Contact Us
Mental Health
Financial advice
Youth Matters
Techno Corner

Ayesha Dharker and Josh Hamilton star in “Outsourced.”

Leave all your thoughts of Bollywood out by the entrance when you walk into the Enzian Theater in Orlando during the “Beyond Bollywood: The 13th Annual South Asian Film Festival” Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

The three-day event, co-produced by the Asian Cultural Association (ACA) and Enzian Theater, will kick off with a 10:30 a.m. screening of “Outsourced.” Directed by John Jeffcoat and starring Ayesha Dharker, the film is about Todd (played by Josh Hamilton) who heads up the sales department in a Seattle-based company that sells cheap novelty products. After his entire department is outsourced, he succeeds in hanging on to his job only by agreeing to go to India to train his own replacement. “Outsourced” will be screened again at 7 p.m. on Oct. 1

On Sept. 29 at 1 p.m., “Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath,” directed by Sharat Raju and Valarie Kaur, will look at hate violence in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.

On Sept. 30 at 10:30 a.m., “Vanaja” directed by Rajnesh Domalpalli, explores the chasm that divides classes in rural South India as a 14-year-old daughter of a poor low-case fisherman struggles to come of age.

That day, at 1:15 p.m., “Provoked,” directed by Jag Mundhra will be shown. It is the true story of a battered wife (Aishwarya Rai), who fights back, first against her husband (Naveen Andrews) and then against the system.

Tickets are $30 for four films can be bought in advance of $9 per film at the door. All films will have English subtitles.

For information and tickets, call Asian Cultural Association ( at (407) 333-3667 or Enzian ( Theater box-office at (407) 629-1088.

Mahatma Gandhi

Jacksonville and Gainesville are among the Florida cities celebrating Gandhi Jayanti (Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday).

The India Cultural and Education Center (ICEC) and Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions at University of Florida (CHiTra) in Gainesville will hold a multi-faith tribute to Gandhiji Sept. 30 with a concert performance by Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, an international renowned sitar player.

The concert will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at ICEC, 1115 S.W. 13th St. in Gainesville.

Student tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the gate. Non-students tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the gate.

To purchase tickets, be a sponsor or for more information, call Bhavna Bhardwaj at (352) 376-9710, Shanthi Punja at (352) 395-6317, Chetna Mehta at (352) 373-1230, Ramakant Srivastava at (352) 466-3668.

The Gandhi Memorial Society in Jacksonville will celebrate Gandhiji’s birthday and the first anniversary of the dedication of his statue at University of North Florida (UNF) on Oct. 2. The celebrations are part of an elaborate weeklong UNF’s program of “Conflict Transformation & Peace Awareness” Sept. 30-Oct. 6 on the university campus.

This free event will start at 5:45 p.m. followed by a peace walk. At 7:30 p.m., Padma Shree Dr. Ravindra Kumar (former vice chancellor of CCS University, India) will give a lecture in Lazzara Theatre on Gandhiji’s legacy.

For more information, call Ramesh Vashi at (904) 519 7907, Rajiv Gupta at (904) 745-3765, Daxesh Patel at (904) 221-0123, Prakash Joshi at (904) 728-0520, Rajshekhar at (904) 642-6237, Ashok Bazaz at (904) 642-6139 or click on


Story provided by Patel Foundation for Global Understanding

Dr. Kiran C. Patel
IMAGINE an opportunity to make a difference in the quality of education, and the future, of Tampa Bay’s most deserving students. And while helping the kids, you enjoy the opportunity of a day on the golf course meeting other concerned citizens and networking with local businesses.

Dr. Kiran C. Patel and Ajay Jambhekar knew each other from thei college days when Patel attended NHL medical college in Ahmedabad. Now they have joined together to make a difference in local schools in the Tampa Bay area. Patel, through the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding, and Jambhekar are hosting the first IMAGINE Golf Tournament on Sept. 18. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Patel Foundation’s IMAGINE Education is for Everyone program.

The IMAGINE program mentors underperforming schools in the Tampa Bay area in disadvantaged neighborhoods and gives them the resources to succeed. These schools have received a “D” rating in the FCAT system. Through a partnership with the Council for Educational Change, the IMAGINE program uses a three-year strategic plan to rehabilitate the school and increase its educational results. This is achieved by providing leadership training, critical resources and community involvement. The first IMAGINE school, located on the USF campus, has raised its FCAT rating from “D” to “B” in fewer than two years, thanks to this concentrated program.

