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TAMPA ICC TO HOLD CASINO NIGHT FUNDRAISER AUG. 9
By NITISH S. RELE - editor@khaasbaat.com

Anyone up for roulette, blackjack, poker or craps? Don't worry; you won't need to fly to Las Vegas or Atlantic City to play the games. It's for a good cause, the newly opened ICC school and cultural activities at India Cultural Center (5511 Lynn Road) in Tampa.

Nearly 500 people should be dropping in to enjoy the Casino Night, beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9 at ICC. Admission is $100, which includes money to play, dinner and free drinks for the first hour. "We are looking to raise $100,000," said ICC President Dr. Mahesh Amin. "We also will have a Vegas-style show during this black-tie event."

On the agenda is a silent auction. "Prizes include spending a day with Dr. Kiran C. Patel; week's stay at a townhouse on the beach; weekend at a condo on the beach; and a round of golf for four," said Amin.

For information, call Dr. Mahesh Amin at (727) 532-9578, Dr. Hitesh Patel at (727) 531-1523 or visit www.tampaicc.com


ORLANDO TEMPLE SENIORS GROUP TO GO ON A CRUISE JULY 12
By NITISH S. RELE - editor@khaasbaat.com

The Hindu Society of Central Florida New Age (Seniors Group), which meets the first Sunday of every month at the Casselberry temple, will instead be heading out on a cruise Saturday, July 12.

The daylong cruise for Sterling Cruise Lines leaves Cape Canaveral at 10 a.m. that day. However, the group has arrangements for a bus to pick up passengers at 8:40 a.m. sharp from HSCF. The cruise, food and drinks are free.

If you are interested in joining the cruise, call Madan Arora at (407) 971-9259.


ISHA YOGA DISCOURSE AUG. 3 IN TAMPA


Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Story provided by Isha Foundation

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend a public discourse by mystic Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation Aug. 3 in Tampa.

The free event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay (2900 Bayport Drive), also will include a book signing.

Sadhguru's visit to Tampa is part of a three-month multicity U.S. tour to conclude in August. The Isha Foundation founder will sign his new book "Midnights with the Mystic: A Little Guide to Freedom and Bliss" (www.midnightswiththemystic.com) co-authored with Cheryl Simone, president of Atlanta Development Inc.

Sadhguru's life and work serve as a reminder that yoga is not an esoteric discipline from an outdated past, but a contemporary science, vitally relevant to our times. Probing, passionate and provocative, deeply insightful, devastatingly logical and unfailingly witty, Sadhguru's talks have earned him the reputation of a speaker and opinion-maker of international renown.

For more information on Isha Foundation, Sadhguru and the Tampa visit, click on www.IshaFoundation.org or e-mail tampa@ishafoundation.org




Shan Shikarpuri
PALM HARBOR CPA SHAN SHIKARPURI WINS STATEWIDE AWARD
By AAKASH M. PATEL

Community leader and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Shan Shikarpuri of Palm Harbor recently received one of Florida's highest honors in his industry. As president of the Suncoast Chapter (Pinellas County) of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA), Shikarpuri received the statewide "Chapter Champions Make a Difference Award" at the FICPA annual leadership conference in Orlando.

The award was given to only one chapter among the 27 FICPA chapters statewide, with about 19,230 members. "I am very fortunate to receive this award on behalf of the Suncoast Chapter," said Shikarpuri in an exclusive interview with Khaas Bhaat. "It is indeed an honor for our chapter and Pinellas County. While I have received many other awards and recognitions in the past, this one has special meaning to me because it is coming from my peers and is a tribute to our chapter's collective efforts."

Shikarpuri is the managing and founding director of Shan Shikarpuri & Associates, Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants in Palm Harbor. He was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1971. He has taught accounting and income tax laws at the University of South Florida and earned all three of his degrees from Florida State University. Shikarpuri was voted Palm Harbor Citizen of the year in 2004 and previously served on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Committee as the Governor's Pinellas County appointee. He also is a Board of Directors member for the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce.

Aakash M. Patel has been a Khaas Baat contributor since 2005. He can be reached at Aakash.M.Patel@gmail.com


TAMPA INDO-US CHAMBER TO HOLD GOLF TOURNEY AUG. 1
Story provided by INDO-US CHAMBER

Tampa's Indo-US Chamber of Commerce will hold its seventh annual Golf Invitational on Friday, Aug. 1. The tournament will take place at The Eagles Golf Club, 16101 Nine Eagles Drive in Odessa.

