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Last year’s India Fest in Gainesville.

Last month, Melbourne and West Palm Beach held their annual India Fests. In March, it’s the turn of the cities of Fort Myers and Gainesville.

FORT MYERS: The India Association of Fort Myers (IAFM) will hold its 21st annual India Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 15 at Lee County Alliance for the Arts grounds.

At the outdoor event, booths will feature Indian food, clothes, jewelry, dance, music, and arts and handcrafts. Entertainment, including modern and classical dances, and fashion shows will be offered. During lunch, a brief yoga demonstration will be given.

Entry fee for the fair is $4. Parking is free. Lee County Alliance is at 10091 McGregor Boulevard, near the corner of McGregor and Colonial.

For information, call IAFM President Suja George at (239) 898-8111 or visit

Last year’s India Fest in Fort Myers.
GAINESVILLE: More than 4,000 people are expected to celebrate the annual India Fest from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 29 at the Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville. The daylong event is organized by the India Cultural & Education Center (ICEC) of Gainesville. Participating communities include Gainesville, Ocala, Citrus County, Lake City, Tallahassee, Fort Walton, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Melbourne, Lakeland, etc. The cultural show will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 5 p.m.

A Health Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Free information and screening on Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, blood pressure, diabetes, and hand and foot problems will be available. A comprehensive blood and cholesterol test will cost $40; test for prostate or thyroid is $20.

Admission charge is $3 entry; children younger than 3 years of age are free. Santa Fe Community College is at 3000 N.W. 83rd St., Gainesville.

For information, call Manisha Ranade at (352) 271-3065 or visit

Story provided by Sahara

Sahara, a local grassroots organization reaching out to female Asian victims of domestic violence, will present Jazz Yatra 2008 on Saturday, March 22. The 7 p.m. fusion performance featuring jazz, classical Indian music and dance will be held at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, on Saturday. This year, the event is presented with the support of a grant from the city of Coral Springs.

The first segment features a fusion dance ensemble of classical Indian and Western styles of dance entitled “Rejuvenation” representing the stages in the life of a woman as it parallels the four seasons. Dancers include Harija Sivakumar, Neha Shah, Aparna Matange, Reshmi Sunil, Priya Nagaraj, Priya Prasad and Varsha Jawadekar.

The second, a musical segment, features classical Indian musicians: violinist Sanjay Chandran, flutist V.K. Raman, mridangist (classical Indian percussion) Dr. Ramakrishnan, Greek clarinet player George Stathos, jazz pianist Perry Joslin and his band presenting a scintillating blend of these different styles of music.

Proceeds from the concert benefit Sahara, a Miami-based organization working to combat domestic violence in the Asian communities of South Florida, and to provide support for Asian women who are the victims of domestic violence. Sahara is supported by the Miami-Dade Asian American Advisory Board and the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade Women’s Advocacy Program. Visit

Tickets for the Jazz Yatra are $20, $30 and $40. A special senior and student discount rate is $15 with valid ID. All seats are reserved. For tickets, call the Center for the Arts Box Office at (954) 344-5990 or visit


Vishnu Mandir on 5803 Lynn Road in Tampa is holding its first annual Community Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15 at the temple.

Free health screenings will be offered for blood sugar, cholesterol and obesity. A blood pressure check and a bone density test also will be available.

Free health education seminars will be offered on the importance of early screening for colon cancer; mammograms; diabetes; smoking hazards; and allergies.

Health care professionals and physicians will be on hand to answer questions and distribute information about child, adolescent, senior health and safety topics.

“We would like the entire community to participate and come experience the education provided,” said organizer Dr. Sadhana Shah. “This will not only be a health fair but a day of fun and entertainment and activities. We are providing activities for the children and senior citizens. There will be lots of food, prizes and music provided.”

For information, call Dr. Sadhana Shah at (727) 798-4258.


Holi, the Festival of Colors, will be celebrated throughout Indian communities in Florida. Here are a few of the cities that will observe this joyous spring event.

