Friday, July 01, 2005

In India, Marking the Paper Trail of History

"In the walled quarters of the old city, a Sanskrit language scholar walks purposefully along the packed, narrow and twisting alleyways, jostling past rows of jewelry shoppers, cycle rickshaws, bullock carts and beggars. When he comes upon an old temple with an ornately carved doorway, he stops, sweating profusely in the sweltering sun.
'Do you have any ancient handwritten manuscripts here?' Dilipkumar Rana, the scholar, asks in a whisper. The stunned temple manager nods. 'The government is doing a survey of old manuscripts,' Rana says."