DILIP PATEL ELECTED CHAIR OF AILA CHAPTER
other news, Patel also has been selected for inclusion in the current
edition of “The Best Lawyers in America” for immigration law.
Published biennially since 1983, “The Best Lawyers in America”
is widely regarded as the preeminent referral guide to the legal profession
in the United States. The “Best Lawyers” lists, representing
57 specialties in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., are compiled through
an exhaustive peer-review survey in which thousands of the top lawyers
in the U.S. confidentially evaluate their professional peers. The current,
12th edition of “Best Lawyers” (2006), is based on more than
1.5 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.
100 ATTEND HINDU EXHIBITION INAUGURATION IN TAMPA
Story provided by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
than 100 people attended an exhibition on Hindu culture and Dharmic traditions
of India recently at the Hindu Temple of Florida in Tampa.
INDO-CARIBBEAN FILM CHRONICLES JOURNEY ACROSS THREE CONTINENTS
Meet Shundell Prasad, who recently made her directorial debut with “Once More Removed: A Journey Back to India.” The one-hour documentary chronicles the 25-year-old’s journey across three continents to uncover the reasons behind her family’s removal from native India and then later from Guyana, her birth country.
In this coming-of-age film, the search takes the viewer from the vibrant Indo-Caribbean neighborhoods in Queens, New York City, to the sweltering hot sugarcane fields of Guyana, where men toil over the land as their forefathers did a century ago when they were brought to the cane fields as indentured servants by the British.
The journey continues from Guyana, where ship records are secured from the National Archives to the ports of Calcutta, where the 19th century East India Company ships carried human cargo out of India to distant lands. From Calcutta, the filmmaker journeys into the land of her ancestors in Bihar, where massive crowds await the sight of a returned daughter.
Prasad is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she majored in film and television production. Shundell also has worked with HBO documentaries.
“I started researching this film while I was still in university, simply because I wanted to know why I looked Indian, but did not have any connections or ties with India,” says Prasad in an exclusive interview with Khaas Baat. “During the process, I became aware of the massive international Indian Diaspora, which is estimated to be well over 20 million people … 20 million stories, many of which are not rosy success tales, but rather stories of displacement, struggle and survival, like my family’s story from India to Guyana and finally to America.
The New York City resident believes and rightly so that “great injustices have been committed against these people … many people know about the injustices committed against South African Indians because of Gandhiji’s crusade, but the stories from East Africa, Guyana and Fiji are overwhelmingly disturbing. The current story of the Gulf migrant laborers has to be recognized and dealt with as well.”
Prasad attributes the catchy title of the documentary to NYU Professor George Stoney. “The actual meaning of this title speaks of migration, of displacement, of lost-identity, all major issues, which are raised in the film. We are a people who are twice removed: first from our native India, and again from our birth country, Guyana. Therefore, we are once more removed.”
next for Shundell Prasad? Another documentary? “Most of my training
was in fiction filmmaking — working with actors, etc.,” she
replies. “I have a few films in development right now. I’m
hoping to begin production by the end of summer on my next film. The issue
of the Indian Diaspora has captured my interest, so I think it’s
a theme you will see in my upcoming works.”
AKMG Convention Chair Dr. Aravind Pillai
About 800 people are expected to attend the 27th annual Association of Kerala Medical Graduates (AKMG) Convention July 20-23 at Peabody Hotel in Orlando.
Over 2,500 physicians belonging to this organization of physicians of Kerala heritage from India practice in North America.
Educational activities include eight hours of CME lectures covering a variety of topics and exhibits by pharmaceutical as well as medical students/residents. Nearly 30 exhibition boots will be set up. Other activities will be yoga and meditation, sports and games, surprise guest comedian from Kerala, cooking classes and a gala banquet featuring a musical night by reputed playback singers.
There is no last
date for registration. For more information, call convention chair Dr.
Aravind Pillai at (407) 718-8733, AKMG President Dr.
Abdul Karim at (321) 591-6957 or click on www.akmg.org
Opening a new store or restaurant? Expanding or relocating? Has your business won an award or a mention in your local newspaper? We want to hear from you as Khaas Baat recently kicked off this new column to meet the rising needs of businesses and our readers. Call Nitish S. Rele at (813) 758-1786 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAAT CAFÉ OPENS AT GANESH MARKET IN TAMPA
Have the urge for a vegetarian Manchurian chaat? Or maybe sugarcane juice? Barf ka gola (Indian icee)? Or those delicious Rajbhog sweets? Then head on to the Chaat Café at Ganesh Market in Tampa.