TAMPA: The Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay will hold its annual Holi event at Picnic Island in Tampa on Sunday, March 16. For details, call Samaj President Dr. Harish Patel at (727) 398-4030, its Vice President C.J. Patel at (813) 960-8450 or visit

Also, the Sanatan Mandir at 333 E. Palm Ave. in Tampa will celebrate Holi on Thursday, March 20, from 8 p.m. onward. Colors (rang) will be available. For information, call mandir President Chandrakant Patel at (813) 340-5505.

ORLANDO: The Gujarati Society of Central Florida will hold its Holi Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 23 at Turkey Lake Road, Pavilion No. 6 in Orlando. For information, visit

Also, the Association of Asian Cultural Festivals will hold its Holi (Phagwah) celebrations from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 22 at Festival Park (at east Colonial and north Primrose drives), Orlando. Aaron Jewan Singh from Trinidad will perform.

For information, call Lalman Persaud at (407) 532-1980 or e-mail

MELBOURNE (SPACE COAST AREA): The Indian Association of the Space Coast (IASC) will celebrate Holi Festival from 1 p.m. Saturday, March 22 at Sandpoint Park in Titusville. For information, visit

JACKSONVILLE: The Hindu Society of North East Florida in Jacksonville will celebrate Holi from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 21, which coincides with the temple’s one-year anniversary. The temple is at 4698 Greenland Road, Jacksonville. For information, call (904) 268-7630 or visit

TALLAHASSEE: The India Association of Tallahassee will be celebrating Holi Festival on Saturday, March 22 at Tom Brown Park, station number 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Colors, drinks and cutlery will be provided. The association requests several members to be coordinators for arranging potluck lunch of idli, vada and sambar, pulva, chicken dish, desserts and other goodies. If you want to volunteer, visit or e-mail (850-443-0373) or (850-219-9799).

Story provided by Art and Cultural Center of Hollywood, Fla.

The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (ACCH) will present the world-famous Nrityagram Dance Ensemble of India on Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m. at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center, 1770 Monroe St. A special 2 p.m. matinee performance with this renowned dance company takes place at the theater on Sunday, March 9.

The internationally acclaimed ensemble transports viewers to enchanted worlds of magic and spirituality with the sensuous flow of Odissi, the oldest of India’s classical dance forms. Surupa Sen’s compelling choreography is the elusive union of meaning and abstraction, set to an original score and performed to live music by a stunning ensemble of female dancers.

Tickets are $30 for individuals, $22 for members, and $25 for students and seniors. Group discounts are available. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or visit

The dance ensemble also will give a performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 14 at The Florida Theatre, 128 E. Forsyth St. in Jacksonville. Tickets are $37.50. For information, call the box-office at (904) 355-2787 or visit

Patrick Hernly, center, with A.R. Rahman and Vasundhara Das.

Patrick Hernly, a Ph.D. candidate in music education at the University of South Florida, performed with A.R. Rahman in concert in Chennai on Feb. 9. Hernly played a wide variety of percussion instruments, including Latin percussion, Indian percussion, drumset, and classical percussion.

It wasn’t the first time that Hernly has taken to the stage with Rahman. In fact, he has performed numerous times with the Indian film music composer. Last year, he performed 10 times with Rahman in the 3rd Dimension North America Tour.

Hernly is one of the founding members of Global Rhythms, a world music ensemble, along with his mentor and teacher Srinivas Krishnan.

In 2003, Krishnan met Rahman by chance on a British Airways flight. During the flight, Krishnan showed Rahman a DVD of a recent Global Rhythms concert, where the ensemble performed “Chale Chalo” from “Lagaan.” Apparently, Rahman appreciated the rendition and invited them to perform in Detroit and Long Island later that year. That was just the beginning.

Patrick Hernly on the tabla.

Hernly spent time with Rahman in summer 2003 and performed in Rahman’s “Wake Up Tour” with singer Vasundhara Das.

What makes Rahman unique in Hernly’s eyes? “He is very gifted, reminds me of Mozart,” says Hernly. “Rahman effortlessly allows his music to come forth,” Hernly feels. “A broad range of people can enjoy his music because Rahman manages to balance both: substance and appeal.”

