Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Happy Diwali


Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay is hosting a Diwali Dinner with Bollywood entertainment and Annual Election on Saturday, Oct. 21, at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. The event, which begins from 4 p.m., is free to GSTB members; non-members are $25 per person. Everyone is requested to report first to Jain Temple next door for registration, election vote and check-in. For information, call Ravi Patel at (727) 692-6399, Ajit Shah at (813) 373-9726 or visit www.gujaratisamaj.org

Ambaji Mandir at 10991 58th St., in Pinellas Park, will hold Dhanteras Mahalaxmi Pujan at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 17. Diwali Puja will be at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. New Year Annakut will be at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 20. For more information, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685 or visit www.ambajimandir.com

Laxmi Narayan Mandir, 4615 George Road, Tampa, will hold Dhanteras Mahalaxmi Pujan at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 17. Diwali Puja will be at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. New Year Annakut will be at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 20. For information, call (813) 444-9786.

Sanatan Mandir in Tampa will hold Dhan Teras/Laxmi Puja at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. Gujarati New Year Bhajan Sandhya will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 20. The mandir is at 311 E. Palm Ave. For information, call (813) 221-4482 or visit www.ourmandir.org

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir will hold Chopda Pujan and Diwali on Oct. 19. Annakut Darshan will be from noon till 7 p.m. (aarti every hour) on Oct. 20. BAPS is at 9556 E. Fowler Ave. in Thonotosassa. For details, call (813) 986-5473.

Rajasthani Association of Tampa Bay will hold its Diwali celebration on Oct. 21. For participation and other details, call Rashmi Jakhotia at (813) 962-4172.

Hindu Temple of Florida in Tampa, 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa will hold Lakshmi Pooja at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19. Mahalakshmi abhishekam will be at 10 a.m. on Oct. 20. Deepavali cultural program will be from 3 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the temple hall followed by fireworks and mahaprasad. For information, call (813) 962-6890.

Shree Raam Mandir, 7411 E. Comanche Ave., in Tampa, will hold its annual Diwali from 6 p.m. Oct. 14. The program includes songs, music, dance and drama. For information, call (813) 334-0443.

Maayboli Melawa Tampa Bay (MMTB), a not-for-profit organization for promoting Marathi culture, will celebrate Diwali from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at HCC Brandon, 10414 E. Columbus Drive, Tampa. The event is free for MMTB members and $20 for non-member adults and $10 for children above 10 years. For information, call Rajan Pednekar at (813) 546-1330, Aishwarya Pednekar at (813) 546-1331 or visit www.mmtbusa.org


FORT LAUDERDALE: The Indian Regional and Cultural Center will hold its Diwali festivities from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 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 Sanjay Gupta, CPA, at (954) 461-4003, Dr. Durgesh Thaker at (954) 554-8739, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.irccflorida.com

PALM BEACH: And the Palm Beach India Association will celebrate Diwali on Oct. 21. The venue is yet to be confirmed. For details, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.gopbia.com/

Also, the 10th annual Divali Nagar will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 14 at Coral Springs Sportsplex, 2575 Sports Plex Drive. Entrance is $5 adults, kids under 5 are free; parking is $5. For information, call (954) 846-9895 or visit www.divalinagar.us


Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry will celebrate Diwali and Annakut on Oct. 21 with a cultural program from 4 p.m. followed by fireworks and mahaprasad. For information, call (407) 699-5277, e-mail [email protected], or visit www.hindutempleorlando.org

Indian Cultural Association of Orlando will hold its fourth annual Diwali Gala dinner from 6 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 7 at The Westin Lake Mary, Orlando North, 2974 International Parkway, Lake Mary. Tickets are $30 per person. For information, call Raj Patel at (407) 335-0485 or visit www.icsocfl.com

Orlando Marathi Mandal will be celebrating Diwali on Oct. 29 at the Hindu Society of Central Florida community hall, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. For details, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.orlandomarathi.com

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, 1325 W. Oakridge Road, Orlando, will have Kids Diwali celebration from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 14. Diwali and Chopda pujan will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 and Annakut the next day. For information, call (407) 857-0091.

Gujarati Society of Central Florida will celebrate a Diwali Jalsa Night from 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, 1 Grand Cypress Blvd., Orlando. There will be social hour, dinner and entertainment. Early bird special for society members is $65 per person; non-members are $130 per person; for information, call (407) 374-3470 or visit www.gujaratisocietycfl.com

Association of Asian Cultural Festivals will present its 20th annual free Diwali Mela from 4 p.m. on Oct. 7 at Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola, 101 Rosalind Ave., Orlando. For more information, call Lallman Persaud at (407) 202-2161 or e-mail [email protected]


Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will celebrate Diwali at 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 at Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave., Bartow. Tickets are $35 per person. For more information, call Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294 or visit www.bscfl.com

Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple (ISSO), 2793 New Tampa Highway, Lakeland, will hold Family Funday (free entry) on Oct. 8, Kali Chaudas (Hanumanji Poojan) from 5.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 18, New Year’s Aartis Oct. 20 and Annakut from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 21. For information, call (863) 687-4776 or visit www.issolakeland.org


Shirdi Sai Florida Center, 4707 S. Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness, will celebrate Deepavali on Oct. 19 and New Year’s Day the next day. For timings and other details, call (352) 860-2181.