Since membership into the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce is free, the tournament is one of two fundraisers the organization holds throughout the year to sponsor its monthly meetings and other activities. The entry fee of $100 includes your green and cart fees, lunch, awards dinner, foursome photo, on-course beverages, range balls, and much more.

Just as in past years, the format will be a four-player scramble. Registration starts at 11:30 and is followed by lunch. The shotgun start kicks off at 1. Various prizes will be awarded to the first- and second-place team in three divisions from low handicaps to high handicaps.

There also will be separate competitions, including low and high handicaps. You can form your own foursome, sponsor a foursome or be placed on a team.

To sponsor or participate in the golf event, call Indo-US Chamber of Commerce President Francis Vayalumkal at (813) 719-0303, Chairman Dr. Ram Ramcharran at (727) 460-2460, Samant Sharma at (727) 199-5615 or Carl Persad at (727) 459-8286. For information, visit www.indo-us.org


CHECK OUT THE REDESIGNED 2009 NISSAN MURANO, AUDI A4
By NITISH S. RELE - editor@khaasbaat.com



2009 Murano Front
NISSAN MURANO

The second-generation Nissan Murano (base priced at $27,880) has received a complete redesign. Sharing its engine with the Altima, the 2009 crossover SUV gets a boost of 24 horsepower.

The 3.5-liter DOHC V-6 engine puts out a solid 265 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 248 pounds-feet of torque at 4400 rpm. It is mated to Nissan's familiar Continuous Variable Transmission.

Step into the cabin, cozy up to the eight-way power driver's seat and press the push-button ignition to start the SUV. The four-spoke leather steering wheel puts cruise and audio controls at your fingertips. The three-pod instrument panel, made up of analog tachometer, speedometer, fuel (capacity: 21.7 gallons; mileage: highway, 23 mpg; city, 18 mpg) and coolant temperature gauges, basks with amber light that's pleasing to the eye.

Bill Bosley, VP and GM of Nissan division, notes: "One of the strengths of the new 2009 Murano is that you get the total package - design, performance, safety and technology in one refined, quality vehicle." And that pretty much sums up our view, too, of this revamped and deserving crossover SUV.

For more information, visit www.nissanusa.com



Audi A4 Front
AUDI A4

The sporty, stylish and luxurious midsize sedan from Audi has undergone a complete redesign. It is lighter than its predecessor, thanks to the new unitary steel structure. But at the same time, the A4 also sees an increase of 4.6 inches in length, 6.5 inches in wheelbase and 2.1 inches in width.

The A4 retains its FSI direct injection V-6 engine, which cranks out 262 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 243 pounds-feet of torque at 3000 rpm. It is mated to an outstanding 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.

The cabin is plush and roomy with dark walnut wood trim on the front and rear doors, and sides of the center console. The MMI operating knob, behind the shifter, controls the audio, climate and other functions, portraying the actions on the 6.5-inch LCD screen.

The midsize sedan is a blast to drive. Plus, it's got the looks, exterior and interior, that should appeal to any potential luxury performance sedan buyer.

For more information, visit www.audiusa.com

Visit www.motoringtampabay.com for recent automotive news, a listing of car clubs and shows/cruise-ins, test-drive reviews, buy-sell classified section or tips on maintaining your car.


WEB EXCLUSIVE - HUMOR COLUMN
OVER & ABOVE


By SCRIBBLER

EDITOR'S NOTE: He's back! The Scribbler. We have been urging him, though it may sound like begging, to write another column since the last time he contributed for us was in August 2007. Do e-mail us your opinion about the column at editor@khaasbaat.com

* Guess congratulations are in order to Tata Motors. India's largest and oldest conglomerate is now the proud owner of Jaguar and Land Rover, luxury brands for which Ford Motor Co. paid $5.2 billion. The price for Tata? A mere $1.7 billion. Great bargain, sure, but can Tata revive the nearly-dying Jaguar and Land Rover names? Going back to the company's century-old history, we would count on it!

* First it was Aamir Khan and now you can add the great Bachchan to the list of bloggers. Big B, whose disdain for the media isn't anything new, has had it! The blog, says Mr. Bachchan, is "a beautiful vehicle to communicate with your fans." Fans can log in at http://blogs.bigadda.com/ab/ Happy reading!

