Monday, June 12, 2006

time to go

After two months in Pune, it is time to go. I was planning on passing the monsoon here, working on the Sanskrit edition of my text, but will leave three months ahead of plan, not because I have completed my work, but because I have not, or at least not much of it.

After agreeing to read with me, the Indian scholar I had come to work with was offered the highly visible and highly prestigious position of executive director of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute -- a position that has left him little time for me and my little project. Though he seems interested in the text, he regularly has to cancel our meetings, and our progress has often ground to a halt as he deals with his administrative duties.

In this way, two months pass, and I now find myself leaving Pune having covered only 11 pages with the scholar-turned-administrator. 11 pages. Of a 400-page Sanskrit text. this is very bad.

I call my dissertation adviser, Charles Hallisey, to see about applying for a grant for a second year of research, since obviously at this rate, one would not be enough. (Actually at the rate we have maintained here, 30 years would not be enough!) My adviser’s response: ‘You are telling me you are not making progress there and so you want to spend more time there? Move on. See if Shastri in Visakhapatnam will read with you.’ I call my Sanskrit teacher Shastri Garu and he says, come. Come soon. He is planning to travel to the States and may leave in a few weeks or months.

As I hope this blog shows, Pune is a fascinating and highly livable town. It just has not been an enormously productive one for me. I book my tickets and prepare to leave Pune.

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