Cycling to discover good

Almost thirteen years ago — shortly after I’d moved to Mysore — a group of us cycled to visit local community projects.

I wrote about it in the local paper ‘The Star of Mysore’

Organised by Sham Sunder from the National institute of Engineering here in Mysore we met activists to learn about their strong social and environmental conscience and the active projects they’d created.

One of the places we visited was Kaliyuva Mane — a school FOR children. A free residential alternative to traditional schools.

This was going to come back into my life in a very satisfying way.

Mary Christmas

Knock knock

Who’s there?

Mary?

Mary who?

Mary Christmas.

Ho Ho Ho it’s really Father Christmas the bringer of gifts.

Kaveri thought she knew Father Christmas after recognising his bangles SAPA video

Mysore Storytellers Network together with SAPA organised a Carol singing event.

It’s that day of the year …

… when the warriors ask the gods to bless their weapons

In our case the scooter, Enfield and Ambassador

Carefully washed beforehand, so that’s at least once a year.

Sb came in to work so we had a professional on the job.
Lucie couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.
Lovely guests left, to return to Bangalore

In the midst of the puja, horned beasts invaded, we have no weapons and in any case they are goddesses . So we peacefully asked them to move along.

On completing the puja, my role was to ride each vehicle to squash the limes, the goddesses returned to eat the offerings.

All the local traders (Hindus anyway) and neighbours got in on the act.

All under the watchful eye of Manjula’s representative.
And a wonky Ganesha

Near calamity

This morning

My brain was missing again

I let Lucie out the front door

There was the bag of kittens on legs waiting for me

Poor billet-doux was in shock. Ran away but was stuck

Trying to get through the gate to escape the black monster.

The bag of kittens squeezed through. I only hope there’s no long term damage.

She’s due within days.

Feeding her spirit

On Manjula’s death anniversary in March and at this time of year we especially remember MAnjula and feed her spirit. Others will remember their own relatives.

It’s the equivalent of All Hallows’ or the Mexican Day of the Dead. Here’s a bit about the Hindu version.

Close friends who could fit it in amongst their own rituals helped by preparing food and joining the puja.

Vasanth and his family and Satish together with Sowbaghya made all the preparations: the food and puja.

We were also entertained by Manjula’s videos.

Then waited outside to give her time and space to enter the house and feed.

Making plenty of noise as we re-entered so she could quietly retreat.

Only then could we eat with our Special guests Ina, Rhadika and Kaveri.

Then it was time to relax and remember, sharing Manjula’s trademark happiness.

Manjula’s Library

Somewhere to stop, read, reflect and remember.

The opportunities are not only in the library itself, but every space in and around our house offers a place for quiet reflection or when it’s not so quiet, meeting old and making new friends.

Join our family, including the birds attracted to the greenery bursting from our house, our pets… Lucie, billet-doux and

…. our garden.

Originally in pots on our roof, it’s now shifted to the park opposite with granite benches or hammocks available from the house.

Please come and enjoy.

Have we got it right? As in this article on how to nurture a personal library, “according to Cicero, if you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need.”

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.

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.

They’re at it again

Or preparing for another one.
Satish project director with his team, planning or trying to make sense of the firangi’s bizarre ideas

The wonderful team at Mysore City Corporation

Have kindly agreed to the extension of Manjula’s Garden in the park opposite our house.

Here’s the video I provided to make the case

One of Manjula’s benches in the background.

Swimming and snakes

The day started so well, with Kaveri swimming in the Kaveri.

After a quick change, that’ll. Be five rupees thank you.

Being watched by the cheeky monkeys.

Lucie was picked up much later and then wouldn’t leave the car.

Rat snakes, cavorting but not dangerous and easily managed by the snake man. She has disappeared. He was relaxing and recovering from all the hard work 🤔 so he was slow, lethargic and easily nabbbed.