book of poems, all about India….

That’s Ruth the poet.

I think I’ll export some to India

I have…. What next?

…..

Thank you all for you care and kindness

I’m so happy to have created something special with MAnjula which continues to grow our wonderful family.

Check out the next posting to see how we continue to celebrate Manjula and continue to grow our family.

After life

New park benches are sponsored by Netflix linked to Ricky Gervais’s series, in association with a charity tackling mental health issues.

They’ve placed them in different locations in the U.K.

An insightful series dealing with his reactions after the death of his wife. It helped me and it resonates with so many of the impacts of the loss.

We’ve done it too

Manjula’s Mysore had previously installed benches in a museum garden and the park opposite our house.

Kaveri and Manjula’s Mysore

Manjula wished to be reincarnated as a tree as it protected and supported people. I was keen to develop projects that reflected Manjula’s open heart, and kindness. Manjula’s Mysore, our new company, aims to reflect that approach and so Manjula continues to give

The reason why Kaveri has featured so much in the postings is that Manjula’s Mysore (MM) is considering her for an educational scholarship.

We wish to identify a young girl with the potential and to provide opportunities that weren’t available to Manjula.

Meetings held by Kanchana and Sowbaghya with her family, the holiday in Kannur, given by Manjula’s Mysore, and the school holiday activities organised by Stephen has provided ample opportunity to get to know Kaveri.

There are many similarities between Kaveri and Manjula’s early childhood. I’ll not detail them out of respect for Kaveri and her family’s privacy.

We’ve now met all Kaveri’s family and the MM director’s with Stephen’s support consider her eligible for an education scholarship.

We’re now looking into what that will mean in practice with a view to finding an English medium school for Kaveri for the next academic year in 2023.

Footnote

Kanchana is a social worker here in Mysore, Stephen qualified as a social worker in the U.K. in the early 80s. He’s since worked managing grant and developing community projects and partnerships for trusts, government and multi-national corporations.

Stephen is Manjula’s husband.

The Directors of Manjula’s Mysore are Tanuja and Satish friends of Manjula who were instrumental in supporting and remembering her after she died.

Satish and Tanuja, long term friends and supporters of Manjula and our life here in Mysore, together with Tanuja’s husband and daughter.

Sowbhaghya and Sarvesh have helped as part of our wider team.

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.

one wasn’t enough

At Christmas I gave myself a wonderful gift

It was such a characterful portrait of beautiful Manjula. The enigmatic artist knows MAnjula, connected and found her spirit.

I just had to have another.

I may seem greedy but I just can’t get enough of MAnjula (you may have worked that out) and especially how Priyanka brings out many facets of my beautiful wife.

There’s even more significant detail to explore in this one.

P was guided by a photograph from shortly after we were engaged in 2015

Now where can I hang her?

Labour of love.

News Release

Cummings comes clean to British Parliament on what has been going on under the surface at Mysore Bed and Breakfast. We can now reveal never been seen before comments from the guestbooks

As part of the research for our story I’ve been reading some of the guest comments from our first two seasons in 2011 and 2012.

Yes, it was ten yesrs ago that we started, initially just in the upstairs house.

What a lovely task it’s been. A real joy travelling through time, I’m amazed at how well it triggers memories of the guests themselves and the things we did together.

It’s wonderfully warm, reading the feedback and especially their appreciation of Manjula. Frankly, I could do without being constantly reminded of who was the real boss. 😉

There are one or two that might not be suitable for wider publication…..

Here are some selected highlights.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE

“Steve you’re a bastard.” I’ve edited it in case young people might be listening.

“So we debated for 15 minutes about how to express our emotional response to our stay at mysore B&B.” and then they wrote nothing!

“What an arsehole. No seriously what an arsehole…” 

I suppose I’m the ‘has-been’ that never was.

I am of course, seriously and tearfully happy from these wonderful reminders. I’ll include more details in our story next year, where people are just sooooo gushing about ‘you know who.’. You’ll just have to wait.

English humour

check out Marina Hyde

Here’s her latest

Featuring a famous actress with a lot to share

I’m one of those that can bore for hours on neoliberalism

Ah, there it is: wellness. “Wellness” is part of a class of words unified by the fact that only the most dreadful bores on Earth know what they mean. See also “neoliberalism”. Celebrity Cruises itself adds that the fitness kits will enhance “self-care and collective wellbeing”, with Gwyneth’s role expected to focus on “wellness programming” and something called the “Women in Wellness initiative”.

Manjula’s library grows

The number of books

The number and range of readers.

We’ve negotiated the loan of ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’, ‘the hungry caterpillar’ and ‘stuck’

She might be young but negotiated an extension of a seven day loan to ten days. 🙂🙃😉 our very first children to borrow books from Manjula’s library.

Manjula’s Kind

MAnjula embraced everything and everyone.

She experienced unkindness throughout her life, yet always and especially in the last nine years was the most kind.

MAnjula continues to give

Kulfi for the cleaners. They used to work on our street, knew us and would stop for water, chai and chat (that’s talking not snacks).

Our fine house was a place of support and conversation for women and not just our guests. Manjula’s networks. We’ve continued to support our drivers and they’ve joined the Manjula Mask Movement.

Vasanth and Satish modelling our mycycle masks but the big favourite is …
the one where Manjula seems to be sniggering and who years before the pandemic was telling us to mask-up, modelled by Rakesh aka Peter Pan
And masks have been donated for the vaccinators for when they finish work.
Many cycles have been gifted here for Sowbhaghya’s son Naveen.

I still am

relying on and remembering Manjula’s kindness