The grocery store, Ganesh Market, has been owned by Achyut and Sonal Mashruwala for the last 10 years. “We felt now is the right time to open a chaat house,” says Achyut Mashruwala. “I must give credit to the folks at St. Joseph and Tampa General hospitals who visit my store regularly and motivated me to open this vegetarian restaurant.” Incidentally, Mashruwala comes from a family of restaurateurs in Ahmedabad.
The 2,900-square-foot store and café also caters Gujarati, North and South Indian cuisine.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday
and Saturday, Ganesh Market & Chaat Café is at 6204 N. Armenia
Ave., Tampa, FL 33604. For information, call (813) 873-8708,
(813) 857-5103 or e-mail email@example.com
TAMPA GROCERY RELOCATES IN BRANDON
Within a span of just three years, Tampa Grocery in Brandon already has relocated into a bigger store in the same plaza. Owner T. Thomas of course is ecstatic with the success of his fairly young business.
“We can now display more products and there is plenty of room for customers in the front area to meet and socialize with their friends,” he says. The store pulls in customers from Plant City, Lakeland, Bradenton/Sarasota, and of course the Brandon/Valrico area.
Thomas stresses that he caters to every Indian community. “We carry Hindi, Malayalee, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada film DVDs and CDs,” he says. “I am always working with the customers’ choice, not my choice.”
Grocery is open 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m.
to 8 p.m. Sunday. For information on the store at 819 E. Brandon Blvd.
(State Road 60), Oakwood Plaza, Brandon, FL 33511, call (813)
PEHCHAAN (our identity)
The South Asian American community of Tampa Bay is a growing one that continues to expand at a steady pace. We recognize that as we settle here we experience adjustment pains. These difficulties do not have to remain so or keep increasing. We can learn to solve the problems as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
We are working towards starting a non-profit organization ‘PEHCHAAN’ (Providing Educational, Humanistic and Cultural Hope for the south Asian American Network), in the Tampa Bay area. Our mission statement is to improve the quality of life for the South Asian American community through education and awareness.
We plan to have workshops on topics such as communication skills, parenting skills, stress management, anger management, values’ conflict, etc. We also would like to have group discussions for adolescents, young adults, college students, newcomers, women, men, senior adults, etc. Film and book discussions could be generated along with talks and seminars by people in the community.
We want to welcome you to volunteer your time and energy for the cause.
If you have any
questions, comments or suggestions, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (813) 810.2470.
On June 17, the annual Saint Annamacharya Jayanthi was celebrated at the Hindu Society of North East Florida temple in the Jacksonville/Orange Park area. The mystic saint composer of the 15th century is the earliest known South Indian musician to compose songs called “sankeertanas” in praise of Lord Venkateswara.
Devotees presented a Sankeerthana, followed by five songs in praise of Saint Annamacharya, composed by his son and grandson. This was done as per tradition in Thirumala Devasthanam in Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh. The group song was followed by a rendering of Annamacharya Keerthanas by individual devotees.
Story provided by Hindu Temple of Florida
More than 400 people are expected to attend the eighth annual Health Fair on Saturday, July 8, organized by the Hindu Temple of Florida, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. The 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. event in the temple’s community hall has been coordinated once again by Dr. Renuka Ramappa along with a group of volunteer physicians, pharmaceuticals representatives and health care professionals. Screenings are conducted for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, osteoporosis, dental problems, obesity, eye and hearing exams, and more. This year, the organizers will be introducing information on anti-aging, overactive bladder, anaphylactic reactions. The screenings are free and so is the medical advice provided by expert physicians. There also will be discussions on various health awareness topics. New this year, Dr. Ramappa will be introducing information on anti-aging.
“One of the aims of conducting the Health Fair is to inculcate a sense of health awareness among the members of the community so that they may take care of themselves before they get into serious medical problems,” said Dr. Ramappa.
ST. AUGUSTINE LYRICIST RELEASES CD IN ATLANTA
Dr. Uma Eyyunni
On June 10, Dr. Uma Eyyunni of St. Augustine had the honor of her music CD released by Padmabhushan Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna at a Hindu Temple Of Atlanta.
