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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


Obituaries Durable Link to this BLOG
HR Nagesha Rao is No More

Haldodderi R. Nagesha Rao, a veteran journalist from Karnataka, passed away Sunday morning.(via private email from his son H.N.Sudhindra)

Keertinath Kurtakoti is No More

Keerti, as he was popularly known, was a distinguished Kannada critic and scholar. Along with G.B. Joshi he was intrumental in bringing to light, a number of great Kannada writers, including my father.

Till his last days, Mr. Kurtakoti served as the literary advisor to the prestigious Mangohara Grintha Mala publishing house in Dharwad. He was a frequent visitor to Kamat residence, although, I am unable to locate any of his photographs right now. However, shown below is a historical photograph showing the three giants of Dharwad, Keerti, GB, and Bendre.

Keerti, GB, and Bendre
Some Who Saved Kannada

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, August 4, 2003
Last Modified: 8/4/2003
Tags: obituary


Indian English Durable Link to this BLOG
Hinglees (Indian English)

An article in Spectator on Indian English has entertained many, and offended some. It deals with the particular brand of English spoken by the city-bred in India (Example: "I will intimate you" to mean, "I will notify you").

The following are my pet Hinglish axioms

  • Self-suicide (suicide)
  • Cousin-brother (male cousin)
  • Compound-wall (that wall around the house)
  • Pre-pone (opposite of postpone)
  • Co-brother (brother-in-law)

See Also:
• Understanding Indian English and trouble with writing Indian terms in English language.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, August 5, 2003
Last Modified: 9/12/2003
Tags: hinglish


August Updates Durable Link to this BLOG
Awesome August Unfolding

The month of August is the busiest month of the year for the Kamat's Potpourri website.

In preparation, we have added lots of new contents.

Goddess Marikamba (the ferocious mother) of Sirsi
Amma reminiscences the history of Marikamba temple in Sirsi, and notes how the tribal (or native) cultures of India have blended with the brahmanical (or reformed) schools of thought. I was especially astonished to learn the ghastly animal-sacrificing practices, as this is something that has disappeared in my time the animals having been substituted with coconuts. I have heard similar stories about the Chamundi temple of Mysore.

A new section on Predators of India has been opened with articles on Lions, Cheetahs, and tigers.

R.H. Deshpande (1861-1931)
I requested Amma to write about some great leaders of Karnataka, and she has obliged by profiling Rao Bahdur Deshpande, Karnad Sadashiv Rao. I have written a brief blog on how and why the state of Karnataka got its name.

Krishna Fighting  Surpent Kaliya
Crude Kamat is a yet another behind-the-scenes look at Kamat's Potpourri for our fans and admirers. I just scanned some scattered documents on my desk and we have a new section!

There is an update to Vikas's Goof Log as well.

Eight Years of Kamat's Potpourri

I have a friend who was raised in an orphanage, and quite do not know when is her birthday. But we always celebrate her birthday on July 4th -- it's a holiday, and is a great day to celebrate.

I kind of do the same for Kamat's Potpourri. We exactly do not know when it was started (although the very first idea occurred to Hiryoung on the July 4th weekend of 1995) , and the Introduction to Kamat's Potpourri by Bappa is dated August 15, 1997, India's 50th Independence Day. So, I think of August 15th as the birthday for Kamat's Potpourri.

And that makes us Eight Years old. Wow.

Chronology of Development of

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, August 6, 2003
Last Modified: 8/11/2003
Tags: anniversary


ID Day Updates Durable Link to this BLOG
Updates Marking August 15

Following JK's footsteps of 15 days to August 15, I am providing below the pictures of many forgotten heroes of India's Freedom Struggle.

C. Rajagopalachari (1878 - 1972)
Well known as Rajaji, Rajagopalachari was close friend of Gandhi, and served several terms in prison for his political activities. Later (1959) he founded the Freedom Party
Picture of Rajaji

Lala Lajpatrai (1865-1928)
Known as Punjab Kesari (the Lion of Punjab), was a prominent leader and freedom fighter. He was killed by British during a peaceful protest; his death was avenged by Bhagat Singh.

Dadabhai Navroji (1825-1917)
Navroji was an important pillar of Indian nationalistc movement and served as president of Indian National Congress during 1886, 1893, and 1906.
Portrait of Dadabhai Naoroji

• See many more in Kamat PICTURESearch

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, August 10, 2003
Last Modified: 8/10/2003


Forgotten Faces Durable Link to this BLOG
Forgotten Leaders of India

Continuing my series on the forgotten faces of Indian freedom struggle. Today we look at fredom-fighters who favored more drastic (or revolutionary) approach, than non-violence advocated by Gandhi.

Ashfaqualla Khan, Freedom Fighter
Freedom Fighters of India
Ramprasad Bismil
Ramprasad Bismil -- freedom fighter
Rephotographed from a painting. Original artist unknown

P.S. I have not listed Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, or Chandrashekhar Azad here, because I don't think we've forgotten them.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, August 11, 2003
Last Modified: 8/11/2003


Forgotten Leaders, Forgotten Movements Durable Link to this BLOG
Forgotten Leaders, Forgotten Movements

Amma remembers a great congressman from Karnataka Karnad Sadashiv Rao. Like most people, I didnot know that the Sadashivanagar locality of Bangalore was named after him.

