NOVEMBER 2014
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

MISS INDIA FLORIDA PAGEANT BRINGS GLAMOUR TO TAMPA

Preity Zinta Miss India Florida

Preity Zinta

By SHEPHALI J. RELE

Forget the wild beasts and thrill rides. On Nov. 14, Tampa’s Busch Gardens turns on the Bollywood glitz as 15 young women vie to be chosen Miss India Florida. They’ll come from across the Sunshine State — including Tallahassee, Tampa, Jacksonv ille, Kissimmee and Fort Myers — with hopes of winning the state title and a chance to compete in the Miss India USA pageant on Dec. 14.

The pageants have a storied history that started with the national event debut in 1980. This years Miss India Florida pageant will borrow Bollywood star power, with actress Preity Zinta as an honored guest. Since her debut in 1998’s “Dil Se,” Zinta has had many hit films including “Dil Chahta Hai,” “Kal Ho Naa Ho,” “Veer-Zaara” and “Salaam Namaste.”

"We could not be more thrilled about the turnout and the number of young ladies competing in the pageant,” pageant director Rahul Prakash said. “The audience will not be disappointed. There is going to be a little bit of everything: a question-and-answer session with Preity Zinta, phenomenal dance performances, the comedy of Rajiv Satyal, and it all leads up to the crowning of our next Miss India Florida."

Satyal will emcee the show and USF bhangra group Bull Bhangra will perform.

This Miss India Florida pageant is another cultural coup for the Tampa Bay area, which hosted the IIFA awards in April. The event provides an opportunity for Indian women to achieve their dreams and a way for the community to support them. This year, each contestant is tasked to raise $100 for Care India, and a portion of ticket proceeds will go to the organization, dedicated to fighting poverty and exclusion among women and girls from poor and marginalized communities.

Busch Gardens’ Stanleyville Theater opens at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for advance purchase at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/miss-india-florida-2014-tickets-13320416725

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MUSIC DIRECTOR DUO SALIM SULAIMAN CONCERT NOV. 22 IN CORAL SPRINGS

SALIM SULAIMANThe music director/brother duo of Salim and Sulaiman will take the stage at Coral Springs Center for the Arts on Saturday, Nov. 22. The 8 p.m. concert is being presented by Paracha Entertainment and Woodlands restaurant. Sons of Telugu film industry composer Sadruddin Merchant, Salim mastered the piano at the Trinity School of Music in London; Sulaiman took up the tabla and was mentored by masters such as Taufiq Qureshi and tabla prodigy Ustad Zakir Hussain. By incorporating Western, folk, Hindustani and Sufi influences to their music, the two have enthralled audiences around the world. They have provided music for such hit films as “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi,” “Chak De India,” “Dor,” “Kaal,” “Neal ‘n’ Nikki” and “Band Baaja Baraat.”

Coral Springs center is at 2855 Coral Springs Drive. Tickets start at $39 and can be purchased at www.parachaentertainment.com For information, call Paracha at (954) 590-0955 or Woodlands at (954) 749-3221.


Sharad – A Celebration of Autum

CELEBRATE ‘SHARAD’ ON NOV. 22 IN TAMPA

India Cultural Center will present internationally renowned composer Kanniks Kannikeswaran’s creation “Sharad – A Celebration of Autumn” on Saturday, Nov. 22.

“Sharad is a celebration of the season of so many festivities. It brings to focus various ancient Indian ideas and powerfully brings to life the perspective of the Indian diaspora on the nature of our existence,” said Kanniks Kannikeswaran, who has written, composed and directed this work.

Kanniks is no stranger to the Tampa community. His work “Chitram – A Portrait of India” performed as a fundraiser for the Hindu Temple, touched, moved and inspired Tampa in 2009. Kanniks is regarded as the founder of the Indian American choral movement and his work over the last 20 years has resulted in the founding of community choirs in Cincinnati, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Toronto and Allentown, Pa. His creation “Sharad” was performed by the first ever Surinamese Indian choir in 2013 in Den Haag, Netherlands.

“Sharad” like Kanniks’ other creations focuses on a new sound that he has envisaged – that of an Indian choir with a traditional western choir and a chamber orchestra. It is choreographed with multimedia images and dances from around India.

