Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


By NITISH S. RELE – [email protected]

Florida maintains its ranking as seventh in the United States for number of international students (46,516) attending colleges in the 2017-18 academic year. That’s up 1.7 percent from 2016-17. Most are from China (17.8 percent), India (14 percent), followed by Venezuela (7.8 percent), Brazil (4.9 percent) and Saudi Arabia (4 percent). Florida ranked No. 7 among top host states with California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsylvania in the lead.

University of Florida in Gainesville is not in the top 20 national ranking for number of international students. But it continues to be the leader in the Sunshine State with 6,885 students. University of South Florida (USF) Tampa remains at No. 2 spot at 6,219 students. Florida International University is third with 4,197 students, followed by University of Miami at 3,402 students and University of Central Florida with 3,026 students.

According to the Open Doors yearly report, published by the not-for-profit Institute of International Education, the number of international students, at 1,094,792, attending U.S. colleges and universities represent the 12th straight year of record growth. That’s a 1.5 percent increase from 2016-17.

China sent the most students, 363,341 to the U.S., followed by India, sending 196,271. In South Asia, Nepal sent 13,270 students (increase of 14.3 percent from 2016-17), Pakistan sent 7,537 students (hike of 7.4 percent) and Bangladesh dispatched 7,496 students (4.9 percent boost).

The number of Indian students in the U.S. in 2017-18 is up 5.4 percent compared to the previous year. Majority of the students study at the graduate level (48.7 percent). The U.S. remains the top host of international students globally. International students made a significant financial impact in 2017, contributing $42.4 billion to the U.S. economy through tuition, room and board, and other expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

As for students heading to study in India, there was a 1.4 percent increase. For 2017-18 year, 4,704 U.S. students went to India.

For more details on the study, visit

Kavi OF DAYTONA BEACH To Debut at Spectrum Miami 2018 as Rising Artist

KaviDaytona Beach-based artist Karishma Naran, known as Kavi, is poised to take Miami Art Week by storm, showing her new multi-media works at Spectrum Miami as one of their specially selected Rising Artists. Now in its eighth year, Spectrum Miami is scheduled from Wednesday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 9, at Mana Wynwood, 2217 N.W. Fifth Ave., Miami.

Growing up, the now-33-year old artist never felt at home no matter where she resided. Kavi explores her diverse background and her upbringing as a Bombay-born, California-raised youth with Indian parents in her depictions, which also speak to a newfound confidence in her sense of self.

Her works use different media — incorporating photography colored with watercolor, ink, or acrylic and embellished with materials such as glass, paper collage and resin. In several works, the artist appropriates imagery of women in the Indian community that she has encountered through social media, layering the works with painting in hues both muted and vibrant. The figures serve as muses to the artist, embodying positivity, community, and cultural awareness.

Kavi artwork

Of I AM, Kavi notes, “It symbolizes that regardless of what anyone says around you, all that matters is that you know who you are.” In other works, unicorns take center-stage. “The unicorn represents the dream of making it in this country,” explains the artist, noting that those canvases with two unicorns portray a cultural divide and Kavi’s sense of confusion over where she belongs.

About the Artist

Inspired by the eloquent and lively music of the 1960s and its voice for Cultural Revolution, and her own heritage as a Bombay-born transplant to America, Kavi began her artistic career in 2003 as a California teenager.

In 2017, she decided she was ready to share her creative vision. Now, she has developed a distinctive style that involves a multi-layered approach, giving her the ability to encapsulate political phrases and poetry into each of her stunning pieces. Her mixed-media art is unpredictable. Kavi’s dedication and talent have allowed her to excel as an artist, creating pieces that have generated great interest among both collectors and gallerists.

Kavi lives in Daytona Beach with her husband and two children. She sits on the board of the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens, and is part of the organization Art in the Alley Daytona, which is revitalizing the downtown with murals.


PANDIT SUMAN GHOSHShruti Foundation will present a concert with Pandit Suman Ghosh on Sunday, Dec. 9, in Tampa. He will be accompanied by Shankh Lahiri on tabla and Surabhi Adesh on harmonium. Pandit Suman Ghosh is an internationally acclaimed Hindustani classical vocalist and a torch-bearing disciple of Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj. An internationally acclaimed exponent of the Mewati Gharana, his mellifluous voice, combined with his soul-stirring artistry and technical perfection, elevates music to divinity, leaving worldwide audiences spellbound. Referring to him as a “virtuoso performer” in a review of his concert in 2014, and describing his concert in 2015 in the headline “A Night of Musical Bliss,”, The Times of India, also writes Ghosh “has been able to cultivate a diction, a voice, a technique and a language cut to the size of the Mewati Gharana’s reigning Guru,” (the legendary Pandit Jasraj).

Several Indian and Indo-American organizations have honored Ghosh for his unique and unmatched contributions toward the enrichment of Hindustani classical music. He was the only music scholar from India invited to present his research on Hindustani Classical Music at the international conference held in Vienna, Austria to celebrate a 100 years of Sound Archiving. He was honored by the NABC 2015 (35th North American Bengali Conference) with a Lifetime Achievement Award in July 2015 for his contributions in the field of Indian classical music.

Tickets are $25, $50 (students are $15) for the 4 to 6 p.m. concert at Unitarian Universalist Church, 11400 Morris Bridge Road. For more information, call (813) 549-9288 or visit

CALL 813-758-1786.
or write to

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