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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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Don't Know Jack
No Love for Condi
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Father of  the Bride
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Hate Bollywood
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M.F.Husain Guilty
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Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat


Humanizing the Terrorist Durable Link to this BLOG
BBC: Rainbow House -- Photo essay of Mohammed Akram, once a militant, now a survivor of earth-quake.

I heard about another movie (I forget the name The War Within) that portrays the life from a viewpoint of a suicide bomber. I haven't seen it, but such efforts will go a long way in understanding causes of terrorism -- namely fanaticism, ignorance, and injustice.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Last Modified: 11/2/2005 12:38:23 PM


Fall Weddings of Alabama Durable Link to this BLOG
Although not very well known, the fall is a wonderful time in Alabama -- it's not hot, it's not cold yet, and the colors of the trees vary from burnt green to blood red.

Weddings planned to coincide with the foliage especially provide a spectacular opportunity to enjoy the season. Typically set in the backdrop of yellow and orange mountains and serene lakes, they are a visual treat as much as an introduction to the southern culture.

© Vikas Kamat
Red Maple Leaf
Autumn Symbolizes Change of Guard

Ralph Anderson

Bride and Father arrive for Giving Away Ceremony
Notice the lush yellow foliage in the background

Ralph Anderson

Exchange of Vows in the Backdrop of Fall Colors

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, November 6, 2005
Last Modified: 11/6/2005 3:07:15 AM


New Computer, New Stuff Durable Link to this BLOG
Instead of waiting for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales, I went ahead bought a nice development (lot of RAM, big display) computer.

I've named it after Alan Turing, the father of computer science. It's also the name of the very first computer Kim and I bought when we started our company many years ago. From the graphic below, you know it is in good company


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Last Modified: 11/8/2005 10:38:52 PM


Misc. Notes Durable Link to this BLOG
Best Practices in Blogging

As you can see, I am implementing Best Practices in Blogging as advocated by Jacob Nielson.

One habit that I practice, but don't see other do, is telling the readers if an entry was modified subsequent to its publishing. For every entry, I maintain the time of original post and the time it was last updated.

Pen and Ink Portraits

If you haven't seen them yet, I have been adding beautiful pen and pink portraits of accomplished Indians, drawn by V.N. O'key.

Chembai Vaidyanatha (1894-1974)

Without Comment

From a Job Advertisement at Institute for Social and Economic Change in India: "Candidates are required to produce caste certificate establishing their caste."

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, November 13, 2005
Last Modified: 11/15/2005 1:43:49 AM


Questions and Answers About India Durable Link to this BLOG

Band Bajao has new answers to many of the questions asked and answered on this site about Indian Culture. hilarious!

We get so many questions. Many times they are amusing, and a few remain in my mind because I can't answer them.
Examples (I paraphrase).

  • How do Indian women have sex?
  • If elephant is a god (in India) why did they chain it to the building?
  • Could a pregnant woman commit Sati? even if it were by her own choice?

See Also:
• Vikas the Ombudsman
• Women of India -- Frequently Asked Questions

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Last Modified: 11/17/2005 8:20:23 AM


Occult of Durga-murga Durable Link to this BLOG
When I was growing up in Dharwad, we regularly used to come across entertainer/devotees who would beg in the name of a deity. The woman would play the drums and the man would beat himself up with a humongous whip. They were referred to as "Durga-murga" or "Durgamurugi".

The superstitions perhaps have been healed, but the status of the descendants of the community who practiced this cult, is pathetic.

Anyway, I found this beautiful toy depicting a lost way of life, and thought I'd blog about it.

© K. L. Kamat
Handicrafts from Sondur
A wooden handicraft depicting Durga-Murga cult

See Also: India's Street Culture

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, November 21, 2005
Last Modified: 11/21/2005 10:55:38 PM


Perversion is in the eyes of the beholder Durable Link to this BLOG
Some Hindus are campaigning against providing patronage to M.F. Husain's paintings, and I have also received complaining emails.

They are complaining that M.F. Husain has painted Hindu deities in nude.

Guys, cloth is man-made!

Showing men, women (and gods) in nude is a honest and most natural way to depict them.

What is so offensive about nudity anyway? Hindus are ones who invented nudism. Aren't we the culture that worships genitals?

The accusers say Husain's paintings are disgusting, instead of stunning. They say Husain is insulting Hindus.

Do you know the difference between Islamic fundamentalists and Hindu fundamentalists? The answer is none. They are both intolerant, ignorant fools.

Specimen Example:

Hanuman and Sita

This picture shows Hanuman burning the island of Sri Lanka with a torch as Sita hangs on to his tail. The accusers are saying Husain meant to depict Sita masturbating. Perversion is indeed in the eyes of the beholder.

Perhaps M.F. Husain is guilty. He is guilty of being a Muslim. He is also guilty of being a genius.

See Also:
• Asian Arts: M.F. Hussain's Paintings Exhibit
• Pictures and Tales from Indian Mythologies
• The Linga Worship
• Hinduism Potpourri

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Last Modified: 11/23/2005 8:33:08 AM


Review of Microsoft Launch Event Durable Link to this BLOG
I attended the Microsoft Launch Event -- not the XBox, but the new versions of .NET, SQL Server and BizTalk Server -- I can never figure out Microsft's version numbers. The .NET is 2.0, SQL Server is branded 2005 and the latter as 2006.

Considering that Microsoft had the attention of the audience for a whole day, I must say that they didn't utilize it very well. There was too much hype, almost unbearable.

But I am excited about the new possibilities. There is a lot of new stuff and to me it looks like Microsoft has bet much more on these products than meets the eye. Anything less than spectacular success of these products could spell trouble for Microsoft.

Overall, I thought it was a day well spent. Thank you Microsoft, for the free copy of the Visual Studio and SQL Server. Also for breakfast and lunch.

Suggestions on Improvement - The event is like preaching to the choir; so please reduce the hype. "Server too busy" error doesn't go well when you are claiming "high availability".

• I own Microsoft shares, and after this event, I am tempted to buy more.
• I dislike Microsoft --- especially their behavior in the antitrust case.

See Also:
• Microsoft Coterie
• Microsoft and Stuff

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Last Modified: 12/1/2005 1:52:47 AM

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