Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Ocala, Lakeland and Tallahassee will hold their annual Ekal Vidyalaya fundraisers in February and March. Performing at the concerts in Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando/Longwood will be Kathak dancer Aditi Bhagwat and group. Gracing the Ocala, Lakeland and Tallahassee fundraisers will be lead singer Vibhavari Yadav of the Vibhavari group.

The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (www.ekal.org) strives to bring education and village development to rural India. As a tax-exempt, non-profit organization, Ekal initiates, supports and runs non-formal one-teacher schools in India. The movement strives to create a network of non-formal schools and health education that will educate and empower children in rural and tribal India. Ekal schools operate on a minimal $1-a-day budget.

Kathak dancer Aditi Bhagwat

Programs by Aditi Bhagwat:

JACKSONVILLE: The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at Bolles Middle School (Bartram Campus), 2264 Bartram Road. For information, call Sarath Kuravi at (904) 287-8334 or (904) 537-7200.

TAMPA: Bhagwat and her troupe will perform from 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. For information, call Dr. Umesh Choudhry at (727) 434-0446 or (727) 507-0584.

ORLANDO/LONGWOOD: The Central Florida city will hold its fundraiser on Sunday, March 2, at Lyman High School, 865 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood. For time and other information, call Suresh Gupta at (407) 352-2889.


Singer Vibhavari Yadav

Programs by Vibhavari Yadav:

OCALA: The concert will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, March 14, at India Association Cultural & Educational Center, 2030 N.E. 36th Ave. For details, call Dr. Nand Kishore Karve at (352) 237-3084 or e-mail [email protected]

LAKELAND: The fundraiser will be held from 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, at the Shree Swaminarayan Temple hall, 2793 New Tampa Highway. For details, call Nilesh K. Patel at (863) 853-9315.

TALLAHASSEE: Yadav ad group will perform from 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at Lee Hall Auditorium, 1601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. For information, call Santosh Dixit at (850) 559-1080.

More Leading News


To say that he came, he spoke and he conquered them all would be an understatement. During networking events in Gainesville and Tampa in January, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Kanwal Rekhi left a lasting impression on members and guests of TiE Tampabay. READ MORE...

Guest Columns

Can I have BLUE Eyes? Pleassssse. Please take your place in the queue – worldwide.

Voluntary Disclosure End Game: Sign Form 906 or Opt-Out? – PART I
By Rahul P. Ranadive, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation)
The earliest participants in the 2012 OVDP are now seeing their cases move toward resolution, and in some cases already resolved. READ MORE...

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


Palm Beach India FestThe 11th annual IndiaFEST put together by Palm Beach India Association will be on Saturday, Feb. 22, in downtown West Palm Beach.

According to organizers, IndiaFEST is a way to celebrate the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of India with the South Florida community. Over the past decade, IndiaFEST has become one of the premier events to occur in South Florida, with more than 14,000 people in attendance.

The daylong outdoor event begins at 11 a.m., which is free and open to the public, will feature musical, dance and cultural performances; food, clothing, and craft vendors; and art exhibits.

Meyer Amphitheater is at 105 Evernia St., West Palm Beach. For details, visit www.sfindiafest.com or e-mail [email protected]


Tampa’s Sanatan Mandir, which celebrated its 25-year anniversary in January, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday, Feb. 22, for construction of a new temple building. The ceremony for the 10,600-square-foot proposed building will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

All existing deities will be moved to the new temple with five sikharas (rising towers). A state-of-the-art audio visual system will be installed in the new temple. As a result, the present mandir will be converted into a community hall for family occasions. It also will have a professional-level kitchen.

Sanatan Mandir is at 311 E. Palm Ave. To donate or become a sponsor, call (813) 221-4482 or visit www.ourmandir.org

Hindu Samaj Inc, dba Sanatan Mandir. Incorporated Jan-9-1989

A short narration of its beginning 25 Years ago.

Story provided by
Pawan K Rattan, M.D.

Chair, Board of Trustees
-Sanatan Mandir

As the beautiful sunset in Tampa Bay cast it's pink and purples hues over the western sky, I sat on the edge of my fathers bed as I did most evenings at the end of my workday.It was a special day as Puja , Havan and the festivities performed that morning at our house had gone well.As I reminisced over the old friends who had joined us as well as welcoming the new families who had just moved to Tampa.Pita ji, as we all called my father, asked me casually, why I was late in attending the Havan. I replied " She was a private patient and I had to deliver her baby & as it was not my call day, I will get paid extra" .After few moments of silence he said "Making money night & day is not  the sole purpose of your coming to USA. There is not even a temple in this Tampa town of yours"I proceeded to explain that many like-minded people had thought about building a Temple in Tampa. Dr.ANV Rao from USF had come with us just the other day to look at the W.L. BigelowBuilding on Bay Shore Blvd. It will happen soon, I assured him."I have been hearing that now for over a year "a touch of sarcasm in his voice." What is important to a community shows in its Priority"he said.

