Kaapi Katte

Not too long ago in many south Indian towns it was common sight to see social gatherings around coffee shops sitting on benches enjoying their coffee and chit chatting. It was a time before the digitization of social life. People would look forward to the evening “Kaapi Katte” (loosely translates to coffee bench) conversations sharing the news they read, consoling their friends going through a low or just giving gyaan (loose advise) on the smallest matters on what to buy or macroeconomic discussions on how the leaders should run the government.

Long gone are those Kaapi Kattes but long live the filter Kaapi. It is worthwhile to understand the history of how coffee entered India. It is said that a saint named Baba Budaan who had travelled to the middle east, managed to smuggle some coffee beans while coming back. It is said that the coffee beans were a closely controlled commodity in the middle east in those times and they did not want to give away the secret behind the drink. Baba Budaan who returned to his home town Chickmagalur is said to have initiated the cultivation of coffee in that area which continues to be a region that grows Arabica coffee beans. There is even a mountain named after Baba Budaan called Bababudangiri. The Indian version of coffee has a different recipe. The beans is roasted, ground along with Chicory (10 – 30 %) depending on taste. Then the decoction is mixed in hot milk to deliver what is today popular as “Filter Kaapi”. This is more prominent in south Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu. Filter coffee is often served in small steel cups the slightly bigger than the regular espresso shot cups.

One of the weekends I visited an old restaurant in Mysore which was one of the first to bring in the drive-in concept. You could drive into this restaurant and chose to be served in the parking lot, which was a cool place lined up with trees and lot of shade and enjoy breakfast and coffee. People would literally hang out in this drive-in restaurant for hours and it is said that a lot of business and political discussions, strategy and deals happened here. On this weekend I decided to go into the restaurant instead of having breakfast in my car. A friend from Bengaluru was with me and the restaurant was a culture shock for him. We were in a bit if a hurry as my friend had to go to finish some work, but we spent almost an hour having breakfast that day. What happened that day taught me several lessons I still share with friends.

An old man probably retired and in his mid-60’s came and sat at the table next to us. He had probably just finished his Sunday morning walk and come to have breakfast. He did not speak a word. After a while, the waiter served him “Vada Sambar” (spicy donut dipped in soup). This old man was probably a regular at this place and, I guess all the waiters there knew him and his standard order. He took his own sweet time to enjoy the dish. After he finished that, again without uttering a word, he had his next order served on the table, a “Masala Dosa” (kind of spicy pan cake, served with chutney). Again, he took his own time to finish it and truly enjoyed it. Then the waiter served him the classic filter coffee. The way he enjoyed the filter coffee sip after sip, truly showcased the lifestyle of the beautiful town of Mysuru. Every sip was enjoyed to the core, with a good break after each sip as though the after taste of the coffee is the best part. Yet again one more deep sip.

Today, we talk about artificial intelligence, data mining and your social profile which are then used to provide you with a product or service that really pleases you. It is amazing to see how so many of our social feeds are tailored (or many times biased) to what we would like. When I think about the above incident, I really begin to question myself, were these aspects in the society not there before? Or is it really coming back to us in a more scalable way where you can have such great customer experiences irrespective of where you are and who are around you?

Now, coming to the biggest lesson I learnt from the above experience, is what I truly believe in these days. Do not think too much about your destiny, what is more important is: Did you enjoy the journey? The worlds technology and hence the social fabric is so fast changing, what is trendy today is obsolete is a matter of years if not months, so a goal that you set today as a long term goal for say 5 years from now, will be irrelevant when you get there. Hence, what really matters is how you enjoyed the journey.


Riding the IoT Wave

Riding the IoT Wave

Mobility brought about a huge change in the way we use computing power, enabling people to be more productive than ever while on the move. On the other hand, this led to people taking their eyes off the environment around them. One of the key objectives of technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) and Virtual Reality (VR) is to blend the computing power, artificial intelligence(AI) and data insights(DI) into the environment to enhance the experiences of consuming technology, creating a huge opportunity to create innovative solutions.

