Found

A critical (focussed on wish fulfilment) part of our growing team set out on a search today

Satish was captain, Sowbaghya was translator-leader-investigator, Stephen was only half there.

Behind the scenes were Sarvesh (the facilitator) and Radhika (auntie) offering support.

The subject was an increasingly well known girl.

I returned to Mysore almost three weeks ago and last week went to visit kaveri.

I was a bit confused finding their house but eventually got there with the kind help of a shopkeeper.

Only to find they’d moved. What?!

They’re estranged from grandmother, grandfather, auntie and uncle who live in a room opposite our house who had no idea where they’d gone. The area yes, but the specific house, no way Jose. To top it all chandrika’s phone wasn’t working, so they weren’t contactable.

The last I saw Kaveri with her Mum Chandrika, in June, before leaving for my travels

So what to do?

Rhadika knew she was at school through a friend who’s sister attended the same school. She couldn’t help on action day as she was ill.

So SB volunteered for mission impossible.

To Infiltrate the school.

The aforementioned team set off across the city after sorting out the confusion of where and what time to go to find Kaveri as she finished her school day.

The white old man waited discreetly in Satish’s auto rickshaw. It’s not done for old men to be hanging around school gates, even in India.

Got her

She arrived at the auto, with a steady stream of her friends passing by with her declaring ‘foreign uncle,’ as if this was the necessary proof as previously they hadn’t believed her.

Any low profile was lost.

But what a result. We’d found her, went to their new home, met up with mum and dad got agreement for her to spend the weekend over with us and the about to arrive Ina.

She’ll also stay with grandma on the Saturday

So my reward is seeing my adopted granddaughter and we’re tentatively building bridges between family break up.

Triple Result

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.

Why I’m so lucky

I first shared ‘why?, in a posting in 2015

I’ve just rediscovered and want to share a recording that Manjula made that year. It’s quite long but you’ll get the gist pretty quickly.

I’ve had difficulties uploading it so please follow the link to see the video, it’s one of the best

I share this gift from Manjula — as a follow up to Why? — as we approach what would have been her 49th birthday. On her birthday itself we hope to make a few other friends. Please check back to find out what happens.

In the meantime, if you’re interested, there’s more of our story here.

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.

Exhausting but fulfilling Kaveri day.

Kaveri (also anglicised as Cauvery) is named after the holy river, one of the seven holiest in India, a Hindu goddess, who is known for her strength of character and giving nature. As usual the stories vary.

Kaveri and I eventually get a day together but she isn’t dressed for cycling
So I find one of our famous T shirts for her and buy shorts on the island.

The Kaveri river rises in the western ghats in Kodak (Coorg) passing through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu before reaching the Bay of Bengal.

On its journey east it splits to form three islands, one of which is Srirangapatna, featured on our main mycycle tour.

The river helps feed the irrigation systems especially around Srirangaptnam and is source of conflict between the two states.

Some idiot can’t be trusted with a smart phone.
Resting after a hard day, she is over 60
Satish Uncle drives Kaveri (back in her Sunday Best) to Hinkal, in his autorickshaw, as Manjula’s Ambassador has now gone home for a rest.

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.

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.