MAY 2019
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


The 21st annual Community Health Fair will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Hindu Temple Community Hall in Tampa. This volunteer-run community service has been a tradition at the temple since 1998. Each year, the free Health Fair generates a tremendous response. There are typically 400 attendees and 20-plus participating physicians. Physicians and volunteers work together providing free screenings and health information services.

The public can benefit from the various free blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and dental screenings, eye exam, hearing evaluation, carotid ultrasound, spirometry, etc. Also, health discussions will be held on several topics, including nutrition, exercise, vaccination, diabetes, hypertension, cancer alert, anxiety and depression, heart attack and stroke awareness, also yoga and meditation.

One of the fair’s highlights is the opportunity for attendees to interact with physicians, by asking questions about nutrition, diabetes, osteoporosis, stress management, child health, menopause, bypass surgery, peptic ulcer, heart disease and more.

For information on the Health Fair at the Hindu Temple, 5509 Lynn Road, call (813) 962-6890 or visit 


Here are a few of the Florida communities celebrating the special woman in everyone’s lives:


MAY 10: MEMORABLE MOTHER’S DAY DINNER & MUSICAL EVENING; presented by J&G Events in memory of soldiers who lost lives in Phulwana terror attack; 6:30 to 11:30 p.m.; JCC Rosen, 11184 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando; grand sponsor is Maa Durga & Shree Sai Baba Temple; $50 per person and $15 for kids ages 3-15; for information, call Nidhi Gupta at (407) 852-3192.


MAY 12: MOTHER’S DAY PICNIC; presented by Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Fort DeSoto Park, 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde; free to GSTB members, $20 non-members, includes snacks and lunch; for information, call Keval Brahmbhatt at (813) 494-2700 or Sandip Patel at (865) 771-9190.


MAY 5: MOTHER’S DAY; organized by Gujarati Association of Manasota; Coquina Beach (on Longboat Key), 2650 Gulf Drive, Bradenton; 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; free for members; non-members are $20 per person; for information, call Vikram Rao at (941) 524-6545 or visit


MAY 12: MOTHER’S DAY; organized by the Indian Association of the Space Coast (IASC); F. Burton Smith Regional Park, 7575 W. Highway 520, Cocoa; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; for more information, call (321) 591-2672, email

Event submissions are free, e-mail information to by the 20th.

Disclaimer: Event details are subject to change. Please check with local organizers.  


The Association of Performing Arts of India (APAI) continues its 21st year with a “Music For the Soul” vocal concert on Saturday, May 18, in Davie. Hindustani vocal singer Omkar Dadarkar will be accompanied by Milind Kulkarni on harmonium and Sanjay Deshpande on tabla.

Dadarkar hails from a family of Marathi Natyasangeet exponents. He received his initial guidance from his aunt, the late noted classical vocalist Manik Verma and then from Ram Deshpande. After being awarded the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) scholarship (Delhi) for classical music, he was groomed by Pandit Yashwantbua Joshi.

A Sangeet Visharad and Bachelor of Arts in Marathi Literature and History, he joined ITC-SRA (Hindustani classical music academy) as a scholar in July 1999, receiving rigorous training  under Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar. He also trained in the light classical form under Vidushi Girija Devi and Srinivas Khale.

His numerous awards include the prestigious Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for 2010 conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi to talented artistes below the age of 35, the Aditya Vikram Birla Puraskar in 2009, the “Shanmukhananda Hall-Mumbai-Sangeet Shiromani” award, among others.

Proceeds will support APAI’S Legacy Fund to preserve and promote Indian classical music and dance at Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. For information about contributing to the APAI Legacy Fund at FAU, visit   

The 5 to 7:30 p.m. concert will be at FAU Auditorium (Davie Campus),Liberal Arts Building, Room 120  (LA120), 3200 College Ave., Davie. General admission is $25 and students with current ID $15. Tickets are available at

Hosted by Swaradhana, Dadarkar along with Deshpande and Kulkarni will also perform in Tampa the next day, May 19, at a memorial concert for Avinash Deshpande, founder of Swaradhana. The 3:30 to 6 p.m. concert will be at Arbor Greene Clubhouse, Tampa. Tickets are $25 per person. For information, call Aditi Deshpande at (727) 742-7009 or Rashmi Deshmukh at (423) 314-7064.

TAMPA Sanatan Mandir Prana Pratistha Mahotsav: A Grand Success

Story provided by Nivedita Das of Sarasota

April 9-14 marked the auspicious commemoration of “Prana Pratistha Mahotsav” for the new Sanatan Mandir in Tampa’s historic district. The date and time for this religious ceremony was carefully chosen based on astrological calculations and it propitiously coincided with the celebration of the ‘Chaitra Navratri’ festivities. About 3,000 people attended darshan during the Prana Pratistha events as more than 170 volunteers provided assistance.

The five-day long holy celebrations were filled with several pious rituals, special pujas (acts of worship) and havan sessions (yajna or fire oblations), which started at 9 a.m. and culminated at 8:30 p.m. each day under the guidance and participations of 27 priests from USA, Canada and India. The purpose was to invoke spiritual energy and reside the divine deities.

The first day started with an opening prayer to Lord Ganesha (God of wisdom and remover of hurdles). Then, a havan was held for ruling out negative vibes and the execution of the notable ‘Kalash Yatra.’

Day two and day three were marked by a multitude of ceremonial events that involved the chanting of Vedic hymns by the priests, and temple sponsors offering clothing, grains, flowers and other artifacts of religious significance. One of the highlights was the ‘Arni Manthan’ ceremony, churning of two woods to invoke holy fire, symbolizing the “invocation” of Agni (Lord of Fire).

Several spiritually significant rituals were the highlights on day 4. Immersed with chanting and prayers, the ‘Nyasa’ ceremony, an integral part of Prana Pratistha, was carried out. The ‘Shikar Maha Kumbh Abhishekam’ (offering of holy water on the ‘shikar’/remple top’) on the five newly constructed ‘shikars’ and ‘Shikhar Dhwaja Dandarohan’ (placing Sanatan Dharma flag on the roof top of the temple) were accomplished by performing a sanctified ceremony.

Excitement filled the air as the priests, temple sponsors, esteemed guests, dignitaries, volunteers and devotees looked forward to the final day. The temple and grounds were adorned with colorful flowers and traditional embellishments. The atmosphere reverberated with positive vibes emanating from the holy hymns and Vedic chants as the door of the new temple opened. It was a sight to behold of the white marbled deities adorned in rich brocade fabric and decked with glittering ornaments. The priests prepared for the offering of the first garland to the deities and the first prashad, ‘Annakoot’ (first food offering) comprising of 56 delicacies were offered with utmost devotion and reverence. This day marked the ending of years of preparation and planning of the new temple. A ribbon cutting ceremony was performed on April 14 by the first Hindu Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois 8th District. This was followed by the first service performed by several dignitaries, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Consul General of India Dr. Swati Kulkarni, local community leaders such as Dr. Kiran Patel and Dr. I.V.S. Nath, and members of the Prana Pratistha Committee.

The new Sanatan Mandir at 311 E. Palm Ave., now houses existing as well as new deities in their respective intricately adorned sanctums. Its hall has a floor area of 10,600 square feet. For more information, call (813) 221-4482 or visit

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