Well that is what I am gonna do with this post. I am gonna try and recollect my past experiences and memories that I have carried with me as I moved on from one place to another and I bet this post would sum it all for me. Of-course knowingly or unknowingly there would be a lot of people out there who would be reading this post and would be a part of my trip down this memory lane.
Crossroads of Life - "Champanivas" : 1983 - Present
Well everyone loves the place where they are born, the place where they grew up and most importantly the place which gives them a feeling of security, satisfaction and tons of memories to share about their younger years, wonder years and teenage years. It turns out to be a perfect cliche trend. Well the most wonderful memory for me about this place back in my home city Ahmedabad, is the big big compound where I used to break window glasses while playing cricket, where I used to ride my Hercules MTB bike in full speed during rains to splash mud and water all over, a place where I used to steal lemons from my neighbor's gardens, a place where I learnt driving my two wheeler and my car, a place which gives me a sense of historical importance about my forefathers when I listen to my dad's stories about his memories for this place, a place where I had my biggest celebration of winning a drawing competition, a place where I have fell down, got hurt, risen up and again fell down from trees, balconys while running away from the wrath of neighbors and relatives. This place has given me everything - memories, good and bad, a feeling about turning back home every time I feel lost. It would be sad to leave this place in some time, in the near future, and if it were in my hands, I would have never let this place go and would have re-built the Shah's Manor for me and my family to live here for more wonderful years to come. But I think I would have to part ways with this wonderful place in some time and mostly my trip to India this December would turn out to be my last stay at this place. Truly a nostalgic rememberance.
Places nearby to remember: Fashion Corner, Sanman Restaurant, Daandwalas, Tripathi Paan House, Bhatias, Deepavali Center, Mahavir Book Depot, Satar Taluka Society, Samruddhi, Sakar.
The First Pit Stop - Artesia, Shailesh Uncle's Residence, California.
Well, amazingly the first time I stepped out of the comfort of my residence above, I landed up in Uncle Sam's land, the land of dreams (concrete dreams), and I found myseld staying at my Dad's college friend's place in Artesia, Los Angeles. I remember the first 10 days I stayed at this place, and I instantly felt that this is going to be my second home equivalent to Champanivas and will be the center around which my future years will revolve. I stayed up with a friend of mine initially, and remember making everyday trips to "Surti Farsan" just round the corner on Pioneer Blvd for a treat of Indian snacks and delicacies. My stay at this place really got me settled well, and uptil now I always try to make it a point to visit them even for 5 min whenever I visit Los Angeles.
Places near by to remember: Surti Farsan, Cash n Carry, Naz8 Cinemas, Tirupathi Bhimas, Rasraaj.
The Second Light - 2717 Orchard Avenue, # 3, Los Angeles, USC.
When we initially signed up for the lease at this apartment near to my university (University of Southern California), we never knew, or did not even have the faintest of ideas, what was to come in the future years. This place was, is and will always remain closest to my heart, and no matter what, you would never ever find me get tired while talking, bragging, boasting and recollecting memories from this biggest party place that I have been a part of. I know a lot of readers of this post will go down shoulder to shoulder with me to recollect the memories spent at this place, and will get a big smile on their face just remembering those days. So I would leave it to them to post their comments for this heavenly abode. Partying, Movies, Music, Cooking, Torturing, Fighting, Cricket, MTA, USC Tram, USPS Cart, Greme (Cards), Poker, Laundry room goof ups, Mr. Bob and his station wagon, Amazon Shopping fiesta, Skipping the Rent Cheques, Bird Watching and ofcourse "studying" are a few components that make up for this place. Amazingly it is this place where roads crosses for a lot of us out here, a group that I am a part of, close friends, and as I always rightfully say - it is 2717 Orchard that gave me a second family to belong to. I really wanted to write a lot, but it would be a big big post if I try and recollect my memories in this villa. LOL.
Places nearby to remember: Electric Lotus, Santa Monica beach, JH Bazar, Mexican Hair Cutting Salon, 710 Parties, 2611 Portland, Ralphs, Several high schools for coaching, Dennys, Subway, Cromwell Cricket, Leavy Cricket, Smirnoff Ice, Malibu Rums, Bloddy Marys.
Exit Number Three - 138 N. 8th St., San Jose.
Well after spending 2.5 glorious years at USC, I found myself on road once again, travelling and shifting to a new place, a new city, a landing which would turn out to be my permanent residence till I stay in the USA before shifting back to India. The Silicon Valley as it is famously coined, the Bay Area, a place which controls almost 70-80 % of the entire planet Earth and which amazingly can absorb almost everyone who has a desire to succeed in the industry. So I stayed with my school friend (who happens to be my next door neighbor back in ahmedabad) at his place near SJSU, and those 3-4 months spent there, really helped me once again to settle down in a new environment. If you have been a true follower of my blog, and know me personally, then you can imagine how hard it would have been to part ways from Los Angeles, departing from 2717 Orchard, and getting settled in a new place, but 138 N. 8th St. gave me no time to think about all those, and I instantly got into the groove. Met a couple of past friends, used to get the biggest laughter dosage every night before sleeping and above all made some great new friends for years to come.
