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Story provided by Shobana Daniell      

Music lovers will be treated to a vocal and instrumental music concert on Sunday, Oct 3, which has been organized by the Hindu Society of Central Florida (HSCF) in Orlando. World-class musicians Pandit Nandkishore Muley on santoor and Sri Ramakrishnan Srinivasan on violin will play a Jugalbandi and Dr. Vasundhara Iyengar will lead with classical Carnatic songs. The three artists are based in Central Florida and travel extensively to perform in the United States as well internationally. They performed together last October during former Indian President Dr. Abdul Kalam�s visit to Orlando.


                  Pandit Nandkishore Muley                                                          Sri Ramakrishnan Srinivasan                        


For the upcoming concert, the three musicians are reunited to perform their magical and spellbinding instrumental and vocal artistry. For the jugalbandi, which means �tied together,� is a duet of maestros of equal caliber. Both will play with and off each other, a sort of a musical duel, and each drawing inspiration from the other�s mastery of their instrument. This time, there is an added element of different styles of music . . . Hindustani and Carnatic; Muley will represent the former and Srinivasan the latter.

However, both also have elements of jazz. Their art has no boundaries; it transcends the realm of the senses and takes one into the divine plane �for awakening the soul, the most direct way to God,� according to Muley.

This event is sponsored by HSCF to honor local artists, Indian music and as a fundraiser. It will be held at the Bahia Shrine Auditorium, 2300 Pembrooke Drive, Orlando. To purchase the $50 per person tickets, call the office at (407) 699-5277, Ganesh Ramachandran at (407) 970-5253 or visit www.hindutempleorlando.org

                                                                                                                                                 Dr. Vasundhara Iyengar



Story provided by Center for India Studies

The Center for India Studies at University of South Florida, Tampa is celebrating its first anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 12, by staging �Chitram: A Portrait of India,� a magical production by the center�s first artist in residence, Kanniks Kanikeswaran. �Chitram� depicts the unity inherent in the diversity of cultures across India using a powerful original music score performed by a team of more than 45 artists, multimedia and multi-genre dances from all over India. The performance will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Oval Theater, Marshall Center.

Tickets are $25 and $50; USF students, $10; for tickets and information, visit www.global.usf.edu/indiastudies/chitram.php

The Center for India Studies at USF demonstrates the university�s commitment toward becoming more global in its orientation. Indian students also account for the largest number of foreign students at USF. The center is founded with the mission of sharing the wealth of India's cultural, spiritual and artistic traditions with the world community. It aims to promote a comprehensive understanding of the world's largest democracy through a number of means, including collaboration with the Greater Tampa Bay Indian community. Its varied talks and events are open to the public.

In Feb 2011, the center will host �Shanti: A Journey of Peace,� an east-west ensemble of western chamber and choral music, Indian music and dance at the Straz Performing Arts Center. The cast shall be drawn from the community and USF faculty and students; those interested may contact the center at (813) 974-8439.



                                    By NITISH S. RELE

More than 7,000 people are expected to attend the sixth annual IndoPak Fest Sunday, Sept. 19 in Coconut Creek. �Our purpose is to get the India-Pakistani people under one roof,� said organizer Satbir Singh. �There will be Bollywood acts, singers, dancers, fashion shows, dhol players and least 80 booths selling arts and crafts, jewelry, henna, food, clothes.�

Also providing entertainment on stage will be comedian Omar Sharif from Pakistan, and singers Ravi B. from Trinidad and Terry Gajraj from Guyana.

The noon to 8 p.m. fest will be at BCC North Campus, 1000 Coconut Creek Blvd., Coconut Creek. Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Parking is free.

For more information, call Satbir Singh at (954) 649-3374.




                                                                                    By NITISH S. RELE

When he was barely 12 years old, Vilas Tonape would gaze in awe at giant-sized colorful Bollywood posters outside movie theaters. Little did the Bombay native realize that those rich and vibrant images would one day awaken a hidden talent in him: painting.

The son of a tailor family (Kailash Tailors in Sewri), Tonape met artist Tuka Jadhav, who recommended Sir J.J. School of Art, University of Bombay. In 1992, he earned a BFA in drawing and painting with distinction from the �biggest and most prestigious art college in India.�


                               Vilas Tonape                                               Vilas Tonape presents a portrait to Polk Sheriff Grady Judd


Two years later, J.J. School Professor Madhav Ingle suggested going abroad for an MFA. �I applied and received a scholarship at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas,� reveals the Lakeland resident. But the 41-year-old artist is honest about the struggles he faced after graduation. �It�s not a utilitarian field,� he says. �People don�t have to come to me to buy art.�

He worked at a gas station in Arlington, Texas, followed by a stint as a caricature artist at Six Flags, Texas. He also served as a visiting professor at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota and Savannah School of Art and Design, Ga.