Revanta Sarabhai

Revanta Sarabhai

A community choir from Tampa will perform the music and will be supported by a local Western choir and a chamber orchestra. All the dances will be performed by local dance teams and will be coordinated and directed by the well-known dancer and choreographer Revanta Sarabhai from Ahmedabad, who had choreographed “Sharad” in the Netherlands in 2013.

Also performing in Tampa is Vidita Kanniks, whose invocation was presented at the historic speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Madison Square Garden, N.Y.

Tickets start at $25 for the 7:30 p.m. multimedia musical journey at ICC, 5511 Lynn Road. For information, call Manjul Derasari at (813) 503-8584 or Saurabh Chokshi at (813) 317-1737.


Abhinava Dance Company to perform in Tampa (nov. 16), avon park (nov. 22)

Abhinava Dance CompanyAbhinava Dance Company of India will present performances on Nov. 16 in Tampa and on Nov. 22 in Avon Park. The Tampa Hindu Temple of Florida will present a Kathakitathom Dance Ballet by Nirupama and Rajendra of Abhinava for its gala fundraising banquet. Proceeds go to the new shrines and Mahakumbhabhishekam 2015. The charity event will begin at 4 p.m. at the India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. Tickets start at $100. For information, call the temple at (813) 962-6890.

South Florida State College (SFSC) in Avon Park kicks off its 2014-15 Artist Series with the Abhinava show, a dazzling blend of traditional Indian and modern dance. Under the creative leadership of Nirupama and Rajendra, Abhinava delivers a passionate performance with dazzling costumes and beautiful choreography accompanied by global music. “Audiences will witness the passion of gods, the happiness of lovers, and the serenity of perfection,” said Cindy Garren, director of SFSC Cultural Programs.

Abhinava has performed for more than five million dance lovers on five continents. “This is a very special, once in a lifetime opportunity for people in central Florida to see this performance,” said Garren

South Florida State College Theatre for the Performing Arts is at 600 W. College Drive, Avon Park. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. event start at $20. To purchase, visit www.sfscarts.org or call the box office at (863) 784-7178.


27th ANNUAL TAMPA INDIA FESTIVAL NOV. 15

TAMPA INDIA FESTIVAThe Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay (GSTB) will hold its 27th annual daylong India Festival on Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Florida State Fairgrounds. About 10,000 people are expected to come and enjoy the activities. This year’s chairman is Dr. Mahesh Amin.

In the Expo Hall, about 150 booths will offer a variety of food, fashion, jewelry, film DVDs and CDs, arts and crafts, photo studio and home décor. In an adjacent Entertainment Hall, performers will be decked out in traditional attire for four categories of dance competition – garba, raas, folk and bhangra. Throughout the hall, several closed-circuit TV monitors will be set up so people can shop and eat while watching the dances.

Indian-American communities from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Gainesville and Ocala among others will be participating in dozens of competitions. And several local dignitaries and city/county officials will be gracing the celebrations.

Florida India FestivalThe India Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. Tickets are $9 for adults; $5 for children 10 and younger.

There are still a few vendor booths available. For vendor information, call Vijay Gandhi at (863) 287-7970. For all other information, e-mail 2014indiafest@gmail.com or visit www.indiafestivaltampa.com


Tampa to host 10TH AACSA convention NOV. 16

AACSA conventionMore than 1,000 people are expected at the 10th annual convention of the Asian American Convenience Store Owners Association (AACSA) on Sunday, Nov. 16, AACSA Founding President Satya Shaw said. The event is free for store owners and invited guests. Otherwise, entry is $12; VIP cost is $30, which includes beer and food.

Founded in the year 2005, AACSA is the apex body of the Asian American convenience store owners in the United States. Convenience store owners and operators from all across the United States will be attending the mega event to discuss the issues related to their business and welfare.

There will be more than 100 booths offering special discounts/promotions for store owners during the convention. Also, a free health fair and fashion show will be held. The event will attract store owners, physicians, pharmacists and hotel owners. “Stop by at the India Festival (day before) booth No. 1013 and register for free admission to AACSA as well as pick up a free gift,” said Shaw. Entertainment will be provided by Rex Desouza, who was a finalist of the famous reality show Fame Gurukul. He will be accompanied by other singers and a comedian.

The convention runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. For details, call Satya Shaw at (813) 960-7429, (813) 842-0345, e-mail aacsai@aol.com To register, visit www.aacsa.org

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