Contact Us
Mental Health
Financial advice
Youth Matters
Techno Corner

Uddhav Chaitanya
Story provided by Chinmaya Mission

India Cultural Center (ICC, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa) is hosting a lecture series June 11-15 conducted by Uddhav Chaitanya of Chinmaya Mission, presently the resident Acharya of its Dallas center.

Chaitanya is not only well versed in the scriptures, but as he lives what he has learnt, he cannot but help see life the way it is meant to be seen – profound, yet light. As he talks on the seeming opposites that the world poses for the unwary traveler – with an uncanny ability, he will bring home the beauty of an essential spiritual law that can help us understand this paradox.

In his talks on “The Essential Teacher,” he will use Guru Stotram as base and will gradually unfold the beauty, necessity and miracle of this greatest of laws – the absolute necessity and wonder of having a spiritual preceptor or teacher.

In his words, “Every student, every individual, every disciple and every seeker, in every walk of life, which ever science he is learning, has to undergo a process of discipline under a Master. This is true also as we learn the most important science – the Science of Atma Vidya.”

Therefore, questions such as, Who is this Guru? Why and when does he come in our life? How do we recognize him? How do we approach him ? How do we gain the knowledge of the Atma from him? What is the importance of this knowledge for us? But above all once having had the good fortune of having a Guru, what is the best way to utilize the opportunity, are some of the questions Chaitanya will answer in the evening class from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 11-15 at the Lotus Hall at ICC.

In the morning class from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. June 13-15 at Chinmaya Prasad (18708 Hanna Road, Lutz), the text will be “Advaita Makaranda,” a 28-verse composition by Sri Lakshmidhara Kavi, which brings out the entire essence of the teachings of the Upanishads. The book, whose title means the “Nectar of Advaita,” uses logical reasoning processes to explain the nature of reality, clearing any possible doubts the seeker may have. The commentary on this text is by Poojya Swami Tejomayanandaji along with beautiful verses composed by him.

For more information, click on

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

The folks in South Florida are in for a treat. Two doyens of the Indian music world will be performing at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale within a span of 10 days in June.

Taking the stage first at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 will be sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan with sons Amaan and Ayaan. Tickets for the concert organized by the India-US Chamber of Commerce Inc. Florida range from $45 to $80.

Pandit Jasraj
Hindustani classical vocal legend Pandit will be performing at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 at the same venue. He will be accompanied by Samir Chatterjee on the tabla and Rajendra Vaishampayan on the harmonium. The Jasraj concert has been organized by the Association of Performing Arts of India (

For tickets or more information on both the concerts, call the Broward Center at (954) 462-0222 or click on


L. Shenkar
Story provided by ACA

Asian Cultural Association of Central Florida will present an evening of Indian music with L. Shenkar and group on Saturday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Dr. Phillips High School, 6500 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando.

L. Shenkar is widely considered as a living legend in the world of music. He will be performing compositions from his upcoming self-titled album for Big Deal Records, musical interludes from the hit TV show "Heroes", song selections from "Passion Of The Christ," various song selections from the Patrick Leonard duet project "Udistam," and the Randy Jackson collaboration project. Shenkar also will perform songs from his previous albums and improvisations.

Tickets are $20 and $35. For tickets and information, call ACA at (407) 333-3667 or Park Ave Cds (407) 447-PARK.


The Physicians of Tampa Bay will be holding their ninth annual Health Fair on Saturday, June 16 at the Hindu Temple Community Hall, 5511 Lynn Road. Free cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, osteoporosis, asthma, dental, eye exam, hearing test, obesity and allergy screenings are on the agenda. There also will be exhibits that include pharmaceuticals, jewelry, fine arts, pedicures and massages. The 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. free event will have a discussion by volunteer physicians on health awareness, nutrition, diabetes, cancer alert, stress management, osteoporosis, immunizations, etc. “One of the aims of conducting the Health Fair is to inculcate a sense of health awareness among the members of the community so that they may take care of themselves before they get into serious medical problems,” said Dr. Renuka Ramappa, one of the organizers. For more information, call Dr. Renuka Ramappa at (727) 863-5975, Dr. Gaurangi Patel at (727) 786-6649 or click on


Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen, third from right, poses with Consul General from Houston S. M. Gavai, left, Tampa Port Authority Director Richard Wainio, Orlando Indian American Chamber of Commerce President Braham Aggarwal, Tampa Indo-US Chamber of Commerce President Samant Sharma, Tampa Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Chairman Santosh Govindaraju and Tampa Indo-US Chamber Secretary Aakash M. Patel.

Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen and his wife along with Houston-based Consul General S.M. Gavai made a brief visit to Tampa on April 25-26. It was the ambassador’s first visit to Florida after accepting an invitation from Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio. Sen has been Ambassador of India to the United States since August 2004. His office is the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Welcoming the ambassador was the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce. The Board of Directors and Executive Committee members sponsored a reception at the University of Tampa for local community leaders and government officials. Ambassador Sen’s visit also included a meeting with Mayor Iorio and city of Tampa officials.

"It's all about opportunities and future growth," said Richard Wainio, director and CEO for the Tampa Port Authority, who gave the opening remarks at the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce’s reception. The ambassador gave remarks on the current situation in India, and his insight into the future possibility of increased trade relations between Tampa and India.

As a token of appreciation, Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Executive Committee members presented Sen and Consul General Gavai with an authentic Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey. Both men proudly wore the jersey. "The Buccaneers have placed Tampa on the national radar of United States and we hope that visits such as these from Ambassador Sen indicate that Tampa will be a more prominent player in the global trade arena as well,” said Rachana Dinkar, vice-president of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee.

The next day, Ambassador Sen met with Mayor Iorio and Mark Huey, city of Tampa Economic Development director, to discuss the current relationship between Tampa and India. "It was a mutual commitment to try to broaden ties," Huey said. "This is another example of Tampa's growing prominence in the international market.”

Aakash M. Patel, secretary of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, can be reached at (813) 936-5100 or email


Dr. Akshay Desai

Seven Indian Americans received the prestigious Ellis Island Medals of Honor on May 12 for 2007, up from five last year, reflecting and increase in influence of the community in mainstream America. Among the seven were Florida physicians Akshay Desai, Kiran C. Patel, both of the Tampa Bay area, and Mammen Zachariah in South Florida. All three were presented the award at a ceremony for 100 recipients in New York.

The award was established by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) in 1986 to pay tribute to U.S. citizens who have made important civic, artistic, scientific and commercial contributions to America. Four U.S. presidents, several senators, congressman and Nobel Prize winners are among the remarkable group of past recipients. The Ellis Island Medals of Honor are sanctioned by the U.S. Congress and recipients' names are listed in the Congressional Record.

Dr. Kiran C. Patel

A St. Petersburg-based physician and entrepreneur, Desai is founder and CEO of Universal Health Care Inc. He serves on the state’s Board of Education and is a member of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

A Tampa-based physician and philanthropist, Patel is chairman of the nonprofit Dr. Kiran C. Patel Foundation for Global Understanding that develops and funds a wide variety of programs in health, education, arts and culture. He serves on the board of trustees of the University of South Florida and is a member of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Dr. Mammen Zachariah
A Fort Lauderdale-based physician, Zachariah is a cardiologist at Holy Cross Hospital. The hospital's Zachariah Family Wellness Pavilion promotes heart-disease prevention. In 2004, then Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Zachariah to the Florida Board of Medicine, a position in which he serves today.

“2007 marks another great year for achievement in many fields by a diverse group of individuals," NECO co-chairman Nasser Kazeminy said. "NECO is proud to honor those who make a difference in all of our lives, and who embody those core human values which we as Americans cherish."

For Zachariah and Patel, the Ellis Island Medals of Honor award seems to run in the family. Zach Zachariah, the brother of Dr. Mammen and also a Fort Lauderdale cardiologist, received the award in 2004. Dinesh Patel, the brother of Dr. Kiran and a founding managing director of vSpring Capital in Utah, received the award last year.

