Happy Ugadi

Sowbhagya prepares the house, the Pooja room
And finally all the Gods and Goddesses including MAnjula get a turn with a agarbati and flaming camphor
Lucie is sad, as she probably misses MAnjula doing the puja rituals.

It’s times like this we miss our closest. It’s also why they also remember us and send a love message.

This time the messenger came to my bedroom window.
It’s probably why I felt out of sorts this morning.

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.

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.

I like

“A pair of silver anklets poured out. He lifted them against the cheek of the evening sky and he shook them to unspool their rhythmic zhan-zhan-zhan. ‘Take them with you,’ was all she said. Years later he realised what she had really given him. The sound of her feet. The preface to her movements.

As I’m now officially a writer. Ha ha. Well I have pen and a blank sheet of paper.

I spend time reading with two perspectives: firstly as the reader, I always was, appreciating the journey I’m being taken on and secondly realising more about how the writer has created and revealed their story.

I quote another book to help reveal why I like the one above.

“This feeling resonated in me. It was the resonance that had lingered on, exactly as it does when the last page is turned of a book which reaches the heart.”

I want Manjula and my story to reach the heart as it did for me.

It’s three years today….

Manjula and I had our first wedding, the official one in the government office where they exchange contracts on immovable objects. We are undoubtedly immovable objects.

I was age 60 before I got married so there was a big build up and it took some time to move in that direction.

Manjula signed so many documents after we met: applications for passport, visas, accounts, tax returns, becoming a Director of the company, but this was the most important.
I’ve got the photo albums out, here at home.

three days later we celebrated and married again in a field

Can we have a garden please?

Superintending Engineer Rangaswamy SE Biligiri receives my proposal.
Phone call to his colleague Arshaya who heads development for zone 9 and asks her to give permission
Who arranges for Sanjay to meet me in the park and will provide letter of approval next week. A total of 53 minutes from beginning to end.

I now have to find help to create the bed and plant the plants.

Manjula’s garden will be between the two stone benches at the top end of our park.

We’re on a road trip.
With no one left behind
To visit vetenarian hospital in Bangalore for a Lucie blood test

The results are good so no need for a scan and after handing over parcels for Usha

we’re off back home.

Stopping on the way for lunch at fishland one of our favourite restaurants.

Manjula and I would have a drive through the countryside in the Ambassador drop in here for lunch after her regular visits to the clinic.

The staff asked where Madam was, I continue to share the old news which helps recognise and celebrate.