I wasn’t going to post today, mainly, to hold Ms. Howard to her promise. But, it is impolite to make a friend pay for a transatlantic flight. So, a snippet from the DNB about George Grenville Malet [1804-1856] who “narrowly escaped death in 1839 when his head was trapped in a tiger’s mouth at the moment the animal was killed by a fellow hunter”. What Mr. Malet’s head was doing in the tiger’s mouth is a question burning holes in my head [All puns in this post are, sadly, intended]. Though I have a sneaking suspicion that the fellow hunter was Sir Bartle Edward Frere [1815-1884] who ” on one occasion killed with a revolver shot a tiger that had leapt on top of his elephant”. It is possible since they were both shooting tigers in Sindh around the same time.
My paper, which did not get finished until the night before and probably showed some signs of dis-organization and sloppiness, has been delivered. I thought it went well. Many approached to give their warm thoughts. I appreciated that. Ideas are funny. They sound great until you type them up and then they appear so trivial, so naive and so self-evident. That is it? Your whole insight? They scream at you. To be certain, my ideas about South Asian historiography aren’t the most profound or insanely original. Still, they are my attempts to make sense of an archive in which I have been immersed for more than a few years. It was heartening to me that many others shared some enthusiasm for them. A future panel was bandied around. I have one or two fashionably dedicated followers.
I did not go to many panels so I cannot really report on the state of South Asian studies for you; not that you would be interested in such a report. One panel I did make it to will get its very own post tomorrow or something.
Saturday, I made it out to SF to buy an iPod Shuffle. Sumana met us there. It was great to meet her and share a Sak√à-tini. Sadly, the iPod shuffled away from my reach. Happily, the ‘tini motif carried me through to the beginning of Sunday morning with some very Rock-ingly Veiled company.
Final reports are also in from my few job applications. Appropriately enough, there, on a side-street in SF, was a fat lady singing opera.