APRIL 2017
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


Tampa Bay music and dance aficionados are in for a treat on April 23. For the special evening with dance and live music, you can thank Shruti Foundation, Thaiya Thaiya and Rudram Dance Company.

Renowned dancers from four different styles will perform after an opening act by the Indian, raga-based ‘Wahh’ World Fusion Band. Formed by maestro artist/composer Shankh Lahiri, ‘Wahh’ is rooted in India’s rich raga-based musical culture and enveloped in an artful weave of jazz and rock influences with strong rhythmic elements.

Bharatanatyam exponent dancer Tara Priyadarshini Bikkasani, who conceptualized the collaborative dance performance show “Nrithya Milana,” will join three other leading dancers in their field of specialty. In Mohiniyattam style – Smitha Rajan (from St. Louis); in Kathak style – Shambhavi Dandekar (from San Francisco) and Odissi style – Aparupa Chatterjee (from Austin).

The show will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sickles High School Auditorium, 7950 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Tickets are $25 general admission, $100 for VIP couple. For information, call (813) 679-7298 or visit www.theshrutifoundation.org

Photo credit: Krupasindhu Muduli


Grammy Award winning Indian classical music instrumentalist Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, who plays the Mohan Veena (slide guitar) will present a concert April 15 in Tampa. He will be accompanied by renowned tabla maestro Pandit Subhen Chatterjee.

A foremost disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar, Vishwa Mohan belongs to an elite body of musicians, which traces its origin to the Moghul emperor Akbar's court musician Tansen. He has attracted international attention by his successful Indianisation of the Western Hawaiian guitar with his delightful assimilation of sitar, sarod and veena techniques. Giving it an evolutionary design and shape and adding 14 more strings helped him establish the instrument Mohan Veena. He is undoubtedly one of the most expressive and versatile slide players in the world.

Chatterjee is an accomplished Indian percussionist and tabla maestro. He began his tabla training in childhood, studying with Swapan Choudhury. His album Artistry recorded live in Kansas City was nominated for a Grammy award in 2002.

Tickets are $25 for the 6 to 9 p.m. concert at Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road. For information, call (813) 486-9999.


Bartow Mayor Trish Pfeiffer present seniors'
division first-place award to Shulagra Shah.


Story provided by Malay Shah

The Polk Scholastic Chess Championship Tournament for season 2016-17 was conducted at Bartow Civic Center on March 11. This year, 582 students from over 50 schools in Polk County competed, making it the largest scholastic chess tournament in the country. Bartow Mayor Trish Pfeiffer, who was the chief guest, congratulated the players.

“We conclude our 2016-17 Scholastic Chess Season with a special note of thanks to the wonderful teachers and coaches from Polk County schools who have implanted the seeds of good character, ethics and academic progress”, said Malay Shah, chess tourney president.

Seniors Championship Division (grade 9-12) – Shulagra Shah, Bartow IB (first place); Nandan Patel, Bartow IB (second place).

Middle Championship Division (grades 6-8) – Niriham Shah, Union Academy (first place).

Primary Championship Division (grade 2-3) – Ajay Soni, All Saints Academy (first place); Dev Patel, Lincoln Avenue Academy (second place).

Additionally, the chess tournament recognizes two graduating seniors with scholarships toward their continuing education each year. These students need to have an extended length of participation with Polk Scholastic Chess, win an essay contest and must have made active school and community contributions. Winners were Nandan Patel (first place) and Alexander Palmer (second).

For more information, email president@polkscholasticchess.com or visit www.polkscholasticchess.com


PehchaanAs PEHCHAAN (Providing Educational, Humanistic and Cultural Hope for the south Asian American Network) steps into its 11th year, it has found its roots and spread its wings. The PEHCHAAN Board applauds the Tampa Bay community for their constant support and encouragement.

PEHCHAAN began its journey with a goal of raising awareness about mental health disorders in the South Asian community.

As a volunteer-driven organization, the board works hard and has established a PEHCHAAN Helpline and receives calls from people suffering mental health disorders as well as domestic violence incidents. It has assisted more than 40 families with a variety of issues. The group offers workshops for grief support, Alzheimer’s, support groups and hands on sessions on stress management among others. But PEHCHAAN would like to provide more direct services and wants more volunteers to join the organization.

For volunteer organizations, people from all walks of life join to engage in a concern that is compelling enough to devote their time and often receive a warm hug, or a discreet nod as their only remuneration. 

So, the PEHCHAAN board invites volunteers of all ages to be a part of this incredible voyage so that it can give back even more to the community.

To reach the PEHCHAAN helpline/contact information at (813) 720-7111, email pehchaantampabay@gmail.com or visit www.Pehchaantampabay.org

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