Reza's Travel Blog

Travels to Bombay and beyond...

January 26, 2007

Naghmeh Dashti and Reza Shirazi wed

This post is a shameless imitation of my favorite section in the Sunday NY Times: Weddings & Celebrations.
Before reading, you can see photos of our Nikkah.
Naghmeh & Reza - Nikkah

Naghmeh Dashti, daughter of Nargis and the late Habib Dashti was married on January 2nd to Reza Shirazi, son of Mohtaram and Baaqer Shirazi. Agha Hadidi was the mullah who officiated the nikkah ceremony at the bride's mother's home in Bombay.
The bride, 33, returned to Bombay in late 2005 from the U.K. after completing her M.B.A. at Durham University and working for two years. Her father was the owner of City Bakery, one of Bombay's more popular and successful bakeries. The bakery is now run by two of her brother's, Jafar and Mehdi. Her third brother, Hassan is a surgeon in Manchester, England. Naghmeh’s mother will soon be a grandmother for the second time. (Mehdi and Laila will have a baby in April. Hassan and Andrea have 2 year old twins.)
The bridgegroom, 37, graduated from UT Austin and has made Austin his home for the last 15 years. He works at LCRA. His father owns Cole Paints & Contracts Pvt. Ltd. in Bombay. The bridegroom's mother hopes to be a grandmother soon.
It all began when Naghmeh's aunt Iran saw her at Mehdi's (Naghmeh's brother) wedding in January. She suggested to Reza's mother that the two of them be introduced. Reza's mother called him and he ho-hummed - another introduction - sure. Iran sent him a photo. "She looked so sweet and positive; I was intrigued," he said. "So I sent back my bio-data and photo to her family."
"I never wanted to go to the U.S.," Nagmeh recalls. "But as my father was reading his bio-data, he read out that Reza does Meals On Wheels. If he delivers meals to the elderly, he probably is a nice person. It also said he was a writer, and I have always wanted to marry a writer. So I sent him an email with a little about me (against my parent's advice)."
Before deciding to call Naghmeh, Reza asked his brother Mimo and his wife Nazneen to meet her. Mimo called him the next day and said, "She is real easy to talk to. But why are you letting mom introduce you to someone," (which is a ringing positive endorsement from him). Naz said, "She is cute; you must call her."
And so he did on Febuary 26, 2006. After two days of brief phone calls with polite conversation, Naghmeh started the thrid phone call with, "Can I ask you some serious questions." And two and a half hours later, after talking about marriage, kids, money, religion and lifestyle, Reza called his mother and said, "I talked to her for two and a half hours!"
From that day, they talked on the phone twice a day, every day. (The calling card company was suddenly flush from one customer.)
"Three weeks into talking to her, I knew that she was the one," said Reza. "We had never met one another, but I felt right about this. They say, you will know it when you meet the right person. I had never believed that until it happened to me.”
Naghmeh remembers, "I told him that we will decide after we see one another in person. So he got a ticket to come down to Bombay in the third week of April. I went to the airport to pick him up. Who knows how we would have found one another in the mess of a crowd outside the Sahar airport. But at one point, I turned around and he was standing there with that big smile. It was like a movie; the lights brightened and the music started."
After meeting one another's parents the next day, plans were set for their engagment a few days later.
"My dad and her dad went and found a hall and got it all organized. Phonecalls were made. I bought my sherwani (She had her ghaghra-choli already). We went and got her engagement ring. And the next thing you know April 19th was here, and we walked into Mayfair hall where eighty people waited to celebrate our engagement (pictures)."
"Reza came and visited again in July for a week. And after that we would count the number of weekends before he came in December. It seemed shorter than counting days," said Naghmeh. "We applied for a fiance visa and I got so stressed because my Iranian passport had caused me all kinds of visa grief in the past. But it went suprisingly smoothly."
All was going well till mid-October. Naghmeh's father had a massive heart attack and passed away.
"She was devastated and it was so hard to be thousands of miles apart," remembers Reza. "We changed our plans for a big wedding to a small ceremony at her mother's house. We would have loved to have all our family and friends there, but it did not seem appropriate. It was a difficult couple months, but we did well together," said Reza.
December brought some bright news: Naghmeh's fiance visa was approved. Reza flew into Bombay on December 16th and after many hectic days of socializing and preparing for the nikkah, they were wed on January 2nd in the company of their immediate family and a few friends.
So seven months after they applied for the fiance visa, Naghmeh flew back to Austin with Reza on January 6th. The house has been de-bachelorized and they are settling into their new life together.