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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat

Rajiv Gandhi and Donald Trump Durable Link to this BLOG
History Lesson for my Young Friends
(analogy to Trump's victory is purely co-incidental)

In 1984 the voters of India elected Rajiv Gandhi, a charming man with an attractive foreign born trophy wife and no political experience --in a grand landslide. He had a fresh perspective, a strong voter mandate, and very high (perhaps impossible) expectations of himself. He thought of enemies as "they are people too, why don't we make deal with them, instead of fighting them?", a pacifist approach.

So he did, with spectacular results.

The Punjab Accord brought end to armed separatism and terrorism, the Assam Accord rectified a mistake in India's Governance, and the Sri Lanka Accord hoped to stop a brewing civil war. (You can look-up all these things; they are actually fascinating topics of study).

At the end, the decades of decay and corruption was too much for him to change and reform. India was too big and too complex a nation to streamline everything and his inexperience and lack of brilliance showed gapingly. In today's India he is remembered for his Muslim appeasement (Shah Bano case), anti-Sikh riots, and his tragic assassination by a woman terrorist.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Last Modified: 11/16/2016 9:59:24 AM

Hamari Sanson Mein Aaj Tak Woh... Durable Link to this BLOG
This song has been stuck in my mind for last two days. Translation is mine and may be pardoned for inaccuracies...

Hamari Sanson Mein Aaj Tak Woh...

The sweet aroma of her henna, still lingers on my breath till today.
She is the one who drew me with the mischief in eyes
And then she shyly withdrew that day.
Her supple frame makes my heart cry till this day
The throbbing pinning of my heart surely will beguile her some day.
One day, she too will be kindled in the flame that smolders in my being.

There are two famous renderings, one by Noor Jahan and another by Mehdi Hasan:


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, October 31, 2016
Last Modified: 11/1/2016 12:09:31 AM

We Must be the Change We Want to See... Durable Link to this BLOG
I am a closet philosopher, and have for long believed that Muslim women had the key to solve the problems that plague the Muslim world. I believe/believed that they alone can bring the transformational change that is needed and that outsiders cannot make this reform take place. My thinking has been --Muslim women in spite of their suppression most certainly see the injustice being done to them, don't they?

I live in Alabama, and today, a statistical analysis came out that even if only women were allowed to vote in Alabama, Trump would be elected. Surprising and very insightful.


Picture Couresy FiveThirtyEight.com

Anyway, resuming the Muslim Women, Alabama Women analogy -- only in that they are blind to the wrongs being done to themselves -- I hereby resign my job as a philosopher. I don't get it. My approach to the thought process is wrong.

We must indeed be the change we want to see in the world; otherwise the change will never begin.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, October 14, 2016
Last Modified: 10/14/2016 10:24:42 AM

Hillary Clinton for President Durable Link to this BLOG
They repeatedly say she has no stamina; what they mean is she has no penis.

I am convinced that most Hillary haters do so because she is a woman. These men have never personally known a woman superior to themselves -- in strength, in depth of character, in intellect , or spirituality. Perhaps they have, but never *accepted* a woman as superior to them.

That is my final answer. I don't even like Hillary Clinton; but I endorse her for President in honor of all the strong women who raised me, taught me, shaped my thought and intellect. I endorse Hillary Clinton to spit on the prejudice against women. I endorse Hilary Clinton to condemn the prejudice spewed by her opponent on fellow people (on Black, brown, yellow, Jewish, Muslim).

I have voted in two greatest democracies of our time; that somehow qualifies me to make an endorsement. Also the fact that at least a few of our million readers might live in Ohio, Georgia, or Florida.

See Also: My Endorsement of Obama

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Last Modified: 9/29/2016 12:04:37 AM

Passing of Girija Kaulagi Durable Link to this BLOG
I mourn the passing of Mrs. Girija Kaulagi of Melukote Town (via private phone call)

© Vikas Kamat
Surendra and Girija Koulagi
Surendra and Girija Koulagi
Town of Melkote, November 2007


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, August 01, 2016
Last Modified: 8/1/2016 3:42:41 PM

Relaunch of Kamat's Potpourri Durable Link to this BLOG
After a lapse of much time, I have decided to resume work on Kamat's Potpourri.

Realized much of my software has become obsolete. Need to create new tools and upgrade platforms. I am having to learn jQuery, Responsive design and HTML5.

