JUNE 2012
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


Hindu Temple of Southwest Florida

The Hindu Temple of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers.

The Hindu Temple of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers will hold its one-year anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10. About 400 to 500 devotees are expected to grace the auspicious occasion at the mandir, which hosts the murtis (idols) of Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and Navagraha.

Sponsorships for the ceremonies as well as the various havans, poojas and aartis are available. The temple is on a 7-acre plot at 12552 Plantation Road, Fort Myers.

For more information, call the temple at (239) 225-7245, Rakesh Patel at (239) 634-6402, Rajan Patel at (239) 634-1412, e-mail hindutempleswfl@gmail.com or visit www.hindutempleswfl.com


By Shobana Daniell
Twenty-five years ago, a dozen or so Hindu families in the Orlando area met in one another’s homes and dreamed of having a temple someday. That vision was realized when the Maha Kumbhabhishekam and Prathishtapanam celebrations took place from June 15-19, 2005, to celebrate the opening of the mandir by the Hindu Society of Central Florida.

Hindu Society of Central Florida

The Hindu Society of Central Florida temple
in Casselberry/Orlando area.

This year, the temple’s seven-year anniversary celebrations will be held on Saturday, June 16, and Sunday, June 17, with a Nava Chandi Havan (Yagna) and will also have special pujas on June 16. Goddess Chandi is the sum total of the universal energy, the embodiment of all the divine shakti/forces and is mother of the universe and the savior of her children on earth. The Nava Chandi Yagna includes recitation of the Saptashati mantras, which are 700 total covered in 13 chapters of the Markandeya Purana.

Over the years, the HSCF devotees list has grown to more than 3,000, several of whom come regularly for worship and activities. In December, the Hindu Society of Central Florida will hold special events to mark its 25th anniversary.

Temple officials invite everyone to attend and participate in the pujas and Chandi Havan. For information, email info@hindutempleorlando.org or call (407) 699-5277.


Saturday, June 2: Shobha Yatra starts at 2 p.m. Morari Bapu arrives in a horse carriage as an American band plays Indian tunes, followed by a procession of devotees, dholis, dancing and Kalash Yatra. Katha by Bapu will be from 4 to 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 3, through Sunday, June 10: Katha by Bapu from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 3: Gujarati Dayro at 4 p.m.
Wednesday, June 6: Ramesh Mehta and group will perform bhajans at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, June 8: Gujarati Dayro at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 9: Raj Pandya and party to present bhajans at 6:30 with light dinner served before the program.
Venue: Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa.



Pujya Morari Bapu Pujya Morari Bapu will narrate a Ram Katha in Hindi from June 2 to June 10. The katha begins on Saturday, June 2, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. From June 3 through June 10, the katha will be from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. This will be Morari Bapu’s only katha in North America this year.

A well-known exponent of the Ram Charit Manas, Morari Bapu has been doing Ram Kathas for more than 50 years. The overall ethos is of universal peace and of truth, love and compassion; and while the focal point is the scripture itself, he draws upon examples from other religions and invites people from all faiths to attend kathas. He has narrated more than 700 kathas; they have been held all over India and in various parts of the world from London, New York and Dubai to a Mediterranean cruise, the rainforest of Brazil, Bhutan and last year in Kailas, Tibet.

The key organizer and host is India Cultural Center (ICC) with the support of the entire Tampa Bay area and Florida Indian community. Spearheading the efforts in bringing the katha to Tampa are Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel.

On opening day, a Shobha Yatra will start at 2 p.m. with Morari Bapu’s grand arrival by a horse carriage, followed by a procession of participants, dholis, dancing and Kalash Yatra. Legend says Kalash Yatra participation is one of life’s important rituals. Anyone interested in purchasing a kalash for the Kalash Yatra ($111), call Chetan Shah at (727) 688-6149, Dr. C.J. Patel at (813) 787-9656 or e-mail kalashyatra@gmail.com

The next day, June 3, there will be a Gujarati Dayro at 4 p.m. On Wednesday, June 6, Ramesh Mehta and group will present bhajans at 6:30 p.m. Again on Friday, June 8, there will be Gujarati Dayro at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, June 9, at 6:30, Raj Pandya and party will present bhajans with light dinner served before the program.

Breakfast and lunch will be served. Efforts will be made to accommodate those needing special assistance at the venue. Parking spots will be closer to the katha hall for seniors and handicapped persons. Floor and chair seating will be available.

For schedule updates, hotel/accommodation and more details, visit www.ramkathaflorida.org Also, for information, call John Adhia at (813) 784-1132.  

More Leading News

Rahul Mehra, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of MehraVista Health, and Tazine Jaffer, CEO of Cantera Construction and owner of Flippers Carwash


Hindu Society of Central Florida (HSCF) along with Central Florida Physicians of Indian origin (CAPI) hosted a seminar on “The Puzzle of Autism” on May 6.


INDIAN AMERICAN Srini Subramaniam Joins Scripps IN JUPITER
Subramaniam’s laboratory will focus on finding target genes involved in neurodegenerative diseases.


Guest Column

IRS Reopens Offshore Disclosure Program: Should You Apply? – PART II
By Rahul P. Ranadive, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation) Global Tax and Estate Counsel, LLP
This month, in Part II, I discuss the factors that go into determining whether a taxpayer should enter the OVDI program to disclose previously undeclared offshore assets, or consider an alternative compliance method.




Tampa Bay Rath YatraThe annual Tampa Bay Rath Yatra (The Festival of Chariots and Dharma Sammelan) will be held Saturday, June 23, at Hindu Temple of Florida, 5509 Lynn Road. The festival, organized and celebrated by the Tampa Bay Rath Yatra (T.R.Y.) Association since 2006, will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On the agenda are bhajans, pooja, Rath Yatra, mahaprasad and a cultural program.

