Who’s taken them?

We have a pomegranate thief.

Just as they ripen on the branch someone comes and steals them.

We don’t believe anyone is taking them from our side of the wall or that it’s anyone that works here or relatives of the owner that live on the roof.

No strangers have entered our property. We do have CCTV.

They are however easily reachable from the neighbours path.

It’s a recurring theme. People help themselves to flowers from the public parks. We’ve challenged people with their discreet plastic bags filling them not least from Manjula’s memorial garden.

This morning, Sowbhaghya came across one of the workers in the park who accosted a little girl who was collecting flowers for Pooja. she shouldn’t.

A lesson for Kaveri to learn.

The day itself.

The third death anniversary of Manjula. We try to do all the right things.

I close the hall (lounge) door behind me as we all leave the house. This is to allow Manjula’s soul spirit to eat. We’ll gently knock on re-entering so she knows to go.
Over the years friends have created a MAnjula memory tree.

Ina the Scottish Australian who became a great friend of ours and especially Manjula calls and arranges to visit later in the year.

Thank you MAnjula for being the all-embracing you, we all miss and cherish you while continuing to feel your presence.

I have another bright idea, I might regret it.

The evening before

Smileys appear on our street.

I’m reminded of how I’d felt the need to protect my broken heart — like this one in a bottle — while looking around me at the images of my beautiful MAnjula which trigger happy joyful memories of our wonderful but short time together.

Tomorrow we’ll share a meal with MAnjula and a few close friends.

It’s that time of year

The big fella is out and about with his mum Gowrie

Later in the week we’ll do the usual puja and a few days later immerse him in the river Kaveri.

I am getting a bit attached although we do already have at least five Ganesh’s in the house plus the two we’re looking after for Steven Heath.

Independence Weekend

I’m meandering locally.

A lovely family round the corner kindly donated some plants for Manjula’s garden. Lucie didn’t want to leave.
Sushi surprise from Sahana’s kitchen

These guys will have bought their flowers but you can begin to realise why people scour the area to nick flowers in the morning.

Today is Independence Day, we also have a flag (Indian) outside our house but without the dashing hero.

Shopping with a purpose

Don’t consider Tanuja and I to be sensible shoppers.

If our trip to the nursery is anything to go by, we’re the sort to go to the supermarket for staples and come back with puddings, the exotic rather than the plain, the icing while neglecting the cake.

We’ve got a great selection of flowers but our eyes were distracted by the shapely coloured and aromatic roses.

The problem is, as we knew, but didn’t care, they’re not a lot of use for the new Manjula’s garden in the park.

Why? you might ask.

Because people pick the flowers in the morning for their puja rituals.

So I thought I’d create a mini rose garden inside our gate.

I wish I’d done it for Manjula a few years ago as she would have loved it.

I started writing this post in a light-hearted jokiness way, only to realise this…..

I placed some of the roses out the front door but inside our gate. Within less than one day someone had stolen the roses.

Clearly these people haven’t any thought that the flowers are there for the enjoyment of all, rather than the selfish ritualistic needs of a few.

We’ve yet to plant out our flowers in Manjula’s garden and I seriously wonder if any of the flowers will survive, if I don’t employ a 24/7 guard.

It’s even worse with the roses in the next park. They are carefully nurtured by the gardeners but people go in and steal the whole plant.

We need some English old fashioned park signs ‘don’t pick the flowers.’

Another case for the missing dharma detective.

Sharing Shrines

our Hindu house has a Pooja room, set up by MAnjula it’s still used for certain festivals. Other households would use it everyday. Our next festival is likely to be for the big rotund guy, my favourite: Ganesh.

No two houses are the same which might be due to the specific Gods, they worship, their caste or maybe just because India is incredibly consistently inconsistent.

In memory of MAnjula as with many households a photo, is placed in the hall (lounge/living room) when people die. For the first year we’d place flowers around her every month, with a special Pooja on her annual death anniversary. This all part of a series of rituals to help her soul spirit find another body and be reincarnated into her next life.

Tanuja at Manjula’s second death anniversary.

In our house there’s a main photo of MAnjula in each of our two lounges. Fact is there are photos of her everywhere. My son thinks The whole house is becoming a shrine.

Sowbaghya who did all the preparation, cooking, decoration for each of Manjula’s death anniversaries.

Now after two years I’ve decorated her like a Christmas tree with lights all around her.

Sometimes she’ll get a little extra treatment with red or yellow dots and we’ll do a little Pooja. It’s essentially a prayer with a request to god.

We’re flexi here.

Her pic is also found on the tree out the front of our house, T-shirt’s and masks her no 1 place is in my heart.

For me it’s especially important to acknowledge our being together and celebrate Manjula as many didn’t know about our relationship.

Why?

That will feature in our story.

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.