Performing on stage with Rahman is a fulfilling music experience, according to Hernly. The audience ranges from 15,000 to 50,000 people. “His music has a lot of power; you feel like you are participating in something bigger than yourself,” he says.

Some of Hernly’s personal favorites of Rahman are “Tere Bina” from “Guru”; “Ramta Jogi” from “Taal”; and “Sahana” and “Athiradee,” both from “Sivaji.”

Hernly looks to continue performing with Rahman in the future.

In addition to pursuing his Ph.D., he is a freelance musician and also teaches percussion instruments at Excel Music in New Tampa.

Story provided by ICC

In fall of 2007, India Cultural Center elected a new Board of Directors: Dr. Mahesh Amin, Kanti Bakarania, Nainan Desai, Dinesh Gandhi, Vikas Ghiya, Dr. Shrinath Kamath, Arvind Patel, Ghanshyam Patel, Dr. Harish Patel, Jyoti Patel, Dr. Kiran Patel, Minesh Patel, Pradip Patel, Prativ Patel, Ravi Patel, Dr. Ravi Patel, Dr. C. P. Shah, Dr. Nandkishor Shah, Dr. Samir Shah and Satya Shaw.

India Cultural Center already had an Operations Committee for day-to-day management of the Center. The committee consists of Pankaj Patel, Nikunj Patel, Malti Pandya, Ram Jakhotia, Pravin (P.D.) Patel, Hitesh Adhia and Pallaviben Shah.

Many new initiatives have been started to make the community center offer cultural, religious, social and educational activities. The goal of the trustees and the Operations Committee is to bring “India” and “culture” back to ICC.

Dance and music school: Tabla and vocal classes will be offered starting in March. Bharatnatyam, Bollywood dance classes should follow soon. Yoga and meditation classes also are planned.

Reasonable rental rates: There are two halls for rent at the ICC – Lotus Hall and Magnolia Hall. The rental rates are outlined below. Lotus Hall can accommodate about 200 guests comfortably and Magnolia Hall can put up 1,000.

Lotus Magnolia both

Sunday to Thursdays: $600 $1,000 $1,500

Fridays: $900 $2,000 $2,800

Saturdays: $1,200 $2,800 $3,500

Web-based reservation/credit card Payment: ICC recently installed a Web-based reservation system for renting the center. Visit

Membership drive/cultural events: In the spring of 2008, membership to ICC will begin. The Tampa Bay Indian community is fortunate to host several renowned Indian musical, theatrical and cultural artists. ICC Board of Directors is planning to bring four special events during 2008. Members would have season ticket for these events, including dinner for as little as $37.50 per event. The goal is to attract at least 600 members. Membership drive is headed by Jyoti Patel (813) 810 4727, Dinesh Gandhi (727) 858-4123,

Vikas Ghiya (813) 451-7959, and Kanti Bakarania (813) 317-3316.

ICC Senior Day: ICC Senior Day recently celebrated its second anniversary. This event is held on the third Wednesday each month between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. This event is free and includes lunch. Activities for ICC Senior Day are led by Ram Jakhotia, Rashmi Jakhotia and Rama Patel. Sponsorship for the lunch is as little as $251. Ram Jakhotia can be reached at (813) 802-4638.

Trustee drive: ICC is a community-owned facility. The Board of Directors would like to invite those who have recently moved to the Tampa Bay area to join as a trustee.

Donor wall: This committee is dedicated in completing the donor wall. Trustees and donors can confirm with Ghanshyam L. Patel (813) 784-6930, Dr. Mahesh Amin (727) 460-2318, and Dr. Ravi Patel (813) 841-5744 on how their name and donation amount should appear on the wall.

Singers and musicians at the Saint Thyagaraja Aradhana and Composers’ Day.
Story provided by Krish Seetharaman

Hindu Society of North East Florida in Jacksonville in collaboration with JAXRAAGA, a local non-profit organization promoting South Indian classical music, celebrated Saint Thyagaraja Aradhana and Composers’ Day on Feb. 9. This has been an annual traditional program organized by JAXRAAGA.