Till about three years ago, when he was hired as a professor of art at Polk State College in Winter Haven. He paints and teaches non-representational (abstract) and representational (depict what it is) art in a variety of media such as oil, pencil (graphite), watercolor and pastel.

In each class at Polk State, Tonape teaches 5 to 6 courses per semester to about 20 students. He advises his students to practice but �you�ve got to have disciplined practice. For me, parents, God and teacher are important. The guru is the only one who has the capabilities and vision to put a student on the right path.� No wonder he is in deep gratitude to three important figures in his life: J.J. School professors Anil Naik, Kashinath Salve and Siddharth Arjunwade.

McGraw-Hill publishing company has shown interest in five handbooks Tonape has written on watercolor, figure drawing, portrait, basic and painting. �They may adopt them for their Web-based platform called Connect Art,� he says.

Coming up are numerous workshops and exhibits for Tonape (see accompanying schedule).  �I love teaching,� he stresses. �I try to hide from my dean that it�s fun. I just come, hang out and get paid for it.�


* Group Art Exhibition: Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa.  Reception: 7 p.m., Sept. 23. Exhibit continues through October end. For information, call Ann McLeod at (863) 294-5798.

* �kruti� � Solo Art Exhibition: Melvin Art Gallery, Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland. Reception: 7 p.m., Oct. 1. Exhibit continues through Oct. 29. For questions, call (863) 680-4743.


* Watercolor Portraiture Demonstration: Bartow Art Guild, Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave. 7 p.m., Oct. 18. For information, call (863) 534-1877.


* Watercolor Portraiture Demonstration: Tampa Regional Artists, 705 Swann Ave., Tampa; 7 p.m. Nov. 11. For registration questions, call (813) 251-3780.

* Watercolor Portraiture Workshop: Tampa Regional Artists, 705 Swann Ave., Tampa; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 13. For registration questions, call (813) 251-3780.

For information, visit www.vilastonape.com                TONAPE, Golden Amber, pastel on paper, 25-by-19 inches.





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At the outset, let�s be very clear: the all-new BMW X6 M model is not everyone�s idea of a ride. Unless, of course, you are a huge BMW fan and have plenty of change to spare for the high-performance, rakish-shaped sports activity coupe. The 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine cranks out a healthy 555 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 500 pounds-feet of torque at 1500 rpm. Translation: 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds for a vehicle weighing nearly 5,000 pounds!

The M is equipped with Dynamic Performance Control, which works in tandem with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system to distribute torque between the left and right rear wheels. The double wishbone/multilink front and a four-link rear suspension soaks obstacles with dexterity, sure-footedness and poise. Providing seamless shifts is a 6-speed automatic transmission. A speed-sensitive and perfectly weighted power steering system affords outstanding feedback. The powerful and fade-resistant 15.6-inch ventilated front and 15.2-inch rear discs operate inside 20-inch wheels shod with 275/40 front and 315/35 rear run-flat tires.

Xenon adaptive headlights with Corona rings flank the traditional kidney grille, but with familiar �M� gills above and aft of the front wheel wells. The air intakes in the lower port are nearly as large as the grille. The rear shows off �quad� chrome exhaust outlets and a �M� etched on the trunk.

Step inside and you will find yourself ensconced in cushiony and heated 10-way power front seats. The previously complex iDrive console knob to control navigation, entertainment, communication and climate systems is now simple to understand and use. Aluminum trim on dash, doors and front center console is convincingly stylish.  

An M-inspired thick-rimmed three-spoke power steering wheel conveys a solid touch to the driver, inspiring confidence in the agility of the vehicle. Also standard are a two-way power moon roof and tailgate, and dual-zone auto climate control.

Opt for the Driver Assistance Package ($1,800) if you would like a rearview camera with top view, automatic high beams and head-up display. The Premium Sound Package ($1,400) will fetch an iPod and USB adapter, 6-disc DVD changer and enhanced premium sound.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability and traction control, cornering and dynamic brake control systems, Hill Descent Control, rollover sensor, park distance control, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.

OK, the X6 M is a blast to drive. But potential buyers may want to check out the inadequate room for rear-seat passengers before splurging the $100,000 and plus on this wickedly quick vehicle.