The well-known Carnatic music stalwart from India enthralled the audience in a fully packed temple auditorium and, after his recital, released the audio CD “Samarpayami.” The lyrics are in Sanskrit, divided into three main chapters.
Dr. Balamuralikrishna rendered his unique voice to the beautiful yet simple lyrics under the titles of “Sapta swarajhari -- about the basic musical notes; ”Navavidha bhakthi” -- the nine forms of devotion; and “Adwitheeyam Sankhya kadhanam,” denoting the prominence of numbers in mythology. The music was composed by B.V. Balasai of Chennai and the English voice overlay was done by Eyyunni with electronic support from Srinivas Kishore of Tallahassee.
Proceeds from the
sale of copies sold that day were donated to the Hindu Temple Of Atlanta.
The audio CD can be purchased from www.pranavamusic.com
on the Web.
Story provided by Dr. M. C. Jothishankar
Bradenton/Sarasota community enjoyed a blissful experience this summer. Kids from the ages 7 through 13 attended a Kids Yoga Camp June 9-18, organized by Isha Yoga Foundation. The camp took place at the Tara Preserve Community Center in Bradenton.
Isha Yoga for Children offers a unique possibility for every child to experience a joyful blossoming of their natural potential. Isha Yoga celebrates the natural gifts within every child beginning with the wonder and sense of oneness with life. The program provides a learning experience and exploration of fun, love and joy.
The word Isha means the formless primordial source of creation and Isha Foundation -- a non-profit organization founded by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev -- plays a vital role in the well-being of the individual and the world. Sadhguru introduces yoga as a science for expansion of human consciousness and a modern day tool to live in health, inner peace, freedom and bliss.
With the success of this program and the overwhelming response, Isha volunteers Mohan Govindan and Jothishankar are working towards the next steps of bringing Sadhguru – a five-day program called Inner Engineering for adults -- to the Tampa Bay area in early November.
Two temples in Florida
- Hindu Society of Central Florida (HSCF) in the Casselberry/Orlando
area and the Swaminarayan Temple in Lakeland – are celebrating
their one-year anniversary in July.
In June 2005, the
temple celebrated its Mahakumbabhishekam with ancient rituals in a joyous
atmosphere. The five days were full of awe-inspiring ancient rituals.
More than 5,000 devotees attended the pujas. Planning for last year’s
temple opening ceremonies took a great deal of effort; Anil Deshpande,
chairman of the Mahakumbabhishekam organizing committe, with the help
of various committees and hundreds of volunteers, worked on it for more
than a year. Shan Shankar, a volunteer at that event, says it honed
his organizing and leadership skills since he had to “keep track
of inventory of over hundreds of items for 80 events during the whole
week.” The July pujas will require a similar high degree of planning
For more information on the HSCF temple at 1994 Lake Drive in Casselberry, call (407) 699-5277 or click on www.hindutempleorlando.org
The Swaminarayan Temple in Lakeland also will be holding its first Patotsav (re-consecration ceremony) from July 12-16. “There will also be Pran Pratishtha for the ShriNathji and RamChandraji Murtis at the same time,” says organizer Dilip Shah. “As far as we know, this will be the first temple in Florida to have the ShriNathji Murti.”
For more information on the Lakeland temple at 2793 New Tampa Highway, call (863) 682-8260.
Taraana presents 'Jhankaar' in Tampa
Story provided by Taraana School of Music
About 270 people attended a multi-lingual, multi-cultural variety show, ‘Jhankaar,” recently at the Hindu Temple of Florida in Tampa. The evening show was presented by Sharmistha Banerjee, founder of 'Taraana' School of Music (www.taraana.org)
Participating in this celebration of the New Year (many Indian states welcome their new year during April and May) were 53 local artists, adults as well as teens and kids.
dinner was served during the ticketed show.
It is time for the Tampa Bay community to have a forum where voices can
be expressed, respected and heard. This column will provide just such
a corner. In time, I hope there will be enough interest generated when
you, the reader, will begin to request certain topics of discussion.
Check out the new recipes submitted by Khaasbaat readers from all over Tampa Bay. Also read features on new food businesses and books. Read Story
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