Even more at Manjula’s library

I recently discovered that Stardust, one of my favourite films is written by an author I’ve only just discovered: Neil Gaiman. I know, I know, I’m behind the times.

Here’s the author’s original outline for the book.

Well now I’ve read the book and strongly recommend both.

With superb images by Charles Vegg

Bul Bul update.

This is the fourth Bul Bul’s nest we’ve had at Moksha Manor.

Previously on the roof garden, our mid level garden out on the first floor mini garden and even in a hanging plant above our round table in the drive.

They’re good at nesting in the most unlikely places. This time they’ve chosen our secret garden in the back yard where we hang out the washing.

There’s been a gap of two years when they didn’t nest. The year Manjula died and following year.

Not only have they returned this year Sowbaghya spotted five adult birds all gathering to welcome the new babe.

We managed to photo two of them.

They must have realised it’s been a sad time but now returned to a place they’ve made their home. They know it’s safe and welcoming, not just for our human and four legged friends.

I wonder if English birds search out quiet, withdrawn locations. Here in India they have to manage the noise and general hecticness.

Another example of Manjula’s kind.

New arrivals

A MAnjula print — as we clearly don’t have enough already — from our first holiday in Hampi, the year we got engaged.
Catherine has kindly donated a wonderful cabinet for Manjula’s library. Those with eagle eyes will have spotted one of our awards from Trip Advisor. We’ve been number one in Mysore, because of great guest reviews, since our first year.
One of Manjula’s ‘I love you’ messengers never left. It was S/he’s last journey.

We keep getting them.

Families enjoying Manjula’s bench.

All these arrival are especially important as we’re missing real life people coming to stay with us.

What happens to old and disabled cows?

Where do the elderly cows go? and the bulls no one wants?

Out cycling today Veerendra and were invited into the local Pinjrapole society to see their work.

Imagine an old people’s home for cows.

I’ve visited many times over the years, we even used to visit as part of a cycle tour for veterinarians. They were ‘vets beyond borders’ volunteers working on a dog project in the Tibetan settlement in Bylakuppe the vets would often stay with us at Mysore Bed and Breakfast.

It’s a great place.

Anniversary

Remembering MAnjula who continues giving.

Sowbaghya and I visited the home for elders to sponsor their meals on the 23rd March on the anniversary of Manjula’s soul flying away.

It was a hoot. SB and I misplaced each other before arriving. Then there was the checking Aadhaar (ID) cards, completing the receipt, and at the last moment remembering to write to confirm it was in Manjula’s remembrance.

The guys remembered and others joined in recalling me cycling in the grounds with the giant picture of MAnjula, a year ago on the anniversary of her death.

I promised to return for her birthday in August. We all laughed and joked, very entertaining but I wonder what they really think.

Sowbaghya is preparing for today’s memories of Manjula.

Impossible decisions in life

I’ve just read an article about CPR which helps clarify the situation Manjula and I were in almost exactly two years ago.

Manjula had a heart attack on the Friday evening and she’d had CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation to bring her back to life. On the Saturday morning she had another heart attack. I was asked whether we wanted Manjula to be resuscitated. I believe she didn’t but it is and will be the hardest decision of my life.

To this day I still don’t know and it hangs over me.

I wish I’d been able to discuss it properly with Manjula so that it was her decision so that it would be clearer that she didn’t want CPR.

Here’s a quote from the article

“… we need to explain that CPR means something very specific. It is the term we use for chest compressions and electric shocks to a heart that has stopped beating – and is reserved exclusively for someone who has already suffered a cardiac arrest. In a sense, the patient has already died: we are trying our hardest to resurrect them.

A “do not attempt CPR” order does not mean we make no attempt to prolong a patient’s life. All manner of other treatments may well be appropriate, such as fluids, antibiotics, admission to hospital, or even treatment in an intensive care unit. The only thing ruled out is chest compressions and shocks to the heart.

Like every other medical treatment – from chemotherapy to major surgery, and transplants to antibiotics – CPR has harms as well as benefits. Resuscitation is an ugly, aggressive and often traumatic treatment. Only in around 10% of cases does all the effort reap rewards. It is nothing like what you see on TV. Too often, the heart cannot be restarted and all we achieve is a cacophony of alarms, wires, shocks and needles in place of dignified dying.

Even if the patient’s pulse is restored, there is a risk their cardiac arrest may leave them profoundly brain damaged.”

I will cover this properly in our story.

writing our story

is proving to be quite a challenge, partly as there is a

“paradox at the heart of the enterprise, the inevitable tension between the distance required for apprehension — for a perspective to emerge in which events can find their proper place — and the pressured immediacy of vivid narrative.” from The Art of Time in Memoir by Sven Birkets.

It’s telling a story when the trauma, the wound of: Manjula’s death, the circumstances leading up to it, the wider context and my powerlessness to act on what was happening is still very much with me and therefore makes it harsh and tender by turns. It’s necessary but hard, so the telling of the tale doesn’t progress at a speed or in ways that I’d like..

It’s about knowing when to focus-in the lens and when to pull back, with both “experience tasted and experience digested.”

In addition, I’m having to write in proper English with the handicap that I’m from Yorkshire.

Manjula, still with me, gently sighs, as she’s seen it all before.

we too…

just so that you know, Meghan and Harry married three days before the ceremony, and it was our choice too.

But no-one asked us about the likely colour of our child because our family and friends don’t care and well, Manjula wasn’t expecting. 😉

I love the shots that reflect our feelings and perhaps Manjula was having second thoughts, in at least one?