He has some (non mathematical) interesting points to make. He comments on the tala that people keep with their hands in a Carnatic recital and the typical syncopated rhythm. He identifies the National Anthem to be in E major and the ending in as he put it "it was in a very clear E major — to describe it in Western terms — but strangely ended, in even quavers apart from a held last note, with E E F# F# G# G# F# G# A" - the Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya He.
For a Britisher he is strangely ignorant of some very common Indian customs. He seems never to have seen anyone do a Namaste which is truly odd since it is so common, not only in India but many parts of South and South East Asia. Instead he calls it a gesture he has only seen in Indian sculptures "she greeted us by putting her two hands together, pointing upwards, a gesture I was familiar with only from Indian sculptures".
He seems never to have heard of biryani (he thinks it is billani) -- again odd given how popular Indian food is in Britain.
A faint air of superciliousness runs through the account which I found a bit irksome
the president (of India, not the IMU) told us once again what the ICM was, but after that unpromising start she moved into a speech about India’s mathematical heritage and various other topics, all discussed in a way that made it clear that somebody — I presume not her — knew what they were talking about. She told us of an old Sanskrit saying, “Mathematics stands at the helm of all sciences.” I think I prefer the “queen of” metaphor that is more prevalent in the west. She told us that the concept of zero originated in India, and that calculus was anticipated in India in the 15th century. I wondered before the opening ceremony started how many times Ramanujan would be mentioned.and particularly that irritating crack about Ramanujan.
But I suppose a Fields medalist is entitled to his upturned nose....