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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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Best of AnthoBLOGy

Unripe Revolution
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Don't Know Jack
No Love for Condi
Blogger's Block
Father of  the Bride
TinTin's Diary - I
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Hate Bollywood
Child Labor
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Marathi & Konkani
Artist's Daughter
India's First IT Guru

 

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

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Mango Mousse Recipe Durable Link to this BLOG
How to Make Mango Mousse
(with thanks to Raji Aravazhi)

Ingredients
• 1 cup Mango Pulp
• 1/2 cup of Whipped Cream Cheese
• 1/2 cup of Whipped Cream
• 1/4 cup of Sugar
• 2 cubes of Gelatin

Saturate 2 cups of water with sugar and gelatin, into a syrup.

Mix cream cheese and whipped cream in a bowl. Add mango pulp and the the syrup prepared above.

Refrigerate for four to six hours.

Serve cold, and experience what they eat for breakfast in heaven!

See Also:
• Pan Fried Catfish
• Topics on Indian Food

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

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Long Live Rivalries! Durable Link to this BLOG
Sports Season Off to a Thrilling Start

The great American sports fiesta (US Open, College Football, NFL) started this week, and already has generated some very memorable contests. The Capriati-Henin match surely was a classic, as was Roddick-Nalbandian semifinal at US Open.

As they say on ESPN, Long Live Rivalries!


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, September 7, 2003
Last Modified: 9/7/2003

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Updates to Blog Portal Durable Link to this BLOG
Minor Updates to Blog Portal

I stopped development of Blog Portal sometime ago because, first IndiBlogs, then HumBlog were to take-over its responsibilities.

But either of them did not take off, and after Rediff and Sulekha started offering blogs, the number of Indian blogs has increased noticeably, and some of them actively pinging the portal with their latest headlines.

To honor their efforts (and also Srijith's, who today found out how to configure Movable Type to ping automatically), I have made some enhancements.

  • Fixed a formatting problem in XML and RSS feeds that was breaking whenever special characters wre used in the headlines (called Pick-up Line)
  • There was a defect in the way the portal was recording an update. If someone pinged manually, and then the portal performed a ping import from Blogger or weblogs.com, the number of updates was incremented twice; fixed


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, September 8, 2003
Last Modified: 9/9/2003

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Remembering Doreswamy Iyengar Durable Link to this BLOG
Remembering Doreswamy Iyengar

When I was thirteen, once my parents took me to the house of Doreswamy Iyengar, a distinguished Veena musician. I do not have much musical background, but I distinctly remember the evening and the impression of the great man. He was so simple, so unassuming, and so gracious. It was like he lived in a world where there was no guile and no deceipt. He told us many stories, and let me fiddle with his instruments.

This week, Amma sent me a biography of Doreswamy Iyengar, and I fondly remembered the memories of that day.

Here's a picture taken that evening.

© K. L. Kamat
Boy Vikas with Veena Maestro Doraiswamy Iyengar (1980)

Indian Music Potpourri

I had a hard time on deciding under which section of Kamat's Potpourri (we have some 300 different folders) I should publish Doreswamy Iyengar's biography. Then I bit the obvious bullet, and created a new section on Indian Music. It is a work in progress, and even though we do not have much contents on Indian music, it will act as a place-holder for future additions.

Update. My uncle Prakash Burde who is an established music critic, has volunteered to provide contents for the section.

I am just delighted that Kamat's Potpourri is now becoming the most complete reference point on Indian culture.


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, September 11, 2003
Last Modified: 9/13/2003

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Killing Yaseer Arafat Durable Link to this BLOG
Killing Yaseer Arafat

BBC: Israel Considers Killing Arafat

Q: What's the difference between Israelis killing Arafat and Palestinians killing Sharon ?
A: None

As a boy, after I learnt about Gandhi's satyagraha system, I had asked my father on why did the British take Gandhi so seriously. "Why didn't they let Gandhi starve to death, or kill him like they killed others?" I'd asked.

