What and why did Manjula give?

On 21st August 2022 on Manjula’s Birth Anniversary we created a day of activity for visually impaired young women living at the Divya Jyothi Trust in Mysore.


Here are useful links to those who made it a great success, explaining who we are and why we did it.


Manjula’s Mysore Continues Manjula’s work including Mysore Bed and Breakfast, MyCycle Tours and working with young people. We organised the event, sang songs, accompanied the young people’s singing and provided cycling. Our team was: Sarvesh, Satish, Sowbaghya, Tushar, Megha, Poornima and Stephen

Satish founder Director of Manjula’s Mysore, finding a useful role.

Our Partners are Manjula’s Kind

Thanks for making this a great success.

Mysore Storyteller’s Network: enables people to revive traditional and modern art forms of India through storytelling. Inspiring and mobilising communities to share their deepest vulnerabilities through stories, using Indian arts(visual, performing and fine arts). They organised games, taught songs, shared stories, played unusual instruments, from Madhavi, Sridevi Iyengar, Gauri Nadig, Shahana, Aditya Swarup

Vishnu Sharma Company: Vishnu Sharma hosted the entertainments, played music, organised the PA, sang songs, and acted as MC 

Poornima sang songs and can be contacted via Manjulasmysore

Local businesses, active in their communities, demonstrating their caring shared responsibility. 

Faizan Baksh photographed and videoed the event. Photos of the event and Manjula, are available. A video is being prepared. Faizan provides video and photograpphy services for events and promotions. Contact Instagram @faizanbaksh

The bakers SAPA and Aroma donated cookies and cakes. 

SAPA started by Dina Weber is an artisan bakery, crafting sourdough breads and fine pastries with patience and love, giving their loaves the distinct flavours of naturally leavened breads.

Aroma is a bakery that offers high quality personalised cakes in its wide range of baked goods, since 1989

Mysore Bed and Breakfast sponsored all the meals for the day

MyCycle cycle tours loaned their tandem supported by their volunteers.

The event was hosted by Divya Jyothi Trust Founder Shivaprakash, co-ordinator Kavya, and is the NGO where the young women live.

Why did we organise the event?

To help our community.

Manjula’s kind

Manjula seized the opportunity to set up Mysore Bed and Breakfast with an English guy Stephen and they fell in love. On getting engaged it was her wish to give gifts to people rather than receive them herself. Kindness from the very beginning.They began by gifting bicycles to organisation working in the community a total which has now almost reached 50. Her business has now evolved to become “Manjula’s Mysore’ providing accommodation to tourists through Mysore Bed and Breakfast and MyCycle tours, available for the past ten years. But now with the added extra of working with young people, to help them grow, develop and thrive. 

This was a celebration of Manjula who would have been forty-nine on the day. This strong woman created Mysore Bed and Breakfast and is now known throughout the world for welcoming international tourists to Mysore until her untimely death three years ago.

Stephen is Manjula’s husband, always on the look out, for ways to remember Manjula and share her with more people. 

“I was riding my Enfield through Mysore city centre. In one of the busiest junctions were two young woman one with a white stick so one at least was visually impaired. They were trying to cross. I couldn’t stop and as far as I could see, no one helped so I wondered what it was like for young recently impaired women in Mysore. 

If Manjula was here we would’ve discussed it and she would’ve been keen for us to find out and do something. So I contacted  Divya Jyothi Trust and went with Sarvesh to meet the centre staff, the founder and the young women who live there. As a result we’ve organised activity on what would’ve been Manjula’s 49th birthday and who knows where else it might lead.”

What’s Next from Manjula’s Mysore?

“Manjula’s Mysore will continues to do good, continuing Manjula’s kindness, through partnerships of NGOs, business and community volunteers.”

Let us have your ideas

Can you ride tandem?

A Tandem is a cycle made for two people.

It’s an old joke and a serious question this week in Mysore. 

Megha and Tushar

Remember the first time you rode a bicycyle? As a child you have no fear but when you’re older it can be scary.

The uncertainty …. Your nervousness, worry, hesitancy … once on the cycle your sweating, hands are clammy, the whole thing wobbling, feet slipping from the pedals, 

Now imagine your first time, if you were blind…..

You’ve never seen a cycle, what does it look like? How do you get on and pedal? 

We wondered if it was possible for a visually impaired person to cycle with our tandem.

On the ‘Manjula’s Gift fun day’ organised by Manjula’s Mysore and its partners, three young volunteers: Tusharr, Megha and Sarvesh from MYCycle Tours were there to guide. They provided clear instructions: explained how to get on, feel the saddle, hold the handlebars, step over the frame, find the pedals and sit comfortably. A sighted person on the front steered, set the pace and kept the balance. Another volunteer cycled along and explained what was happening. 