The IMAGINE Golf Tournament will tee off on Sept. 18 at River Hills Country Club, 3943 New River Hills Parkway in Valrico. The shotgun start for the scramble event will be at 1 p.m. Dinner and prizes will follow that evening at the golf club.

If you are interested in participating in the tournament, call Ajay Jambhekar from AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquors at (813) 654-6488 or the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding at (813) 471-4380.

Story provided by India-US Chamber of Commerce of South Florida

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
The India-US Chamber of Commerce of South Florida will be holding its first INDIA DAYS from Sept. 12-14 in Fort Lauderdale. The event is a partnership between India US Chamber of South Florida ,Metro Broward Economic Development Corporation, Broward County Economic Development, and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

On the first day, Sept. 12, INDIA DAYS will create a dialogue between U.S. and Indian business people at a Business Symposium “India – The Other Mega Market.” The seminar will present real life case studies, best practices, information about “How-to Get Started” and an opportunity to network with leading U.S. and Indian businessman doing business between the two countries. It will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Nova Southeastern University, Carl DeSantis Building, 3301 College Ave, Davie, FL 33314. There is no entrance fee. RSVP by email:

On Sept. 13, at 11 a.m., a workshop, “Study Abroad Possibilities in India,” will be held. It will focus on how college students from the United States can spend a summer or full semester in Bangalore. David Moore, AVP International Education, Broward Community College, will be the speaker. The free workshop will be at One Island Place, Suite 1102, 3801 N.E. 207th St., Aventura. RSVP by email:

That same day, at 7 p.m., sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan will be guest of honor during a Come and Mingle at Dinner at ISHQ (new opening) Haute Indian Cuisine, 530 Ocean Drive, (between Fifth and Sixth streets), South Beach. The dinner cost is $48 (includes tax and tip). Public parking is on Seventh Street between Washington and Collins avenues. For more information, call (305) 532-4747.

On Sept. 14, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and sons Amaan and Ayaan will present a sarod concert, “Sultans of Strings” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $45, $65 and $80. For more information, call the box-office at (954) 462-0222 or click on

For more information on INDIA DAYS, call Annette Vargas, chamber executive director, at (305) 931-8257 or e-mail


Mamatha Bhukya
Rajnesh Domalpalli initially wrote “Vanaja” as a project submission for a class at Columbia University in 2001. Inspired by a child’s scream in the film “Sophie’s Choice,” it was to be a tale about mother-child separation, but as it developed over the next three semesters, it gradually took on the elements of class distinction and conflict.

Set in rural South India, the film is about Vanaja (Mamatha Bhukya), the 14-year-old daughter of a poor, low caste fisherman, struggling with dwindling catches and mounting debt. When a soothsayer predicts that she will be a great dancer one day, she goes to work in the house of the local landlady, Rama Devi (Urmila Dammannagari), in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance while earning a keep.

It is here that sexual chemistry is ignited between Rama Devi’s son Shekhar (Karan Singh) and Vanaja (still a minor at 15). But, the situation suddenly turns ugly when Vanaja’s superior intellect pits her against Shekhar in a public incident, which ultimately humiliating him in front of his mother.

Given the rural nature of the story, and the tendency of most local acting to lean toward the theatrical, non-actors from all walks of life were picked.

“Vanaja” has been selected for 83 festivals in 35 countries. “I would have to say that for all of those of us who worked on the film, it’s indeed a proud moment,” says Domalpalli. “I’ve also had the good fortune of attending some of them, and I’m always amazed at how similar yet how different audiences are – and how deeply connected.”

And yes, the film has won 16 awards so far, including Best First Feature at the Berlin Film Festival. “Awards are certainly important for art house films since they validate the film for many of the audience,” says Domalpalli. “Winning at Berlin was not something I had expected. With 185,000 attendees and 3,800 press (2006 figures) it is the world’s largest film festival, and we were up against extremely strong competition from several countries, especially Eastern Europe. Walking the Red Carpet into the Berlinale Palast was itself a life experience, but when they actually announced our name, I could barely believe my ears.”