X6 M

Wheelbase: 115.5 inches

Length: 192 inches

Fuel capacity: 22.5 gallons

City: 12 mpg

Highway: 17 mpg

Base price: $88,900

Web site: www.bmwusa.com




A carryover from 2009, the Cadillac CTS-V sedan borrows its engine from the Corvette. And that of course means abundant power is just a throttle away. The 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine doles out 556 horsepower at 6100 rpm and 551 pounds-feet of torque at 3800 rpm. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the rear-wheel-drive car can take off from 0 to 60 mph in just under 4 seconds.

The Magnetic Ride Control adjusts the four-wheel independent suspension as per the road conditions, resulting in a smooth but firm ride. It also keeps body roll to a minimum. Stopping power is exceptional, thanks to 15-inch vented front and 14.7-inch rear discs.  

Sitting on the unitized welded steel body is a mammoth chrome-slathered mesh grille that meets up a sculpted hood with an engine bulge, quad tail pipes and a prominent chrome strip on the trunk door.

Climb into the Caddy and your first impression is of a tailored, upscale and luxurious cabin. Indeed, the fit and finish, gloss levels and materials are first-rate. We liked the distinct V-shaped center console stack with striking vertical air vents and an LCD screen that pops in out and out at the touch of a button. The analog instrument gauges for speedometer, tachometer, fuel, oil pressure and water temperature are elegant.

The driver and front-seat passenger are coddled by supple leather bucket seats. In fact, there is ample head and leg room for five adults to relax and sit in comfort. To accommodate drivers of all heights, Cadillac has equipped the CTS-V with a power tilt/telescopic three-spoke steering wheel. Recaro seats and metal pedals for an additional $3,400 are a perfect fit for the high-performance car. Optional midnight sapele wood on the front/rear doors, center console and dashboard is available for $600 and well worth it!

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, remote start, active front head restraints, rear park assist and obstacle detection system, Electronic Stability Control with traction control, limited slip differential, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.

With tremendous power at its command, the attractive and athletic CTS-V responds with nimbleness and quickness to any driving condition. This is one invigorating experience that will leave you wanting for more as you stroll down your neighborhood in comfort and style.


Tires: P255/40YR19 front; P285/35YR19

Wheelbase: 113.4 inches

Length: 191.6 inches

Weight: 4,222 pounds

Steering: rack and pinion

Fuel capacity: 18 gallons

City: 12 mpg

Highway: 18 mpg

Base price: $60,720

Web site: www.cadillac.com




Joining the GMC brand this year is an all-new Terrain. Sharing its basic design with the Chevrolet Equinox, the five-passenger crossover utility vehicle comes with a standard 2.4-liter inline-4 cylinder engine. But our test-drive vehicle was equipped with the optional 3.0-liter direct-injection V-6 engine, which puts out 264 horsepower at 6950 rpm and 222 pounds-feet of torque at 5100 rpm. The 6-speed automatic transmission is flawless.

Chrome rules the exterior of the Terrain. It can be found on and around the three-element grille, projector-beam headlights mounted in large, rectangular housings, door handles, mirrors, roof rack side rails and rear skid plate.

The cabin is functional with accommodating seats and logical controls with a tilt and sliding sunroof, power lift gate, small camera in rearview mirror, four-spoke leather steering wheel and eight-way power driver�s seat. There is plenty of leg and shoulder room for adults in the rear but the Terrain stands out especially in the cargo department. It boasts 31.6 cubic feet of storage area as well as a front center console that can easily hold a laptop. The 60/40 rear seat slides aft and fore 8 inches and reclines in three positions. Apart from having bins and cubbies throughout, there is an oversized glove box and two-tier storage space in the doors.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag with rollover protection, stability and traction control, rear park assist, remote keyless entry and start, three-point safety belts for all, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system.

We got to hand it to GMC for slotting the uniquely styled Terrain right under the seven-passenger Acadia. Enjoy and explore the �terrain� in this easy-to-drive, practical and versatile vehicle with a pleasing interior. However, our test-drive vehicle barely eked out 18.4 mpg in city/highway driving. Fuel-efficient minded folks may want to stick to the standard 2.4-liter engine in the front-wheel-drive version, which touts 22 mpg in city and 32 mpg on highway.  


Tires: 235/55R18 all season

Wheelbase: 112.5 inches

Length: 185.3 inches

Weight: 3,793 pounds

Suspension: independent strut-type front; independent four-link rear

Steering: electric power

Brakes: 12.6-inch vented front; 11.9-inch rear

Base price: $31,300

Web site: www.gmc.com/terrain



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