Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat
|Home Libraries|| |
| Home Libraries|
excellent books on India are listed on eBay. If you have been considering building a nice home library of books on India, I encourage you to start today.
Both our residences have excellent collection of books on India, that we use often for reference, fact checking, and for ideas. I recently started cataloging them and am publishing a partial list this week -- it is called Holdings of Kamat Library, because most of them have now been donated to the library that is being built in Honavar.
Book Recommendations -- List of my all time favorite books on India.
India's Dowry System
Current discussion at Friends of Kamat mailing list is on the system of dowry in India. Meanwhile, read my notes on dowry system.
Note: If you are a member, and do not want to recieve the discussions, just choose "Special Notices Only" which is sent once a month.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Thursday, December 2, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/2/2004 9:22:36 AM
|Tragedies of Bhopal|| |
Do you know who killed more Indians than John Wayne?
Union Carbide did.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy when a gas leak
at the Union Carbide fertilizer plant caused the biggest industrial accident,
and you can see all kinds of media coverage about it. Unfortunately, most have
missed an angle of the tragedy, caused by the Government of India, and the
bribe regime that the tragedy established subsequently. While Bhopal gas tragedy was
horrible beyond words, bigger tragedies occurred in the aftermath, and I list them
Tragedies of Bhopal
- Anybody who is familiar with India, knows about the poor environmental and
safety standards. So, IMHO this accident could have happened anywhere else
in India, even in a Government facility. No improvement in the standards has
taken place in India since, although companies elsewhere learnt a big
- Once word got around that the facility belonged to a US company, all the
officials jumped with joy with the potential for bribes they could milk. The
management of Union Carbide was harassed to no avail, and Union Carbide was
denied the opportunity to take corrective action, or provide compensation,
because if allowed, the officials would get no bribe. I recall that Union
Carbide executives who came to India to offer sympathies were arrested and
harassed. Eventually Union Carbide agreed to pay a mere $530 million in
compensation -- I am sure they spent another $500 million in bribing the
various parties to agree to that deal. This shameful behavior on part of
Indian Government is a great tragedy and caused untold hardships to victims
and damaged the dignity of India.
- India is a large agricultural economy and Union Carbide at that time was a
large manufacturer of fertilizers. In a knee jerk move, the Government
closed down all of Union Carbide factories, and their assets were seized.
This caused a tremendous shortage of fertilizer in India during 1985, and
farmers had to buy them in black market. There was even a black market for
- Finally the compensation, supposedly paid by Union Carbide, and accepted
by the Government as the final deed, never reached the victims. This is the
See ghastly pictures of Bhopal
Gas Tragedy at Greenpeace. Such a great great tragedy it was, in so many ways.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, December 3, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/3/2004 11:16:43 AM
|Misc. Notes|| |
| Kamat Travel Calendar|
Amma is currently traveling in Rajasthan, and says she is overcome by memories of me and my father (I was born there).
I will be in Boston for the Mid-winter conference of ALA (Jan 14-17).
I will be in Gokarn in India for Bappa's death anniversary in Feb 16th, and am thinking of a "Walk in the Footsteps of Kamat" walk that weekend (Feb 22) in Malleswaram in Bangalore, where we would meet in Bashyam Park and walk till the Janata Hotel on 8th Cross, identifying many of our models and land-marks, including Bappa's Scientific Photo Lab.
If you are in any of above areas, drop me a line and we can hook up
I have heard that in a few weeks, cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls on cell phones. So call this number from your cell phone 888-382-1222. It is the national Do Not Call list. It blocks your number for five years.
You can also do it online: Do not Call List
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Sunday, December 5, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/6/2004 10:34:45 PM
|I Can't Believe that was Kamat!|| |
| I Can't Believe That was Kamat!|
M. J. Rajeev Gowda is a talented photographer from Kolar. His photographs
have been exhibited at several places. He has been an enthusiastic admirer of
Bappa's books for a long time, and then he saw this picture (shown below).
He writes: (translated from Kannada; paraphrased)
One of the complex experiences in life happens when a person you were
familiar with, but one you least expected, goes on to achieve great things in
life, and you exclaim "I can't believe he did that!" Quite another
type of excitement happens when suddenly you realize the person you accidentally
met (like in front of you in a line) is a great man you admire. The thrill is
even more when you don't recognize the person immediately, but have a good time
with him anyway, and only later come to know of his identity, and exclaim
"I can't believe it was he!"
When I saw the picture of the smiling man in front of the closed, dusty doors
of Scientific Photo Lab, I felt this second type of trembling joy. I just
couldn't believe it was the same man I had met accidentally in 1992, and even
had learnt a few photography tricks from! I just did not know this Kamat
was the same Kamat who captured our imagination via his travelogues, research,
and website for so long!
My buddy Mallikarjuna, also a great admirer of Kamat, deeply regrets even
today that he never got a chance to meet Kamat in person. Coincidentally, I had
not only met Kamat, but had been his customer/student. Through my interactions
with him, I had recognized Kamat's extreme simplicity, his refusal to get rich
from his talents, and his helpful nature of sharing his own light. What I didn't
know was it was that gentleman in that tiny shop of Malleswaram was Dr.
