Apart from the 21 years she spent growing up in Mumbai, the place Shalini Madaras has lived the longest is in Wilton. My husband Bill and I arrived in the United States July 4, 1990, she says. Bills office was in Greenwich so I researched the towns in Fairfield County. Wilton seemed the ideal place. It was close to everything, had a strong sense of community and Shalini liked the single school system.
Shalini suffered severe culture shock, which, she says, was no surprise. I left India when I was 21 to work in Bahrain for Gulf Air, she says. She spent the next two years flying all over the Middle East. In the meantime, her fiancé traveled all over India and Asia. They were married in her parish church, St. Stevens in Bombay (Shalini cant quite bring herself to call it Mumbai).
The couple lived all over Asia. First in Hong Kong, then in Taiwan where Shalini took Mandarin classes and had two children, Nick and Marie. Five years later they were in New Delhi during the political unrest following Rajiv Ghandis assassination. Another year in Hong Kong and then the big move to the U.S.
Everything was different. I'd had no Western influence in my upbringing. In Asia everyone had help at home. Here you have a do-it-yourself culture, says Shalini. She quickly got into the spirit of things and signed her children up for art classes and sports. Then she found herself coaching her daughters kindergarten soccer. I had no idea about the rules or anything, she says reminiscing about the time the entire team ran off the field during a game to check out the ice cream truck.
Today Shalini Madaras has her own company, Silver Pine Real Estate . My mother was a real estate investor in Bombay so I was exposed early on to the business, she says. Shalini worked for Realty Seven and Country Living before deciding to branch out on her own. Shalini and her family suffered a terrible tragedy in 2006 when Nick was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq. Shalini says that something about Nicks death inspired her take the plunge and go solo. I have a good understanding of how the whole market works, she says. It is very important to understand each property, find whats special about it and then identify the target buyer.
Shalini Madaras is planning to return to India this year and its more than a quick trip home. Shes organizing a tour of northern India from October 31 to November 16 and the best thing is you can go too. Get more information on this great tour here .
Have you ever been to India? Tell us below.
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