The film takes a look at the chasm that divides the different classes in India. Would Domalpalli say that it's more of a rural divide but is also quite widespread in urban areas in India? “Our urban areas have rapidly modernized in the past few years,” he replies. “Coffeeshops, mobiles, TV soaps and jeans have soaked much, though not all, of them. However, at its fundamental level, I think class (not only caste) distinction is deeply ingrained in our urban mindset as well. In the way, we interact with our household staff, in our attitudes to color, in the way we view English as a language of the elite, we, and I include myself in this, are a part of this culture. Change I think will only come through education and an improving economic standing.”

Domalpalli already has started work on a new script for a film that weaves several elements together. Tribal life vis-à-vis city life, issues of forestation, problems of the elderly, and Carnatic music are some of the threads he is working with.

For more information, click on

“Vanaja” will be shown in four Florida cities beginning with Sept. 19-23 at Emerging Cinemas’ Cinema Paradiso, 503 S.E. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale. For more information, call (954) 525-3456.

The film also opens Sept 21 through Sept. 23 at Emerging Cinemas’ Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth. For more information, call (561) 586-6410.

And the film opens Sept. 28 at Regal Miracle 5 Cinemas, 1815 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee. For more information, call (850) 224-2617.

It has been selected for the 13th annual South Asian Film Festival at Enzian Theater in Maitland, Central Florida area to be shown Sept. 30. Call (407) 333-3667.


The long-anticipated wait for the Diwali Nights fundraiser is nearing an end. The event, which kicks off the Kamla Project, is set for the evening of Oct. 27. The Kamla Project is a collaboration initiated between Voices for Children, and Rahul Mehra, a board-certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who has been practicing in Tampa for the last 15 years. Voices for Children is a local organization that appoints a community volunteer to become the “voice” for a child in foster care.

The Kamla Project is named in honor and remembrance of Mehra’s late mother, Kamla Kapur Mehra. “Her dedication, passion and love for children has been a lifelong inspiration for me,” said Mehra.

The mission of the project is threefold. First, provide free one-time psychiatric evaluation services to foster children and foster parents. The specific goal of such evaluations is to significantly shorten the time for finalization of adoptions for the children. Second, the Kamla Project will provide training and resource to the Guardian ad Litem Program in Hillsborough County. Lastly, it looks to promote public awareness in partnership with Voices for Children for the special needs of children in foster care.

The Diwali Nights fundraiser is set at 7 p.m. and is open to anyone. The honorary chairman is Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. For information, visit

Aakash M. Patel is secretary of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee and has been a Khaas Baat contributor since 2005. He can be reached at

Story provided by Ekal

The sixth National Conference of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA will be held on Sept. 20-23. Delegates from all over the United States, along with many Ekal volunteers from Canada and India, will be meeting at Encantada Resorts in Kissimmee.

Items on this year’s conference agenda include the following: review the performance of last year’s activities; brainstorm new means of raising funds; discuss how to widen the international donor base for the Ekal movement to achieve the target of building 100,000 schools by 2012; explore new ideas for increasing awareness of the Ekal movement in the United States and planning for next year’s activities and events.

The Ekal movement is a non-governmental program that strives to eradicate illiteracy among the tribal and otherwise less privileged children in India. It operates through a novel system of informal one-teacher schools set up locally in villages. The schools offer education in literacy, arithmetic, hygiene, creativity, and culture. Ekal strives to empower villages while also accommodating for local traditions and children’s schedules. Local residents participate in establishing the schools.

The Ekal theme, “Freedom Through Education,” already shows signs of success. For information, visit


The spirit of Hinduism will live forever in Southwest Florida, thanks to some folks who are working diligently to build the Hindu Temple of Southwest Florida.

Already the board of trustees has obtained the necessary permits for the 7.4-acre land at 6431 Silver and Lewis Lane, off Plantation Road. The trustees hope to start clearing the site before the end of the year.

Phase I (4,500 square feet) of the total 8,555-square-foot building will be the temple area itself, including walkway and breezeway, storage area and restrooms. The second phase will consist of a community hall for conducting events such as festivals, community gatherings, birthdays, graduation days, weddings, reception, etc. The first deity to be installed will be Lord Ganesh.

“Through donations from the community, cultural and annual fundraising events, we are accumulating financial resources to build our own facility,” says Janavi Sundaresan. “We are experiencing increasing support for the bhajans and events we have been organizing. We have already booked Temple Beth El facility (16225 Winkler Road) for our Oct. 6 fundraising event.” Also, the temple will celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at Unitarian Universalist Church (13411 Shire Lane) on Sept. 15.

