Monday, July 2, 2007

Balwinder Singh "Balli"

One day out of the blue, I received a phone call at about 11.30 PM from a caller saying "Hello Balli, ITS YOUR MITRA DEVENDRA". I was bit surprised to listen to a pure Hindi accent after so many years. I could only recognized once the caller identified him as "LLOYD" and mentioned PET first batch of MBM Engineering College. It was so pleasant to hear from Devendra after 20 years. He indicated that he is launching the MBM 1983 PET 1 Yahoo Group to re-connect one more time, and asked me to share my journey since 1988.

After leaving Jodhpur, I worked for a Construction Company (in Delhi) at Escorts India Limited (Faridabad) for a total about 2 years.

Married to Harpal in 1990 and moved to Canada in 1991. It was not a very good economic time in North America due to sever economic recession and the construction industry was at the fore-fronts. I had to resort to odd jobs to survive and joined University of Waterloo to complete M.E. Those days were tough as I was working nights and going to university during the days. Finally, I finished my M.E. in Geo-environmental Engineering, economy started to improve and God helped me to land a job with a well known consulting company. After working for five years for them they offered me part ownership which I accepted and am still with the same company.

It has been really rewarding as I have worked on some of the high profile jobs such as extensions to CN Tower, and Sky-Dome (some of which you may have heard of) as well as the foundation design for the tallest tower in Toronto. Last year, I was also nominated and selected to serve as Secretary for the CGS (Canadian Geo-technical Society, SOS).

I have been to India about 3 - 4 times since then, but trips were generally limited to family visits except for the last time when I had an opportunity to meet Prem Raj and Bharat Bhushan Ghai.

Some notes on other fronts, I have two Children (Son - Tajinder; and Daughter -Divya).

If anyone of you are planning a trip to this side of the world, please advise. I will be very delighted to host you/your family. The added incentive is that I live only 1 and 1/2 an hour drive from Niagara Falls. Also, Canada is a good country to visit. Not saying it because I live here, I have travelled extensively around the world in last 15 years and the only country which I can call good to live (after of course India where we grew up) is Canada. Hey, its my personal opinion and is not intended to evoke any fiery comments from my friends. I think the main reason is that every one in Canada is an immigrant, some came years and some decades ago, so you belong to it as any body else. Also, south-Asian community is very influential in all walks of life including on the economic, academic and political fronts.

I have uploaded some of my Photographs. It is very interesting to see photographs on the Group page. I urge you all to upload your photos as it jogs our old memories. Specially looking at Devendra, Premraj and Jatav's photo from college days; brought back all those good memories.

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