"Killing an unknown freedom fighter was not same as killing Gandhi, son", dad had explained. He said that in the event that Gandhi had died in prison or even a rumor that the British had killed Gandhi, would have been enough for India to go up in flames against the British. Every Englishman on Indian soil would have been butchered in the ensuing violence, he'd opined. "Gandhi was the father of a nation!", he'd exclaimed.

Whether we like it or not, Yaseer Arafat is the father of a nation. A nation ..long supressed, trying to find its utterance...


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, September 14, 2003
Last Modified: 9/14/2003

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Alabama Notes Durable Link to this BLOG
Alabama Notes

Bob Riley, the governor of Alabama was sick of saying Thank God for Mississippi (that's the only state Alabama could compare with in terms of progress), so he introduced a huge tax initiative, that would have overhauled education, health-care, and public services.

I think a lot people were in favor of his ideas, but they were opposed to the way Riley conducted himself. Instead of winning over the voters, Riley used a heavy-hand, threatening that he'd cut-off public services if his tax increase did not pass.

Last week, Riley's request was voted down 68%.

Now Riley is bitter, and is causing mischief like a pissed off 8th grader. For starters he is releasing prisoners, saying the state has no funds to keep them behind bars. He is closing libraries, and firing teachers.

Riley will be wise to swallow his disappointment, and rather try again, with a slightly different perspective. If he initiates a reform first, and simultaneously asks for a tax-hike, it will definitely pass. After all, we are all tired of being the last in the race!

It was forty years ago today, they bombed a church in Birmingham, which paved way for intensification of the civil-rights movement in America.


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, September 15, 2003
Last Modified: 9/15/2003

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Picture of Long Horn Durable Link to this BLOG
Long Horn

Long Horn is the code name for the next version of Windows from Mircosoft.

Paul Thurrott: Pictures of Long Horn (first seen @The Third Eye)

I searched for "Long Horn" in our picture archive, and found this ;-- )

© K. L. Kamat
A Devotee Begging in the Name of God with a Long Horn
A Really Long Horn
A Dasayya playing horn and cymbals on a Bangalore street.

Some Notes on the Picture

Sometime in medieval India, a new devotional cult broke out that generated tremendous following and reformed Hinduism. The followers of this faith called themselves Dasas or Servants of Lord, and engaged themselves in creation of poetry, music, and art in Lord's glory.

Remnants of this powerful movement can be seen today in India through the devotional compositions of Purandaradas, Kanakadas and Shaivaite Dasas known as Sharanas. The Dasayya tradition shown in above picture belongs to the same strata. They beg whole day long on the street-side in the name of the Lord, following the ideals of Purandaradasa.

See Also:
• India's Street Culture
• Bhakti -- The Path of Devotion
• Another Long Horn


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Last Modified: 9/16/2003

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Kannada, Konkani, Badami Durable Link to this BLOG
Amma Goes to Badami

If you are in the historical town of Badami, meet Amma at the history conference that is going on there.

If you cannot visit Badami, but can read Kannada language, read the story of my dad visiting the town of Badami and Pattadakallu in 1974, and discover why India is a great (not because of the historical wealth, but for the magnonimity of her people) country.

Presenting First Konkani Language Blog Entry

How do you create literature (or blog) in a language that has no script?!

I have used Kannada letters to document a Konkani nursery rhyme that my mother sent me.

I am not sure how many can read and understand it, but that's no matter ;-- )


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Last Modified: 9/16/2003

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Go Alabama! Durable Link to this BLOG
Roll Tide

I am going to my first football game today (home game for Alabama Vs Northern Illinois). If you have ESPN Gameplan, maybe you can catch me on TV ;-- ).

Update: Bama lost the game, but I sure had fun. Enjoyed the Bama Superstore, a sorrority house, the crowds, the band, the whole tamasha.

The 12 Yard Line

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, September 20, 2003
Last Modified: 9/25/2003

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Meet TinTin Durable Link to this BLOG
Meet TinTin Kamat

Meet TinTin, our new puppy.

Kamat Puppy at Week5

I always wanted a dog and our hearts melted when a neighbor got a puppy, and we had to have one.

Life hasn't been the same since.

She is a riot.