Saint Thyagaraja (1767-1847) along with Muthuswamy Dikshitar (1776-1835) and Syama Shastri (1762-1827) formed the trinity in South Indian classical music.

The main contribution of the trinity was the standardization of kriti format as the most important form of Carnatic music. Starting in the 16th century, composers such Muthu Tandavar and Margadarsi Sesha Ayyangar had experimented with the kriti format and the characteristic pallavi-anupallavi-charana structure, one that was followed in Kshetragna's padas. The trinity, particularly Thyagaraja, perfected this format with the result that it dominates Carnatic music today. The 700-odd known krithis of Thyagaraja feature 212 ragas.

The program began with the traditional Pancha Ratna Krithis composed by Saint Thyagaraja by group of singers and musicians from Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Ocala and Tallahassee. This was followed by solo recitals of kirthanas written by different composers. The five-hour program was well attended.

Singers and musicians at the Saint Thyagaraja Aradhana and Composers’ Day.
Story provided by Sanatan Mandir

Vasant Panchami Mahotsav and 108 Kundi Gayatri Yagna was held Feb. 2-3 at Sanatan Mandir in Tampa.

On Saturday, a bhajan sandhya and satsang was held. The next day, more than 500 people attended the 108 kundi gayatri yagna. Dipali Bhatt of All World Gayatri Pariwar in Orlando and Shantilal from Haridwar performed the yagna.

For information on the mandir, call Chandrakant Patel, president of Sanatan Mandir at (813) 623- 5200.

Central Bank Board of Directors from left to right: Shilen Patel, Raj Patel, Marty Gladysz, Nilesh Patel and Arvind Patel.

Tampa’s only “Indian-owned bank” held a grand opening at its first branch on Feb. 5. The bank, which is at County Line Road and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, has been organized by a local group of entrepreneurs.

“We aim to address the banking needs of the businesses and residents who seek the best in customer service and creative financing,” said Nilesh Patel, vice chairman of Central Bank’s board. “Central Bank strives to fill the void created by bigger - bureaucratic financial institutions and is very competitive in its loans and deposits offerings.”

The bank has a staff of 15 and will eventually open up three more branches around the Tampa Bay area. For more information on Central Bank, visit or call (813) 929-4477.

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

Anil Deshpande
Story provided by UCF

An emerging world power with a growing population in the Orlando area, India will be the focus of a new program at the University of Central Florida.

Supported by The Anil and Chitra Deshpande India Program Endowed Fund, The India Program will sponsor public discussions involving prominent speakers, panels and other meetings; encourage scholarship and research; and work with partners worldwide to broaden awareness and understanding about India. The program will cover India in terms of politics, technology, communication, culture and religion.

Anil Deshpande, president of Deshpande Inc., is a prominent businessman in the United States and India. He and his wife Chitra have supported UCF programs related to India and other international initiatives during the past several years. They were eager to help the university enhance its connections with India.

“The United States is the superpower, and India is an emerging power. Both are important democracies of the world,” Anil Deshpande said. “We have made this endowment to enable the creation of a program that promotes understanding and expanded relations between the two.”

The initial contribution to the endowed fund is $100,000 and, with anticipated state matching money, will increase to $150,000. Others who are interested in the program may make contributions to the fund by gift or bequest.

The Deshpandes and UCF envision the program as a world-class resource center that will benefit UCF and the Central Florida community.

The program will be part of the Department of Political Science in the College of Sciences. John C. Bersia, special assistant to the president for Global Perspectives, and Roger Handberg, chair of the Department of Political Science, will serve as interim co-directors.

Lord Ganesha at HSNEF.
Story provided by Krish Seetharaman

It was the last Sunday of March 2007 that the consecration ceremony was conducted for the Hindu Society of North East Florida temple in Jacksonville. Excellent team efforts and community support made it possible to move Lord Ganesha from the old temple building in Orange Park to the new temple site on Greenland Road. Coordinated effort went into the construction of the new temple site where other murthis, namely, Lord Balaji, Lord Shiva (Linga), Lakshmi Narayana Swami, Shri Ram Parivar, Radha Krishna Swami, Durga Devi and Mahavir Swami, joined Lord Ganesha. Almost a year has passed and the Jacksonville community is gearing up to celebrate the first anniversary of the Sthapana as a three-day grand event.

