Adopted

More young people aged from seven through to twenty-nine are befriending me.

The latest are the excitable cycling duo of Yashodhar and Srivaastav.

Who saw me walking Lucie and asked me to wait while they rushed home and brought me these pictures.

Complete with carefully designed envelope.

How nice.

Little rituals

For almost 2 1/2 years I’ve received daily iPhone notifications —like the one below —reminding me to switch the water on and off. This is to pump water from the sump to the header tank and for the house to not run dry (a common system where we live). The messages were set up by Tom after we realised I needed a reminder. Without Manjula’s physical presence in the house it wouldn’t get done.

MAnjula collected coins in a make up bag. Each morning I take out ten rupees for my morning tea break while walking with Lucie. Thanks Manj.

Lucie waits patiently at the top of the stairs for me to go backwards and forwards getting ready to walk. At the last moment she peers in manjulas library as a reminder to check that I’ve bolted the balcony door.

I look in and smile at two of the many portraits of Manjula that fill the house.

Occasionally placing a T light in this wonderful engagement present brought all the way from Australia

A favourite photo, emergency escape and engagement present.

All pieces of the jigsaw of our life. The missing pieces’ essence is present in every one of them.

I’ve chosen to deal with my grief companion head-on. Others will do it differently. Who knows what’s the best way, our experiences are completely individual. The pain is there, whatever but I try to minimise the suffering.

Daily bittersweet tears

I share Manjula’s story wherever and whenever I can. In the dentists waiting room, even the treatment chair, during the morning tea break, handing out cards inviting people to appreciate our garden.

It’s important to me.

She probably thinks I’m ridiculous. 🤭

Last night was my second appearance at an open mic. MAnjula did get a mention (that’s the point) it was three intertwined love stories. But I ran out of time. The story of my life. If reincarnation and reconnecting souls is true, maybe I’ll have more time with Manjula’s sweet kind soul.

Manjula gives again.

While Manjula’s garden and benches hang out in the next door park.
So that’s why the corporation often don’t place their benches in the shade? 🤭I don’t think it was a Manjula gift or maybe it was….

Age showing through increasing inability.

Big announcement.

The old man has managed to send money from his bank account to pay for a book by something called UPI should I be proud or ashamed?

Maybe the shave helped.

It’s taken ages and I mean months to work it out. I think I need a lie down before I advance to QR Code.

It’s that time of year

The big fella is out and about with his mum Gowrie

Later in the week we’ll do the usual puja and a few days later immerse him in the river Kaveri.

I am getting a bit attached although we do already have at least five Ganesh’s in the house plus the two we’re looking after for Steven Heath.

It’s quite a different time

A week after Manjula’s birthday celebration (which I recognise is actually a bit weird) I’m in one of the strangest periods I’ve ever had in ten years living in Mysore. …. and I’ve had some seriously off times. Maybe more than in the previous fifty years (I’m now 64) before moving to India.

I’ve shared some of my most challenging times as they related to losing Manjula. This one is about engaging with the unforgiving unfathomable system.

I’ll have to get out of this particular dark tunnel where there is no light before I’m able to share much more.

….. other things, today.

I’m just back from yoga class where I’d hoped for a bit more distraction.

Next, Lucie and I go out for a walk. I completely failed her yesterday with just one short joint walk late in the day as I was dealing with a whirlpool of mayhem. Thankfully Sowbaghya was here to help and both Satish and Vasanth took her rides in their autos.

Lucie’s drinking point just inside our gate

Nicely arranged with flowers and plants and on top of grinding stone from the village.

My new daily ritual is to reach into Manjula’s Claris (gift from a guest, maybe Christine) bag of coins for ten rupees to pay for this morning chai.

Thoughtful as ever Manjula provides my morning tea.

World War One German helmets or hanging pots, yet to be installed.
We’re out and about, and visiting Satish on Srirangapatnam.

Remembering Manjula.

It’s all go..

We use any and every opportunity to recognise and remember, what would have been Manjula’s 48th Birthday is extra special.

On monday afternoon, 23rd August (postponed from Saturday due to a curfew) we have open-house for friends to drop-in for a drink and cake or sweets, to visit the garden we’ve just planted, see Manjula’s two painted portraits and have a chat.

We’ve now got two paintings by Cinderella, more here and here
Karan a student at CAVA Art College is creating something to entertain.
Tom and Amy helping out
by kindly sponsoring the meals for the elderly people living in the Ashram (not the children’s home!)
Tanuja, one of the MyCycle Directors, helping plan the garden with a little shopping trip
It’ll look better in a couple of years 😉
planting a special tree for Manjula
Sowbhaghya with her new T shirt
Satish, MyCycle Director, nearly working.
earlier photo (we’ve had no international guests for over a year) of one of the three benches in the park,
As we reach the end of the day on her birthday it’s been raining for hours. So an earlier photo.

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?