Toronto desis celebrate 2018 Navratri with Garba, Golu and so much more

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Navratri

Saturday, Oct. 7

Event: Disco Dandiya Dhamal

Details: Sonal Vala will belt out foot-tapping Garba tunes in this event taking place at the Brampton Soccer Centre, 1495 Sandalwood Pkwy. E. at 7 p.m.
Contact: For tickets and other information, visit here

Event: Brampton Robotics Disco Dandiya Fundraiser

Details: Team Disco Bots is organizing a Dandiya fundraiser in Brampton at the Harold M. Braithwaite Secondary School, 415 Great Lakes Dr. at 7 p.m.
Contact: For more information, visit here

Sunday, Oct. 8

Event: Mahaloya 2018

Details: Bangladesh Canada Hindu Cultural Society will be hosting its Maholoya 2018 at 16 Dohme Ave East York, Ont. M4B 1Y9 at 7 p.m.
Contact: For more details

Thursday, Oct. 11

Event: Odissi dance recital

Details: Odissi Dance, is a temple dance style, performed in honour of Lord Jagannatha. In this concert taking place at the Downward Dog Yoga Centre, 735 Queen St. W., GuruJi Devraj as well as well as Malini Guha will perform Shyameshwari. There’s a special debut solo performance by Meenakshi.
Contact: For more information

Friday, Oct. 12

Event: Diwali Razzmatazz

Details: Indo-Canada Arts Council will present its 4th annual Diwali Razzmatazz at Mississauga’s Celebration Square, on Friday, Oct 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13. The event includes Bollywood dance performances, food vendors and kids’ bazaar.
Contact: For more information, visit here

Saturday, Oct. 13

Event: Brampton Navratri Festival

Details: Friends of Gujarat will be hosting a Navratri/dandiya event at the Brampton Soccer Centre, 1495 Sandalwood Pkwy. E. at 6 p.m. with well-known singer Nilesh Parmar.
Contact: For tickets contact here

Event: Parmesh Nandi’s Raas Garba

Details: This dandiya/Garba event is taking place at the Trio Sportsplex (Turf grass), 01 Cityview Boulevard Kleinburg, Woodbridge, Ont. 4H 0T1 at 7 p.m.
Contact: For information about this

Friday, Oct. 19

Event: JSK Cricket Camp

Details: Do you love cricket? Well, then head to the Brampton Sports Centre Oct. 19 – 21 for the JSK Cricket Camp. You can get professional coaching and tips from yesteryear cricket star Mohammad Azharuddin and others.
Contact: For more information, visit here

Saturday, Oct. 20

Event: Thoda Saaf Bol (Stand-up Comedy)

Details: Abishek Upmanyu will be performing a stand-up routine at the John Bassett Theatre (Metro Convention Centre), 255 Front St. Toronto at 7 p.m.
Contact: For tickets visit here

Saturday, Oct. 27

Event: Hindustani Classical Music Recital

Details: Raag-Mala Music Society of Canada will be hosting a classical music concert with Josh Feinberg (sitar) and Manjiri Asanare (vocal), Ashok Dutta (table) at the Glen Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W. Toronto at 7 p.m.
Contact: For more information

Tuesday, Oct. 30

Event: Speed dating

Details: This Mississauga Speed Dating event s geared towards young professionals with an Indian / South Asian background looking for a classy and fun way to meet other like-minded individuals within their culture. It will take place at The Port House Social Bar & Kitchen, 139 Lakeshore Rd. Mississauga from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Contact: For more information

For a complete list of Dandiya events happening in the GTA, visit here.

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Wait, it’s only September, but how is it that there’s Garba in Toronto already?

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garba dance

Saturday, Sept. 1

Event: Rahat Fateh Ali Concert

Details: Paramount (formerly Hershey) Centre, 5500 Rose Cherry Pl. Mississauga is the place to be with well-known singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The Pakistani singer (nephew of Nusrat Ali Fateh and son of Farrukh Fateh Ali) is known for several chartbusters such as Jag Ghoomeya, Tere mast mast do naain and more. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.
Contact: For tickets to Rahat Fateh Ali concert, visit here.

Sunday, Sept. 2

Event: Krishna Janmashtami Festival

Details: Celebrate Lord Krishna’s birthday at the Shree Jagannath Temple, 9893 Torbram Rd. Brampton at 6 p.m.
Contact: For more details on Janmashtami, visit here.

Sunday, Sept. 9

Event: Seerat Fashion Show + Expo

Details: A global fashion show + expo featuring Indian as well as international designers is taking place at the Galaxy Grand Convention Centre, 200 Advance Blvd. in Brampton from noon to 6 p.m. Highlight will be a special ramp walk endearing bijis (Grandmas) will walk with their granddaughters in threads by Dinesh Ramsay, Anshul Mathur, Kesaj Couture and more. The event is by Laadliyah.
Contact: For tickets to Seerat, visit here.

Saturday, Sept. 15

Event: SNA ONAM Celebrations

Details: Sree Narayana Association (SNA) Toronto will be hosting its annual multicultural event to support Kerala Relief Fund. Festivities will take place at Chinguacousy Secondary School, 1370 Williams Pkwy. At 5 p.m.
Contact: For tickets and more visit here.