India Association of Fort Myers will celebrate Diwali from 6 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 21 at Southwest Florida Event Center, 11515 Bonita Beach Road S.E., Bonita Springs. For information, visit www.iafortmyers.org


Indian Student Association at University of Florida will hold its Diwali show on Oct. 27 at Curtis M. Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road, Gainesville. Doors open at 6 and the “The Evolution of Bollywood” themed show begins at 6:30. For information, call Isha Kothari at (904) 716-0440 or email [email protected]


The Indian Association of the Space Coast will hold Diwali and annual dinner from 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd. For more information, call (321) 271-7072 or visit www.iascbrevard.com

Manav Mandir will hold Diwali celebration/Lakshmi Puja at 6 p.m. on Oct. 19, and Annakut the next day. The temple is at 7400 Waelti Drive, Melbourne. For information, (321) 426-0668, email [email protected] or visit www.mmbrevard.org


Gujarati Samaj of North East Florida will celebrate Diwali on Saturday, Oct. 21, at Morocco Shine Center Auditorium, 3800 Saint Johns Bluff Road S., Jacksonville. Doors open at 3:30 with entertainment from 5 followed by dinner and dancing. For tickets and other information, call (904) 307-8420 or visit www.gsnef.org

Also, Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will hold its Diwali party from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 28 at Morocco Shine Center Auditorium, 3800 Saint Johns Bluff Road S. There will be food, dance and music. For tickets and more information, text (904) 329-5838 or visit www.jaxics.org

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Photo credit: Susana Millman

Zakir Hussain

Presented by Asian Cultural Association, “CrossCurrents” takes the stage on Nov. 4 in Orlando. Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain’s “CrossCurrents” addresses the intersection of jazz and Indian music in this unique fusion performance. The acknowledged master of Indian tabla has joined forces with the renowned jazz bassist, composer and arranger Dave Holland (who got his start with the legendary Miles Davis Bitches Brew group) to form an ensemble that pays tribute to the nexus of two improvisational music forms from opposite sides of the globe.

Though many are aware that in the 1960s American jazz performers such as John Coltrane studied classical Indian music, few know that in the 1940s, Indian performers began absorbing jazz from Hollywood musicals, which would go on to profoundly influence Bollywood composition. This outstanding band features not only Hussain and Holland but the renowned New York jazz saxophonist Chris Potter and the outstanding Bollywood composer/vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, legendary Indian jazz pianist Louiz Banks, his brother Gino on drums, and Sanjay Divecha on guitar.

The 7:30 p.m. performance will be at Bob Carr Theater, 401 W. Livingston St., Orlando. Tickets starting at $30 are available at www.drphillipscenter.org For information, call (407) 333-3667.

WHAT: “Beyond Bollywood: 23nd annual South Asian Film Festival”
WHEN: Oct. 7-9
TICKETS: Series pass - $50 or individual tickets - $11 per movie
WHERE: Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. For movie timings and other information, visit www.enzian.org or call (407) 333-3667.



“Beyond Bollywood: 23rd Annual South Asian Film Festival,” which will take place Oct. 7-9, 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.

“This year, we will also be presenting films made by our youngsters to be shown at 1:15 p.m. right before our Chhota Cinema,” said Jasbir Mehta, ACA program. Below is a synopsis of the confirmed movies to be shown during the three-day festival.



After a prophetic dream, 77-year old Daya announces to his family his time has come and he wishes to travel to the holy city of Varanasi on the Ganges to die there. The task to accompany his father falls to his dutiful and stressed accountant son Rajiv. Once they have checked into the Hotel Salvation though, Daya seems to be reinvigorated, and lifelong conflicts between father and son reemerge in this wry and heartfelt comedy-drama filled with eccentric humor.

Hindi with English subtitles; 99 minutes; directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani

Chhota Cinema: New Indian Shorts 2017

"Chhota Cinema: New Indian Shorts 2017” – 1:45 p.m., Oct. 7

Six films, including the award-winning short “Disco Obu,” “Cowboy and Indian,” “Mumbai Mornings,” “Dutee,” “Foren” and “Miles of Sand.” Audience members can vote for their favorite to receive an Audience Award.



Winner of the Documentary New Director Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, “A Suitable Girl” follows three young women in India struggling to maintain their identities and follow their dreams amid intense pressure to get married. Intimately documenting the matchmaking process over four years, the film examines the women’s complex relationship with arranged marriage, family, and society.

In English and Hindi with English subtitles; 99 minutes; directed by Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra

Khoj (The Lost)

KHOJ (THE LOST) – 2 P.M., OCT. 8 (Florida Premiere)

In this award-winning crime thriller, a police inspector searches for the missing wife of a local doctor after neighbors complain of hearing screams from his house. What follows is an intricately plotted tale of infidelity, revenge and blackmail, as the quaint little misty hill town of Rimtik is shaken to its core as the officer digs deep into the doctor’s unusual life.

Hindi and Nepali with English subtitles; 116 minutes; directed by Arka Ganguly



In this lavish, sweeping historical epic, Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) stars as Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India. Arriving at Delhi’s palatial Viceroy’s House in 1947 to oversee handing the country back to its people, he and his wife (Gillian Anderson) negotiate with Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim leaders as conflict erupts and two independent nations are carved out of the subcontinent.

English; 107 minutes; directed by Gurinder Chadha

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