Megha carefully explains with Tusharr and Sarvesh preparing for the next ride

“After 1-2-3 we’ll be off, 1-2-3 we’re turning a corner, 1-2-3 there’s a hump coming up. Now let’s freewheel down the hill.”  

Now think back to your first time, when you’re cycling along, remember the breeze in your hair and a smile on your face. Was it like flying along?

our volunteers Sarvesh and Tushar
loving it

We could tell from their oohs, aahs and  boundless enthusiasm that for the young women who are visually impaired, it was a transformational experience. 

We now know that someone who is visually impaired, with our caring support and their trust, can ride tandems.

Yes they can with Tushar’s help

It was part of a day of activities to entertain forty visually impaired young women who live at Divya Jyothi Trust in Mysore and celebrate our founder Manjula on her birth anniversary, organised by Manjula’s Mysore and their community partners.  

The women had great fun, we also learned a lot: realising what strength, courage and confidence these young women need to face life’s challenges.  

Volunteer Sowbaghya giving an extra helping hand and getting feedback after their rides.

Further background information about the day and its partners visit: http://www.meandmycycle.com

MyCycle Tours begin again

After soooooo long without leading tours, they are now coming thick and fast, recently with a tour each week and for good measure a short cycle ride with a little known girl.

Grabbing a dosa for breakfast on the island is becoming popular

Todays tour was for Tilley and Jessie friends from the UK who I know through a very good friend Emma. Also on the tour was someone who will remain ‘nameless’ for a little longer.

They are travelling throughout India and I’m exhausted hearing about it, but its sounds that its been fun and as with all of us learned so much from the wonderful experiences that INDIA provides to us all.

Spotting the sheep, flowers, goats, butterflies and birds, not to forget the general craziness, has always been a popular part of the tour, a new interest has become the dung beetles. They’ve also met Kaveri, or at least the goddess, and the mini version of her will join us for breakfast.

Today we had to contend with the guide running out of petrol en route to the island, a political demonstration and our route blocked by trees. Nothing is ever straightforward in India seems a slight understatement.

MyCycle Tours will be available again in September.

Snakes and termites

On our MYcycle tour of srirangapatnam guests are intrigued by the termite hills converted into desirable ac accommodation.

There’s always signs of Pooja around the main hill we pass near the site of the fourth war of mysore.

This column from the ‘Star of Mysore’ explains more

Faced it

I think it’s safe to say that I haven’t been avoiding it.

I’ve travelled through the most difficult period in my life. I’ve faced it, even embraced it, it’s still with me and always will, grief has become my unwelcome friend.

Psychology Today has something to say on this.

As I follow Manjula’s teeny tiny steps, remember our happy and yet challenging life together, as peeping through the cloudy sadness I learn more and love more about her, realise how lucky I was and continue to celebrate my beautiful, wonderful, kind wife.

I’m sharing always, and I continue to write our story but it will be some time yet before it’s finished. At times, it feels like I’m showing my devotion by building the Taj Mahal in matchsticks. So hang on a little longer. 🙃

In the meantime, there’s early postings about our life together, here on our site for you.

Check the contents page.

More masking.

We announced in August that Vasanth’s wife Sumati was making Masks.

There was tremendous interest from our Mysore Bed and Breakfast family. Vasanth has now posted masks to Europe, India, Australia and North America.
Victoria in London is very pleased with her Buddha mask.
Of course, I have to go over the top. I have a great selection of Sumati’s but sometimes carry Manjula with me.
And the boys are spreading the mycycle word…

there’s something about Manjula

Thank you for your empathy.

Yes, you….

Thank you for your guiding tolerance, for being with me, your ability to manage the slings and arrows that life throws at you, all whilst supporting the Yindian who goes on and on and on and on……..

You might have noticed that my mentions of Manjula have not diminished, in fact, they’ve recently increased because I miss her terribly but especially because:

1 Now is proving to be the most difficult period of all, the negative crumpledness is greater. But it’s all completely natural: the denial, regrets, blame, guilt and even euphoria. As Mr full-on I’m fielding the stages of grief one by one and all at once. It’s my way. We all have to deal with it the best we can. It’s the most challenging thing I’ve faced in my life and like Manjula it will always be with me.

2 It’s the anniversary of our adventures to the UK and consequently receive Facebook memories every bloody day. I have to share, I can’t not acknowledge her or push her away. She’s filling even more of my life and I get to know her better. That’s both negative and mostly positive.

3 I’ve been relatively isolated for four months. All of us are dealing with exceptional circumstances and it concentrates our emotions. That kyboshed planned travel would have been just right.

So thank you for you precious time and tolerance

to Oliver (youngest son) for my pep talk this morning.

I promise as time goes on I’ll post a wider range of subjects (watch for the famous OCI) however its Manjula’s birthday soon and so I expect her presence and a message. Am I expecting too much?