The temple was built with a loan of about $900,000 which has now been reduced to nearly $400,000 with generous contributions from the community. In addition, the temple is working to become debt-free with “Own a Bell” campaign, where the wish is to get at least 1,000 bells sponsored for $401 each.

The Sthapana anniversary event starts on the morning of Friday, March 21 with Ganesh Pooja and Abhishek, followed in the evening by Rudra Abhishek.

On Saturday, March 22, followed by Suprabhatam in the morning will be Abhishek for Lord Venkateshwara (Balaji) and, in the evening, Samoohik Saraswathi Pooja will be celebrated.

The grand finale of the anniversary program is on Sunday, March 23 with Shri Ganesha Pancha Vimshati Kalasha Sthapna Abhishek. In this event, Abhishek will be done to Lord Ganesha with sanctified water in 25 Kalasas. This will be immediately followed by special shringar to Lord Ganesha simultaneously with Sri Mahavir Swamy Pooja. Devotees can sponsor poojas on all these days.

Also, a free multicultural Indian dance program, “Payal ki Omkar” has been organized by a local organization RasaJhari in collaboration with the Hindu Society. This event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Mandarin Middle School. For more information, call the temple at (904) 268-7630.

Story provided by Himanshu Bhatt

More than 600 people watched a light-hearted Gujarati social comedy "Kem cho majaa maa?" Feb. 17 in Orlando. Presenters were Himanshu Bhatt, chief sponsor Jayesh Patel and the Gujarati Society of Central Florida. The drama was written by Pravin Solanki and directed by Feroze Bhagat.

Lead star was TV star Apara 'Savita' Mehta of “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” fame, Feroze Bhagat and talented actors.

The show was supported by Gujarati Society President Neelkanth Kapadia, Jayesh Patel, Tino Patel, Bhavin Vaishmav and Raja Paleja. Special thanks to Keshav Ginoya for the beautiful pictures.

Dr. Mona Patel

Mona Patel, a practicing physician, was recently named one of Orlando’s Best Doctors by Orlando, the City Magazine. The honor is awarded to only 5 percent of all physicians in 400 different specialties.

“The physicians on Orlando magazine’s Best Doctors and Top Doctors lists were chosen by other doctors in their fields as the city’s best,” write the magazine.

Patel practices at Clermont-Ocoee Pediatrics, 1755 E. Highway 50, Suite A, in Clermont.

By Spandan Bandyopadhyay, for Pehchaan

Pehchaan held its first workshop of the year on Feb. 10. The topic was “Growing up South Asian in America.” There were three presenters. Yasmin Pandharpurwala, who is currently working on a study involving adolescents, was the first speaker. Preethy George, a pre-doctoral intern at USF, was next. Amina Mahmood, also a pre-doctoral psychology intern at USF, wrapped up the presentation.

They first talked about the basic anatomic differences between teenagers and adults, and then compared and contrasted the values of Western vs. South Asian culture. They tried to focus on the friction between adolescents and their parents, especially the kind that results from the differences in their cultures. Often it is generated as the parents want to stick to South Asian values, such as family and respect for the elderly, while the child prefers Western values, such as individualism and independence.

After a short refreshment break, we split into two groups: one for the adults and the other for the teens. The teens got some one-on-one time with the presenters, and explained how they felt sometimes restricted because of their parent’s upbringing in a different culture. Parents also shared some of their predicaments about bringing up children in a foreign country and preserving some of their own culture.

Being a teenager, I can definitely say that the workshop was a welcome change as it was open and both sides acknowledged that it is only through open communication that we can achieve a balance between both cultures and get the best of both worlds.

