How to Fight Loneliness

Apologies for the lack of postings. It has been a busy couple of weeks. This past weekend, a conference that took a year of planning and execution took place. Sacred Cows & False Prophets: Traversing History and Religion in South Asia or as I called it, Ronapalooza. My idea was to do a simple festschrift for my advisor, Ron Inden, but I didn’t realize how many illustrious students he has had in over 30 years of teaching and writing about India. It was quite hard enough to secure money to run the conference and the myraid challenges of being an organizer but the hardest thing was to manage the list of participants. I think I escaped unscathed but who knows … maybe somewhere my name is mud. Such a political minefield, this academia. Still, seeing the recognition of Ron’s impact on so many scholarly lives was worth it all. Pdcs has a small report up that he was live-blogging on Friday. Perhaps he will return to it, though I doubt it. The conference was a drain on our collective reserves.

What else? There is an urgency for the next few weeks to do some serious editing and writing. Thanks to e. and a late night googling session my last chapter is ballooning to 80 pages. Not doable. Do I add another chapter? Do I take some of the things out? I don’t know. Decisions have to be made. I must admit, though, that this will be one freakin’ cool dissertation. You have been warned.

On the sidelines, I have finally found a way to combine my Jekyll with my Hyde. I am also insanely jealous of Jeremy and the whole CHNM crew. The South Asia crowd needs to learn a lot – and quickly – from those kool moe dees. For this year’s Madison conference, I have proposed a panel on digital archives & tech. If it gets accepted, I will write the paper, here, on CM. Should be a fun exercise.

Finally, May 1st approaches. Please be in the streets, wherever you are.

Oh wait! Let’s leave you with something to talk about. Here is a call from pdcs for nominations for the best Indian film based on fiction. My picks would be Umrao Jan Ada, Pather Panchali, Shatranj ke Khilari and Maqbool… what say ye?