My brightest star

You may recall an earlier posting here about my very own star. MAnjula was without doubt a shooting star who exploded, touched all of our lives with an intensity that left slivers of influence for all of us with lasting effect and with one assertive example.

 It’s the early hours of the morning I’m often woken by a thud at my bedroom door. It may four or five heaves before she breaks through to sleep by my side on the Tibetan rug.

In the morning as I prepare breakfast she stand motionless staring through the kitchen door, waiting.

Later in the day I’m sitting in the balcony chair or lying on the Divan, reading a book and as soon as my eyes begin to droop: she talks loudly, a friendly attention seeking growl. This is since Manjula slipped through my clumsy fingers. It feels as if one of those slivers of the shooting star, the thoughtful caring spirit is now resting within Lucie. There is no doubt Lucie has taken a more assertive role and Manjula’s presence is felt , I have a new boss.

 

MAnjula is with me in so many ways and nothing dampens her spirit, then or now.

Happy Diwali

Sowbhagya came on Sunday to prepare the house and draw rangoli

Find more here

This is the first we’ve celebrated since MAnjula escaped.

We had a little rain over night and I love the new version of the Rangoli

Sowbhagya wanted to wash it away but I said leave it, I like the traditional and the modern.
communities celebrate Diwali on different days Saturday was for Jains and those from Tamil Nadu, today, Monday is for locals from Karnataka.

Anita’s Attic

Sowbhagya arrived with Dosa for her breakfast. The dining table was converted to one of my four workstations but she managed to find space. She was trapped but I blame her. She did show interest. So I launched into the synopsis of Manjula and my story, written for Anita.

SB was immediately engaged and liked it. We both enthusiastically remembered Manjula: her character, her kindness, her fun. SB could see connections with her and other women’s experiences but also how she was especially adventurous, strong and independent in the face of so many challenges.

I’m encouraged.

Last Saturday was the first session of Anita’s Attic. A programme for writers — yes, that’s me, officially a writer, of sorts — over the next twelve weeks.

There’s ten of us in the online group: taught, facilitated and mentored by Anita Nair.

Anita is a famous writer of English novels, here in India. My own favourite is Ladies Coupe and I hope that our story will feature similar expansive characters to help us discover more of India and wonderful people I’ve been fortunate to meet.

Manjula forever giving

On Manjula’s birthday she’s provided the meals for elderly people, who might otherwise be destitute, at their ashram/home. The NGO also has a children’s home which we will visit.
There are now four benches in two different gardens.
Tea and cakes in the park on her birthday

We captured each other’s heart

Cycling Manjula around Mysore

Visiting Bamboo Bazaar slum where Manjula lived as a child. Sharing sweets and showing her photo. I wonder what they think of Manjula now and how her life changed so much.
Kanchana’s team have completed a few projects including this patchwork quilt from Manjula’s clothing.
It’s designed to go on the wall or the bed.
Manjula’s memory tree decorated by our team of old drivers and two young people.
Manjula gives BIG photo album (that’s for me) and shopping bags.
Manjula’s plaque on the tree outside our door.
Manjula gives steel lifetime straws and personalised pens in pouches made from her clothing.
Thank you Manjula for being with us on your birthday. I can’t say it often or loud enough and show how much I miss and love you.
In the future Manjula’s giving will be to support to specific projects in a sustainable way.

Waiting rewarded….

Happy Birthday Manjula we love, miss and cherish you.

We wanted to hear from you on your 47th birthday and we’re not disappointed. We have a lovely message… check the video…. below

Thank you Manj.

Manjula never ever let me down and together we created a wonderful life. Thank you Manjula for making me happy.

Lucie and I, are now missing our brilliant smiling light. The memories and intensity of her giving soul of a beautiful caring, compassionate woman lives with us still.

Expect the unexpected

Nothing ever seems to go to plan in India……

to help commemorate Manjulasness on her birthday we’d invited a few friends to celebrate in the park opposite where we’ve placed three benches.

But two days before, this happened…..

There’s now the beginnings of a new path. We’ll just about manage if it doesn’t rain and create a river of mud.

One or two great books

In Manjula’s library on grieving…..

Adult books. My two top picks would be Didion and Grief and Grieving.
and children’s books, that this child loves. Memory Tree and Heart and the Bottle are fab but they’re all great.

We’ve been time travelling again on her birthdays

Manjula wanted something a little less exposed to the wind than the open-topped machine, so I borrowed the Tardis (compliments of Dr Who?) to take her on another trip or ‘rounding’ as she used to describe our outings in our Ambassador car.

Somehow we became younger

Manjula loves this as it suits her highly developed (English?) sense of humour 😉

It’s not the first time we’ve time travelled like this. She was keen for adventures into the unknown. We also discovered parallel worlds at the WOMAD (World of Music Art and Dance Festival) in England.

I admit to being disappointed as we’ve not heard directly from her. There’s time yet and I still hope