It was more than a decade ago when we moved into Charmwood Village and into our flat in Cliffton Apartments .This was the first time we were staying in a flat we owned; it was a wonderful feeling to live in our own home. We settled down quickly enough, as Ramesh and Jaya were next door and helped us a great deal. We had a good set of fellow residents in Cliffton , who made living there pleasant .You can have stand offish neighbours who remain cool and aloof and make you want to stay out of sight most of the time .
When Deepa fell ill we moved to Sheikh Sarai and since then have been living there. Deepa’s well again and back to her usual active self but it seems necessary to stay on at Sheikh Sarai, as it would mean security and company for her mother. After some deliberation we decided to sell our flat in Charmwood Village and invest in another in Noida.
Things moved rapidly once we had made up our minds and now the sale has been closed, the flat vacated and the keys handed over to the new owner. It was a whirl of activity much like the way we moved in 1998. We had to move out of our rented flat in Alaknanda at relatively short notice and had decided to finally purchase a house of our own. Ramesh and Jaya being in Charmwood influenced our decision and in less than a month we had completed all the formalities of purchase ,including securing a bank loan .In less time than it would have taken to buy household appliances , we were in our new flat.
There was no feeling of nostalgia or regret at leaving. It was a decision that needed to be taken, and with the minimum of emotion, it was time to say good bye. When I look back at what may have been the major events in our lives during our stay in Charmwood Village, the most significant from a professional perspective, would have been leaving Xerox and setting up a business of my own. I had established a home office at Cliffton Apartments and quite liked the way things were shaping up. However I was induced to re join HCL and a new stint in the Corporate world would start .It was a wonderful experience by and large and a period around which I will retain great memories and abundant stories to tell when indeed I finally hang up my boots.
For the family, Seema’s marriage took place and such a wonderful occasion that was .We had the most beautiful of family events; again something that we will cherish for all times to come. Shirish found his wings and headed off to Canada to do his under graduation in engineering from McGill University, Montreal .He settled down very well and did very well in his course .He has a great launch pad for his career. We travelled abroad extensively, thanks to Nokia and also some of our partners in the Digital Entertainment business. Something I thought wouldn’t happen very much, after I left Xerox but as it turned out, we travelled more than ever before and that included Deepa.
The lows were when Deepa fell ill and we moved out from Charmwood .It was a terrible period in our lives .Thankfully it is over. The children were a great source of strength and we as a family pulled through this crisis, as they say, stronger than before.
I was hugely relieved when I moved the Gohonzon to Sheikh Sarai. We had not being staying in the flat for close to three years and the place was dusty and un kept. The Gohonzon has no place in a dusty deserted house. I had a simple little budsudan made, through a carpenter in the office, and the Gohonzon once again has a welcome place in a small but neat little budsudan. It seemed the carpenter sensed that a precious object of worship would be housed in the box he was making and took special care to make it well. When the Gohonzon moved out of our flat, I knew the time to sell the house had come.
Charmwood Village would never have the nostalgia associated with Hartland where I grew up .I suppose in our boyhood days we live though our dreams, forging lifelong friendships and accumulating memories. The life ahead then, appeared daunting and uncertain and we did not know where we were headed for .Living our dreams and carrying on regardless of the turbulence around us, must be the mantra for a life of sustained engagement and joyfulness.
When my boots dangle serenely from a spot I am yet to decide on, I intend to start afresh with new dreams and a new vigour and perhaps on an unchartered path, for me at least.