Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News

Here are some of the Sunshine State communities celebrating the Festival of Lights.


Diwali-Lakshmi Pujan will be held from 6 p.m. on Nov. 3 by the Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry. Annkut will start at 5 p.m. on Nov. 9. For information, call (407) 699-5277, e-mail [email protected], or visit


WELLINGTON: The Palm Beach India Association will celebrate Diwali at 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 at Palm Beach Central High School, 8499 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington. There will be a dinner and cultural program by local children as well as a musical show “Ranna ke Taraane.” For information, e-mail [email protected] or visit

MIAMI: Chinmaya Mission will celebrate Divali on Nov. 3 during the Bal Vihar prayer assembly. For details, e-mail [email protected] or visit


The Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay will hold its annual Diwali Dinner, Entertainment and Executive Committee Elections from 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. Dinner will be served until 8:30 p.m. The event is free to members; non-members are $20 and seniors $15. Entertainment will be provided by international performer Samir Datte and Saregama award winning playback singer Dipalee Somaiya. For more information, visit or call Bhogilal Patel at (813) 784-6653 or Sudhir Shah at (727) 686-7424.

The Rajasthani association’s Diwali festivities will be on Nov. 2. For details, call Rashmi Jakhotia at (813) 962-4172.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir will celebrate Diwali and Annakut on Nov. 3 from 1 p.m. (aarti every hour). Fireworks will be at 7:30 p.m. BAPS is at 9556 E. Fowler Ave. in Thonotosassa. For information, call (813) 986-5473.

Ambaji Mandir at 10991 58th St., in Pinellas Park, will hold Dhanteras MahaLaxmi Pujan at 6 p.m. on Nov 1. Diwali Puja will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 3. The Gujarati New Year will be celebrated on Nov. 4. For more information, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685 or visit

And the Hindu Temple of Florida will celebrate Deepawali Dhanalaxmi Pooja at 6 p.m. on Nov. 2. For more information, call (813) 962-6890 or visit

The Sanatan Mandir in Tampa will hold Laxmi Puja at 6 p.m. on Nov. 3. Annakut and New Year will be celebrated at 8 p.m. There will be fireworks at the mandir, 311 E. Palm Ave. For information, call (813) 221-4482 or visit

And Vishnu Mandir in Tampa will celebrate Diwali at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Govardhan Puja will be on Nov. 4. The temple is at 5803 Lynn Road. For information, call Dr. Sadhana Ramcharran at (727) 798-4258 or MJ Jaimangal at (727) 946-8144.

Maayboli Melawa (Maharashtra Mandal) of Tampa Bay will celebrate Diwali from 4 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30, at Hindu Temple, 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa. For more information, e-mail Vrushali Pendharkar at or visit


Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, 2793 New Tampa Highway, Lakeland, will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 3. For information, call (863) 687-4776 or e-mail [email protected]


Pushtidham (Haveli of Florida) will celebrate Diwali on Sunday, Nov. 3. Also, Annakut/Mahotsav will be on Sunday, Nov. 10. The Haveli is at 14080 S.W. 20th Ave. Road, Ocala. For information, call Bharat at (973) 460-5936 or Raj Kamdar at (352) 568-5729.


The Indian Cultural Society of Daytona will celebrate Diwali on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Hilton Oceanfront Resort, 100 N Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach. For more information, call (386) 795-0008, e-mail [email protected] or visit


The Indian Association of the Space Coast will hold Diwali and annual dinner Saturday, Nov. 2, at Melbourne Auditorium, 625 Hibiscus Blvd. For more information, call (321) 302-1870 or visit


The Gujarati Samaj of North East Florida will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 2 at Morocco Shine Center Auditorium, 3800 Saint Johns Bluff Road S., Jacksonville. A cultural program will be presented by the samaj’s talent. For information, call Bakulesh Patel at (904) 813-9616, Bipin Patel at (904) 260-7675, e-mail [email protected] or visit

Also, The Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will hold its Diwali Dhamaka at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, at the University of North Florida Arena, 11852 University of North Florida Drive. There will be food, dance and music. For details, call (215) 264-0073, e-mail or visit


