Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida
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orlando IACC Annual Golf tournament SEPT. 30

By Shobana Daniell

Mark your calendars. The Indian American Chamber of Commerce (Central Florida) will hold its popular annual Golf Tournament on Sunday, Sept. 30, from 8 a.m. to noon. It will be held once again at MetroWest golf course (2100 S. Hiawassee Road, Orlando), which is well-known for its lush greens, great club house and warm hospitality. Entry fee of $50 for members and $75 for non-members includes 18 holes of golf, breakfast and lunch. Prizes for the hole-in-one competition include winning a lease term on an Audi, thanks to IACC member Sunil Prakash and Classic Audi.

IACC also will hold a Golf Clinic. Cost is $40 and will include a 1½-hour group lesson and lunch.

The format of the tournament is a 4-person scramble. To register, visit or call Andy Khokhar at (484) 394-4000. Sponsorships are also available.


Dr. V. Rao Emandi

IAFPE Florida President
Dr. V. Rao Emandi

The Indian American Forum for Political Education will hold its 30th annual convention and Florida chapter inauguration on Saturday, Sept. 8, in Tampa. Some of the objectives of IAPFE are empowering Indian Americans politically by raising civic consciousness and increasing participation in community affairs and the mainstream political process; promoting voter registration and encouraging Indian Americans to exercise their right to vote; and facilitate and promote Indo-U.S. relations.

Chief guests are U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis; Indian Deputy Chief of Mission Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh; former ambassador at large, in-charge of NRI/PIO Affairs Bhishma Agnihotri, and Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Congressional candidate from Hawaii.

Hosting the Florida chapter are its President Dr. V. Rao Emandi, Vice President Satya Shaw, CPA, Secretary Dr. Vipul Kabaria and Treasurer Aakash Patel. IAFPE national President Dr. Sampat Shivangi also will be in attendance.

The event at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, will begin with a reception from 5:30 to 7 followed by a formal inauguration, and then dinner/entertainment.

For information, call Satya Shaw at (813) 842-0345, Dr. Rao Emandi at (727) 534-4590 or visit


The Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) held its annual convention in Orlando recently. The theme was “Broadening Scholarship and Outreach.” Under its umbrella is The Division on South Asian Americans (DoSAA).

On Aug. 2, DoSAA granted PEHCHAAN (Providing Educational, Humanistic and Cultural Hope for the South Asian American Network) a monetary gift as recognition for the organization’s work for the betterment of the South Asian American community in the field of mental health in the Tampa Bay area. Three board members attended the DoSAA social and got the opportunity to meet and network with students and professionals from all parts of the nation.

“PEHCHAAN is honored to be recognized by this national body and we hope to widen and deepen our reach into our community,” said Sushama Kirtikar, immediate past president.

Also, PEHCHAAN will hold a free “Food and Mood – You are What You Eat” workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9, at Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. Speaker is practicing nutritionist Brinda Sachdev. For information, call Vandana Shelkar at (813) 943-5288, Manjusha Naik at (813) 842-8563, e-mail or visit


The Hindu Society of Central Florida will present a three-day free Bhagavad Gita Retreat in English by Swami Udit Chaithanyaji in October.

A native of Kerala, Swami Chaithanyaji graduated with a law degree before moving to Mumbai to join Sandeepani Sadhanalaya, where he completed post graduate studies in Vedanta. He served Chinmaya Mission for three years. He was inspired by Swami Sevananda, secretary of Acharya Vinoba Bhave, to study Sevanandaji’s unique interpretations of India's ancient spiritual texts. Swamiji shares this divine knowledge through Satsangs and Sapthaham on Bhagavatham, Ramayanam and Bhagavad Gita. He predicts the “new consciousness” will unite the divided and fragmented mankind of today. Gita, if understood correctly, has the power to express "divinity" hidden in each one of us.

The discourse, “Awakening to New Consciousness,” will be presented in the HSCF Community Hall, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 5, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 6 and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 7. Mahaprasad will be served.

For more information, call HSCF office at (407) 699-5277, Dr. Aravind Pillai at (407) 718-8733, Ganesh Ramachandran at (407) 970-5253, or visit


Shyama’s Art will present a “Student-Teacher show” in October. Opening reception ceremony will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Corridor Gallery at Carrollwood Cultural Center. More than 50 art and language students will participate. Art class children will display their creative artwork and language students will demonstrate writing in Gujarati and Hindi. They will also sing a poem or present a short essay during the ceremony. Their work will be on display through Oct. 29. The youngest artist participating in the show is 3 years old. Among the works on display are water and acrylic color painting, Warli painting, nib painting and Ganesha art, traditional Indian art as well as charcoal mixed media, and landscapes.

