I share this gift from Manjula — as a follow up to Why? — as we approach what would have been her 49th birthday. On her birthday itself we hope to make a few other friends. Please check back to find out what happens.
In the meantime, if you’re interested, there’s more of our story here.
It’s an important day as the Poojari has read the stars, consulted who knows who and what to issue a hand written decree that today (12th March) is actually Manjula’s death anniversary and not the 23rd as we mere mortals might have assumed. I was on duty this morning making breakfast for two sets of guests one from Belgium and the other from Canada had gelled wonderfully on yesterday’s cycle tours.
After breakfast the real work began preparing lunch for our immediate team and special guest Kanchana.
A BIG thank you to SB for everything, Satish was project manager and his wife on cooking duty. Good to see Vasanth and his wife
Pooja for Manjula was completed by one o’clock then we all went outside and closed the door for Manjula to come and tuck in.
should we allow five or ten minutes? I reckoned ten as she was a slow eater. We then knocked on the door to warn her and reentered. One more turn with flames. I’d forgotten to count and so might have done extra. MAnjula wouldn’t have expected anything different.
then we were allowed to eat. Quite unusually in our house. Men first on the floor, women, the sophisticates, at the table. They clearly had planned to feed the five thousand so a fair amount was distributed to the poor. Of course we’d also sponsored food at the ashram for the elderly residents as we, Tom and Amy have done numerous times.
To engage the neighbours I placed little signs by the benches and a life size photo of MAnjula out the front of the house.
Lucie got tired just being Lucie. It’s fair to say she was overcome by the emotion of it all. She’s clearly in tune.
as are the water Lilly and today’s innovation the memory tree.
Manjula, our star, we miss and love you, sometimes it’s too much to bear but we have lots of wonderful memories to help us through.
This might sound like self imposed torture, (our initials were S&M!):
-reading through the transcripts created by Vidya from Manjula’s Kannada audio recordings, or
-watching her talking to video camera in English,
-having conversations about my love with Tanu, Satish and Ina with the help of Faizan and Sumukh who are researching and recording.
I miss and don’t want to lose any memories, of course she’s with me and to you my friends it might seem a hard thing to do, even masochistic, it’s very difficult, but it’s also wonderful in the sense that I discover even more about Manjula and fall in love all over again.
Out walking with Lucie I was bushwhacked attacked with sad feelings and tears, as if from nowhere.
Only to arrive back home to be greeted by this….
Hello Stephen, This appeared in my mind when I thought of you and Manjula: “Beautifully she lived and lives in your heart and soul, She sings through the world around you, “Express your love for me by living a kaleidoscopic life” It is written as it appeared to my mind and I felt I wanted to share it with you. Love, Kali