Places nearby to remember: SJSU , La Tequiera, Vivid Club.
Stop Sign # Four - Metro Gardens, San Jose.
Although a very brief and a short stay at this place, it gave me a wonderful feeling and memories worth mentioning as it involves my parents. We stayed here for just one month and the purpose of their trip made it all the more special. It was my graduation ceremony that they had to attend and that made this place a very memorable one to stay with mom and dad. I took them to almost all places in and near Bay Area and as an icing the graduation ceremony was the most enjoyable and proudest moment for them. For the first time in my life, I felt a great great feeling of personal satisfaction for having done something for them.
Places nearby to remember: La Tequiera, Chinese grocery store, Derasar (Temple), Santa Cruz, Napa Valley, Sausalito, San Francisco.
The Fifth Junction - 1406 Birchmeadow, San Jose.
Moving on, I along with my oldest friend from high school, and another new friend, moved into this wonderful place, a place which I would truly call the "Bachelor's Pad". The best memories of this place to start with is Partying, Partying and More Partying. One year spent at this drunkard's dungeon, brought out the real bachelor not only in me, but also in some of my friends and gave me the most wonderful freedom year of my life. No studies, only job, no girl friends, only partying, no one to bother you - just you and your freedom. Also this place saw the birth of The Immortals - the cricket team that I am a part of now, saw a lot of poker, and saw the coming of age for me personally by getting settled down in a nice little easy pace for life. Again, as always, new friends, new relations were built upon and will remain in place for years to come. But the best memory that stands out in this place, is the dance routine that was done after Thanksgiving last year in 2007. By then, certain dance styles had become trademarks for certain people.
Places nearby to remember: Taste Lounge, Milan Restaurant, Fluid SF, Stanford beating USC, Garba Nights, Mammoth Lake, Yosemite, Long Islands, Red Bull with Vodkas, Tequillas.
The Sixth Turn - 211, The Americana, Mountain View.
Ahem !!! No words how lucky and hard this place turned out to be - Lucky because the bachelors of the Bachelor Pad above got committed/engaged as soon as they started living at this place, and Hard because the FREEDOM was lost !!! LOL ... This place saw the rising of the Martyrs, people became brave enough to face the Matrimonial front, and amazingly all did good, and here we are at this last turning point in our life, where we departed ways from being a full-time bachelor to a full-time-answerable-to-fiance type person. Lol. Of-course - No regrets, no worries, and no repentations. Even though stayed at this place for only 6 months, but shared some of the greatest moments with my roommates about the banalities of marriages. We have decided to throw a party on May 15th when the lease for this apartment gets over "officially", as it did give us a hard time when moving out to a new place. But nevertheless, some great memories to cherish, immortals winning the gold cup, people getting committed, I getting engaged, shifting the rooms 6 times in 6 months lol but above all, the end of the Partying Era and the Freedom Dynasty !!!
Places nearby to remember: Chaat Paradise, Amarin Thai, Temptation, Washington Park, Remington and Mary, Lucky, Namaste Plaza, Americana Hall, Apt 511, 1 $ Scoops, Madras Cafe.
The Seventh Mile - Monte Vista, Milpitas.
Phew !!! Well here I begin a new chapter of my life, the last chapter before I get married in Dec 2009. This year to come shall see a lot of wonderful memories shape up, moments worth reminscing and events which shall be written down as time goes by. I just moved in this nice place, the center of the bay area, 3 days back, and it has already begun to show flicks of the best time I would have here before I enter the wonderful phase of marriage in almost exactly a year's time. By this same time next year, I would already be hunting for another apartment for me and Dipali to move into, to begin a new verse of my life, and also the most important one. So lets see how this stint goes around for one year.
Places nearby to remember: Derasar, Milan Restaurant, Great Mall, and many more places to come.
Well, so till next year, its the last lap for me in this race of being a half bachelor, the last pit stop for me to refil my tank with all the energy that I can gather before marriage, the last light to pass and go to the other side of the heavenly bliss(marriage lol), the last exit to take and enjoy my courtship, the last stop sign where I will halt before moving on, the last junction to cross with friends, the last turn before entering the bondages of marriage, and the last mile to walk alone before I start the walk of my life hand in hand with Dipali.
The next destinaton would be the move into a new home for me and Dipali.
Cheers to all of those wonderful people with whom I have shared my life's amazing memories in all the places mentioned above. You people rock and so does our memories !!!
Feel free to mention any places worth remembering that I have left out and you have been a part of, feel free to point out any moments which stands out whether or not I have been a part of it or not, and above all free to comment on your experiences about moving into new places as time goes by.