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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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Unripe Revolution
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Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat


Surviving Dennis Durable Link to this BLOG
Thanks to all the messages of concern about hurricane Dennis.

We are in a hurricane warning for now (noon). The heavy rain has already started...

I am so glad I cut off all those trees around the house...

And, I am giving up on my dream of owning a beach home ;-- )

The good thing about marrying Koreans is that they are always prepared for emergencies. The Korean war really never ended, and the they are trained to be ready for war, and always have a stock of Ramyen noodle and Kimchi.

Update: 6:00 PM Thousands of people have lost power, lots of trees down. People have been asked to stay indoors till tomorrow noon. Many schools and offices will be closed tomorrow. However, as our Governor put it, "we've dodged bullet".

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, July 10, 2005
Last Modified: 7/17/2005 8:38:06 AM


K.V. Subbanna No More Durable Link to this BLOG
Portrait of K.V.Subbanna

(via email from Amma) Just heard that K.V. Subbanna, the super intellectual from Karnataka, passed away.

Subbanna was a pioneer in theater movement, a dramatist, a publisher, and a philosopher. He was honored with the Ramon Magsaysay award in 1991.

On a personal connection, he was the publisher of my father's book 'Na Rajasthanadalli', and a family friend.

I mourn his passing. A true genius, a compassionate radical who understood the role of community and its relationship to the individual.

Amma said via telephone: Subbanna wrote such fantastic tributes to unsung heroes like Bappa and Dr. Kusuma Sorab ("The Lady Who Gave Speach to the Silence of Sharavati"). Now who will sing Subbanna's glory?

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, July 16, 2005
Last Modified: 7/18/2005 10:13:04 PM


Until Next Entry... Durable Link to this BLOG
The network is getting an upgrade, but during the transition, the network admin forgot to backup the DSNs (which are stored in Windows Registry) and now all the databases are unreachable. I have put in a request to our systems guy to contact the hosting companies to get the port numbers, etc.

The Blog Spider that updates Blog Portal is also down.

Meanwhile, enjoy these recycled posts:
(If you haven't seen them they are new to you)
• What Really is a Madrassa?
• Philanthropist Prostitutes
• A Tiger and A Story
• Why Condi Gets No Love
• All of my predictions for future made in 2002 have come true.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, July 18, 2005
Last Modified: 7/20/2005 9:09:35 AM


Amma's Konkani Book Durable Link to this BLOG
Amma's New Book in Konkani

In the article, Origins of Konkani Language, dad has written that the Konkani language has been fragmented and its pieces thrown throughout western India due to the "tumultuous events of history". As I helped Amma with a new book in Konkani language about wedding songs of Konkani community, the tragedy was obvious to me like never before.

Question How on earth do you write a book in a language that has no script?

Answer Either you don't write a book, or write in a different language. That's like using Chinese language write a Spanish book.

I have been helping with the book, and as I sweated in Mangalore heat, I told her Amma, "There is not going to be another book like this in my life-time".

Perhaps we were wrong to choose different scripts -- Kannada so people in Karnataka state could read it, and Devanagari, so people in Goa could read it. The project was further complicated because some friends (Jayashri Shanbhag specifically, who toiled to use native Goan dialect), felt that it was best to use native phrases and expressions which I did not know!

My Tips to Writers of Konkani Language

  • Use the native dialect. The language is too fragile and too fragmented to write in correct grammar and using correct words. If it feels right, it probably is right.
  • On numerous occasions you will reach spots where as a writer you have to take a stance. If you choose a wrong path, you might hurt the sentiments of a lot of people, so consult with a reputed authority.
  • Do not attempt to write a book that can be read by a wide range of Konkani readers. The reason why this book is published in Kannada and Nagari scripts is that Konkanis who are familiar with at least one of them can read it, but the problem with it is that there are none who will read both, but who have been asked to buy parts that they do not need. Wiser thing perhaps would have been to bring out two books, one written in Kannada script with domesticated language, and another in Devanagari script, tailored for readers in Goa.

Some Fascinating Things I Learnt About Konkani

  • The Konkanis have always regarded themselves as "Vishwa Kuntumbis" or family spread throughout the world. Even then, I was surprised that the word for world in Goa is same as the word for family. So something like "This brings joy to my family" translates as "This brings joy to the world".
  • In general, the Konkani people have a sheep mentality -- they will follow the leader, but will not lead themselves, the centuries of oppression might have something to do with it. So the leaders, typically pontiffs of old Konkani monasteries have to the bear the burden of initiating even the smallest of changes. For example, this book of my mother -- a kind of a new experiment -- had to be blessed by the holy-men (swamijis), and those letters of blessings had to be the very first pages of the book. We even had lengthy discussion on the script in which the blessings had to be in, and instead carried it in facsimile. I bet that no other writer in the world has to face this dilemma.
  • You know how everybody in India belongs to a caste (see: Every Man His Place)? In Goan Konkani we have a caste for animals too! It is called the ''caste of the mute'' (monnajati).

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Last Modified: 7/30/2005 2:39:34 PM


Cultural Teams from Banaglore Touring USA Durable Link to this BLOG
Challenges Conquered

Samarthanam an inspiring team of entertainers (who are visually or physically challenged) is touring North America and has won over numerous fans. They are performing in Birmingham today.

Samathanam Schedule

Fusion Team of Abhinava

The music and dance team from Abhinava Arts Center in Bangalore is currently touring North America presenting their latest dance production "Bhaav Raag Taal", a spectacular journey of music and dance that fuses tradition with innovation.

Abhinava Arts Center

The show features a professional presentation of Indian dance with original music and choreography specially designed for the show, each composition is carefully crafted with details in synchronization, unique choreographic patterns, thematic costuming, special lighting & stage effects.

The performances are scheduled in various cities, including Dallas, Chicago, and Las Vegas.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, July 31, 2005
Last Modified: 7/31/2005 1:10:04 PM

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