I Can't Believe That was Adiga
Q: How does the teacher know the students cheated?
A: They all have made the same mistake!
Poet Gopalakrishna Adiga was frequent visitor to Bappa's lab, so was poet V.G.
Bhat. That was twenty years ago, and my visual memory failed me and once I made
the mistake of identifying Bhat as Adiga. After a relative of Adiga contacted me,
I promptly apologized and corrected it (see Vikas's Goof
Anyway, the funny part is, all those people who had stolen our pictures over
the years didn't know that I made the mistake, and it was a tell tale evidence
of their content theft!
What is surprising is, Yahoo
Search's top match is making the same mistake. Perhaps their crawl-cache is
old, but now you know who the culprit is.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Monday, December 6, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/6/2004 10:25:04 PM
|New Pictures of TinTin || |
| Here are some pictures of TinTin showing off her new outfit.|
My Pet TinTin
Kamat Family Stories
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Wednesday, December 8, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/8/2004 7:06:15 AM
|Winners and Losers in Google Deal|| |
| Apropos, Google making deal with top libraries, I have compiled the list of winners and losers.|
- General Public
- Google stock holders (I am one)
- Third World Countries
- Copyright and Intellectual Property Lawyers
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Wednesday, December 15, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/15/2004 11:53:48 AM
|Sex and Justice Scandal in India|| |
My buddy Mahesh
B.G. says that all net-frat brothers of India must come
together and support
Avnish Bajaj, the CEO of ebay India (if you missed the story,
here it is). I agree that we must educate the population and advance the Indian
But I am not at all surprised by the arrest. Don't you know, that is the
modus operandi of bribe regime ? The richer the accused (in this case a
successful American company with an American CEO), the better. And
most people in India pay the bribe to get out of the police harassment -- even if they
are innocent. Of course that has meant that even the guilty can pay a price and
go home. When is the last time we heard of a fair trial India or the justice being served?
India is a country where the thugs make laws, and the innocent are harassed to no avail. Lot of people are shocked, but I am not.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Monday, December 20, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/20/2004 11:03:42 AM
|Delightful Grandma Movie|| |
I saw a delightful Korean movie "Way Home" (with English subtitles) of a boy bonding to his grandmother in rural Korea.
It made me think a lot of my own grandmother Kaki, who unlike the character in the movie, was blessed with some thirty-five grandchildren! I felt bad that I hadn't mourned Kaki's passing sufficiently -- my maternal grandpa and paternal grandma both died within months of my dad's passing-- because we were still in recovery mode.
Anyway, the movie shows a city boy, an only child, living on a diet of pizzas, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and electronic games having to live with his deaf and mute, poor grandmother in a village that doesn't sell batteries for his Gameboy.
But grandma has all the goodies the money cannot buy -- patience, care, affection, and endless love.
Grandmas are indeed God's gift to mankind.
Link to "Way Home" DVD on Amazon
BlogStreet: Amma's Column is chosen as Blog of the Day
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, December 24, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/25/2004 1:09:11 PM
|Note to Bloggers and Wikipedia Authors|| |
| Dear Blogger and/or Wikipedia Author,|
While I encourage use of our contents and pictures in your own work and content development, please provide credits to the original creator as a courtesy, and as a practice of law.
There is no need to pay, as the link you provide to www.kamat.com acts as a sufficient reward for me, thanks to the PageRank technology.
- I support Wikipedia. I even donate financially.
- I support fair-use. I have even setup a Self-service form for your convinience
- Our contents are free. It doesn't mean you can abuse them, modify them, or steal them and claim as your own.
- Please read my Blogger's Block on how to create contents of your own.
- I will report violations under DMCA, which would cause you hassle and you could be accused of stealing. Why steal when you can get it for free?
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Sunday, December 26, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/26/2004 1:20:37 PM
|Tsunami Relief Fund|| |
| We are making an appeal to all our friends, customers, and well-wishers to contribute generously in relief work in the aftermath of recent natural disaster.|
Please make checks payable to: "Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund" and send to:
SPI, 5 Concourse Parkway, Suite 600, Atlanta GA 30328
SPI, 407 Contour Road, Gokulam 3rd stage, Mysore 570 002
Your contributions will be matched (up to a maximum) and will be forwarded to Prime Minister's Relief Fund.
I am starting the collection by donating $1000. Please contribute as much as you can, because it will be matched by the sponsors.
Other Ways to Help
Donate via Amazon Honor System
Donate via Paypal setup by Ganesh.
Donate via Other sources (compiled by IndiaInfo.com)
Kiruba Shankar, who is based in Chennai, has many other ideas on how you can help.
Be a leader and start a fundraiser; lobby your employer to match the donations and then contribute to Red Cross or a volunteer organization.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Tuesday, December 28, 2004|
Last Modified: 1/7/2005 5:11:27 PM
|Happy New Year|| |
| My best wishes to all the readers of this blog.|
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, December 31, 2004|
Last Modified: 12/31/2004 8:08:32 PM
|This is how I surf the web. Turns out
creating your own start page beats all portals, back-flipping,
personalized corporate pages, and book-marking tools.