Story provided by DOSA

More than 250 people attended a meeting and gala banquet dinner Feb. 9 organized by the Doctors of South Asia (DOSA) at the Downtown Marriott in Orlando. Central Florida’s medical community swapped their scrubs for Bollywood glamour during the celebration.

Guests of honor included Dr. Hemant Patel, president of the American Association Physicians from India (AAPI), Rep. David Simmons, Orange County Chief Operating Officer Ajit Lalchandani, Dr. Rich Bragga, president of Seminole County Medical Society, Dr. Greenberg Hank of FMA and other local leaders and physicians of Indian origin along with their families. T

The evening began with an exhibit of the latest health information and was followed by a medical presentation by experts in diabetes, kidney transplants, pancreatic disorders and osteoporosis. Dr. Mehul Dixit and Dr. Bobby Nibhanupudy organized the medical talks. Dr. Uday Desai, medical director of Pancreas Transplant Program, gave a brief lecture on diabetes, followed by Nibhanupudy, surgical director of Pancreas Transplant Program, and Dr. Henry Daniel of UCF Faculty shed some light on his ongoing diabetic research. Dr. Daniel was followed by Dr. Rahul Shah, spine surgeon/orthopedic surgeon, who talked about the different types of arthritis.

The guests entered the main ballroom which was beautifully decorated and a Bollywood video put together by Dr. Reddy playing on the big screen. This set the atmosphere for the evening and was followed by a Bollywood dance performance. The emcee for the evening, Glad Kurian, introduced Dr. Aravind Pillai, president of DOSA. Dr Pillai promised to arrange AMA-accredited CME lectures at the next grand gala event on Nov. 8. Dr. Vraj Panara then introduced Rep. Simmons, who spoke briefly on legislations supporting physicians.

Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar, 2009 AAPI national convention chairman, introduced Dr. Hemant Patel who explained AAPI's role to help needy people in the United States and in India. This was followed by a brief Q&A session for Dr. Patel in which several questions were asked, including the possibility of dual membership between different physician organizations.

Dr. Nikita Shah then introduced Orange County’s Lalchandani who brought greeting from the Orange County Mayor Mr. Richard Crotty and promised the group to give full support for the AAPI convention in Orlando in 2009.

Members of DOSA in participation with local hospitals are planning to hold a community heath fair/medical camp at the Hindu Temple in Casselberry on May 4. For more information, call Dr. Pillai at (407) 718-8733 or e-mail

Ashok Bazaz

A check-dedication ceremony was held Feb. 3 at Greenland Road Hindu Temple in Jacksonville.

On the occasion, chairman of Gandhi Memorial Society Inc., Jacksonville, and secretary of Florida Cricket Association, Jacksonville, dedicated checks of $1,100 and $1,000 to executive director of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA, respectively.

Speakers impressed upon the need to extend all possible assistance to further the cause under the banner of Ekal Vidyalaya.

Under the program, Ekal Cricket Tournament was conducted in 2007 by the Florida Cricket Association, and money raised during the tournament has been donated to Ekal.

Float put up by the India Association of Fort Myers at the Edison parade.

The “Costumes of India” float put up by the India Association of Fort Myers won second place at the recent Edison (New Jersey) Festival of Lights Parade. “This was our first attempt at taking part in the Edison parade,” said Suja George, president of the association.

More than 5,000 participants were on a total of 144 floats as 200,000 people watched the parade. “The reason to take part in the parade was to promote our Fort Myers India Festival on March 15,” said George.

For information on the Fort Myers India Fest, call George at (239) 898-8111 or visit


The whole world is going through a unique kind of neurosis, which was not present in the past. One of the major causes is simply because modern man has stopped using his body to a large extent. In the past, when you intensely involved yourself in physical activity, a lot of your neurosis was worked out. Your nervous energy got spent. I know many people, especially young people, who had psychological problems. They started a physical activity such as swimming or playing some sport daily and everything became OK; because of enough activity, the energy was expended.

