It’s so easy to fall into the quagmire pit of negativeness. Dwelling on the sadness of her last few weeks,the whipping stick of blame or the grief of how much I miss her. She is of course happily still with us in so many ways. I am so fortunate to have fond memories that I cherish and as the brain gets more befuddled I have lovely videos of Manjula talking to me and you. I came across one yesterday on a posting about us both coming to terms with the changes. You can find it here with her lovely humour even at the most difficult of times. I love you Manjula
For Manjula, an important part of her life here at Mysore Bed and Breakfast was her cooking. Here’s a video of her at work.
Her sumptuous meals – were all from memory and experience over many years of serving others. The new additions and innovations she which she’d excitedly reveal, came from watching her favourite cooking programmes.
It was part of her constant giving, her love, her care and connecting to others.
Tonight was very special.
It was the first time since Manjula died that we’d had a dinner here. Partly in her memory and partly to continue her tradition.
Thank you Manjula.
The No 1 cooks were Tanuja and SB (aka Sowbhagya) who works for us now, ably juggling cleaning, cooking and tolerating me. Keerthi, Tanu’s husband was called in for technical support. Our guests wolfed down the lovely food and helped finish off the washing up.
We will continue to invite our friends to share their cooking skills with future guests.
Manjula, once again, bringing people together.
“This feels com-ple-tely weird
How the heck, did it happen?
Please, move over, I’m feeling claustrophobic. We are so, not the same size!
To me it feels like the two of us are crammed into a sleeping bag, just like the one we bought for you to go camping in England. If you curl a bit I’ll curl round you, like two spoons together. Yep, yep, that’s it.
So you’re the Hindu, can you explain to me what’s happened?
OK, I’ll hazard a guess.
I must say, as cramped as this is, I am so pleased to be with you, I know its not exactly physical, more meta-physical but I can actually feel you and its wonderful. I just don’t care about anything else. I lost you and I’ve found you again. Super!
Its also amazing how we can communicate just through thoughts. Are you thinking in Kannada or English?
A mix of both.
You clever dick. You’re the boss. 🙂
Ok so here’s my take on it.
I think it’s something to do with reincarnation. Once we die and we’re released from our body our spirit finds a new home, a new body and begins its next life. Agreed?
Well, there’s also a belief amongst some people that couples can be reunited in their new life.
Yes, I remember discussing this with friends and joking about whether we’d wish to be reincarnated with our husbands! Most didn’t seem to want to be.
I did though!
You and I have had some disagreements. I don’t think you realised how hard it was for me, at times but I loved you to the end of the earth, and beyond
Remember me saying that?
I love you too.
So how have we ended up here?
The last I remember, you had a second heart attack and you didn’t want to go back on a ventilator, you’d hated that the year before, even though it gave us another year together. So I asked the Doctors not to resuscitate and you died.
Afterwards, I was on my Enfield, squinting through the tears on my way back to Siddartha Layout, to sort things out so I could bring your body home, when ….
A lorry knocked me off the two wheeler and next thing I know I was here with you.
Where is here? by the way.
I don’t know but I’m beginning to adjust, I’m not feeling bunched up anymore – I’m getting used to it.
I remember being in hospital and you made a joke about me not smiling so I giggled and smiled, last thing I remember I was complaining that my head hurt.
Then I was in a valley, having passed through a bright sun light. People were singing and dancing. I thought of you and whispered a message, that I loved you, to a passing dragonfly. Then as if by Magic, you appeared and I saw you through the crowd coming towards me.
Wow. So let me get this right, we’ve died within minutes of each other and somehow our souls have joined together, reincarnated into the same body. How amazing is that?
I feel that we’re gently melding together, we’re becoming as one.
Well, I didn’t read about this in the Bhagavad Gita! Did you?
Waahay, this could be fun. Maybe we could give a TED Talk.
First time for years. Revisited a Mysore institution: The intimate Cottage Chamber Concert. Organised by the inimitable Jan Brouwer since 1996. With Jan Sham on Viola and Mitali on piano. (Baby grand seeing as you ask)
A lovely evening. Meeting old and new friends.
Stephen and Catherine with one of the youngest aficionados.
For me, what was extra special, after a few very sad months, was to have my mood lifted by the beautiful music. I’ll continue by listening to music throughout the weekend.
Ina and I are off to celebrate Independence Day with Satish at a ‘free school’ catering for some of the poorest people in our community.
The school is Kaliyuva Mane
There’s much to do.
And back home we have our very own flag. Putting our neighbours to shame.
Satish became such a close friend (or brother) to Manjula she would telephone him most days to bend his ear and share her stories. He was a source of invaluable support, especially in her last few months.
He’s one of our main drivers and been an incredible help in so many ways. We spent days hunting down our Ambassador car (which he hopes to get in due course) and his project management skills came in handy to prepare for our wedding ceremony.
Tanu and Satish have joined me as Directors of the business in Manjula’s place.
Today Ina and I were invited to his home for lunch as it’s Mahalakshmi’s big day (more info here).
We’re working on a new project….. more later.
Faizan, aka Fez, first came into our lives through his work with Royal Mysore Walks.
He has many talents and way up the list is his creative eye. The videos and still shots he takes and crafts are wonderful.
A few days after Manjula and I got married he arrived on the doorstep with a lovely wedding present.
It’s inlay work for which Mysore is rightly famous. He’s just got married himself to the lovely Abida and here we are together at their celebration.
I met his mum and three sisters, there, yes, he comes from a female household. I was struck by their open, friendly approach which of course is not uncommon in India. But there was something else. They were all enthusiastic, dynamic souls, very engaging, great connectors and clearly with a strong social conscience. A real credit to their mum. They also remind me of someone else who was similarly very special.
Faizan is working on a video project for me but look at this one he made earlier. Sad but Grand!
I was away earlier this year for a couple of months and Faizan kindly looked after Lucie and the house while I was away. They are now the best of buddies.
He’s on Instagram as Faizanbaksh and facethingy.