Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida



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


MIAMI: The Indian Regional and Cultural Center will hold its Diwali festivities from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo (Arnold Hall), 10901 Coral Way, Miami. The program will include Bollywood, folk, classical music and dance, IRCC Children Show, and dance competitions. Other attractions are food, fashion, jewelry, arts and crafts, henna, yoga, kids zone and raffle prizes. For information, call (954) 543-1539, e-mail board@irccflorida.com or visit www.irccflorida.com

LAUDERHILL: Also, the seventh annual Divali Nagar will be held from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 17-18 at the Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 N.W. 11th Place, Lauderhill. Attractions are vendor booths and, of course, entertainment. For information, call (954) 846-9895, e-mail info@divalinagar.us or visit www.divalinagar.us

PALM BEACH GARDENS: And the Palm Beach India Association will celebrate Diwali at 6 p.m. on Oct. 25 at Palm Beach Gardens High School, 4245 Holly Drive, Palm Beach Gardens. There will be a dinner and cultural program. Tickets are $15 in advance (on Navratri nights or before Oct. 15 from committee members) or $25 at gate. Participating students are free. For information, e-mail president@gopbia.com or visit www.gopbia.com/


Diwali-Lakshmi Pujan will be held from 6 p.m. on Oct. 23 by the Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry. Annkut will be on Oct. 25. For information, call (407) 699-5277, e-mail info@hindutempleorlando.org, or visit www.hindutempleorlando.org

The Association of Asian Cultural Festivals will present its 17th annual free Diwali Mela from 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 at Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola, 101 Rosalind Ave., Orlando. For more information, call Lallman Persaud at (407) 202-2161 or e-mail lmpersaud@aol.com

Shri Shivdham Hindu Temple will celebrate Dipawali on Oct. 23 and Annkoot on Oct. 26. Devotees who wish to contribute in making dishes can call the temple at (407) 380-2661, Savitri at (407) 924-8799 or visit www.shivtemple.net 

Maa Durga Sri Sai Baba Temple will celebrate Dhan Trayodashi on Oct. 21, New Year on Oct. 24 and hold Deepawali celebrations on Oct. 25. The temple is at 11414 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando. For information, call (407) 574-8044 or visit www.durgasaitemple.org

The Orlando Marathi Mandal will be celebrating Deepawali Dhamaka on Nov. 8 at the Hindu Society of Central Florida community hall (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry. For information, e-mail orlandomarathi@yahoo.com or visit www.orlandomarathi.com

Diwali-Annakut will be held Oct. 23-25 at Swaminarayan Mandir, 1325 W. Oakridge Road, Orlando. For information, email Jitubhai Patel at jitup58@hotmail.com or call (407) 460-2741.


The Rajasthani Association of Tampa Bay will hold its Dipawali celebration on Oct. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. For venue and other details, call Rashmi Jakhotia at (813) 962-4172.

The Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay annual Diwali Dinner, Entertainment and Executive Committee Elections will be held on Sunday, Oct. 26, from 5:30 p.m. at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. Elections will continue till 8 p.m. The event is free to members; non-members pay $15, non-member seniors $10. For information, call Jyoti Gandhi at (727) 534-3767, Sudhir Shah at (727) 686-7424 or visit www.gujaratisamaj.org

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir will celebrate Diwali and Annakut on Oct. 25 from 1 p.m. (aarti every hour). There will be fireworks at night. BAPS is at 9556 E. Fowler Ave. in Thonotosassa. For details, call (813) 986-5473.

Ambaji Mandir at 10991 58th St., in Pinellas Park, will hold Dhanteras MahaLaxmi Pujan at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21. Diwali Puja will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 23. New Year Annakut will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24. For more information, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685 or visit www.ambajimandir.org

Laxmi Narayan Mandir, 4615 George Road, Tampa, will hold Dhanteras MahaLaxmi Pujan on Oct. 21. Diwali Puja will be Oct. 23. And New Year Annakut will be on Oct. 24. For information, call (813) 444-9786 or visit www.hindutempleoftampa.org

And the Hindu Temple of Florida will have Dhanlaxmi puja at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 and celebrate Deepawali with a cultural program from 3 p.m. on Oct. 25. For more information, call (813) 962-6890 or visit www.htflt.org

The Sanatan Mandir in Tampa will hold Dhun Puja 7-8 p.m. on Oct. 21 and Deepawali on Oct. 23. Annakut will be celebrated on Oct. 24. The mandir is at 311 E. Palm Ave. For information, call (813) 221-4482 or visit www.ourmandir.org

Maayboli Melawa (Maharashtra Mandal) of Tampa Bay will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 1 at Hindu Temple, 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa. For more information, e-mail Vrushali Pendharkar at tanvidp@yahoo.com or visit www.MMTBUSA.org

Shri Saraswati Devi Mandir at 16220 Livingston Ave., Tampa, will hold Diwali celebrations at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21. For information, call Pandit Purnanan Sharma at (813) 486-8681.