Event: 6th Annual Arohi Festival

Details: Malhaar Group Toronto is hosting an evening of classical music and dance at 4 p.m. at the Salvation Army Meadowlands, 187 Church Rd. Ancaster.
Contact: For more details on the Arohi Festival, visit here

Sunday, Sept. 16

Event: Gujarati Jalso

Details: Swar Sadhana is hosting a jalso at Castlebrooke Secondary School, 10 Gardenbrooke trail, Brampton at 5 p.m. The event will feature Gujarati folk music, sugam sangeet as well as Navratri/Dandiya.
Contact: For tickets to the jalso, visit here

Saturday, Sept. 22

Event: Garba Dhamaal 2018

Details: Sur Prem Entertainers are taking over Brampton Soccer Centre, 1495 Sandalwood Pkwy. E. starting at 7:30 p.m. for the Garbaa Dhamaal 2018.
Contact: For tickets to the Garba Dhamaal, visit here.

Wednesday, Sept. 26

Event: South Asian Speed Dating

Details: Single in the City is hosting a speed dating event for South Asians at the Duke of Somerset, 655 Bay St. Toronto at 7:30 p.m.
Contact: For tickets and other information about the South Asian Speed Dating, visit here.

Sunday, Sept. 30

Event: Must Be Kismet wedding show

Details: Must Be Kismet, a South Asian wedding show is happening at the Universal EventSpace, 6250 Hwy. 7 in Vaughan from noon to 6 p.m.
Contact: For details about the wedding show, visit here.

Hey there, Atul Khatri, welcome to Toronto

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Atul Khatri holding a kid's bullhorn.

Atul Khatri, a well-known standup comic from India, will be performing at Brampton’s Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Ln., Sunday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. This is Khatri’s first ever show in Canada. Photo courtesy of Only Much Louder

Ever wondered what would happen if a Sindhi aka Atul Khatri got hold of a calculator?

Quite simple, really. His fingers would fly over the buttons as he crunched the numbers; then he would quit his job (CEO of an IT company in Mumbai) to become a standup comic. What’s more, he will make this life-affirming decision at 45.

Midlife crisis or pure madness? who knows, but Atul Khatri, India’s famous comic, appears to be at peace having swapped the 9-to-5 rat race for the mic. And if his YouTube subscribers, Twitter, and Facebook followers are any indications, his calculated move has paid off.

“I am a Sindhi, so I had to calculate the risk of everything,” he deadpanned when asked about the switch in careers. “I realized I was making more money doing six months of standup than what I was earning at my job. The comedy scene is growing in India and I realized it would be foolish of me not to ride the wave.”

Today, Atul’s among the top 20 comics in India. And guess what? He’s coming to Toronto as part of his first-ever North American tour.

“Standup comedy is very personal and every comic has a unique voice,” Atul told Toronto Desi Diaries. “Making people cry is very easy, but making them laugh is difficult.”

After a couple of sold-out shows in the U.S., the “Horny Sindhi” as he refers to himself is coming to Canada.

Atul will be at Brampton’s Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Ln., Sunday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. Grab your tickets here or by visiting www.rosetheatre.ca or by calling the box office at 905-874-2800.

Atul Khatri holding a bullhorn

Atul Khatri, one of India’s most well-known comics will be performing at the Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Ln., Sunday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. Photo courtesy of Only Much Louder.

The Desi Family Guy

“I am Sindhi, married to a Punjabi, two of the hairiest communities in India,” he says in a hilarious sketch about meeting his wife. “It was a love marriage, we both had a common love for hair. We met a medical store while buying Gilette…”

And so it goes for the next hour with Atul poking fun at himself, his family and life as a middle-aged man.

In an exclusive chat with the Toronto Desi Diaries Atul gamely answered questions his upcoming visit to Canada and this and that.

Atul’s wife Shaguna, a professional hairstylist, traveled with him to lend him to lend him moral support during the U.S. leg of the tour.

He need not have worried. His packed shows in the U.S. brought the roof down.

Atul’s resolve to grab life (comedy) by its throat happened on Dec. 31, 2012, at the stroke of midnight.

“Everyone has this one friend that’s funny, so, growing up, I was that guy but I never imagined I would get into comedy,” Atul explains. “I think it was a mid-life crisis. That year (2012) my new year resolution was that I wanted to do something different with my life. I was 45-years-old. I signed up for an open mic, wrote a set, asked my wife to come along with me (in case I bombed terribly). But it went well and the audience voted me the winner of “CEO’s Got Talent,” I really enjoyed being on the stage and making people laugh. Within nine months I realized there was even money in it.”

In 2016, Atul quit his IT job to pursue comedy, but he tested the waters first. He was one of the early adopters of Facebook. His observations, wry sense of humour and apt take on the political happenings in India tickled people’s funny bone. Emboldened, he faced a live audience.

Is laughter the best medicine? Not to the Indian politicians

Atul’s routines are peppered with swear words and he’s unapologetic about the language.

“That’s the way I talk to my friends and I am who I am,” he says. “Yes, those words come out whenever they choose to, it’s not planned or rehearsed or written in the script. I think people laugh at the content, not the swear words.”

Taking offense to everything has become a national pastime in India. Anyone with a smartphone has an opinion, Atul observed.

The censorship has made Atul’s writing smarter and exciting because he’s able to deliver the message without stepping on the toes of the indignant netas (politicians and religious zealots).

Atul Khatri, wearing underwear with a Superman logo and carrying dumbbells

India’s well-known comic Atul Khatri. Photo courtesy Only Much Louder.

If you are ready to be shocked, awed and entertained, you might want to buy those tickets, pronto.