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Limaye finds Madison’s Southern charm as irresistible

MADISON – “Madison is a charming town,” Ashutosh Limaye said. “The Southern charm of Madison is irresistible.”

Growing up in a town of similar size in India, Limaye always has felt ease in small communities “where we know tons of people. A town where a grocery store stop includes time buffers for chatting with neighbors and acquaintances,” he said.

Being boxed in by Huntsville and Limestone County guarantees that “Madison will stay small and accessible to everyone.”

The sheer number of professionals and intellectual depth that Madison has attracted amazes Limaye. “The result is a thriving community, one where schools are great and parents are actively involved.”

For example, take Madison’s chess program. After starting at Rainbow Elementary School, chess teams have spread “like wildfire across the city. All in a tiny town? I love Madison because it’s an excellent place to raise a family,” he said.

The comfort of his small hometown, Pen in Maharashtra state of India, never left him. The townspeople knew the family because Limaye’s father was the only radiologist. He had to live in a large city to attend Pune University but always looked forward to going home.

Limaye has lived in large cities, like Mumbai, India where “one is lost in a shuffle of millions” and college towns, like Logan, Utah, where “the town’s character is exclusively defined by the school. I like the happy medium of Madison.”

While at Utah State University to earn master’s and doctorate’s degrees, Limaye “fell in love with the United States.” In 1997, he came to Huntsville to work for NASA’s Global Hydrology and Climate Center and moved to Madison in 2000. “Madison’s Southern charm has always made my wife Manisha and me welcome,” he said.

Married 20 years, the Limayes have two daughters. Aditi is a 17-year-old junior at Bob Jones High School. Maanasi, 14, is an eighth-grader at Discovery Middle School. Manisha works as a software engineer at Adtran.

He volunteers for Madison schools with math, chess and band and also at their temple, Hindu Cultural Center of North Alabama.

Ashutosh serves as chief scientist for SERVIR, a NASA-US Agency that gathers observations from NASA’s fleet of satellites. SERVIR is active in East and West Africa, Mekong and Himalayas.

The Limayes like Casa Blanca for “the best Mexican food. Management is humble, hardworking and customer-centric. It embodies all things Madison,” he said.

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