November 2004

 On Video Presentations and Community News

With your support and participation, we are planning for more specialised video presentations. For more information and announcements on ZSO Natak and Indian Film Festival (Duration 12:46), please click here.

The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) are partnering once again to celebrate the Third Pravasi Bharatiya Divas from January 7-9, 2005 at Mumbai. For details, please contact the closest Indian Mission or visit www. For video presentation, please click here. 

sorry for our 'Garbar Ghotala' 

Bapsy Surti's number should be 416-620-9284 not 416-628-9284 (as stated in the newsletter).

For Parsi Gujarati Natak “KAKO ATAKYO BHATRIJO LATAKYO”, please call her at 416-620-9284.

* On Video Presentations and Community News
by Rajen Merchant

" Friends :

Today, it is 29th October 2004. Your participation and support for this web site has been overwhelming since this web site started in March 1998. Now, we are ready to move on to more specialised presentations.

In fact, I wanted to place my research work in cyberspace in 1973 when I was working on my MBA  Thesis at Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario in Canada. My thesis involved Dynamic Programming, Integer Programming, and Computer Programming  in FORTRAN. During my research, I learnt about cyberspace through technical journals. I was told it was accessible to the military and some professors at that time. Indeed, computer accessibility and connectivity were serious factors that made cyberspace available to only a limited few at that time. I had to learn and use DOS commands to access a central huge computer. Later, Windows addressed the accessibility factor, and the internet resolved connectivity problems.

During the last 30 years in Toronto, three generations of my family have been fortunate enough to work with many of you closely and contribute widely to many many organizations. My mother, Sushila, now 86 years old, taught Gujarati to children in the 1970s and 1980s and worked with you during many community activities. You showed a lot of confidence in me and my wife Rekha in electing or appointing us to many senior positions in organizations such as the Scarborough Home & School Council, Friends of Scarborough, India Canada Association, Federation of Indo-Canadian Associations, Panorama India, National Indo-Canadian Council, Federation of Gujarati Associations, Vanik Samaj of Toronto, Gujarat Samaj of Toronto, Gujarati Cultural Society, Jain Society of Toronto, and Association of Women of Indian Origin in Canada. Our children Reena & Himanshu have also been involved in performing on and off stage activities in various community projects.

With your strong support, we were able to organize lectures, workshops, seminars & conferences, and to present dances, songs, skits, stage shows, radio programs, tv programs, and web casts. We were also involved in designing colourful magazines and newsletters for some organizations. My daughter Reena was invited to present her "rangolis" at Harbourfront, Canadian National Exhibition, Royal Ontario Museum, Kitchener Mela 2003, and Pickering Festival among other places and events. She was also invited to present her dances and songs at various events. Some of her rangolis and dances can be viewed at our web site.

We presented perhaps the first Gujarati TV program in the world in 1981 in which many of you were involved. Soon after that I was lucky to be perhaps the first Gujarati to become a member of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, & Radio Artists). Soon after that we also presented Women's World and Heritage of India on Global TV through Sounds of Asia.

During last six years, with your participation, we could integrate our contacts, leadership, artistic, & administrative skills and knowledge with our vision to present one of the few large web sites with many many hours of unique video files on many subjects.

"Thank You Canada", "NRI Women in Visual Arts", "A Tribute to M G Vassanji", and "Symposium on Current Public Health Issues" are examples of this unique integration where we have been able to involve many of you and your community groups along with charitable organizations, corporate sponsors, various government agencies, politicians, and other professionals.

Now, we plan to offer more specialised presentations such as Glory of Gujarat, Women's World, Heritage of India and more. We will be happy to incorporate your ideas, dreams, projects, and community announcements. We know, as usual, you will join us whole-heartedly in bringing this vision to a reality.

We will announce more details in the near future.

Thank You."

To view this video presentation along with announcements on ZSO Natak (by Nilufer Mama & Russi Surti) and Indian Film Festival (by Amar Mukherjee) (Duration 12:46), please, click here.

* "Voice Cultivation from a South Asian Perspective" has been rescheduled to the first three Wednesdays of November (November 3, 10, & 17). For details, please call Sally Jones (Rasik Arts) at 416-654-9231.

* Centre for South Asian Studies  & South Asian Studies  Programme, University of Toronto present Indian Film Festival on Saturday, October 30, 2004 and Saturday, November 6, 2004. For details, please call Amar Mukherjee at 905-202-3823.

* Error Correction
Zoroastrian Society of Ontario presents a Garbar Ghotala Dhamaal-Waalo Parsi Gujarati Natak "KAKO ATAKYO BHATRIJO LATAKYO" on Saturday, November 6, 2004. For details, please call Bapsy Surti at 416-620-9284 (Not 416-628-9284 as stated last time).
For more information on ZSO, please click here. For reviews on Natak, please click here.

* Error Correction
The Royal Ontario Museum presents "A Tantric Evening" on Wednesday, November 10, (Not November 13 as stated last time) 2004. For details, please call 416-586-5700 or click here.

* Fund Raising Event For Rupert Singh - A Cultural Evening of Music & Dance has been organized (in aid of his life saving brain aneurysm surgery) on Saturday, November 6, 2004. For details, please call Robo Studio at 416-282-7675.  


* The Prayer Wheel Foundation has organized “THE PRAYER FESTIVAL” on Saturday, November 13, 2004. For details, please call Marco Mascarin at: (416) 537-0928 or click here.

* Vanik Samaj of Toronto has organized Annakut on Sunday, November 21, 2004. For details, please call Abhay Kadakia at 416-749-6313.

* Jain Society of Toronto is planning for Diwali celebrations on Sunday, November 21, 2004. For details, please call Vishakha Varia at 905-793-9567 or Jaswant Shah at 416-439-3086.  

* The Vedanta Society of Toronto will hold its Annual General Meeting at 11:00 a.m. and RAMNAM at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 21, 2004. For details, please call 416-240-7262.

* Young Professionals of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce presents “LIGHTS….CAMERA….ACTIONon November 24, 2004. For details, please call their office at 416-224-0090. 

* The 16th annual Drug Free Marshals” Christmas Street Festival sponsored by the “Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life” Campaign established by the Church of Scientology of Toronto will be held on Saturday, November 27, 2004. For details, please call Melanie Dickson at 416-203-9890. 

* Milliken Mills Lions Club, Markham is organizing its 7th annual "Festival Of Lights" - gala Dance and Dinner night on Friday, December 3, 2004. For details, please contact Lion Gobind Sharma at 905-471-0899 or 

 * Madresa Ashraful Uloom is a registered charity since 1993 working to provide education in an Islamic environment with special attention paid toward upbringing of future generations. They have been running two campuses in Scarborough and Etobicoke (Canada). They have acquired a former 110-acre 80,000 sq. ft. boarding school. Renamed Darul Uloom of Canada, this project is situated in Bowmanville, Ontario. To make a generous tax-deductible donation to their registered charity and for details, please call them at 416-744-8154. .

* Sepia International is pleased to present a retrospective of 45 works by the late Raghubir Singh (1942-1999) in New York from September 30-December 30 2004. For details, please call 212-645-9444.

Annual Ellora Festival, organised by MTDC, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Divisional Commissionarate, Aurangabad, will be held from 11th to 13th December 2004 at Soneri Mahal, Aurangabad (Maharashtra). Prominent Classical singers, Dancers and eminent poets have been invited for this annual event. For further information, please log on to or call India Tourism, Toronto at 416-962-3787 or Email: