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.

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.

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

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.

Rebellious

meet Kaveri

over the next few weeks I’ll post an evolving introduction to one of our new friends.

I can hear her now. Her bossy tone wafting over — from her grandmother’s home — on the other side of the park outside our house .

She’s already featured on a few entries on meandmycycle, most notably this month when she joined the ‘Manjula’s Mysore” outing to Kerala. Check here

We began making connections some time ago

So come and say hello to Kaveri…

Rebel Number One, ….an earlier posting saw Kaveri :

⁃ stuffing herself (under her grandmother’s encouragement we’re trying to feed her up, she is very skinny),

⁃ completing her “How to draw almost Everything for Kids’ sourcebook

⁃ playing in the park

and of course she was part of the Madness in Kerala

So why am I introducing you to Kaveri? …. bear with me, you’ll see.

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?

grief gravy

I have swam in it, swallowed it, fought it, opened my arms to it, shrivelled from it, tolerated it, hated it,.. It’s hit me like a personal tsunami, been wishy washy, sticky beyond treacle, invaded my brain to make it fuzzy and cracked open my tentative comfort zones. I know it’s a lifelong friend I have to accept it. It’s equal with and probably surpasses the combined effect of all the worse times in my life and for the first time uncovered real solid regrets.

It’s a gravy train that doesn’t bring benefits or maybe it does.

My heart was broken by losing Manjula, I covered it up and held it close but now I’m beginning to feel able to open my heart again. So there are positives to discover and learning to reveal.

I now love Manjula even more and in ways that I couldn’t imagine. I’m tentatively beginning to be kind to myself.

Part two of this series of postings is the heart

Thank you for your support during this horrendous journey.

I love you Manjula

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.