Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


A precursor to this year's holiday season, Tampa residents witnessed a day and night to remember as the sixth annual National Convention of the Asian American Convenience Store Owners Association (AACSA) held its Exhibition and Trade Expo and Gala Awards Banquet Nov. 20.

The day events were marked with high level networking among store and business owners across the country, while the evening entertainment was full of excitement. “The Bollywood dance show featuring the gorgeous and talented actress and super model Pooja Batra, Fame Gurukul singer Shamit Tyagi, and Bollywood's all-blind musical group ‘Black,’ had the crowd roaring,” said AACSA Event Chairman Vijay Gandhi.

Founded in 2004, AACSA is the apex body of the Asian American convenience stores owners in the United States. More than a 1,000 convenience store owners and operators from all across the United States attended the event to discuss issues related to business and welfare. Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan was chief guest. AACSA chairman Chandrakant Patel coordinated the educational symposium featuring NACS Vice President Mike Davis for information on crime and environmental problem prevention. “The well-attended event attracted a large number of vendors targeting convenience store owners,” said AACSA Director Sudhir Shah.

A highlight was AACSA forming an alliance with the Coca-Cola Co. and American Beverage Association to fight against the proposed federal soft drink taxes of an extra 1 cent an ounce to raise $156 billion over six years.

Business owners and all those who attended enjoyed the evening filled with entertainment. “Tonight, as we celebrate the sixth annual AACSA Convention, we hope to renew the spirit of our friendship and form an even stronger bond with our members. It is our privilege to bring convenience store owners, physicians and political dignitaries together on a single platform,” said AACSA President Satya Shaw.

The team looks forward to working together on several town hall meetings, and of course, the highly anticipated seventh annual AACSA Convention in Chicago.

For more information, e-mail or visit



More than 8,000 people from Florida, neighboring states and places as far as New York and Boston, attended the Oct. 30 23rd annual India Festival, which was organized by the Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay.

About 80 vendor booths offered clothing, jewelry, film DVDs and CDs, arts and crafts, photo studio, home décor, etc. There also were numerous eateries selling delicacies such as samosas, bhel puri, chicken curry, dosas as well as exotic juices and ice creams.

On the lower level stage, performers were adorned in colorful attire for four categories of dance competition – garba, raas, folk and bhangra. Throughout the University of South Florida Sun Dome, several closed-circuit TV monitors were set up so people could shop and eat while watching the dances.

To order a DVD of the 2010 India Festival or for more information, visit

Swami Pragyapad conducts the Art Of Living workshop in Jacksonville.


Art Of Living, Jacksonville chapter, recently organized a Health and Happiness Workshop conducted by Swami Pragyapad, an experienced Art Of Living instructor.

During the program, Swamiji taught various techniques to help achieve balance at physical and mental levels. The participants enjoyed Chair Yoga, a gentle form of yoga that impacts 90 percent body and 10 percent mind, Bastrika, a powerful breathing technique that impacts 50 percent body and 50 percent mind, and meditation that impacts 90 percent mind and 10 percent body.

Swamiji's simple but hilarious way of conducting the course was the highlight of the evening. He concluded the event with a joke. Once a lion got married and he threw a party to all other lions in the jungle. Amid all the lions dancing in the party, a mouse was dancing too. The lions were shocked at the sight. One lion walked up to the mouse, lifted it up and asked, "How could you dare to come to a lion's party?" The mouse immediately responded saying, "Well, I was also a lion before I got married."

For more information, visit

Dr. Husain Nagamia poses with Dr. Kenneth M. Louis, president
of Hillsborough County Medical Association, after receiving the
Dr. Fredrick Reddy Award.


Dr. Husain Nagamia of Tampa recently received the prestigious Dr. Fredrick Reddy Award for the year 2010 from the Hillsborough County Medical Association Board (HCMA). The honor is given to a physician who exemplifies the ideals set by Dr Fredrick Reddy, a past president of the association in 1994-95.

A native of India, Dr. Nagamia has been practicing as a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon for the last 34 years in Hillsborough County. He served as the chief of that department at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) in 2000-2002 and during his term, offered his services selflessly to all private and indigent patients admitted to his care.

He pioneered the Annual Charity Festival in Tampa for the last 13 years. The Charity Festival is a way of helping poor and indigent and homeless residents of Hillsborough. About 3,000-5,000 indigent persons are fed annually at the festival. About 2,000 toys and bicycles are given away annually and distributed to deserving kids. More than 200 medical tests are performed for free. Unlimited free clothing and new shoes are distributed.

He also served as the president of the Florida Association of American Physicians from India (FAAPI), the largest Indian physician organization in the Tampa Bay area. He has been president of the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA), the largest organization of Muslim physicians in North America, and presently serves as the chairman of the International Institute of Islamic Medicine (IIIM) an organization devoted to the history of medicine.

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