In this article, I am trying to summarize how businesses can benefit by riding the IoT wave which as predicted by Gartner is currently climbing the peak of inflated expectation and will reach mainstream adoption in 5 to 10 years from now.


Analyzing the Gartner hype cycle for emerging technologies, currently there are huge expectations from the IoT platform. Even more than what it can actually deliver. This bloated expectation will stabilize in the next 5-10 year timeframe. For people interested to sustain a long term business in IoT, the time is right to start now. This will enable such businesses to be well established in about 3 years and there on ride the slope of enlightenment and reap long term results through the plateau of productivity.

Another key challenge for businesses in IoT as of now is the lack of practical use cases that will generate value for customers. Companies need to demonstrate innovation in coming up with the use cases that will demonstrate return on investments customers are willing to make.

I would like to quote an example here in the area of connected cars. Back in 2003, I worked on a project developing a keyles entry and remote start for cars for the American market. This enabled users to program diesel cars in cold countries to automatically start, run the heater for a brief period and switch off. This helped in keeping the engine warm while parked. This also helped in ensuring that the car is warm when you walk up to it and ready to leave from home or office. I’m sure people living in cold countries know the pain of warning up the car after their hard days work or in the morning after a cold night. Now, the same use case, can also be implemented using IoT platform, you may use a smartphone as the user interface instead of the car’s remote. So, what additional benefits do users get by using the IoT platform? Such questions need to have a clear answer while designing IoT solutions. Turning on the light at home while you are away from your mobile phone is fancy, but, what other value will the solution have that will either generate or save money and time? Perhaps data insights generated from millions of connected cars or homes was not possible in the solution we built in 2003. I’ll leave it to the IoT solution architects to think on this.

Further, designers need to stop thinking that mobile and PCs as the only user interfaces. The user interface needs to blend into the environment. Like one of the classic examples of an umbrella with a LED indicator that indicates a specific color or glows based on the weather update from the internet, we need to think of newer and simpler user interfaces that blend into the environment. Another example of a great use case is a weather sensitive billboard which one of my colleagues envisioned. When it is raining, the billboard may display “Come and enjoy a good cup of coffee at a cafe” the same ad, when it’s sunny may display “Cool off with our new range of cool drinks at our Cafe” thus improving the effectiveness of the advertisement.

The time is right now to start developing IoT solutions with objectives of solving practical use cases and blending the user interface into the environment. You can complete the R&D, run a few pilots in the next couple of years so that by the time the slope of enlightenment starts, you are ready with tested products or solutions.

A journey that was the destination

After multiple attempts to write a detailed blog on our Himalayan journey, I published this post to share a small part of the experience using an office Sway page. Check this out to get a glimpse of our journey and the destination


Also, a video song to capture the mood:

The route 

Re-configurable Land Based Training Simulator

This is a white paper I published during the 14th International Ship Control System Symposium held in Ottawa Canada in September 2009. 



Navies all over the world are constantly looking out for efficient training solutions which require minimal effort, cost and resource for training their personnel on the operation and maintenance of Integrated Platform Management Systems (IPMS). 

Duplication of valuable resources for the purpose of training the operators and maintainers on IPMS for different classes of ships is not a preferred approach for any Navy. This challenge calls for an innovative approach to training; a reconfigurable trainer which is readily capable of performing IPMS training for multiple classes of ships. 

L-3 MAPPS has developed an open architecture Land Based Training Simulator (LBTS) which can be configured to provide both operator and maintainer training for the Indian Navy’s modern stealth frigate and amphibious assault ship classes.

The LBTS is capable of being reconfigured for these two unique classes of ships in less than an hour. The open architecture design supports the need to upgrade & include future classes of ships. Furthermore, the effort needed to upgrade is significantly less compared to building an entirely new trainer. 

Navies can look forward to having a more Integrated Training Facility for multiple classes of ships using valuable common resources at a reduced overall in-service support cost.

About Me

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Mahesh Hegde

Freelance Photographer, Traveler, Blogger, Consultant and a PMI certified Project Management Professional.