The aim is to make the temple a learning center for meditation, yoga and health; cultural and spiritual activities such as discourses and music and dance; and community service and academics.

For more information, call temple Secretary Janavi Sundaresan at (239) 561-5866 or click on


Tim Madhanagopal
Tim Madhanagopal, P.E., DEE, F.NSPE, of Central Florida recently received the National Society of Professional Engineers’ 2007 Distinguished Service Award at its annual conference in Denver.

NSPE’s Distinguished Service Award was established to recognize NSPE members for exceptional contributions to the engineering profession, to their communities, and to NSPE. Candidates must be recommended by an NSPE state society, with endorsement from two other state societies to display that the candidates and their work are known beyond their own states.

Madhanagopal of Oviedo has been dedicated to public service for the past 29 years. He is a plant manager with Orange County Utilities where he manages advanced water reclamation facilities that provide cost-effective and environmentally sound water reclamation and reuse programs in Central Florida. These facilities conserve billions of gallons of precious groundwater by supplying high quality reclaimed water for non-drinking purposes, while providing wastewater services to one of the fastest growing areas in the nation.

On Oct. 15, he will be picking the 2007 Public Education Award from the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

Madhanagopal holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Madras in India, a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Wayne State University, and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.

Story provided by N. Kamdar and S. Shah

Gurudev Chitrabhanuji
Gurudev Chitrabhanuji will visit Central Florida to give lectures on Jain Dharma from Sept.8-14. He is considered one of the top authorities on Jain religion and has traveled widely to teach its ideals to many people around the world.

At a young age, he became a monk and spent his time in introspection and meditation. "Man searches without for what he must seek within," says Gurudev Chitrabhanuji. He later gave up his monkshood and is now married.

Read full story


Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Fundamentally, the word health itself comes from the root word "whole". What we call, ‘feeling healthy’, is that we have a sense of wholeness within us. If we are free of diseases medically, that is not health. If we feel like a complete human being in our body, mind and spirit, that is when we are healthy. There are a number of people who are medically healthy, but not healthy in the real sense because they do not experience a sense of wellness within themselves.

If one has to experience this sense of wholeness and oneness, it's important that one’s body, mind, and above all, one’s energy functions in a certain level of intensity within themselves. For every physical or psychological situation that you go through in life, there is an energy basis, which in turn has a chemical basis. In a way, modern allopathic medicines have become just chemistry. For every problem that arises in your body, you are just trying to take in some medicine, a chemical, and come to some kind of balance. If you use one chemical to bring down one aspect, or enhance another, there is also a side effect to this. For this side-effect, there is an antidote; for the antidote there is another antidote, it’s an endless chain. Whatever is happening on the chemistry level in your body is only controlled by the way your energies function. Because a man has got excess acids within him, you ingest some alkaline medicine into him. But why does he have excessive acids? It is because of the way his mind, his body, and above all, the way his energy functions.

So, in yoga, when we say health, we don't look at the body; we don't look at the mind; we only look at the energy – the way it is. If your energy body is in proper balance and full flow, your physical body and mental body will be in perfect health. There is no question about it. Keeping the energy body in full flow is not about doing any kind of healing or things like that. This is about going to the foundations of your energy system and activating it in a proper way, building a foundational yogic practice that establishes your energy in such a way that your body and mind are naturally fine.

When it comes to health, no human being gets to live in perfect conditions. The pressures of life, the food that we eat, the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, all these can affect us in many ways. The more our activities are in the world, the more we're exposed to many things that can throw our chemistry off balance and create health problems. But if the energy in our system is properly cultivated and kept active, these things will not have an effect. The physical body and the mental body will be in perfect health; there is no question about it.

Life functions in many ways. Let us say you don’t know anything about electricity. You do not know what electricity is. This hall is dark. If I tell you to just press this button and the whole hall will be flooded with light, will you believe me? No. Now I just do it, and light appears. You will call it a miracle, isn’t it? Simply because you don’t understand how electricity works. Similarly, life happens in many different ways. You have limited yourself to just the physical, the logical – physical in experience, logical in thinking. If anything happens beyond that, you think it’s a miracle. I just call it another kind of science, that’s all. It is another kind of science.

You have just limited yourself to the physical and the logical. This life energy in you created your whole body - these bones, this flesh, this heart, this kidney and everything. Do you think it cannot create health? If your energies are kept in full flow and proper balance, it is capable of much more than just health.

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

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.