Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Rao Musunuru, M.D., a nationally recognized cardiologist at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson, recently received the Paul Harris Fellowship recognition, the highest honor of Rotary International two years in a row (2009 and 2010).

The latest recognition was presented on Dec.10 by Lynda Vinson, Rotary District Governor, 6950, “In appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.”

Dr. Musunuru is president-elect of the Pasco County Medical Society. He also is recipient of 2005 National Physician of the Year Award from the American Heart Association and 2008 Outstanding Citizen of the Year from the Chamber of Commerce.



Story provided by Hindu Temple

More than 700 people attended the annual fundraising banquet Dec. 12 held by the Hindu Temple of Florida.

The event included local performances, followed by performances from the visiting artists of Shree Raman Maharshi Academy for the Blind of Bangaluru. The visually impaired artists from the academy showed superb footwork, coordination and synchronization in the classical and the folk dances of India. The dancers enacted stories of the Hindu deities. The performances of the dancers were filled with excitement, colors, music, poetry and vibrancy. Most impressive achievement of these dancers was a feel for the size of the stage through their inner vision. They showed that with determination one can meet major challenges of the life. The coordinator of the troupe Shri Swaminathan, who is visually impaired himself, eloquently articulated the abilities and challenges of the troupe and their teachers -- Latha and Amritha who were also touring with the troupe. 

The Hindu Temple was built in the original Hindu architectural style in 1996. It boasts ornate and the tallest Raja Gopuram in the United States. Devotees find peace and comfort in the presence of Lord Satyanarayana, Goddess Lakshmi Devi, Lord Rama and Lord Lakshmana and Goddess Sita Devi, Lord Shiva in the form of Shiva Lingam, Lord Shri Krishna with his consort Goddess Radha Devi, Lord Subramanya with Goddesses Valli and Devasena, and the almighty Lord Ganesha. 

The temple is active in providing community service to the Tampa Bay community through yoga classes, Hindu Family Services Unit for those in difficulty, free SAT English and SAT Math classes for middle and high school students, Geeta study classes, and shloka classes, etc.

For more information, visit the Hindu Temple of Florida, 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa or call (813) 962-6890.

Russell Peters at the India International Film Festival 2010.


The second annual India International Film Festival (IIFF) of Tampa bay, an Initiative of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce, will open with a red carpet event of celebrities and filmmakers, followed by the opening feature film on Friday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. at Channelside Cinemas. The IIFF hopes to provide a platform for increased awareness of Indian cinema and culture to the Tampa bay community by promoting films and industry professionals representing the diversity of India.

IIFF will provide an opportunity for people of all ethnicities in Tampa bay to experience Indian cinema beyond Bollywood (Hindi film industry of Mumbai).

The lineup of films includes those that discuss wide variety topics such as social-political-cultural issues, comedy, children’s movies and more.

Rahul Korlipara, chair of the sourcing and selections committee, said, “We are extremely happy about the number of submissions coming in this year. Response from film-makers around the world to have their films screened at the festival has been overwhelming. We are looking forward to another great festival in 2011.” The final deadline for submissions is Jan. 15, and there is an extended deadline available only for online submissions through Without-A-Box – the online service for film submissions.

Independent and commercial films in English and various Indian languages will be screened. Several key players in the film industry are invited guests to the event and expected to attend. The list of possible attendees includes actor/director Amol Palekar among others. The film festival will open with a red carpet reception and opening night feature and end with a closing feature and reception on Sunday, Feb. 20.

The India International Film Festival (IIFF) full schedule of events and ticket sales will be available at www.iifftampa.com

For further information, contact Francis Vayalumkal at (813) 719-0303 or e-mail francis@iifftampa.com


The Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences (ISDS) and the USF Education Abroad Office jointly organized the 2010 IT Summer School at Infosys, India, led by ISDS professors Kaushal Chari and Rosann Collins. A group of 26 students, primarily MIS undergraduate and graduate students, participated in the 3-week Study Abroad program at the Global Education Center (GEC) of the IT giant, Infosys, in Mysore, India. The head of Infosys’ GEC, Professor B.M. Subraya, taught software engineering to USF students, while ISDS professor Collins taught global information systems. Students participating in this program, earned up to 6 graduate or undergraduate USF academic credits.

This was the first time that Infosys participated in a study abroad program with any US university. USF students not only learnt software engineering from one of the leading practitioners of software engineering, but also gained a better understanding of the global delivery model and outsourcing. The USF team had the privilege of attending presentations by Mr. Narayana Murthy and Mr. K. Dinesh, co-founders of Infosys and eminent business leaders of India, and also having lunch with them. This interaction was perhaps, the highlight of the 2010 India program. Apart from visiting Infosys Bangalore, students also visited the Cisco facilities in Bangalore.

As part of this program, the group visited tourist attractions such as the Taj Mahal in Agra, India Gate in New Delhi, Maharaja’s Palace in Mysore, Keshava Temple in Somnathpura. They also participated in a safari at Nagarhole.

Students were greatly impressed by the advances made by the Indian IT industry. For some students, it was a “life-changing” experience visiting India and almost all of them were fascinated by the rich culture heritage of India. A majority of students indicated that they were glad that they visited India. Program highlights can be seen in a YouTube video at www.youtube.com

Encouraged by the success of the 2010 Study Abroad program, a similar program to Infosys, Mysore is being organized during summer 2011, where students would have the opportunity to earn 3 credits by taking the Software Engineering course offered at Infosys.

To help defray student expenses in the first trip, the ISDS Department and the USF College of Business jointly awarded 16 scholarships of $1,500 each to students participating in the 2010 IT Summer School. To support the program for the coming year, a scholarship fund has been established to enable students to attend the 2011 summer program. To make a gift, please visit advinternal.fastmail.usf.edu.

USF awarded $1500 scholarships to 16 out of 26 students who participated in this program. USF plans to award similar scholarships to select students participating in the 2011 IT Summer School to Infosys in India. If you are interested in contributing to the scholarship fund for the 2011 IT Summer School to India, email Kaushal Chari at kchari@usf.edu.

This article, which is appeared in the USF College of Business January newsletter is reprinted with permission.

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