The days after, three years ago

Doing my duty…

When one suffers such loss that forms a trauma and it’s aftermath, it’s an extra challenge to focus on the positive.

It’s especially difficult at anniversary time. There’s a preoccupation with the loss, the guilt, a blaming.

In this month there’s also helpful reminders of good, our wedding ceremonies.

Some might wonder why I follow so ‘religiously’ the traditions. It’s simply my love and devotion for MAnjula.

I always tried my best to do what she wanted
And she was bossy

The day afterwards brings out memories of when she was laid to rest on her bed, outside our house with the tell tale symbols of the smouldering wood informing the neighbourhood what was happening. Next we’d go to the industrial shed-oven aka crematorium and before that a puja by the side led by Manjula’s brother.

A kindly neighbour brought Bhagavad Gita to help emphasise our duty not to become too attached to our loved ones and to help their soul spirit move onto another body.

Here’s me doing precisely that…..

Do follow the link and check the video at the end where I’m at one of the most significant places on Srirangaptnam; visited on every cycle tour over the past ten years.

I was so lucky

This week

March is a month of significant memories.

It began with our wedding at the city corporation, followed a few days later with a celebration on Srirangaptnam.

Two years running she was admitted to intensive care and sadly and devastatingly died three years ago on the 23rd.

We do Pooja on that anniversary, help her on her way and remember fantastic times with a wonderful woman.

Here’s a video memory created by our good friend Tom, Manjula showing one of her many skills and most importantly her kindness of giving.

Wedding part two

The morning after the reception.

Timings are followed exactly (9.00 to 9.30 am) unlike the night before when things hadn’t started almost two hours after the advertised time.

The knot is tied and I’ve poured milk, gently thrown rice and had tiffin.

Behind the scenes in the choultry or wedding hall is the sort of place where Manjula started working.

The bride’s proud father

Weddings, I’ve seen a few.

Thankfully it’s filling out and I recognise a couple of people, so correct day and place.

I’m in a new phase in addition to visiting places where I’ve already been with Manjula, like many of the central London attractions, I now find myself wishing she was with me in new situations.

Well she is !
Ripples of excitement as people are recognised and celebrated.

These are critical events in connecting community.

It’s getting late and nothings happened yet. I haven’t planned this properly and should have eaten. I might beat a hasty retreat.

I’ll be back in the morning.

Tomorrow Lakshmi and Sunil tie the knot. Today at reception, only soft drinks, it’s gifts and photos.

Is there a problem?

Is there ever not a problem? But they’re always solvable in India.

This is the corporation office of the non removable assets, meaning where they exchange contracts for land, buildings etc.

In our case, we’re the immovable objects getting married.

These photos have just been found and shared by our good friend Tanuja.

I can’t remember what this was about probably just checking details before the critical point where we sign and are officially joined in matrimony.

The whole set up was confusing and it was difficult to know at what precise moment we actually got married. Maybe this was it.

Look out for the full story next year.

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

roaring mouse

 

There was a quiet mouse who came to check whether it was worth the risk working for a strange foreign man. Thankfully she agreed to give me a chance. That was ten years ago. It’s not always been easy partly because of her illness and dealing with life in India but this small bundle of beauty, of strength, of fun…. changed my life. For that I’m eternally grateful. We had a wonderful life together.

Today is the anniversary of celebrating our weddings two years ago, in a field on Srirangaptnam Island. Please follow the links to find out more.

getting ready

our real wedding

the other one

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Get off me……..

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As we approach the anniversary of Manjula slipping through my fingers and leaving for her next life, I’ll post a mix or memories and reminiscences and continue to share with you what a wonderful strong, caring woman we’ve lost.