CS Sharada Prasad | Interests
4
archive,category,category-interests,category-4,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-4.2, vertical_menu_transparency vertical_menu_transparency_on,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.4,vc_responsive

Kuttundi, a Kannada podcast series

It is my eighth year in USA. Though I have spent good portion of those eight years in India doing my PhD research, I have spent enough time in US and have interacted with good number of Americans to have developed a unique understanding of this country. I want to share those observations of this land. Hence, I am starting a podcast series in Kannada. I am calling it as Kuttundi.

Kuttundi is a candy like concoction of tamarind, jaggery, red chilli, and cumin powder. A well made Kuttundi – with a balance of sweetness, sourness, and hotness – is a delight to the senses. My life experiences here is US have been of similar mix. Hence the name.

To subscribe, search for ‘kuttundi’ on your favorite podcast app or add this rss to your podcast app. It is also listed on SoundCloudiTunes, Google Play, and here, on my blog. I will be uploading a new episode on 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month.

Download the first episode here or listen to it via SoundCloud

BTW, Nallikayi hosts good set of Kannada podcasts. You might want to check that out too!

Because I love this life…

And because I love this life
I know I shall love death as well.
The child cries out when
From the right breast the mother
Takes it away, in the very next moment
To Find in the left one
Its consolation.

― Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali

On kindness

Kindness

by Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Memory Is Not Enough

Memory is not enough…
I do not recollect. What I am
is alive in me because of you. I do not reinvent you
at sadly cooled-off places you have left behind.
Even your absence is filled
with your warmth and is more real
than your not-existing. Longing often meanders
into vagueness. Why should I throw myself away
when something in you may be
touching me, very lightly, like moonlight
on a window seat.

(To Lou Andreas-Salomé, Duino, late autumn, 1911)

To You

STRANGER! if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?

Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900.

23andMe RAW DNA Data

Today Hindu fundamentalists are redefining terms such as “Hindu”, “Hinduism”, and legitimizing violence in the name of ancestry, DNA tests can come to our aid and help us understand how are all linked to one another.  These tests also helps us understand the inbreeding that has taken place in our community in the name of caste.

As you can see, my father is 100% South Asian. The geographical spread of his DNA takes us as far as Afghanistan. My mother on the other end has inherited a tiny bit of DNA from East Asia, Yakut and American regions.  2.5% of my genes are from the neanderthals!

Ancestry Map of Sharada Prasad CS

Ancestry Map of Sharada Prasad CS

 

Neanderthal DNA composition of Sharada Prasad CS

Neanderthal DNA composition of Sharada Prasad CS

 

Ancestry Map of CK Srinivasa Murthy

Ancestry Map of CK Srinivasa Murthy

 

Ancestry Map of HR Savithri

Ancestry Map of HR Savithri

You can download my raw DNA data by clicking on this link. You can use the data either for research for judging me based on my genes 🙂

The Intersection

I am a podcast addict. I cannot do any house chores unless I am listening to an audio book or a podcast.

A couple of months ago I came across The Intersection. As their website puts it,

Every fortnight, The Intersection narrates stories that meld culture, science and history in India. Through interviews, anecdotes and original research, Padmaparna Ghosh and Samanth Subramanian bring alive the rich breadth of human imagination and knowledge, making for a riveting listening experience. The incessant punning — well, that’s just a bonus.

I have been listening to them regularly and started to like them. The podcasts are not long and the topics are very interesting. The first podcast about Bombay blood group is a good representation of how eclectic the podcast wants to be.

In India one cannot air news or any political debate over a private radio channel. State has complete demonology over radio based news broadcast. We also need podcasts that will provide incisive analysis of politics in India.

Is routine the killer?

Please watch the video before you read further.

The journey is inspiring. The video communicates the charm of the experience quite well. The take away message of the video is emphasized in multiple times – routine is the enemy of time and it has to be disrupted. For the life to be called “well lived”, the brain should be turned on, all the time. The way to turn the brain on is to travel, to provide the brain with an external stimulation. I have some concerns regarding such an approach to life.

Routine is life to many of us. Many people have jobs that don’t pay well to save and travel, many have families that they cannot leave and go. A well lived life need not be a life where one is well traveled.

I love motorcycles. But I also understand the importance of doing journeys on a bicycle. Certain places are so beautiful that the only way to experience the cultural and natural landscape is to take more time to immerse ourselves. Cycling provides a great opportunity to do so. But doing long trips on bicycle is not everyone’s cup of tea. I admire and appreciate Jedidiah Jenkins effort in doing the whole trip on a bicycle. But one should also remember that travel is a new industry heavily promoted by capitalistic forces. The video urges people to travel but it does not take into consideration the damage such a travel can do to the environment. Not everyone has the time and stamina to bicycle.

What I prefer instead is developing a sense of gratitude for all that I already have. The brain can be conditioned through meditation and other spiritual practices to be constantly alert and stimulated. The mind can be trained to imagine and experience good things. Below is the video I recommend

Difference between UC-E17 and UC-E6 USB cables

My Fujifilm x100s, my earlier Nikon D7100, and my new Nikon D750 don’t have a micro or mini USB connectors on them. Hence one needs to use a special cable. While Fuji just calls it as an USB cable, Nikon has fancy names for these cables. The names of the USB cables that come with different camera models of Nikon also vary. For example, the cable that comes with Nikon D7100 is called UC-E17 while the one with D750 is called UC-E17. Is there any difference between the two? Apparently not. I used UC-E6 on D750 and UC-E17 on D7100. Both the camera has responded well. Even my Fuji x100s worked with both the cables. I did not find any links online that could explain the differences among the USB cables of Nikon (there is also an UC-E16!). I did not do any tests related transfer rates on any of the cameras. I am happy as long as I can transfer the files. So, if you’re looking for an extra cable to use with any of these cameras, just grab the one that is the cheapest ( UC-E17 /16 or 6) in your favourite online store.

Clock Reset Icon Mystery – Nikon D750

On day 1 of getting my new Nikon D750, I made several changes to the default factory settings. Several icons lit up on the back LCD screen when I pressed “Info” button.  But the presence of “Clock Reset” icon worried me. Even after 10 days, it just stayed there. According to the user manual, the icon should flash if there is any problem with the internal clock or internal clock battery. The internal clock battery charges within two days and lasts for three months. In my case, the icon just stayed there. It did not flash/blink. In the above pics, I am talking about the clock icon to the left of NR icon. It just stayed there. I changed the battery once, left the camera without any battery for two days, and the internal clock was not reset.

Clock reset Icon - D750

Clock reset Icon - D750

I posted queries on Amazon.com and flickr D750 club. The mystery was solved by Peter Hastings on Flickr. The icon appears when long exposure noise reduction is enabled. Disable that feature and the icon will disappear.

I wasn’t seeing the icon on mine but when I was trying to replicate your settings it appeared!

See what happens when you turn long exposure NR off!

I thought that it might be a software bug, but when I looked at the manual, the ‘clock not set’ icon on p15 is like a clock showing 9 o’clock, but the icon on p14 looks like a clock at 3 o’clock. And if you look at the top of p14 in the manual, the arrow under ’28’ points to between the two icons, not just at the letters ‘NR’, so I think that it’s intended that when you turn NR on, both icons should appear – the clock indicating long exposure.

I don’t know where the ‘clock not set’ icon flashes – presumably it isn’t allocated a spot on the ‘info’ page because you will probably never get it?

Peter