I’m from the malnad region, more specifically Nisarani, Sorab Taluk, Shimoga District, Karnataka, India



Bachelor of Engineering in Instrumentation Technology



Project Management Institute, USA

Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE), Mysore

Mahajana Pre-University College, Mysore

Manasarovar Pushkarini Vidhyashrama, Mysore

Pragati Bala Bhavan, Sagar


Spent significant time in:

Nisarani, Sagar, Shimoga District, Mysore, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Montreal Canada, Ulsan South Korea, Des Moines Iowa


Countries Visited:

Taiwan, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, Dubai, USA


About this site:

Started this blog to share my experiences and opinions hoping that one day these may be useful for someone one this beautiful planet earth, or even beyond !!

My first date with the World Wide Web was sometime in high school when I mostly used it for chatting with friends and relatives. Since then, I have been using the net mostly to share my views (both from my mind and my camera!). In recent times got stormed with too many social networking sites. Al tough, client dashboards like TweetDeck and Hootsuite provided a single point interface for many of them, I was still not very happy with them. So, I decided to have a portal of my own and enter into the next level of content management and sharing on the web.


My Contact: Info

Mail me at – hegdemahesh@gmail.com

Call me at – +91 98455 09106

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Mahesh Hegde

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Veg Hyderabadi Dum Biryani Recipe

– Mahesh Hegde

My cousin Raghu Hegde gets full credits for this unique recipe.

– Ghee (or refined oil)
– Spices (cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, elachi, turmeric powder)
– Knorr hyderabadi biryani masala (no other masala will do)
– Basmati rice ( I prefer any long grain basmati rice)
– Onions, beans, garlic, potatoes and cauliflower
– Curds
– Salt
– Lemon

For Raita –
– Onions, tomatoes, cucumber
– Ginger garlic paste
– Red chilli powder
– Salt

You will also require –
– Thick and wide bottom vessel
– Thin cotton cloth
– Passion to cook
– Lots of patience

Wash the basmati rice and keep it soaked in water for a while and put it aside.

Take a thick vessel in which you can prepare the biryani. Put it on a sim flame and add ghee / oil. Once hot add all the spices except turmeric powder. Allow some time so that the flavors dissolve in the ghee / oil. Add onions chopped into long pieces and fry till light brown. Mash the skinned garlic, add them and fry. Add the beans cut into long pieces, diced potatoes and fry till half cooked. Sprinkle salt and Knorr hyderabadi biryani masala, some turmeric, mix and spread the vegetables like a layer at the bottom of the vessel.

Drain the water from the basmati rice and add it as a second layer over the vegetables. Remember, DO NOT MIX. Sprinkle a layer of Knorr Hyderabadi biryani masala and salt. Over the rice. Slowly add 2 measures of water for each measure of rice without disturbing the two layers. Now you should have a layer of vegetables and spices at the bottom of the vessel, a layer of basmati rice and a layer of water standing above the basmati rice. Close the vessel with a damp cotton cloth and allow the rice to cook on a sim flame.

In a bowl, mix some curd and the biryani masala and keep it aside.

Add some ghee / oil. Add some chopped onions once the oil is hot and fry the onions till light brown. Use a medium / high flame. Add cauliflower (you may use sliced potatoes instead of flower), biryani masala, salt and some lemon juice. Fry till the onion is almost totally roasted and the cauliflower is fully cooked. Avoid using water to cook this. Keep this aside once fully cooked.

One the rice is almost cooked, add the curd, masala mix as a layer over the rice and sprinkle little water over it so that the curd sinks in the rice. Close the vessel with a damp cloth and allow to cook for some more time on a sim flame. Turn off the flame once the water has fully evaporated.

The biryani is almost ready. Now, for the Raita.

Chop onions, tomatoes and cucumber fine and put them in a bowl. You may optionally add some cooked and mashed potatoes. Add, ginger garlic paste, fine red chilli powder, salt, curd and a little water. Mix and mash well with your bare HAND. Raita is ready.

Just before serving, add the cooked cauliflower and onions over the rice and mix the rice well before serving. Make sure the layer of vegetables at the bottom of the vessel is mixed well with the rice. Best served hot with raita as a side.


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Views from my camera and my mind

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