Also, Shree Raam Mandir will hold its third annual Diwali celebration from 7 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 18. The temple is at 7411 E. Comanche Ave., Tampa. For information, call Nick Ramlal at (813) 334-0443, Angela Puchoon at (813) 265-3268 or e-mail nramlal@hotmail.com


The Indian Cultural Society of Daytona will celebrate Diwali at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at Hilton Daytona Beach Resort (South Tower), 100 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach. There will be performances by local kids, teens and adults. For tickets, call Sangeeta Bhoola at (386) 527-0855, Sejal Desai at (386) 212-4057, e-mail icsdaytona@gmail.com or visit www.icsdaytona.com


The Charotar Patidar Samaj of Florida will hold its sixth annual Diwali Dinner & Dance on Nov. 8 from 6 p.m. at The Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Road, Plant City. Family pass is $50. For information, call Jayesh Patel at (407) 460-2020, Kamal Patel at (863) 670-1045 or visit www.patelpower.net


Shree Swaminarayan Temple ISSO, 2793 New Tampa Highway, Lakeland, will hold a free Diwali family fun day 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 18. Activities include entertainment, carnival games, bounce houses, prizes, face painting, magician, water games, sports activities, and more. Lunch and dinner to be provided. On Oct. 24, there’s a New Year’s Aarti at 6 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. New Year’s Ankut Aarti will be at noon followed by mahaprasad. For information, call (863) 687-4776 or click on www.issofl.com


Annakut Mahotsav will be celebrated on Oct. 26 at Pushtidham (Haveli of Florida), 14080 S.W. 20th Ave. Road, in Ocala. For details, call (973) 460-5936 or Raj Kamdar at (352) 568-5729.


Shirdi Sai Florida Center, 4707 S. Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness, will hold a Dhanteras Pooja on Oct. 20. Naraka Chaturdasi will be on Oct. 22 and Dipawali on Oct. 24.


The Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will celebrate Diwali at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 at Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave., Bartow. For more information, call Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294 or visit www.bscfl.com


The Indian Student Association of University of Florida will hold its Diwali show on Nov. 9 at Curtis M. Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road, Gainesville. Doors open at 6:30. For more information or to sign up to perform, contact Dilan Nayee at (407) 666-1046 or email ufisadiwali@gmail.com

Gujarati Samaj of Gatorland will hold a Diwali Night from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Oct. 26 at Senior Recreation Center, 5701 N.W. 34th St., Gainesville. A live band from India will perform. Dinner will be catered. For more details, email gujaratisamajofgatorland@gmail.com


The Indian Association of the Space Coast will hold Diwali and annual dinner Saturday, Nov. 1, at Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd. For more information, call (321) 302-1870 or visit www.iascbrevard.com


The Gujarati Samaj of North East Florida will celebrate Diwali on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Morocco Shine Center Auditorium, 3800 Saint Johns Bluff Road S., Jacksonville. A cultural program will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. followed by dinner. For information, call Bakulesh Patel at (904) 813-9616, Bipin Patel at (904) 260-7675, e-mail gujaratisamaj@comcast.net or visit www.gsnef.org

Also, The Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will hold its Diwali from 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9, at the University of North Florida Arena, 11852 University of North Florida Drive. There will be food, dance and music. For details, e-mail president@jaxics.org or visit www.jaxics.org

More Leading News

The Miss India USA pageant last took place in Florida in 2005.


On Sept. 14, Sikh Society of North East Florida (SSNEF) celebrated the maiden anniversary of Jacksonville Gurudwara Sahib.


FAPI (Florida Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) celebrated 27 years of commitment to the community with a Tribute to R.D. Burman (Pancham) concert.


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


WHAT: 20th annual South Asian Film Festival
TICKETS: Series pass - $45 or individual tickets - $10
WHERE: Enzian Theater & Eden Bar Lawn, 1300 S. Orlando Avenue, Maitland. For information, visit www.enzian.org or call (407) 629-1088.

20th Annual South Asian Film Festival oct. 11-13 in Orlando

“Beyond Bollywood: 20th Annual South Asian Film Festival,” taking place Oct.11-13, showcases diverse images of South Asian (India/Pakistan) culture and heritage through acclaimed independent films from across the globe. The program is part of Enzian Theater’s cultural festival circuit and is co-presented with the Asian Cultural Association and sponsored by Orlando Weekly.