That day I resolved, I will make Pitaj' wish a priority. A few days later Henry Purcell a retired US Army Col ,MBA & now a realtor,tall ,tough looking gentleman came to see me in my Hyde Park office.He started to talk about purchase of office buildings.I intercepted & told him , we were looking for a site, to build a Hindu Temple .I intercepted & told him , we were looking for a site, to build a Hindu Temple .I think this is not what he expected to hear.The perplexed Look  on his face , the kind I had seen ,many a time,on the face of white Americans, new to us Indians & Indian culture & religion."Doc this is South!!  Zoning  for a temple will be a problem, at least in the City limits". Before I could even think what he really meant , he was out the door .

A few weeks later Henry Purcell showed up in my Hyde Park office again.He was insistent . You got to listen to me Doc. You will never get a chance like this.
" I have a beautiful three story building with granite pillars &  it is a Temple already,and you get the  Educational building next to it as a bonus". Believe me ,it is less  than a mile from the Mayors office. It needs some work but you can get Federal grant as this is a historical building.
You Indians should not miss this chance!!
A few weeks later, I was the new owner of the Jewish Temple, RodepShalom building on 309 E.Palm Ave and their educational building at 311 E Palm Ave.
My father did the 1st Pooja with just a picture of our deities, hung  on the east wall of the buildings, just our family joining him. It is a Temple, and for us all places of worship are sacred, he said after finishing the prayer.

Incorporation  papers were filed in December 1988 with four directors,Sh S.R Rattan( Pita ji) Sh Amar Dambla, Sh. Dave Handa and myself, and on Jan 9th we had a Registered Corporation.Name:  United Sates Arya Samaj inc. Thereafter 501 c(3) designation was in place. Later  the corporation's name was changed to , HINDU SAMSJ INC.Soon the building ownership was handed over to Hindu Samaj inc. There were changes & transfer of management & a lot more, including unfortunately the demolishing of Rodeph Sholom main building .That is an other chapter & a different narration. The smaller building is now Sanatan Mandir, the property around the building was gradually acquired and is now owned by Hindu Samaj inc.

This January 2014 The City of Tampa granted us Permit to build a new Temple Building.
In last last 25 years Tampa has changed a lot .

One thing has not changed, We are still within less than a mile from the Mayor's office & the only temple that close to downtown in any major city in USA.This site is still a place of worship, now for over one hundred years. First a Jewish Temple and now a Hindu Temple for last 25 years.There is acceptance to the fact that there is one God but many ways to reach Him & worship Him.A sacred site of worship, remaining sacred.

We have had TampaBay Mayors visit our Temple & support us in our growth plans.I am moved by the  immense support from both the Indian community and local Tampa Heights community.
The new Temple building will be 10,000 sq.feet and present building nearly four thousand sq feet, will serve as Community Hall. Ground breaking for new Temple ,will be held on February 22, 2014. Our Temple President, Sh. Pankaj Patel is leading the project.

As The journey continues, my father late. Sh S.R.Rattan's words are still fresh in my, mind, " Making money night & day, is not the sole purpose of your(our )coming to USA". Yes Pita Ji we have a lot more to do and give back to our community !

With Gratitude,
Pawan K Rattan, M.D.
Chair Board of Trustees.

Photo credit:
 © Sana Ullah


Gear up for the annual Miami Mayhem 7, an intercollegiate garba/raas competition showcasing eight raas teams from across the nation as they battle for more than $3,000 in cash. Raas is associated with the festival of Navratri. Today, it has evolved into a form of creative expression with the growth of raas competitions nationwide.

On Saturday, March 1, the University of Miami Indian Students Association will host the event, which offers an opportunity for teams to compete for a national championship title. Participating teams include University of Maryland-College Park, George University Raas, Boston University, University of Texas, University of Emory, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Rutgers University and Drexel University.

All proceeds benefit Sunil’s Home Charity, an organization that addresses the increasing needs of orphans in India. The staff and volunteers of Sunil’s Home commit their time, talent and resources to help orphans transform their lives.

Miami Mayhem will begin at 6 p.m. at Julius Littman Performing Arts Theater, 17011 N.E. 19th Ave., North Miami Beach. Tickets priced from $15 to $25 will be available for purchase at www.miami-mayhem.com For more information, e-mail [email protected]

CALL 813-758-1786.
or write to

[email protected]
homeeventsbiz directorysubscribecontact uscontentclasses/places of worship newseditorialhealthimmigration
Real ESTATEfinanceayurvedatechno cornermoviesfashionmusic/dancebooksbusinessbeatIIFA 2014art/youthastrology
mindbodyNUTRITIONcuisinemotoring • GETAWAYSclassifiedsarchivesBLOGFACEBOOK
Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Cuisine Astrology Art/Youth Books Music and Dance Fashion Movies Techno Corner Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Classes/Places of Worship Content Find us on Facebook!