We got into the elevator with a hope that the rain might stop soon. We wanted to visit some of the mosques in Shiraz but it was raining.
We were living on the 13th floor. He got into the elevator on the 7th floor and we exchanged smiles. We wished him ‘Salaam’. The three of us got out in the ground floor. We got out of the apartment block wondering how to go out in that bad weather. He came to us asking in Farsi if we needed any help. We hesitated a bit and showed him the names of the mosques that we had written down in Farsi. He smiled and asked us to get into his car and drove us all the way to the Nasr ol Molk mosque. We were so touched by his gesture but wait there was a lot more in store for us.
On the way we tried telling him our names and that we are from Hindistan(India) and that we are very grateful to him. After a while, he called someone on his phone, spoke in Farsi for a while and handed it to us. To our surprise there was an Indian on the other end! She was his colleague’s wife, Heera, who had moved to Iran after her wedding and had settled there. It felt great speaking to her!
We reached the mosque. To our disappointment, the main entrance was closed! But this man didn’t give up! He knocked the small wooden door and spoke to someone and let us in! It was a very beautiful mosque with colored glass all over the windows!
After spending sometime there he took us to another mosque – Shah Cherag which was one of the most dazzling mosques we have seen till now. We exchanged our numbers and bid him goodbye with gratitude in our heart.
Do you think we didn’t see him again? No, we did 🙂
In the afternoon he made his niece, Aana, who could speak English, call us and invite us for lunch! We went to his house, met his big family, had a very delicious meal.
And then they decided to take us for a picnic with them! All of us went to Namak Daryache (Salt lake) in the outskirts of Shiraz. It was very cold. We had piping hot Iranian chai and some snacks.
It was actually the 13th day after Nowruz. It’s called Sizdah Bedar. Families all over Iran go out into the woods and have a great time. They also have a ritual of gathering around the fire and making a wish, singing traditional folk songs and dancing.
We had to leave to Ahvaz the same night and our bus was to leave at 8 PM. This man offered to drop us off to the bus station! We were totally bowled over by his hospitality! He picked us up from our host’s place, dropped us at the bus station, waited till the bus left!!
Meet Shahrom from Shiraz, one of the most friendly and hospitable persons we met in Iran! We hardly spoke to each other due to the language barrier but we are sure he knows what we feel about him and that there is a strong friendship built between us 🙂
PS: He even called us the next day to know if we are safe 🙂