* Poor Shah Rukh Khan! The superstar spent millions on his Calcutta team to compete in the Indian Premier League only to lose badly to a Rajasthan team that had cost its owner only $67 million. What all didn't the man not do for the team? He rooted for them, roped in his Bollywood friends to dance (its called entertainment), and for that matter even hung around the dressing room of his team players till he was shown the door!

* While on cricket, June 25, 2008 marks the silver jubilee of the World Cup that underdogs India won at Lord's against the then-mighty West Indies. Ha, we still remember quite vividly the sight of that great player Kapil Dev running a stretch to take a catch to get rid of Vivian Richards. Memories, they linger on.

* Who says money, name or fame for that matter can buy anything, like say a helipad? Not the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, which has fined Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani about $6,000 for proceeding with a helipad construction atop his residence without proper permits. The ball, as they say, is in the Ambanis' court. And so is the dough (and there's plenty of that as we know), for that matter!

* Only in India does a convicted criminal stand for election and win! We hear that Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt (out on bail for illegal weapon possession pending appeal) will be standing on a Congress ticket in the forthcoming general election. Goodbye "Khal Nayak" and welcome "Munnabhai MP," should we say?




COLUMN: OUT & ABOUT IN FLORIDA


OUT & ABOUT IN FLORIDA
By NITISH S. RELE - editor@khaasbaat.com

Opening a new store or restaurant? Expanding or relocating? Has your business won an award or a mention in your local newspaper? We want to hear from you to meet the rising needs of businesses and our readers. Call Nitish S. Rele at (813) 758-1786 or e-mail us at editor@khaasbaat.com

TAMPA TUN-DU-REE RESTAURANT HONORED Hats off to Pat Bhava of Tampa who recently was picked Entrepreneur of the Month by Indiaon.com Web site, a premium online community in which professional Indians in the United States can share advice, job tips, insights and news.

Tun-Du-Ree has two locations in Tampa: at South MacDill Avenue and Interbay Boulevard; and the other is at 4004 W. Neptune St. Bhava prides on the fact that all his entrees are priced at $6.99, which include yogurt, cucumber raita, veggies and either tandoori rice or a naan.

For information, call Bhava at (727) 678-1262 or visit www.tunduree.com.

BOMBAY MASALA IN FORT WALTON BEACH HIGHLIGHTED

Bombay Masala restaurant in Fort Walton Beach recently was reviewed by the Northwest Florida Daily News. “This family-owned business makes it fun for everyone to try some of India’s favorite food,” wrote reviewer Wendy Victoria. At 326 Eglin Parkway N.E., the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

For information, call (850) 862-0978.

And while on Bombay Masala, don’t forget the eatery by the same name in Tampa. Bombay Masala has been a part of the Tampa tradition for about 16 years now. Vijay Keni opened the 2,500-square-foot and 80-seater restaurant and since then there’s been no looking back for this Bombay native. “We offer mouth-watering, delicious and authentic Indian food,” he says with pride.

Bombay Masala is at 4023 W. Waters Ave. For information, call (813) 880-7511.

ST. PETERSBURG TIMES REVIEWS CLEARWATER’S RAGA

Raga Asian Indian Restaurant in Clearwater recently was reviewed by the St. Petersburg Times. “The restaurant has a spice corner in which they grind their own garam masala,” wrote reviewer Laura Reiley about the eatery owned by Madhu and Naresh Sharma, previous owners of Mahal Indian Cuisine.

“At lunch during the week, it’s a Northern Indian buffet, but on Sunday a grand buffet showcases the lesser-known vegetarian delights from Southern India. And at night it’s a la carte, with an interesting smattering of Chinese-inspired dishes. Raga boasts a full bar, a rarity in Indian restaurants.”

Raga is at 16080 U.S. 19 N., just north of East Bay Drive. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch buffet and 5 to 9:30 p.m. weekdays and until 10 p.m. on weekends. For information, call (727) 531-6400 or visit www.ragaflorida.com


Mental Health Column

It is time for the Tampa Bay community to have a forum where voices can be expressed, respected and heard. This column will provide just such a corner. In time, I hope there will be enough interest generated when you, the reader, will begin to request certain topics of discussion.
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FINANCE SECTION
Finance | Financial advice | Immigration | Special Needs | Accounting | Business | Labor Law | Asset Protection

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RECIPES
Check out the new recipes submitted by Khaasbaat readers from all over Tampa Bay. Also read features on new food businesses and books. Read Story



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