TAMPA HINDU TEMPLE FUNDRAISER DEC. 12
The Hindu Temple of Florida will hold its annual fundraising banquet Sunday, Dec. 12, at India Cultural Center in Tampa. Performing will be students from Bangalore’s Shree Ramana Maharshi Academy for the Blind. Also, 2-3 local talents will be showcased.
The four female and two male dancers from the Maharshi Academy will present Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi, semi-classical devotional songs, folk dances (Telugu songs and bhangra), Kollatam and dance ballet. The troupe’s nearly 1½-month long tour of the United States was organized by the North America Telugu Society.
The Tampa fundraiser will start at 4:30 p.m. with social hour, fusion dance from 5:30 to 6:30, followed by the Academy performers and then dinner. Admission is $50 per person.
India Cultural Center is at 5511 Lynn Road. For more information, call Nainan Desai at (813) 931-7442, Renuka Ramappa at (727) 364-7488 or visit www.htflt.org
SHABANA AZMI: IT IS VITAL TO EMPOWER VILLAGERS
You could say that the award-winning stage and film actor has done it all. Until you see Shabana Azmi perform two characters in a one-woman Girish Karnad-written play “Broken Images.” During a U.S. tour for the psychological thriller, which included a stupendous performance in Tampa (organized by Thaiya Thaiya) she further proved her mettle as an artist par none.
“Timing is crucial,” says Azmi in an interview organized by Bollywood Café of Tampa. “In any other play, a co-star can always come to your rescue. But not in a one-actor play.”
And rightly so. The legendary actor also spoke about her role in transforming Mijwan village, a district of Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, where the late poet Kaifi Azmi was born. “My father suffered from brain hemorrhage, which led to a paralytic stroke,” she remembers. “Instead of giving up in despair, he settled in Mijwan, a village frozen in time.”
Today, Mijwan is a model village, with a computer training center, a school and inter-collegiate for girls and an embroidery and sewing center for woman. With 80 percent of India living in rural areas, it is important to empower villagers, Azmi believes. “The Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS) focuses on social and economic equity, education for the girl child and self-employment through village-based small-scale industries. My father used to say that when you are working for a change, build into the expectation that change may not occur in our lifetime.”
There are 540 residents in Mijwan today. However, MWS caters also to 25 surrounding villages. Azmi feels that MWS is at the intersection of work she performs in Mumbai slums. “We’ve built 40,000 homes for free,” she says. “We have to start providing employment in rural areas so villagers don’t come to the city for work.”
Thaiya Thaiya (www.thaiyathaiya.com), which organized “Broken Images” in Tampa, provides musical entertainment for all ages and occasions. It was founded by Lata Kumar in March 2000 with A.R. Rahman’s blessing. Thaiya Thaiya has organized several musical shows with Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam, Kavita Krishnamoorthy, Shankar Mahadevan, to name a few.
Bollywood Café is at 9648 W. Linebaugh Ave. in Tampa. For information, call (813) 926-4000 or visit www.bollywoodcafe.us
BLACK TO PERFORM DEC. 13 IN ORMOND BEACH
“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision” – Stevie Wonder.
The talented Black troupe from India has taken the famed singer’s words to heart. After all, the orchestra of five blind artists has been performing with rave reviews at several Florida events, including recently at the AACSA convention in Tampa.
Black will now perform Monday, Dec. 13, at Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center. The 7 p.m. concert is presented by Indian Cultural Society of Daytona. Tickets are $35 (VIP) and $20 for members and $45 (VIP) and $30 for non-members.
The performing arts center is at 399 N. U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach. For information, call Pankaj Patel at (386) 453-5512, Jay Patel at (386) 795-0007 or visit www.icsdaytona.com
or write to
or write to