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                                                            Story provided by Lata Kumar

For the first time, Padmashree Dr. S.P. Balasubramanian will present a Tamil music show Friday, May 7, in Tampa. Even at 62, his voice is still magical and has a mesmerizing quality. Be it a melodious, folk or romantic number, only SP Balasubramanian can do it all with the same ease and aplomb.

During the early 1970s, he and music director Illayaraja ruled the scene. Who can forget those incredible songs? His "Ilaya Nila," "Anthi Mazhai," "Sankarabharanam," "Panni Vizhum" and numerous others are still peoples’ favorites.

His stint in Hindi started with "Ek Dujhe Ke Liye," which won him the National Award for "Tere Mere Beech Mein." Then it continued up till “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” where his "Pahla Pahla pyar" drove people into a stupor. He still reigns in the Tamil and Telugu film industry.

At the Tampa show, Balasubramanian also will sing a few Telugu, Hindi and Kannada songs. He will be accompanied by SP Sailaja, Sree Krishna and Kalpana Raghavender.

The concert will be at Centro Asturiano, 1913 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $25, $50, $100 and VIP; children ages 10 to 12 years of age are $15. For more information, call (813) 679-7298 or visit https://www.sulekha.com/ticketsV3/buytickets.aspx?cid=591582



Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, a vocalist of the famed Jaipur-Atrauli Khayal Gayaki tradition, will present a classical treat for Tampa music lovers on Saturday, June 5. She will be accompanied by Seema Shirodkar on harmonium and Vishwanath Shirodkar on tabla.

Although a classicist by temperament and training, Bhide Deshpande is equally at ease with lighter varieties such as thumri-dadra and bhajans/abhangs. Add to this, her fluency in Sanskrit enriches her repertoire further by inclusion of stotras/stutis.

Her debut recording album was released in 1985 by HMV and several more have followed thereafter under various banners, including Rhythm House, Times Music, Sony Music, Music Today, Navras records, etc.  

In October 2004, Bhide Deshpande published a book "Ragarachananjali" of her self-composed bandishes. The book has received rave reviews all over the music world and the effort has been lauded for its musical creativity and artistic presentation.

Bhide Deshpande’s contribution to Hindustani classical vocal music has been acknowledged through awards and citations. She is the recipient of Pandit Jasraj Gaurav Puraskar, which was conferred upon her on the occasion of the 75th birthday celebrations of the maestro. More recently, she was awarded the Kumar Gandharva Samman by the Madhya Pradesh government – the first female Hindustani vocalist to be decorated with the national award.

The vocal concert will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Carrollwood Cultural Center Annex, 13345 Casey Road (Carrollwood Cultural Center Annex is near the intersection of Casey and Lowell roads, just west of Dale Mabry Highway and Fletcher Avenue). Tickets are $25. Donations are welcome to defray costs of the concert. Anyone interested can e-mail Anil Nirgudkar at anil456@gmail.com



On April 4 at the USF Campus, PEHCHAAN hosted a skit written by Samira Obeid (USF student) followed by a panel discussion. Other collaborators were Center for India Studies and Students of India Association. The play highlighted the challenges of five female Indian graduate students, which included: adaptation to an unfamiliar country, difficult advisor and student relations, discomfort with arranged marriages while focused on education, gay/lesbian experiences, and commuter marriages.  

Following the play, three panelists from the community, Dr. Swapna Mukherjea, M.D., Dr. Pratyusha Basu, Ph.D and Avani Shah, MSW, commented on the societal implications and how to ameliorate these issues. Subsequently, panelists and actors led a riveting discussion with audience members. The audience explored pride in one’s culture, what it means to be traditional, the challenge of disclosing sexual orientation, and why Indian students find it so difficult to confront issues with advisors. The well-attended event received excellent reviews by those who attended and educated the community on important struggles faced by Indian graduate students.     

Submitted by Avani Shah, panelist  



Story provided by Generation Om

Generation OM, a non-profit organization, is accepting applications from American Hindu undergraduate students for scholarships up to $6,000. The scholarship is divided into four parts and awarded annually.

The organization looks to reward academic excellence to college bound high school students while providing resources to help develop a better understanding of their Hindu culture and family values. Generation OM is funded by donations supported by prominent community members and a dynamic Board of Directors who believe in the mission statement: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” attributed to Winston Churchill.

Generation OM awarded its first $6,000 scholarship at the inaugural Dinner Fundraiser last year to Shivee Gupta, a graduate of Tavares High, who is now a freshman at University of Florida.

For more information, visit www.generationom.com



 Bonnie Howard and Dr. Rao Musunuru at the 25th anniversary Chasco Royal Coronation Ball.


             Story provided by Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point

At the 25th anniversary Chasco Royal Coronation Ball recently to benefit the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind, Dr. Rao Musunuru was crowned King Pithla and Bonnie Howard was crowned Queen Chasco, for decades of continuous committed community service. Musunuru is practicing cardiologist at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson

They were selected for this coveted historical honor, from a record 33 total nominations.

Dr. Rao Musunuru was nominated by CARES, Good Samaritan Health Clinic and United Way of Pasco. Bonnie Howard was nominated by The Rotary Club of New Port Richey.

They participated in the New Port Richey Chasco Fiesta Street Parade on March 20 and the Chasco Boat Parade on March 27 as the king and Queen during the 11-daylong Chasco Fiesta Celebration.









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