By ALISON GRIZZLE
Earlier this year a strand of posts on Facebook caught the attention of Homewood residents–past and present. Anoop Mishra posted, “Just moved into our new home and had first cup of coffee on the deck; one neighbor baked cookies to welcome us; another has kids the same ages as ours who have hit it off. Homewood, I think we’re gonna like it here!”
And the responses rolled in: “Yeah Homewood,” “I still miss Homewood,” “Who wouldn’t love Homewood?” “I think Homewood is the only one of the ‘burbs I could live in,” “ Homewood is lovely,” “We are in our 6th year here—know and love our neighbors—grateful for the schools.” The posts paint the picture of what everyone knows to be true – Homewood is a great place to live. And, when someone is lucky enough to return home, a certain sense of pride and satisfaction comes with the move.
Like many Homewood graduates, Mishra is making Homewood home again. The trip has been adventurous, but he is back and loving it. After graduating from Homewood High School in 1989, he attended Birmingham-Southern College, where he majored in political science. He then traveled to Szekesfehervar, Hungary, where he taught English and American history—a venture that was repeated a few years later by Tom Jeffries, a 1993 HHS graduate.
After returning to Birmingham, Mishra worked in economic development for Operation New Birmingham. Deciding to further his education, he enrolled in University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business where he earned his MBA. His experiences and degrees landed him in a strategy consulting job based in Atlanta. During this job he spent many of his days traveling to Chicago and New York.
It was while Mishra lived in Atlanta that he met his lovely wife, Manisha, on a trip to his parents’ native country, India. Anoop was visiting his family’s hometown and spending time with a friend. The friend’s wife kept insisting that he meet her best friend, Manisha. Anoop insisted back that he lived in the States, had no intention of dating someone abroad and he did not have the time to pursue a relationship. Refusing to accept his excuses, his friend’s wife introduced him to Manisha. Needless to say, a web camera and instant messaging became the new couple’s best friend. They continued to talk and got engaged in 2003.
“After becoming engaged, I realized that I needed a work-life balance, and I wanted to be back in Birmingham,” Mishra said. He began working for EDPM, a company that manages employee screening for other companies, and the couple started their family two miles from Homewood. They have two children: Annikah, 6 and Adesh, 4. Their move to Homewood has landed them in a home that the Mishras plan on occupying for a long time.
“We really liked the idea of Homewood because it was landlocked—a defined community that was stable in size,” Mishra said. “We thought that this characteristic along with the great school system helped to create stability in home values. When Manisha and I were looking for houses, we wanted to be in West Homewood because we thought that it had a great offering of newer homes in an established community.”
The Mishras chose a home in Huntington Ridge, which is a part of Forrest Brook 0.2 miles from his parents’ house. “Manisha loves the Homewood house, and she loves the area,” Mishra said.
The family has embraced Homewood and all it has to offer. Both children play in the Homewood soccer league, Annikah takes ballet at the Children’s Dance Foundation and Adesh plays t-ball at West Homewood Park. Manisha and Anoop run with a group from The Track Shack on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. “We love running through the neighborhoods,” Mishra said. “Homewood offers a safe place to run with a nice balance of flat spaces and hills.”