Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Brown Deer, WI

I am sure I wrote very little about this place on this blog. Yes, such a place exists in the US! It is a suburb of the buzzing Milwaukee city. I happened to live here for a year. And it was undoubtedly the most turbulent time of my life!

I was with GE Healthcare then and what can I say - that one year in Brown Deer saw me go to the lowest point in my life back to the highest.

It was one place where I was truly lonely - and alone - in all senses of the words. I had no friends there with whom I could socialize so home-work-home was pretty much the standard routine. Thanks to this routine, my weight was at an all time low when I was in this place - lack of avenues to eat out - I hated eating out alone, then and now!

Work was turbulent too. I had my one and only experience of being handed the pink slip - and the six weeks that followed that - I can never forget. Thanks to this really awesome manager I had there who somehow struggled to find the budget to take me back in as a contracting employee - I was back in 6 weeks. But I was at my last cent and it was a step away from either debt or back to India if I had not got back in then, that very week.

Then the constant threat of another pink slip.

And the drama for a visa. My OPT was fast expiring and we needed an H-1. Neither the client nor the employer had a policy of sponsoring H1. So we had to do a sub-contracting arrangement to get the visa done. That was the worst nightmare in all of my USCIS turmoils. Thankfully it all went through fine.

Then the high - I interviewed and got into Cisco. Where I have been since then - 10 years now almost :) That was the inflection point from rock bottom and a true 180 degree turn. Never looked back since then. I remember when packing to move to California, I was stuffing some boxes into my Honda and by the time I was done, there was a neat 3 inches of snow on all of them. I muttered one final long curse on mid-west and its winters, all the while vengefully happy that I am getting out of Wisconsin,  and left to get some dinner, packed off the car to California the next morning and had lunch with a couple of close friends who came down from Chicago and just couldn't wait to get the cab to the airport and just get out of the place. I hated it so much.

And this one year saw Subhash and me transition from friends to more albeit at long distance :) For that - it will also be very close to my heart :) Enough said. :P

Today somehow I remembered it. What with my cousin moving to the US and Subhash and I discussing our long left behind US life, I remembered this very significant one year of my life and I looked it up in the maps. The apartment where I lived, the place where I worked, the freeways, the roads, the IHOP - I never ever imagined I would miss this place. And yet, today I did. And the significance of it hit me fully. This was a place that dealt me the biggest blow in life and also taught me how to fight it, get out of it and live it up!

And for that, it will always remain a very very special place.

If I go the US again - I definitely have the Chicago-Madison-Milwaukee triangle planned for a weekend. I really need to see those home-turfs once - just to remember the old life! I missed them all today! So much! I never thought this possible 10 years ago :)


Anonymous said...

Nice post but I will tell you the midwest has the best summers and is the most beautiful at this time of the year. How do I know - well I iive here. That being said we do the same thing when we go to India. look up the street where we lived, etc. It is fun and therapeutic :-)

DivSu said...

Yeah, but the summers are too short for anyone to notice, that is the problem!!

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