The other Indian Americans included in the list were: Kirti Desai of New Jersey, president of a construction company; Jacob Eapen, a pediatrician from California; Smita Shah of Illinois, president of an engineering and construction management firm; and Daniel Thomas, a periodontal specialist from Kansas.

Aakash M. Patel is secretary of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee and can be reached at 813-936-5100 or

Story provided by Krish Seetharaman

More than 800 people attended the annual India Fest held by the Hindu Society of North East Florida. However, this year the event was held on the new temple grounds at 4968 Greenland Road in Jacksonville.

Food, fun and frolic took precedence as expected. Representatives from many states, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu set up food stalls. There were additional stalls organized by local organizations such Jain Samaj, India Cultural Society, Red Chilies and Taj Restaurant.

A novel feature of this year was a rolling trophy for the best state stall, which was won by Andhra Pradesh. In addition, many vendors from Jacksonville, Orlando, etc., had organized stalls for variety of items, including Indian arts and handicrafts, music CD/DVD, realty and insurance companies.

The Indo-American Forum of Physicians donated their services by organizing a Health Fair. All the proceeds from the state stalls and ICS were donated to the temple.

A group of Boy scouts hoisted both U.S. and Indian flags, followed by their respective national anthems.

For more information on the Hindu Society of North East Florida, check out

Story provided by Nandini Bandyopadhyay Pehchaan, board member

On May 6, Pehchaan organized its second workshop, “Benefits of Yoga in Day to Day Life”. It was based on the effectiveness of relieving stress through yoga.

Achala Rao was gracious enough to host the workshop for us. She is a certified yoga instructor and also a Quantum touch and Pranic energy healing practitioner. She has been teaching yoga at Treehouse Yoga studio since 2001.

She started by explaining the integration of Hindu Vedantist Patanjali’s eight fold path of yoga in daily life. She patiently went through the different codes such as Yamas (code of ethics), Niyamas (code for spiritual living), Asana (the posture), Pranayama (channeling and expansion through breathing), Pratyahara (drawing the senses inward), Dharna (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Smathi (resting in Unity consciousness).

Speaker: Mrs. Achala Rao, Yoga Instructor

Date: Sunday, May 6, 2007

Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Venue: Lake St. Charles Clubhouse
6801, Colonial Lake Dr
Riverview, Fl 33569

Admission: Donations of minimum $5.00 appreciated (Adults Only)

Achala Rao is a Yoga Alliance certified Registered Yoga Teacher, a Quantum Touch and Pranic energy healing practitioner. She is a member of the Florida Institute for Integrated Yoga Studies, where she continues to train with masters from India, Canada and U.S. She is a teacher at the Treehouse yoga studio, in Tampa, Florida, since 2001.

Story provided by Taraana

Tampa Bay-based Taraana, an Institute of art and culture, recently celebrated Student Day in Clearwater with vocal numbers by students that ranged from pure classical, bhajans to geet. Guru Sharmistha Banerjee accompanied the students on the harmonium.

Also, the group produced a cultural show, “Ekti Sundor Sondhya,” in Land O’ Lakes to celebrate Bengali New Year. During the show, Taraana students and local artists presented a variety of Bengali songs, dances, prose and comedy.

For more information, click on


Janael McQueen a teacher at the Art of Living Foundation recently led an AOL Course and Meditation Seminar in Orlando. The participants learnt how to eliminate stress from their life and to meditate. They reported increased energy and improved sleep. Ray Diaz of Orlando said, “I came out of this course feeling very peaceful and optimistic.”

McQueen’s course was so successful that she is returning to teach AOLF’s third set of courses in Orlando on Thursday, June 14 as part of AOL’s campaign to create a Stress-Free, Violence-Free America. AOLF was created by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 25 years ago. Call (321) 939-3533 or email for local information.


Angelina Jolie stars in “A Mighty Heart.” Photos by Peter Mountain
In the five years since Daniel Pearl’s death, nearly 230 journalists have been killed in the line of duty. On Jan. 23, 2002, Mariane Pearl’s world changed forever. Her husband Daniel, the South Asia Bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, was researching a story on shoe bomber Richard Reid. The story drew them to Karachi where a go-between had promised access to an elusive source. As Danny left for the meeting, he told Mariane he might be late for dinner. He never returned.

