In 2018, Harshit and Charu visited Blackhawk for the first time and fell in love with the community. However, due to their commute to work, they needed to be based in San Jose, so a move to Blackhawk seemed like a distant dream. “I told Harshit that I would love to move to Blackhawk when we retire, as owning a home in Blackhawk any sooner than that seemed impossible, given our commute to work. However, during the pandemic, with absolutely no commute to the workplace, a family move to Blackhawk seemed like a no-brainer,” says Charu.
They found their dream house on Blackhawk Dr. and moved in March of 2021. “After living in San Jose for about 10 years, we are thrilled to now call Blackhawk home. While we had always loved the Tri-valley area in East Bay, we had never ever thought of moving here as we both had our workplaces in the South Bay Area, and we feared the commute would be intolerable. However, the pandemic changed everything!” says Harshit. “We made a bet that workplaces will change forever post-pandemic and folks would stop commuting daily. In addition, we loved the life that the Blackhawk area had to offer. It was very safe and family friendly, with newer houses and great schools. Overall, it had all the elements that we could imagine in our dream neighborhood,” adds Charu.
Charu and Harshit met via common friends in 2009 in Palo Alto and were instantly attracted to each other. Harshit had just graduated from his master’s program at Stanford and was visiting some friends. Charu was a student at University of California, Irvine. She was visiting her sister in the Bay Area and decided to meet up with some friends. On that fateful evening, Charu and Harshit met and instantly connected over common culture and language.The couple had to survive a long-distance romance while they pursued their educations and careers. “I always felt a strong energy in Harshit’s presence, I felt alive! I moved to Portland, OR after graduating from UC Irvine for a job at Intel Corporation. Harshit was working in San Francisco, but would fly to Seattle frequently for work and occasionally spend the weekends in Portland. We had a long-distance relationship for a year and a half and made some fun memories exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest together. The bond only grew sweeter and stronger with time,” says Charu.
Harshit says he couldn’t imagine life without Charu in it. “I decided it was time to take our relationship to the next level. Following traditional Indian customs, I met with Charu’s dad and was besotted. We got engaged in 2011 at Pebble Beach, CA, surrounded by close family and friends. I got admitted to Harvard Business School around the same time. After the proposal, I went on to Boston to start my MBA program, with the intent to move back to the West Coast afterwards. We decided that it would be wise for Charu to stay put with Intel on the West Coast, but we both flew cross-country almost every two weeks to be with each other.”
Charu and Harshit got married on March 15, 2012, in a royal Indian wedding in Jaipur, India at the Jai Mahal Palace. “It was a grand Indian wedding with events and celebrations lasting for a full week and guests joining from all over the globe! Two palace hotels were booked for the ceremonies. Fun fact – This was my spring break in my first year of my MBA program. While the majority of my classmates were partying on random beaches around the US, I was halfway across the world getting committed for the rest of my life,” says Harshit.
Harshit was born in northern India in a small town called Allahabad. His father was a Civil Engineer and his mother was a dedicated homemaker. Harshit has an older brother, Mohit, who also resides in the Bay Area with his family. Like most kids in India at that time, Harshit says he realized very early that excelling in academics was the only way to rise high above in economic stature, “I was successful in clearing the extremely competitive engineering entrance exams for the Indian Institute of Technology, and joined the Mechanical Engineering program at Roorkee campus. Upon graduation from IIT, I earned a coveted admit to Stanford University with a full scholarship. I decided to pursue my great American dream and landed in Palo Alto in 2007.”
Charu was born in eastern India, in a small town near Calcutta called Kalyani. Her father was a senior executive working for Multinational companies like Philips and Pfizer. Her mother was a fun-loving, vivacious woman who loved to socialize and host family and friends over. Charu went to do her Computer Science Engineering Degree from National Institute of Technology, Allahabad. Upon graduation, she got a job in Bangalore with travel opportunities to Europe. “I travelled to Spain and Italy and enjoyed my career, my dad however, envisioned bigger dreams for me to study in America and encouraged me to pursue my education further. A year later, I reached Irvine in 2008,” says Charu.
While at Stanford, Harshit discovered that his real passion lay more on the business side as opposed to Engineering. In 2011, he was lucky to get admitted to the MBA program at Harvard Business School. “It was a dream come true! After graduating from HBS, I moved to San Francisco to work for the strategy consulting firm Bain and Company, followed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Palo Alto. Today, I work as a Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Juniper Networks out of Sunnyvale, CA. The ability to transform the destiny of a company, and occasionally the whole industry, is something that gets me energized for work every day,” says Harshit.
Charu completed her undergraduate program in Computer Science and Engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India. She subsequently got her Master’s degree in the same discipline from University of California, Irvine. She has been working at Intel for more than a decade and is presently a Software Architect designing future Intel platforms and holds five US patents. “I really enjoy my work and the massive impact it creates on a global scale! The role allows me to marry my creative and technical skills into creating next generation technology that billions of people eventually use globally,” says Charu.
Both Harshit and Charu are strong believers in education and dream of a world where education is not a privilege but a basic human right. Charu volunteers to coach high school students in Oakland to pursue technical degree programs. Harshit donates to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and to organizations sponsoring girl’s education in developing countries.
Harshit and Charu are blessed with two amazing kids. Their daughter, Dia, is 4 years old and attends Blackhawk Montessori. She has a knack for composing songs and also enjoys swimming, dancing and reading. Their son, Aditya, was born on Christmas Eve 2019. He is beginning to speak words, and his loud “byes” are quite famous amongst friends and close family.
The family is looking forward to becoming more involved in the Blackhawk community and as the pandemic restrictions ease, taking full advantage of all the fun Blackhawk offers. “We love the look and feel of the community and how scenic it is. We also appreciate how safe and family friendly the neighborhood is. Having so many amenities inside the community at the country club is a big plus. We want to hit the gym regularly as well as get the children to learn and enjoy swimming and tennis. Everyone is very accomplished yet so cultured, kind and friendly in Blackhawk. We have invited several neighbors to our home as well as visited others. It is always such a pleasure to know the amazing people that live here! We’re very blessed to be in Blackhawk and share this wonderful community with you all. We would love to connect with as many folks as possible and build lifelong connections,” says Harshit.
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By Megan Scott, Resident since 2010