From Blog Archives: Khilafat Movement

And more forgotten faces of India's Freedom Struggle:

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Last Modified: 8/12/2003


India at 56 Durable Link to this BLOG Specials on Aug 15

Rediff is running a lot of stories on the occasion of India's Independence day. I personally liked these two interviews with Jyoti Rai and Mohammad Abrar in the fascinating India56 section.

In her report Blast from the Past, Velany Fernandes profiles some of the popular websites on Indian history, including Kamat's Potpourri. Velany delicately raises the interesting issue of representation/mis-representation of history by self-published historians.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, August 14, 2003
Last Modified: 8/14/2003


August 15 Durable Link to this BLOG
August 15 @ Kamats

Two years ago on August 15, my father's book 'Return Journey' (cover, my review) was released. On way to his book release function, Bappa had photographed school children in a small village observing India's Independence Day, and written a wonderful letter to me on how inspiring the day had been -- kids belonging to various castes, creeds, religions, and tribes, celebrating a nation's liberation, also reminiscing August 15, 1947, the actual day India had become free. One of these days I must find the letter and re-read it...

It was on a August 15th that I arrived in America (in 1990, for graduate studies in Computer Science).

Every year on August 15, I donate blood.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, August 15, 2003
Last Modified: 8/14/2004 12:17:06 AM


What is Meant by Durable Link to this BLOG
Big Advertisements on

After much cajoling on part of our ad. agency, I have decided to give the big horizontal banner advertisments (known as the "Leadeboards" in the industry) a try, as you can see on this page, and on the main page.

What's Meant by "Last Updated?"

That's one of the questions that has bothered me ever since I got involved with online conent production. If an ad. banner on a page is changed (like above), should the date of last update be modified? What if a typo was fixed? What if nothing changed, and the page was just republished?

On Kamat's Potpourri, I define "Last Updated" as the date that page was last processed by the Content Management System, whether or not the contents actually changed.

This is necessary for me, because even if I did not edit the page manually, there might be a new picture, a new suggested link, or a relevant hyperlink that has become available since its last update. BTW that's the only way I can manage the hundreds of thousands inter-related links (I stopped counting after 200,000) on Kamat's Potpourri.

At the same time, I am aware of shortcomings of this approach, and to dilute the meaning of it, I have not provided a feature like "What's Updated", or "Browse by Last Update". Our Content Explorer however, supports "Search by First Online" feature (Eg: Pages Published on Aug 15, 2003)

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, August 18, 2003
Last Modified: 8/19/2003


This Ganesh Drink No Milk Durable Link to this BLOG
Ganesh Festival

Ganesh Festival

On the eve of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, enjoy a fine collection of pictures of Lord Ganesh in Indian Art

Warning. None of Ganesha pictures on our site drink milk. Please do not feed our Ganesh!

Explanation of the Warning ;-- )

Some years ago, there was mass hysteria in India (and among Hindus of America) that some idols of Ganesh had started drinking milk offered by the devotees. My mother told me of a sign-board in a temple in Washington D.C. that read "This Ganesh Does Not Drink Milk. Please Do Not Offer".

Milk-drinking miracles is what you get when you mix superstitions with devotion.

• Idolatry in India

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Last Modified: 8/22/2003


Rise and Fall of Naveen Jain Durable Link to this BLOG
The Rise and Fall of Naveen Jain

Naveen Jain rose to prominence during the dot-com boom and at one time was worth some 8 Billion US Dollars.

The Indian press sang his glories to no avail. His quotes like "I am tired of making billions for Bill", and "We will be the first trillion dollar company" made regular rounds, and he was a much sought after executive among the reporters. Everybody wanted to be like Naveen.

His arrogance was to prove too costly. Fellow executives could not work with him, and he was eventually fired from the company he started.

Then the multi-million dollar house he'd bought started leaking. He sued, and lost.

Then InfoSpace sued him under the Non-Compete ethics.

Then he was busted for unethical insider training.

Today he was ordered to pay $247 million back to the company he founded.

Poor dude. Nothing's going his way thesedays. What a mess, what a legacy.

Let us change gears now to recognize some ordinary, yet extra-ordinary heroes.

Amma's Column: My friend Sarojini Kulkarni, and her father Narayan Rajpurohit.

Prof. A.N. Moorthy Rao is No More (via ThatsKannada)

Potrrait of Prof. A. N . Murthy Rao
A/N. Moorthy Rao (1900-2003)

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, August 23, 2003
Last Modified: 8/26/2003


News Links Durable Link to this BLOG
Bombs in Bombay

© K. L. Kamat
Gateway of India, Mumbai
The Gateway of India, Mumbai, where one of the bombs exploded today (file photo)

Links to stories on today's bomb explosions in Mumbai (a.k.a. Bombay).

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, August 25, 2003
Last Modified: 8/25/2003


California or Bust Durable Link to this BLOG
California or Bust

I am headed to California to meet with some friends and for a brief vacation. If you spot a Indian guy with a receding hairline, with a Korean woman, and a coterie, near Golden Gate Bridge or Lake Tahoe, that's me.

The annual reunion is my favorite time of the year to listen to my friends' viewpoints on outlook on life, stock market, home-theater, and other modern problems. I consider it the "Listen-and-Learn" vacation.

See some lessons from previous years.

See Also: Wide-Wide-West

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Last Modified: 9/3/2003

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