In the face of death, Danny’s spirit of defiance and his unflinching belief in the power of journalism led Mariane to write about his disappearance, the intense effort to find him and his eventual murderer in her memoir “A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl.” Six months pregnant when the ordeal began, she was carrying a son that Danny hoped to name Adam. She wrote the book to introduce Adam to the father he would never meet. Transcending religion, race and nationality, Mariane’s courageous desire to rise above the bitterness and hatred that continues to plague this post 9/11 world, serves as the purest expression of the joy of life she and Danny shared.

Starring Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl, and Dan Futterman as Daniel Pearl, “A Mighty Heart” is directed by Michael Winterbottom and produced by Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner for Plan B Entertainment and Andrew Eaton for Revolution Films.

In addition to Jolie and Futterman, it stars Irrfan Khan, Tony Award winner Denis O’Hare (“Take Me Out”), Archie Panjabi (“Bend it like Beckham”), Will Patton (“Remember the Titans”), Pakistani television star Adnan Siddiqui (Amer Bail), and Obie Award winner Gary Wilmes (“Red Light Winter”).

The film opens in theaters across North America on June 22. For information on this film and to watch the trailer, visit

Story provided by Husain Nagamia, MD, chairman, TBMA

The air was festive. Everyone had a smile on their face. Everyone was determined to do something and that something was to help someone in one way or another. This spirit of giving pervaded the atmosphere at the 10th Annual Islamic Charity Festival at Riverfront Park, which was organized by the Tampa Bay Muslim Alliance (TBMA), a federation of 21 Muslim organizations.

The attendees were different in many ways. Most if not all, were Americans, yet there was an unbelievable mix and they seem to come from diverse backgrounds. In the crowd were native African Americans, Indo Americans, Pakistani Americans, Arab Americans, Persian Americans, to just name a few. Some claimed their ethnicity even from Britain, Europe or the Balkans and some were even from the South America. Among them co- mingling was the local indigent population.

They could easily be spotted as they carried small ‘back packs’ or large ‘haversacks’ which they had brought to collect the stuff being given away free today. Many had little children, whom they carried on their shoulders, while lining up for the toys at the Toy Tent or for the food, the clothes and the gifts at the other tents. People lined up for the multi-ethnic foods as well as the barbecue made on the nearby grill.

The main large tent was lined with festive banners welcoming the guests. Announcing the festival were multitudinous American flags and ribbons swinging from the tent poles. Intermingling with the crowds (an estimated 2,000) were public officials, including city councilman, former congressmen, police chiefs and representative of the mayor and county commissioners.

Story provided by Husain Nagamia, MD, chairman, TBMA

Dr. Husain Nagamia.
Charity is proscribed by all the great religions of the world. Thus, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and other great religions all exhort the more affluent members of their communities to share their wealth and good fortune with the less fortunate in the society, to uplift their living standards and give them a chance of decent living without making them feel as a burden on the society.

Read full story


The 2007 annual Scientific Session of American College of Cardiology (ACC) March 24-27 in New Orleans was everything it was cracked up to be: cardiovascular updates, unveiling of results of the latest clinical trials, presentation of innovative new technology, spectacular scientific exhibits and more. And the city, eager to establish its old glory after the devastating Katrina, extended a warm welcome to all those who ventured to attend. Many cardiologists from Tampa Bay also were present.
Read full story

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.
Read Story

Send your questions and concerns

Finance | Financial advice | Immigration | Special Needs | Accounting | Business | Labor Law | Asset Protection

Read Story

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

Contact Information
The Editor:
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site. Copyright © 2004 Khaas Baat.

Anything that appears in Khaas Baat cannot be reproduced, whether wholly or in part, without permission. Opinions expressed by Khaas Baat contributors are their own and do not reflect the publisher's opinion.

Khaas Baat reserves the right to edit and/or reject any advertising. Khaas Baat is not responsible for errors in advertising or for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. Khaas Baat is published by Khaas Baat Communications.