Today is the first day of the fifth and final year of my life as a Ph.D. student at the Department I love. It was four years ago that I registered myself as a research student. These years have been immensely productive. It has been a lot of fun exploring the depths of my own ignorance with regard to questions of the human predicament and social relationships. I have come to recognise the complexity of certain concepts which I would be engaged with all my life. So I think. The first year of these four was spent mostly doing ethnographic field work and the remaining three were mostly spent in Delhi University making all possible efforts at making sense of all that the field experiences could teach me. The coursework, colloquiums, seminars, workshops that I attended have made a huge contribution to this effect. Hoping for a great final year.
Today is also the festival of Vijayadashmi or Dussehra. When the country celebrates the triumph of good over evil and exhilarates at the burning effigies of Ravana, the demon king, I grab this opportunity to be amused once more by the splendor of the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. In the light of my quest for understanding Indian society and social relationships, I consider these two texts to be immensely significant. Special regards for the great fifteenth century poet-saint Tulsidas who wrote the Ramcharitmanas, a book that I admire. Here is the great Indian vocalist M.S. Subbulakshmi with one of the devotional songs Tulsidas penned.
It is a special day also because my blog has recorded some 300 hits. Happy Dussehra to all and happy new year of research to me!