Shruti A.I.M and the India Cultural Center will present a unique dynamic World Fusion Concert ‘Music Masala’ on Sunday, Nov. 10, in Tampa. The ‘East meets West’ style concert boasts a wide array of more than 30 musicians performing – featuring sitar and flute maestros – Abhik Mukherjee and Jay Gandhi from New York – as well as nationally touring Western musicians Peter Mongaya - guitar, Michael Washington - drums and percussion and Ray Villadonga - bass. It also will feature a full Indian Vocal Choir along with other performers under the direction of Shankhachur Lahiri.

Founded by internationally touring and professional musicians – Lahiri and Heather DeRigo-Lahiri, Shruti A.I.M (Association of International Music) is a Tampa-based quickly growing music association devoted to the preservation, promotion and integration of world cultural music with Indian classical music as its specialty. Through frequent public performances, progressive quality training, interactive workshops and educational outreach programs, the organization hopes to inspire and bridge the world through cultural music.

Lessons are currently offered in tabla, harmonium, vocal, sitar, drumset and African Djembe drum. Plans are under way to add more instruments and instructors as Shruti A.I.M grows. Efforts are also in place for Shruti A.I.M to integrate its cultural music programs with India Cultural Center and the Patel Conservatory –Tampa Bay’s largest performing arts school.

The concert will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 10 at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. For more information about Shruti A.I.M or the upcoming concert and ticket reservation, visit, e-mail [email protected] or call (813) 549-9288.

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Khaas Baat Business Beat
A partnership with Indo-US Chamber of Commerce, Tampa

ORLANDO Indian American Chamber Of Commerce PRESENTS AWARDS

The 4th Annual Gala of the Indian American Chamber of Commerce of Orlando held its awards ceremony Sept. 21 at Gaylord Palms. Beena Parikh gave a gracious farewell speech, signifying the end of her tenure as president and ushering in Tino Patel as the incumbent for the year 2014-2015. 

Various awards were handed out to accolades: Young Entrepreneur to Ankur Sakhuja, New Entrepreneur-Nik Patel, Community Service-Dr. Kanti Bhalani, and Entrepreneur of the Year to Rasesh Thakkar. Rick Goings, chairman and CEO of Tupperware Brands Corp., gave the keynote address and stressed the valuable contributions made by the enterprising members of the Indian American community. Dinner was catered by Tabla Restaurant. The evening also featured a Silent Auction, Casino Night and vibrant DJ. 

Tino Patel, left, Dr. Beena Parikh, Dr. Varesh Patel
and Sanjay Srinivasan at the Annual Gala of the
Indian American Chamber of Commerce of Orlando.

Kash Patel, left, congratulates Nik Patel,
winner of the New Entrepreneur award.

Ganesh Ramachandran, left, congratulates
Community Service award winner Dr. Kanti Bhalani.

Entrepreneur of the Year Rasesh Thakkar, left, is
congratulated by Mike Shah and Sanjay Srinivasan.
















For more information, visit

Story provided by Aruna Moidu

Tampa to host 9th AACSA convention NOV. 23

The 9th annual convention of the Asian American Convenience Store Owners Association (AACSA) will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23, AACSA Founding President Satya Shaw announced.

Founded in the year 2005, AACSA is the apex body of the Asian American convenience store Owners in the United States.

Convenience store owners and operators from all across the United States will be attending the mega event to discuss the issues related to their business and welfare. Chief of Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan will be the chief guest of the event, said AACSA Chairman Chandrakant Patel.

A significant feature of the AASCA convention is that Bollywood actress Aarti Chhabria will inaugurate the AACSA trade show at lunch and visit exhibition booths. The event will attract more than 1,200 people, including 800 store owners, 200 physicians, 100 pharmacists and 100 hotel owners, said AACSA Event chairman Vijay Gandhi.

The convention will be at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. For details, call Satya Shaw at (813) 960-7429, (813) 842-0345, e-mail [email protected] or visit

CALL 813-758-1786.
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