Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


PEHCHAAN is holding its fundraising event Saturday, Nov. 20, in Tampa. “Ron,” an English play by Sudipta Bhawmik of New Jersey; and “Once upon a time,” performed in various dance forms, including shadow dancing, will be presented from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Gaither High School, 16200 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students with ID.
Pehchaan’s mission is to enhance the psychosocial quality of life for the South Asian American community of Tampa Bay through education and awareness.

Among its many activities in recent years are: workshops on topics such as stress and anger management, adolescent issues and family dynamics; an essay writing competition for elementary through high school children on growing up South Asian in America, followed by an open forum discussion; hosting a skit by USF graduate students on ‘Identity: What it is to be different’ followed by a discussion attended by 150 people; and staged ‘Power Stories’ on women empowerment.

Pehchaan has also offered support groups, referrals, clinical consultations, and counseling. It is excited to report a new partnership with FJC (Family Justice Center) Tampa, and the launching of a domestic violence assistance hotline, details to be announced soon. Next year, the workshops will focus on elder issues. There will be a book discussion on mother daughter relationships with book signing by the author.

All work is done as a public charity non profit tax exempt organization. Pehchaan has become a name that is recognized for its psychosocial services and needs the community’s support to continue their mission. For information about Pehchaan, visit

Information for the story was provided by PEHCHAAN.


Story provided by Krish Seetharaman


More than 6,000 people attended the annual India Fest Oct. 16 at Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville. The daylong event was a collaborative effort by the Hindu Society of North East Florida with local teams and organizations in Jacksonville.

Separate booths were organized for teams from various participating Indian states. Each booth was decorated by members of the state to exhibit their tradition and culture.
The highlight in each booth was the specialty food from the respective states. The booths were judged by a panel of four and the Rajasthan state booth won the trophy for a consecutive second time.

In addition to the cultural exhibits of various states, there were additional booths set up by vendors such as Stanton, Magellan, Prudential, CVS, Clear Wire, Attorney Amit, Sahil Dresses, Sangeet DVDs, Sanskriti Jewelers, Imperial Pearls, Sai Art, Dada Bhagavan and The Art of Living.

Another highlight was a series of dances from various states – both by groups of children and adults. They were well-choreographed and well-performed and provided entertainment for the audience. Last but not the least, the event ended with a Raas Garba dance.


“Shanti – A Journey of Peace” is a grand multimedia musical theater production that is at the forefront of the Indian American choral movement. It is an expansive and collaborative musical theater production that explores the meanings of peace and interconnectedness through choral music. “Shanti” has made history in Cincinnati, Ohio, Bethlehem, Pa., and Houston and is now coming to Tampa (

“Shanti” is a globally conceived production with grassroots participation at the local level. Its scale is staggering. An 80 member Indian community choir from the Greater Tampa Bay community will be at the core of this production singing a raga-based symphonic music score that is accompanied by a western choir and a western chamber orchestra and an ensemble of Indian instruments.

“Shanti” has been described as a ‘feat of Herculean proportions’ and a ‘display of creative eloquence’ and to date touched the lives of more than 900 performers and seen by over 9,000. “Shanti” has been hailed for its ability to bring communities together through music.

The music production presents University of South Florida students and Tampa Bay area residents with a rare opportunity to work with renowned composer and music educator Kanniks Kannikeswaran (composer and director of “Shanti”) who is an Artist in Residence at the Center for India Studies at USF.

“Shanti” is being presented as a fundraiser for the Center for India Studies, University of South Florida and will be performed at the Straz Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Feb. 26. Ticketing and other information will be published in due course.

For more information regarding sponsorship and other details, email Dr. Gurleen Grewal, director of Center for India Studies, USF, at

Out & About


Mayuri Indian Restaurant in Temple Terrace has introduced new specials in its daily/weekend buffet, especially Indo-Chinese preparations such as Hakka Veg Chowmein, Vegetable Fried Rice, Veg or Chicken Manchurian, Gobi Manchurian, and Vegetarian or Chicken Manchow soup. And then there is the Hyderabad-style dhum biryani, dal makhani, malai kofta and chicken tikka masala. Also part of the daily/weekend buffet is masala dosa, idli, tea and ice cream.

“Every day our buffet is different,” said Venkat Venumula, owner of Mayuri for 15 months now. “If you are looking for the authentic flavor of India, you may want to pay us a visit.”

The restaurant also caters food for a minimum of 15 to 20 people and up to 500 for any occasion. On premises is a rent-free banquet hall to accommodate from 40 to 100 people for birthdays, conferences, office meetings and anniversaries catered by Mayuri.

Daily lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. is $8.95 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for $10.95. There also is a special dinner buffet from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday for $10.95.

Mayuri is at 8447 N. 56th St. in Temple Terrace. For information, call (813) 374-0386 or visit


Rao Musunuru, M.D., a nationally recognized cardiologist at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson, received the “2010 Outstanding Physician Award” on Oct. 14. The honor was presented by Dr. Madelyn Butler, president of the Florida Medical Association, in recognition of “Exemplary medical, scientific, humanitarian, advocacy, educational and philanthropic contributions at local state and national levels for the past three decades.”

Dr. Musunuru is President-Elect of the Pasco County Medical Society. He also is recipient of 2005 National Physician of the Year Award from the American Heart Association and 2008 Outstanding Citizen of the Year from the Chamber of Commerce.



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