Kamesh Ramakrishna

Reads anything, esp. “hard” sci-fi, skeptical, know-it-all-except-pop-culture, engineer, folk dancer, love smart theater, pre-1960 filmi music


Sun Sign

I am a Scorpio

Three things people don’t know about you?

a) Possibly the first Indian Morris dancer b) Took classes in acting and bharata-natyam c) Shakuntala Devi gave the wrong answer to his problem

What’s your greatest fear?

Being stuck in a cave/tunnel/chimney – I am not claustrophobic but my worst nightmares feature this. My second greatest fear is that some ghost story I make up turns out to be true…

What is your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement lies in the future.

High point of your life?

 My Morris dance group performed for an audience of 40,000 people in Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena and the applause was huge and way beyond our expectations.  Watching “The Reduced Shakespeare Company” DVD with my daughters –- I think at one point I was laughing so hard that I could not breathe.

Low point of your life

- After defending my PhD thesis, I found myself lonely and extremely depressed – so I drank most of a bottle of vodka and read about hundred pages of “A Confederacy of Dunces” (there is a story here…) - Marrying my first wife for so many wrong reasons, mostly egotistical, I can’t even count them.

Which living person do you most admire?

“Living person” is hard – It seems to me that most of the people I admire are dead. Also nobody living stands out, but candidates might include, Stephen Hawking (scientist who has done great work while disabled), Bernie Sanders (US senator, who is surprisingly effective in a system that looks down upon his socialism,), …

Who are your favorite authors?

This has changed with time, so I am going to sample from different times of my life: Gore Vidal, Robert Graves, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Yukio Mishima, Jack London, Roberto Calasso, Marvin Harris, George Gamow, Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, Imre Lakatos, U.R. Anantha Murthy, R.K. Narayanan, A.K. Ramanujam, Thomas Mann, Enid Blyton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

Gore Vidal’s “Creation”, Robert Graves’ “Julian”, Calasso’s “Ka”, Asimov’s “Foundation, books 1, 2, 3”, Mishima’s “Spring Snow”, Ramanujam’s “Folk Tales”, Russell’s “Why I am not a Christian”, Lakatos’ “Proofs and Refutations”, Kamesh Aiyer’s “1, 2, … Many: I never learned to count”.

Is there a book you love to reread?

Gore Vidal’s “Creation”; The Mahabharata (various versions); “The Greek Myths” by Robert Graves

What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

Rashomon, My Fair Lady, Hiroshima mon Amour, Lagaan, Star-Trek #3 (The Search for Spock) , …

One Superpower you wish you had?

Advice my past self and have the advice be accepted.

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

Epitaph: Good advisor, poor advisee. Last line: Survivors include his daughters Lila and Jaya, grandchildren …, great-grandchildren …, … and great-great-great-…-great-grandchildren…

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

Childhood in  in a mid-size city in Hawaii/California/Northeastern US of the 1990s  Southern city like Bangalore/Trivandrum/Chennai in the 1950s Adolescence in  (same as childhood?) Adult Life in  Manhattan or London (cities with a world-class transport system) 1990s Silver years in  City with a great transport system, home on a lake or by the sea, in the 1990s

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

Not procrastinate.

Which book you wish you had written ?

“Ka” by Calasso, “The Golden Gate” by Vikram Seth

When and where do you write ?

Whenever and wherever I can – I have a hard time getting started. Once started , I don’t like to stop.

Silence or music?

If I positively like the music, then I would prefer silence. If I don’t like the music, it doesn’t matter.

One phrase that you use most often?

“… and looked at …”

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?


What’s your guilty reading pleasure?

These days its political news on Facebook.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Write as much as you can and send your writing to as many newspapers/journals/magazines/publishers/agents/editors as you can.

"Kamesh Ramakrishna grew up in Bombay (now Mumbai) and completed his undergraduate studies at IIT-Kanpur. He went on to obtain a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, specialising in Artificial Intelligence. He worked as a professor and a software engineer; received some patents; was software architect for some foundational products; was CTO for a startup; and in recent years, has been a consulting software architect.

For over twenty years, Kamesh has been an avid student of history, archaeology, science and philosophy and the interconnection between these disciplines. Kamesh has published the core ideas underlying this novel in two reviewed journals – The Trumpeter (Canada) and The Indian Journal of Eco criticism.
Kamesh lives with his family in Massachusetts."

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