Marian Winter, executive director of VSA Arts of Florida, Dr. Saurabh Chokshi (renowned cardiologist and an artist/singer) and pujya Shri Swamiji from Ambaji Mandir will be guest speakers for the opening ceremony.

Teacher Shyama Rangwala will exhibit her paintings too. She is a full-time artist and has successfully done around 35 solo and group exhibitions in India and United States, including Gasparilla Festival of Arts. She conducts workshops and classes from her home studio and gallery in Tampa, Cross Creek and Pinellas Park. She does commission work on small miniatures as well as big murals. Besides art, she also teaches Gujarati and Hindi. Visit or search for Shyama’s Art on Facebook.

For more information, call Shyama’s Art at (813) 843-6784.

Dr. V. Rao Emandi

Meenakshi A. Hirani


Meenakshi A. Hirani of Meenakshi A. Hirani, P.A., in Winter Park, was awarded 2012 Leaders In The Law for the Central Florida Chapter by the Florida Association of Women Lawyers. She is past vice president of the Orlando Chapter for the South Asian Bar Association of Florida. Hirani practices Business Law, Real Estate Law, Title Policy, Estate Planning and Probate. She can be reached at (407) 599-7199 or e-mail




Dr. V. Rao Emandi

Avani Desai


Avani Desai of Windermere has joined BrightLine CPAs & Associates in Orlando as the firm’s first Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. She is responsible for BrightLine's marketing and communications activities, including strategic client and market development, industry analysis, media relations, brand management and advertising. Desai was previously head of KPMG’s technology attestation practice for Florida. She has worked at the national office to oversee methodology, marketing and communication activities. Also, Desai oversaw the development of KPMG’s internal and external privacy program.



Story provided by TiE

TIE (The Indus Entrepreneur) has started a local chapter in Tampa led by the efforts of charter members Kunal Jain, a Tampa Bay entrepreneur, and Bruce Elliot, a global business executive.

Dr. V. Rao Emandi

Ashok Rao

The Tampa Bay chapter will launch from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. It will begin with a networking mixer, followed by TIE mission for Tampa and keynote address by Ashok Rao.

The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) organization fosters entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, and education. Dedicated to the virtuous cycle of wealth creation and giving back to the community, TiE’s focus is on generating and nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs. With 13,000 members, including more than 2,500 charter members in 57 chapters across 14 countries, TiE hosts a wide range of programs and events.

As a founding president, Jain is confident that the idea of starting a Tampa chapter will open the doors of creativity, innovation and boost the local economy subscribing to the TiE philosophy.

The TIE Tampa chapter founding charter members are Dr. Kiran C. Patel, George Gordon, Kunal Jain, Bruce Elliot, Dr. Sudheer Agarwal, Shan Shikarpuri, Sri Sridharan, Satya Shaw, Dr. Jawahar l. Taunk, Dr. Chandresh Saraiya, John Morrow, Marvin Scaff and Daniel Scott.

Dr. Kiran C. Patel, founder of Well Care and owner of Freedom Health, will be the first chairman of the chapter. Charter members are experienced entrepreneurs looking for opportunities or successful entrepreneurs who want to "give back" to the Tampa Bay community by mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs. Members are individuals who want to grow their business or start a new business. They participate in the chapter's activities and encourage others to join.

Charter membership will be by invitation only. If you wish to submit a name for Charter membership, contact a current Charter member. Charters members contribute $1,000 to the TiE Tampa chapter and members contribute $100. TiE Tampa will strive to replicate the successful TiE Global model locally.

Dr. V. Rao Emandi

P.K. Agarwal

Ashok Rao, chairman and CEO of Whodini Inc. and TiE Global, will give the keynote address. Rao is serial entrepreneur with four successful high technology startups. He successfully took one of them public with a market cap of more than $400 million. He also was ex-CEO of Excalibur Pictures, and produced three feature films. Also in attendance will be P.K. Agarwal, who serves as the CEO of TiE Global Silicon Valley.

The event is free for charter members. Cost for TiE members is $35, which includes drinks, dinner and parking. Non-members pay $45, which includes drinks, dinner and parking. Sign up for the launch at

To become a charter member or a general member, contact Kunal Jain at, call (727) 460-0419 or find the chapter on LinkedIn group - TiE Tampa.

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