Today, man has become physically inactive like never before – he could not afford to be so physically inactive before, he had to do so many things physically, just to survive. So, he has become more neurotic than in the past. As a general phenomenon, there were neurotic people then also, but not in these numbers. Today, it has become a common phenomenon in society that too many are in some level of neurosis. This is simply because your energy is not worked out; it’s trapped. You have not transcended your madness and, at the same time, you’re not working it out. The therapy also is not there. If you went out and chopped wood for the whole day a lot of your energy would be spent, and life would be peaceful; but today it’s not like that. You are not using your body the way it used to be used; so, you go on generating all kinds of diseases like never before.

This builds up into your system over a period of time. Then your physical and emotional energy need some outlet. That is how your bars, clubs and discotheques have come into place. People have to work out their neurosis somewhere, somehow. These discos look like madness, you can’t even breathe inside. They are full of smoke and sweat but people are just going wild. You can’t even dance, everybody is bumping into everybody else, but it doesn’t matter, you have to work it out, otherwise you will go crazy. So on Saturday, you go work out your neurosis for the week. Then the piling up starts once more and once again the Saturday night fever comes.

There is another way to drop this madness and go ahead. Completely leaving it behind and going ahead where you are no more a part of it. This is what meditation is all about. Now, if you dance, you simply dance for the joy of it, and not because there is something to work out. If you’re dancing to work out something, maybe it is therapeutic. It is good therapy all right, but there is a certain ugliness about it. It is lusty; you cannot dance out of love. You can only dance out of lust.

Do you know the difference between love and lust? Lust is a strong need, love is not a need. When you love, you settle down, nothing more is needed. You can just sit here for a lifetime. With lust, you can’t sit anywhere, you either get into some mad action, or you are bound to go crazy. When there is a certain neurosis, certain madness within yourself, you can only be in lust. Your lust can be for sex, food or for some particular activity or some hobby, it doesn’t matter what it is, but you develop lust for something. Without that lust, you cannot live. Even your work is an effective way of throwing out your lust. It’s just that it is the most popular and accepted way in the world. Today, people just go on working, working and working. Not because they are creating something fantastic, but simply because they have to work; otherwise, they don’t know what to do with themselves.

You have to guard that madness cautiously. Nobody ever knows that you have this within yourself and you yourself would like to forget it. You do everything possible to forget it. All the entertainment in the world has come just to hide your madness. If you were perfectly sane, you would not need entertainment. You need entertainment just to cover your madness. If we take away your entertainment, you will go crazy. Man needs entertainment simply to hide his madness. If he was perfectly sane, he would not need entertainment. He could just sit and watch this bamboo grow. If the need for entertainment is gone in you, then you will become available to the magnificent exuberance of life. Every moment becomes a phenomenon of immeasurable depth.

Sadhguru, founder of Isha Foundation and one of the foremost authorities on the ancient science of yoga, has expounded inner well-being through the yogic technique of Inner Engineering to millions of people across the world. For more information, click on



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


The accolades continue to be heaped on Udipi Café in the Longwood/Orlando area. After we wrote about the authentic South Indian vegetarian eatery in our last issue, the Orlando Sentinel picked Udipi at 1275 S. Highway 17-92, (407) 696-7775, as the Best Indian restaurant in an annual listing of the area’s finest. The reader’s choice award went to Passage to India, 5532 International Drive, (407) 351-3456.


Speaking of authentic South Indian cuisine, how can one forget Woodlands in Lauderhill (Fort Lauderdale area)? In a recent review, the Miami Herald raved about its food. “The 110-seat restaurant is bright and clean, with strands of woodsy greens across each wall and friendly service …” wrote Rochelle Koff. “Dosais – paper-thin, crepe-like creations, made from lentil and rice flour – are a staple. They look like giant cones and are delicious alone or with a filling like ginger-scented potatoes and onions. Dip into ground coconut chutney and sambhar, a pleasantly hot lentil and vegetable soup.”

At 4816 N. University Drive, Lauderhill, Woodlands is open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 10 p.m. daily. For information, call (954) 749-3221.

And if you are in the Orlando area, check out the Woodlands at 6040 S. Orange Blossom Trail. It’s open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. For information, call (407) 854-3330 or click on

Mental Health Column

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