In a week that we have had her, between Kim and I, we have slept only for a day. She is a new-born and has all the problems (and joys) associated with an infant. But her development rate is astonsishing -- In the last two days she must gave grown by about four inches! Kim is training her with bathroom habits and I am going to teach her how to hunt sparrows.

We do not know what kind she is, except that a mix of Golden Retriever and Labrador. She is going to be a fairly big dog -- hard to believe, because she is a tiny puppy right now. She loves outdoors -- running everywhere. She has a very pleasent personality.

To give you an example of how much time she is occupying, today I drove home after a meeting just to take her to bathroom. We have both reduced our tennis, stopped eating out, and are considering purchasing a new vehicle so she can have a comfortable ride. The whole day is planned around TinTin's schedule.


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Last Modified: 9/25/2003

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Indian Money 101 Durable Link to this BLOG
Anas and Lakhs

Tom Alexander, a long time patron, writes that even one hour of Googling did not tell him how much was one Lakh. I was surprised, because Google understands stuff like how much is "1024 in binary", and there certainly are more people using Lakh and Crore as a unit system than Binary as a unit system!

So I wrote up a small article on understanding Indian units of money.

See Also: Indian Coins and Currencies - Table of Contents


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, September 26, 2003
Last Modified: 9/26/2003

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Living without Electricity Durable Link to this BLOG
Living without Power

Most of us cannot fathom living a life without electricity. But we should not forget that availability of electricity to consumers is a fairly recent event.

My grandma remembered the year my town got electricity as if it was an epoch. It was the root year based on which she did the date math; "My son Gajanan was born the year we got power.","We bought this house two years before Honavar got current (that's how she referred to electricity)." etc.. I say that because a number of people amongst us were born before the advent of electricity.

Once I went to a village in India (the village of Nilkod near Kumta) which had no electric power connection as yet. The night arrived early, and the village folk finished all their activities before dusk. Only leisurely dinner was partaken at night. People chatted and sang for entertainment. I was in Nilkod only for a few days, but the mystery and enigma of black night has remained with me forever. There's something sincere and honest about respecting the night.

Of course, growing up in India, the power shortages and power outages were very common. During important TV broadcasts like Cricket match or Ramayana show, the townspeople had to make sure the power would be on (by bribing the electricity department employees, for instance). The students preparing for cut-throat competing tests were special victims of these regularly irregular "power sheds" or failures. The following picture (a self-portrait) was taken while preparing for one such test, probably in 1985.

© Vikas Kamat
Self-Portrait, Vikas Kamat

In his book "The Return Journey", my father has criticized the introduction of electricity to rural India when India did not have the means to generate or meet the electricity demands of her population. "Vegetable oil lamps (undal oil) were a environmentally sound means of providing light before the arrival of electricity in Honavar. The whole infrastructure of growers to oil mills, to merchants who sold them, was rendered unemployed, when people switched from oil lamps to electric bulbs. Yet, the energy requirements of the people was not met!"

I absolutely agree with Bappa that progress-for-progress's sake is one the problems of India that has resulted in such grave disparities. Before the electricity was introduced, the darkness affected  rich or poor with the same intensity. It's the same story with sugar, and personal automobiles. Anyway, I digress.

Along with poverty, shortage of energy is definitely one of the major problems facing the world today. And from recent engineering accidents (New England, Italy), distribution of power is another of them. It's just like food. Today there is enough food for every  man, child, and animal. But the problems in distribution  and inability to afford the food has led to widespread hunger and poverty.

See Also:
• Notes on Self-Sufficiency

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, September 28, 2003
Last Modified: 9/29/2003

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K.L.Kamat 69 Durable Link to this BLOG
Had he lived, Bappa would have turned 69 today.

Amma joins me in thanking all those who have sent remembrances.

In Bappa's memory, an essay competition is being held at St. Thomas Highschool in Honavar.

We've gotten word from T.M.A. Pai Foundation in Manipal, that a posthomous award will be given to Bappa for his work - "Konkanyali Kavikala" on 18th of October.

See Also:
• A Father and his Child


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, September 29, 2003
Last Modified: 3/3/2004

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