BLOUSE” (Southeast Premiere)

When a schoolteacher who works out of town asks his newlywed wife what she’d like for a gift, her request is simple enough: a new blouse made by the village’s famous tailor. But when he can’t find the sample blouse, the tailor suggests a risky plan. This is a sweet and funny love story with a twist.

India, 2014, In Hindi with English subtitles, 20 min, Directed by Vijayeta


An Indian woman studying in Prague and a lonely New Yorker begin an unconventional correspondence through video letters — two strangers searching for human connection in a hyper-connected world. When their relationship deepens, they must decide whether or not to meet face to face. This romantic comedy is the winner of 13 major film festival awards.

USA, 2013, In English, 73 min, Directed by James E. Duff

BEYOND ALL BOUNDARIES” (Southeast Premiere)

Cricket is a religion for Prithvi (a boy wonder who hopes to be the sport’s next superstar), Sudhir (a fanatic who bikes across India from game to game), and Akshaya (a young girl who sees the game as a way out of poverty). Winner of both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards for Best Documentary at the 2013 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), “Beyond all Boundaries” follows the stories of these three characters, leading up to the World Cup of Cricket in the spring of 2011.

USA/India, 2013, In Hindi with English subtitles, 97 min, Directed by Sushrut Jain


This is a spellbinding tale of one father’s journey across India in search of his son. Mahendra is a chain-wallah, eking out a living fixing zippers on the bustling streets of New Delhi. To ease his financial woes, he sends 12-year-old Siddharth to work in a distant factory. When the boy doesn’t come home for the Diwali holiday, he and his wife suspect that he was kidnapped by child traffickers. A powerful family drama that won this year’s Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2014 IFFLA, “Siddharth” sheds light on the estimated 44,000 children that go missing in India every year.

Canada/India, 2013, In Hindi with English subtitles, 96 min, Directed by Richie Mehta

Auction HouseTHE AUCTION HOUSE: A TALE OF TWO BROTHERS” (Southeast Premiere)

The auction houses of Calcutta used to be where the rich and famous found objects to decorate their homes. The family-owned Russell Exchange is oldest in India. Run by younger brother Arshad for the last 40 years, the Exchange now resembles a yard sale. Now older brother Anwer is moving back from England with hopes of using his Western business acumen to bring the company forward.

U.K./India, 2014, In English, Bengali, Hindi and Bhojpuri with English subtitles, 85 min, Directed by Ed Owles

Brahmin BullsBRAHMIN BULLS” (Filmmaker in Attendance. Southeast Premiere)

In director Mahesh Pailoor’s tender debut, Roshan Seth and Sendhil Ramamurthy star as Ashok and Sid, an estranged father and son brought together by Ashok’s unannounced arrival on Sid’s doorstep. Each has secrets. Sid is recently separated and on the brink of a career collapse, while Ashok – officially in town for an engineering convention – seeks to reunite with an old flame (Oscar winner Mary Steenburgen). The two begin a tentative journey toward reconciliation, but when Sid’s self-destructive tendencies emerge, and the true purpose of Ashok’s visit is revealed, both must work even harder to close the rift between them.

USA, 2013, In English, 96 min, Directed by Mahesh Pailoor


American Cricket FederationThe weekend of Oct. 10-12 will mark an important and exciting milestone in the young life of American Cricket Federation. After five months of intense competition between 17 leagues spread across six geographically dispersed divisions from Southwest to New England and Midwest to Florida, six cricket teams have emerged to play for the title of America’s First National Cricket Champion.

The division winners, Washington Eagles, Midwest Chargers, Massachusetts Patriots, Arizona Scorpions, Florida All-Stars and Midwest Bears will play a series of 40 overs matches on Friday, Oct. 10, and Saturday, Oct. 11, at three cricket grounds in Orlando – Silver Star, Avalon Park and Eagle’s Nest. The top two teams will clash on Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Silver Star ground (2801 N. Apopka-Vineland Road) for the title of the National Champion and will represent the United States in the North American Cricket Championship against Canada in March 2015 in Phoenix. VIP guest for the finals will be West Indian great Alvin Kallicharran.

“ACF is proud and excited to partner with Florida Cricket Conference, one of the ACF member leagues, and patrons in the local Indian-American community like Dr. Mahesh Allam and Dr. Sunil Nihalani to bring a cricketing event of national importance to the Orlando region,” said ACCL Commissioner Avinash Varma. “The ACF National Championship will go a long way in raising the profile of cricket not only in Florida, but across the nation.”

For more information, call Dr. Mahesh Allam at (863) 207-3056, Rahul Joshi at (407) 435-8826 or visit www.acfchampionsleague.org or www.americancricketfederation.org

Robert Bauman
House of Spices
CALL 813-758-1786.
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