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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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Learning Vacation Continued... Durable Link to this BLOG
Learning Vacation Continued...

I took my learning vacation to Korea, and here are some pictures and stories from the trip.

Continuing my personal enrichment, I have been reading "The Brothers Karamazov" (for the first time; shows how illiterate I am). I find it so profound, I have to stop and regurgitate often.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Last Modified: 8/11/2004 11:45:33 AM


Letters as Literature Durable Link to this BLOG
Kamat's Letters in a New Book

Some of the letters written by my dad to me after I left India are being brought out as a new book "Patra Parachi" (Letters from Faraway). The letters are in their original language, Kannada.

My father was writer (as in author). He was also an avid letter writer. He had a simple and effective style that suited very well for letter writing. Most people who recieved letters from Bappa have treasured them, and it is not difficult to see why. A collection of his letters written to my mother was published as "Preyasige Patragalu" and was very popular. (It is out of print now, just like most of my father's Kannada works.)

These letters Bappa wrote -- and he has said so-- were not meant as literature to be published; they were simply letters. Yet one cannot but notice the beauty and wisdom embeded in them, and in my opinion they qualify as literature.

A lot of care has to be taken before publishing personal letters -- family secrets have to be hidden, friends and relatives should not be defamed, and much editing should be undertaken to cut-off topics not relevant to persons other than the recipient. My mother has undertaken the difficult responsibility, and deserves accolades.

The book is being released on 15th of August in Dharwad in a function hosted by the publisher, Manohara Grantha Mala. Amma will be attending. Join if you are in the neighboring area.

To mark the occasion, today I translated a letter he wrote in 2001 about Captivating Portraits . More translated letters can be found in Kamat Letter Archive.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, August 13, 2004
Last Modified: 8/14/2004 12:29:34 AM


Patriot Kamat Durable Link to this BLOG
Patriot Kamat

Dr. V.B. Nadkarni, a life long friend of my father, has sent an article remembering Bappa. He describes Kamat's struggles for securing an employment in India and pays tributes to Kamat the Patriot.

In his article Dr. Nadkarni makes reference to a letter Kamat wrote to "Indian Express" in 1972. I have uploaded the letter that was published in the newspaper as "A Scientist's Sad Story".

I have also uploaded yet another letter Bappa wrote to the editor where he notes that forests as a renewable natural resouce, would have provided as many job opportunities in India as agriculture or any other large industry. It is a very thoughful letter. Bappa continued to lobby for development of Indian forests as an industry till his death.

See Also:
• Pictorial Biography of K. L. Kamat

Father's Friends

For sometime, I wanted to blog about an incident with another of my father's friends.

Gangadhar Nayak was another great friend of my father's. He lives in Mumbai. I had not seen him in twenty years, but I had heard that in recent years he has had to suffer great many personal and family tragedies, including death of a son.

During one of my busy trips to India, one day I got a telephone call from Gangadharmam (as I call him). He said he was in Bangalore and begged me to see him for an hour. It was a very inconvenient day for me, I had jet lag, but there was only a window of one hour that we could meet, as he was returning to Mumbai. To honor his wishes, I met him in Bangalore Railway Station. I was mentally prepared to console him and assist in any kind of help he was seeking. But I was wrong about the purpose of the meeting, and the meeting was to fill my heart with the joy of friendship.

It was he who wanted to console me -- and shed tears in Bappa's memory. He had brought with him his son of my age, whom I had never met. Gangadharmam told me that he wanted to see the friendship between the two families continue with the next generation, and just wanted to introduce his son (an accomplished industrialist) to me even if just for formality. We became instant, natural friends.

Until then it had never occurred to me the beauty of becoming friends with the children of friends of my parents. Think of how wonderful they can be -- especially in the Indian context; you get a head start with the funny or life-altering stories; it is an opportunity to repay old gratitude; or a support network in case of hardships. I know that friends should not be imposed on children, but cases like this when the next generation become friends when they become adults themselves, to renew long cherished friendships between families is just dandy.

Personally, for me it was an important moral lesson on the enduring and unselfish quality of true friendship.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, August 16, 2004
Last Modified: 8/16/2004 8:23:41 AM


Olympics Notes Durable Link to this BLOG
Judge Bashing

TinTin Kamat
My friend TinTin, who would have made a better gymnastics judge in the Olympics.

India Bashing

Number of People in India: 1,000,000,000
Number of Medals won by Indians: 1

Olympics Website Bashing

The official website for Athens 2004 (oh yeah, I can't link to it, because I didn't seek their permission) sucked so bad, I can't even begin to list its deficiencies. It even breaks the first rule of web design, which is, "make it easy for the user to immediately tell which is a hyperlink, and whether or not he has already visited it".

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Last Modified: 8/29/2004 9:45:22 PM

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