Growing up in an educated immigrant family, I was always taught to try my hardest, focus on my studies and be professional in everything I do. At the same time, I was expected to learn about my Gujarati culture, immerse in Western society and develop a sense of community with my surroundings. I believe it is this unique combination that has allowed me to develop passions outside of my profession, and enabled me to become who I am today. These days, I spend my free time exploring and pursuing my passions.
Basketball - From childhood to present, I have always been drawn to basketball, primarily because it is a fast-paced team sport in which my lack of athleticism could easily be countered through strategic thinking (pump fakes, high-arcing shots, quick releases, footwork) and team defenses. It helped that my hometown Lakers were always a dominant force, and that most of my friends spent their free time on the blacktop emulating their game after their favorite superstar. I strangely liked to emulate my favorite role players (think slow-moving big men with a knack for passing and shooting). These days, as my athleticism continues to remain non-existent, I continue to love the game and play in multiple rec leagues where I can finally put to use my veteran moves that I've been practicing since a kid.
DIY - While I have a desk job by day, I love spending time doing hands-on projects around the house. From gardening (and getting to play with chainsaws and other power tools) to improvements around the house (replacing floors, building outdoor seating and decking, updating electrical), I learn by doing and lots of research online. Thankfully, I also happen to have an extremely handy wife and friends with lots of experience. My family laughs at the fact I like to stroll through the hardware store for fun, but I like to use that time to clear my mind and learn about what new project I can complete next.
Travel - Who doesn't like going on vacation? Needless to say, this is probably everybody's real passion - getting out and exploring - but day-to-day life tends to prevent this from being reality. Thankfully, my wife and I have been able to take a number of exciting adventures abroad, and continue to attempt to do so each year. My favorites include an African safari in Tanzania followed by relaxing on remote beaches in nearly uninhabited areas of Seychelles and spending our honeymoon visiting Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories of Canada in freezing weather to see the Northern lights.
Real Estate - Growing up in Los Angeles, it's impossible not to be fascinated by real estate. I have always had a fascination with the various factors that go into the buying/selling of residential real estate. I have been fortunate to be involved in the decision making of multiple real estate purchases (family, friends, my own) and love bringing logic and objectiveness to what is often an emotional, subjective decision.