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Review of Kamat's Potpourri

"Much Too Much"
Digital Hindustan Times

December 7, 1999

I might as well be crass - it's one sure way of getting your attention - and ask you if you know whether ancient Indian women wore bras. You wouldn't know, but then your thoughts on the matter aren't too polite. Kamat's Potpourri at http://www.kamat.com/index.html asks: "Were they striched (sic)? Were they padded?" You want the answer, go there yourself. But the Potpourri's about far more than baffling bodices. It's about that diligently dogtagged bagatelle of bodybags called human history. The Website, exhaustive and flamboyant in its contents, follows the current Indian cultural preoccupation with being simply swank or swankly simple, any way you want it. If you're not one of those urban dilettanti who doesn't know a shahtoosh from a Phulwara suit, the substantial content that has gone into the site won't show through its poker-faced exterior. Inside is truly a potpourri: the Mahatma as an investment advisor, the World Kannada Conference, a rare section on Buddhism in India, marketplace maundering about how "exploitation of the poor is one definite sign of progress", sports and utility vehicles from heaven. You get the picture. It doesn't take much to notice that the entire site showcases the works of the remarkably prolix Kamat family, and the fact that it has grown from a homepage on AOL in November 1995 with a tour of the country in "photo stubs" to a compendium in full sail makes it a showcase for what a lot of us fatheads should be doing - getting culturally hyperlinked.

- Kajal Basu

As appeared in Digital Hindustan Times on December 7, 1999 
See the Entire Review (Site no longer online)

 
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