There is a favorite joke among programmers:

Q: "Do you know why it took the Lord only seven days to create the world?"

A: "Because he had no old code to maintain"

Much of my code is old and obsolete. So it is going to take a very long time. Of course everyone tells me to use Wordpress. What's the fun in that? I am an engineer. I like to build tools. Nothing like tools to use yourself!

There is a favorite joke among programmers:

Q: "Do you know why it took the Lord only seven days to create the world?"

A: "Because he had no old code to maintain"

Much of my code is old and obsolete.

As a first step, let us see if I can update my or Amma's blog.

Caravan: Sins of Commission

I can!

Here is an old favorite: The Indian Kitchen

Oops. I spoke too soon... now getting

Validation of viewstate MAC failed. If this application is hosted by a Web Farm or cluster, ensure that configuration specifies the same validationKey and validation algorithm. AutoGenerate cannot be used in a cluster.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Last Modified: 10/18/2014 9:33:56 PM

Play "Soreburude" in Hasan, April 3, 2014 Durable Link to this BLOG
Kamat Foundation is very proud to sponsor an environmental themed play in Hasan today at 7:00 PM. Admission is free. I extend my invitation to friends living in the area..

The play "Soreburdude" is based on a folktale of the Iruliga tribe of India. A mama-pig narrates to her piglets the great story of a deluge, which is overheard by a hunter. It exploits the plot of great danger, incest, human's selfishness. Witten by Dr. Byregowda and directed by Joseph John.

Prior to play, traveller and scientist Nemichandra will be bestowed with Kamat Memorial Award. She is much too accomplished for this honor, but accepting it to perpetuate memory of my father. We are honored. Last year's winner, and noted photographer Mallikarjuna D.G. will speak.

Sorry I can't be there. But you can meet Amma, Byregowda and many famous people ;-- )

M. Byregowda


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Last Modified: 4/2/2014 9:59:57 PM

Wheelchair Tennis Durable Link to this BLOG
One of the most moving experiences of my life was to play a competitive Tennis match against a opponent in a wheelchair. I commend USTA (United States Tennis Association) for making this happen (the person in wheelchair gets an additional bounce). My opponent was a very accomplished, nationally rated tennis player, and I was literally mesmerized by some of his shot making and movement. While able bodied me only has to use the non-dominant hand for balance, my opponent had to roll the weight of his body to position, then grab the racquets and then make the shot.

That three set experience changed the way I thought about lots of things.

Rules of Wheel Chair Tennis

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, December 19, 2013
Last Modified: 12/19/2013 11:17:51 PM

A 14th Century Selfie (and other stories) Durable Link to this BLOG
My dad was very fond of a sculpture (below, on left) of Hoysala period, of a girl in her vanity admiring herself.

My dad also liked to paint and sketch on natural materials (like leaves, shells), so most of his art was ephemeral and has perished.

But last year I met Dr. Byregowda, a publisher who took great pains to collect and publish many of my dad's illustrations ("Kamatara Kuncha Prapancha", 2012), and now wants to bring out a new book.

So I asked my wife to dig up a family heirloom -- my mother's saree that my father painted circa 1980. The saree is all worn-out, but the white acrylic featuring the "beauty with the mirror" is intact. Many such sarees got lost during a robbery in Calcutta in 1979.

Points to Ponder:

  • How many people hand paint sarees to console wife of a robbery?
  • Is the "Generation Me", new?
  • What has happened the the temporary arts of India (other than Rangoli and Mehendi others have no patronage)

  • (Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, December 09, 2013
    Last Modified: 12/9/2013 3:17:02 PM

    Eyes, Blindness, Awareness, and Technology Durable Link to this BLOG
    Many years ago, after my dad donated his eyes in India (because he was famous, and because of the way the news media covered it (example), it triggered a whole wave of eye donations in Bangalore. I think the Eye Bank even honored my family for the sudden surge.

    Today, I am told that two of my father's books ("Nanoo Americage Hogidde", and "Pravasiaya Prabhandagalu") have been published in Braille.

    First, I didn't know there was Kannada Braille. Wow.

    Second, what a joy to hear his books being read by visually impaired folks.

    Then, a friend sent me this -- "Smart Phones for the Blind".

    who said mankind have no hope?

    (Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
    Last Modified: 9/4/2013 4:05:12 PM

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