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Kamat Memorial Volume

Pictures of "Kammatiga" Release Function

Page First Online: February 14, 2004
Page Last Updated: February 09, 2014

 

A memorial volume, "Kammatiga" (Eds.K.R.Ganesha and R. Seshasastry) honoring K.L.Kamat (the principal creator of this website; the Kamat of Kamat's Potpourri) was released by  M.Chidanandamurthy in Bangalore on January 11th 2004.  The hall was full and many guests had to stand during the entire function. There were artists, musicians, photographers, and editors of newspapers. It was a wonderful function organized by admirers of Kamat.

A Report by Vikas Kamat.

The function began by observing a minute of silence to honor a great historian Raghunath Bhat  who died that morning in Dharwad. Ms. Soumya S. sang the welcome prayer and got the program started. Soumya is a young college girl who is studying entomology, said that it was Kamat's books on insects was what caused her curiosity  in insects and prompted her to study entomology (Kamat was an entomologist by education; PhD from ESF, Syracuse).

Another young man, a young musician and a student of science Srikanta Dani, served as the master of ceremonies, and coordinated the events. Earlier in the day, I went to help him display some of Kamat's photographs in the hall, and the enthusiasm of Srikanta and his friends in organizing this function and bringing out this volume was very touching. After all, these youngsters had very limited exposure to Kamat the man (Srikanta, apparently had never met Kamat), and their respect for him, and love for me and Amma was indeed heart-warming. Some elders (one of them more than a hundred years old, see below) also graced the occasion.

 


Soumya, an admirer said she took up study of insects due to Kamat's influence
A brilliant student, Soumya was winner of  medal of honor from President of India.

Netturu Srinavasa Rayaru
Over a hundred years old, Nittoor Srinivas Rao, himself a great scholar, came to the function. I felt that his presence honored the function.


Jyotsna in the company of fellow woman writers

Many great names in Kannada literature attended. Among those who assembled  were Nittoor Srinivas Rao, Suryanath Kamath, Jayant Kaikini, Nemichandra, Gayatri, Ramakant Joshi, and Hemalata Mahishi. Many family members (Kamat's sisters, nephews and relatives) also attended and it was indeed a memorable function. You know, Kamat never went to public functions, preferring a life of privacy and anonymity, and I had to exclaim "I didn't know Bappa knew so many people!" Many people traveled from far for the function, making it a special occasion.

   Friends of Kamat
Friends of Kamat gathered for the function

The book title, Kammatiga, became a matter of dispute among the scholars. I had coined the term inspired by Saint Basavanna's famous words "Kartarana Kammata" -- describing life as a laboratory of workshop of the creator (God). I had meant to say that Kamat was a worker (or a blacksmith) in that workshop. Also Kammatiga sounded like Kamat. Apparently, Kammatiga meant a farmer or a producer (of coins, sometimes). But everybody agreed that it was an apt title, and congratulated me for the suggestion.


M. Chidananda Murthy Analyzed the Book title Kammatiga and appreciated Kamat's love for India and her environment

Dr. Suryanath Kamath, who presided over the function remembered many a incidents during his association with Kamat, recalled many a  Kamat's tricks to engage people when photographing hard to photograph subject matters -- like tribals, governmental artifacts, and difficult people. He felt Krishnanand's extreme humility allowed him to document many matters that would not have been possible to document.

Jayant Kaikini referenced a poem written about Kamat by poet V.G.Bhat, and some of the incidents from my article published in the volume.

Dr. Jyotsna Kamat briefly spoke about Kamat's love for Kannada language and the goals of Kamat Memorial Trust she has established to perpetuate Kamat's memory.

The guests were honored with fruits and flowers. 

Since Kamat was no more, the audience sought autograph of surviving members on the book, much to their amusement.

The organizers had arranged an accompanying photo exhibition of some of Kamat's best photographs, and one of the members of the audience, recognized his wife in one of them! He said she was no more, and requested a copy for his album!

I felt that it was fitting that the function was held in B.M.Shri memorial hall, a location Kamat frequented often to capture the portraits of the famous people who'd come there. He was there when the institution was started, and many photographs of great men in our collection were taken there.


Copies of the book can be purchased from Kamadhenu Pustaka Bhavan in Bangalore for an introductory price of Rs.100 (US$2.00) It has been published by Kamat Memorial Trust, Honavar which has been established to perpetuate the works of K.L.Kamat.

 

 

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