In India, the holy town of Puri, Orissa, home of the Lord of the Universe, Jagannath, celebrates this festival. The temple of Jagannath, also known as Krishna, in Puri is one of India’s major pilgrimage sites. The Festival of Chariots signifies Lord Jagannath’s journey from the forest into the hearts of people. The Rath Yatra in Puri will be celebrated on June 21.

Among the co-sponsors are Hindu Temple of Florida, Federation of Indian Associations of Tampa Bay, Alachua Hare Krishna Temple, Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay, Golden Age - Seniors Club of GSTB, Radio Asia and Khaas Baat.

For sponsorship and aarti puja or more information, call Satish K. Sharma at (813) 877-2192, Rashmi Jakhotia at (813) 962-4172 or Kiron Senapati at (813) 340-2324, e-mail tampabayrathyatra@yahoogroups.com or visit WWW.TAMPABYARATHYATRA.ORG

Also, on June 24, the South Florida Hindu Temple will hold its Rath Yatra from 10 a.m. on mandir premises. The temple is at 13010 W. Griffin Road, Southwest Ranches. For information, call (954) 252-8802 or visit www.sfht.org

YesudasOVER 1,000 ATTEND Yesudas concert in Jacksonville

Story provided by Krish Seetharaman

It was a long-awaited day for more than 1,000 music lovers – hungry to hear the golden voice of Dr. K.J. Yesudas. They were not in the least disappointed. The May 13 concert was organized by Hindu Society of North East Florida as a fundraiser.

The Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville resonated with the musical genius’ voice for almost three hours. Dr. Yesudas rendered Carnatic music in the first half of the concert with melodious ragas. Starting traditionally with a Varnam, he enthralled the audience with songs in ragas such as Hamsadhwani, Hamsanandhi, Ataana, etc., followed by ‘Thaaye Yashodha’ in Thodi raga.
In the second half, Dr. Yesudas sang a mixture of semi-classical songs and light movie songs. On request from the audience, he sang everyone's all-time favorite ‘Gori tera gaon badaa pyaara’ from the Hindi film, “Chitchor.” He enchanted the audience from various parts of India by singing songs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi languages. Aptly for Mother’s Day, he sang ‘Amma endru Azhaikkatha’ from the Tamil film “Mannan.”

Dr. Yesudas was supported by Mr. Balamurali of Canada on violin, Mr. Nandakumar of New Jersey on mrudangam and Santosh of Atlanta on ghatam.

For more information, visit www.hsnef.org

Hindu Temple of Southwest Florida

Dr. N.R. Narayana Murthy receives the Free Enterprise Award
from the USF College of Business’ Dean Moez Limayem.



Winston Churchill once said about a political rival, “He has a lot to be humble about.” Dr. N.R. Narayana Murthy reminded attendees at an award ceremony May 14 in Tampa that the same applied to him.

The founder and chairman emeritus of Infosys Technologies was at University of South Florida (USF) for daylong activities, which included meeting students, faculty and staff. At a luncheon, he was presented the College of Business’ Free Enterprise Award, which in the past has been conferred upon the late late political commentator William F. Buckley Jr., Senator Phil Gramm, Congressman Jack Kemp, Busch Entertainment’s Jim Atchison, among others.

Later, Dr. Murthy received the President’s Global Leadership Award at the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions. Present at the award ceremonies were USF President Judy Genshaft, Provost Dr. Ralph Wilcox, entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. Kiran C. Patel, College of Business Dean Moez Limayem, and Systems & Decision Sciences Department Chair Professor Kaushal Chari.

With just $250 borrowed from his wife, Dr. Murthy and six others founded Infosys in 1981. Infosys was the first Indian company to be listed on Nasdaq. Today, the firm employs 145,000 and boasts revenues of $7 billion.

Here’s what Dr. Murthy had to say in his speeches as well as an exclusive interview with Khaas Baat:

When you reach for the stars, you may not get one but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.

Respect and share wealth with your employees.

At present levels, this planet can support only 2 billion, not 7 billion. Therefore, we need to act and build a sustainable tomorrow for generations to come. In this respect, enterprises play a key role. Look at the Prius produced by Toyota. Infosys is one of the largest users of solar energy.

Entrepreneurs should foster new ideas. 1. It all starts with an idea, which should be expressed in a simple sentence. 2. The market must be ready to absorb the idea. 3. Then the enterprise should have a team with the skills, expertise and experience to make the idea work. 4. There also should be a sound value system, a passion to truly succeed. If these four conditions are met, the enterprise will be enhanced.

Apart from skills and experience, the team that created Infosys also shared such attributes as integrity, hard work, honesty, confidence, hope, passion and enthusiasm.

Clearly, the best way for India and United States to work together for betterment of each other’s economies is to offer competitive products and services. For that, the two countries have to bring to the table products and services where they are clearly leaders.

To make India a true growth story, which includes everyone in the country, we have to improve the efficiency of the public government system, which is charged with the responsibility of providing basic necessities. For this, we need our political leaders to take a stand on creating a bureaucratic model that will reward performance and create heavy incentives. We need a system for people to be honest. Also, we need to incentivize people to take bolder decisions. It is important for political leaders to create role models for good behavior at the state and federal level so our next generation of leaders will be better than the current. Our youth want it.

I’ve received much more from this world than I’ve been able to give. Regarding Infosys, I feel happy we created an enterprise that competes globally. We demonstrated that business can be done legally and ethically. I’m happy we conducted the first large experience in democratization of wealth. And more important is we demonstrated that seven ordinary people can come together and create huge wealth. This capital has created lots of opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people and raised confidence.

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