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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

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.

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

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

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)

  • 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?

    First Written: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
    Last Modified: 9/4/2013 4:05:12 PM

    In Appreciation of "Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya" Durable Link to this BLOG

    Drama unfolds in Mogul Emperor's Court; a still from "Pyak Kiya to Darna Kya"

    My friend Raghu Apara pointed out the audio-visual beauty of this 1960s song from the movie "Mughal-E-Azam", and even a harsh critic of Bollywood like me had to admit and enjoy this super-melodious, super-meaningful, movie imagery.

    First, Raghu's commentary: translated with permission:

    Quote Begin

    When I am told that I have only 6:28 minutes to live, I would like to watch this song one last time. It is one of my all time favorite moving images.

    I will tell you why this sequence is consuming me.

    The clip opens with stunning dancer (actress Madhubala) in a white top that extends to her palms. You won't believe it is the same Anarkali who was crying just a few minutes ago in her prison cell (to the song "Cryin' over the fallacy of love"), because now she is strong and determined. She has to disappear soon after performing this song -- she made the foolish mistake of falling in love with the emperor's son, and is a major inconvenience for the royalty.

    Emperor Akbar doesn't know what is coming; a lowly dancer challenging him in his own court?! At one moment Anarkali even despises him while looking in his eyes! No amount of dialogues could tell this story as told by this song and through dance postures. Akbar's facial expression is priceless as he reconstructs her image through the myriad reflections in marble. The dance climaxes with Anarkali's attire exploding and adds yet another dimension to her fury. How subtle and beautiful is the movement of her salute (elegant, but not so respectful).

    We sometimes feel that song and dance sequences are obstructions to story telling. I do not think the effectiveness of this song sequence can be retold as powerfully in any other way.

    Quote End

    My own notes:

    I have heard this song all my life -- it is one of my favorite songs -- "I have engaged only love, not theft!", but I didn't know the story or the context.

    FYI: as stunning as are the visuals, this song was shot in black-and-white and was only made into color in the year 2004. There is a tribute to digital technology.

    There are a lot of subtleties in the clip -- do not miss the withdrawal of another show-girl at 3:30, the tease at 4:44 or the authenticity of the marble art work (roughly same time period as Taj Mahal).

    As Raghu says, this song will treat you and haunt you for a long time.

    First Written: Sunday, July 21, 2013
    Last Modified: 7/22/2013 5:14:43 PM

    Death of Google Reader Durable Link to this BLOG
    Personally, the death of Google Reader is a good thing for me -- because it increases the value of my own RSS aggregators and apps built on that technology. I am hoping for it anyway ;-- )

    NY Times: Death of Google Reader

    Our Kamat News for example is built on the aggregation technology . Long Live RSS!

    Do not miss the Hitler on the Death of Google Reader Video

    See Also:
    • My Convoluted Romance with RSS
    • 2002 Entry Case Against RSS Feeds

    First Written: Saturday, March 16, 2013
    Last Modified: 3/16/2013 11:44:13 PM

    New Year's Resolutions Durable Link to this BLOG
    "Less Greed, and More Charitable Service " -- is my resolution for the year 2013.

    I know, that should have been my

  • life's resolution ;-- ) but anyway.

    Also want to resume updating this blog.

    Happy New Year to all my readers, advertisers, and friends!

    First Written: Tuesday, January 01, 2013
    Last Modified: 1/2/2013 10:46:09 AM

  • Kamat Memorial Award Ceremony Durable Link to this BLOG
    I invite you to meet the Kamats at Nayana auditorium, Kannada Bhavan, JC Road, Jayanagar, Bangalore on Nov 18th (next Sunday) at a function remembering my father. Activities start at 10:30 am, but you can come at anytime and join us for lunch. Meet lots of talented and famous people. I especially want you to attend the 4:00 pm event when D.G. Mallikarjuna will be honored with the Krishnanand Kamat Memorial Award.

    Gurus of photography, litetaure, science, and Internet, all in one place!

    First Written: Monday, November 12, 2012
    Last Modified: 11/13/2012 12:49:14 PM

    Endorsing Re-election of Obama Durable Link to this BLOG
    © Vikas Kamat

    I have voted in two greatest democracies of our times. That somehow qualifies me to make a political endorsement. That, and at least a fraction of the two million who read our website each month might live in Ohio.

    I am not one of the 43% of Americans who don't pay Federal income taxes, I am not gay, not an illegal immigrant. I own a small business, and due to the way  I foolishly structured the company I end up not only paying FICA and social security taxes, but also the business gets taxed as an individual, a double whammy. I hate government regulations, and wasteful spending (who does?). Yet I endorse President Obama for another term.

    Here are the reasons for my endorsement:

    • Omabacare -- what other idea is there to reduce the cost of the healthcare? Oh, there is -- it is "On Your Own"
    • Global Warming -- many in the Republican party seem to have made careers out of ridiculing the concerns of environmental pollution and variations.
    • Intolerance of  Romney coterie.

    Romney Presidency will be Acceptable

    Unlike many of Governor Romney's supporters, for whom Obama is un-acceptable (due to his policies or color of skin), Romney as a president is acceptable to me. I can whole-heartedly support Romney Presidency (I whole-heartedly supported Bush Presidency). I think he will make a fine president, and I even like Mitt Romney.

    But I cannot bear Romney's baggage -- the strongly opinionated, anti-immigrant, anti-poor, anti-women, anti-science bigots. That is the reason why I endorse President Obama.

    A Note About the Sharpie Mark

    For those who might not understand the relevance of the black mark on my finger -- in India they do not have a voter-identification system, so to prevent one voter from voting again, they paint a semi-permanent ink on the nails. Ha!

    First Written: Saturday, November 03, 2012
    Last Modified: 11/4/2012 9:35:43 AM

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