Writing love: A woman called Happiness

For the Writing Love series.

One hot summer day, to be precise, one Friday the thirteenth of August, at about a quarter to three in the afternoon, I fell in love.

Three years of unemployment had robbed me of self-confidence and self-respect, but I had enrolled in a college program with the goal of acquiring a new job skill. It was the first day of classes and I found myself the lone Canadian-born student in a class of people from China, India, Pakistan, Haiti… and one intriguing- looking woman who said that she was from Iran.  She introduced herself to the class as “Shadab, but you can call me Shadi”.  The shape of her face, the colour of her complexion and the way that she carried herself with such pride and awareness were all new to me. She immediately seared herself into my consciousness, perhaps into my soul.  And, just imagine, I hadn’t yet been smitten by the honey-drenched sound of her voice, with its delightful overtones of the exotic East, or by the occasional endearing “vaht” instead of “what” and “estop” instead of “stop”.

She sat in the front row and I sat in the back row and, if I’m honest, I’ll admit that I spent much more time watching the back of her head and thinking about her than I did looking at the teacher’s blackboard scribblings. In between the lectures about credits and debits, and assets and liabilities, the sound of her unrestrained laughter brought life to the entire class, and I knew that I had to find some way to manoeuvre my way into her orbit.

Whenever possible I managed to choose her as my work partner. Once I cleverly devised a class presentation that required her participation with me. We miraculously ended up doing group projects together. We sometimes shared her snacks, although she has since told me that when she offered me her slice of pineapple one day it was actually only taaroff, a concept with which I was unfamiliar at the time, and that she was slightly miffed when I ate it. I would offer to drive her to the Métro station on cold or snowy days, and sometimes she would accept.

Then, quite unexpectedly, I was faced with one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I received an offer of a good job, but if I quit school to take the job then I would have to give up building this relationship.  By this time I knew that this woman was destined to be part of my life, and the same fate that had caused her to emigrate and which had caused us to enrol in the same academic program also provided the answer to my dilemma in the form of a ballroom dancing course that was being offered by the school. We signed up as a couple and the weekly lessons provided us with the opportunity to slowly build a solid friendship that has developed into a very happy relationship.

This woman called Happiness has enriched my life tremendously. The sum total of my knowledge of, and exposure to, Iran, Persia and Farsi prior to meeting her consisted of what I had learned in my grade 10 World History class, which was Darius, Xerxes and few classic battles. Now I follow the news from Iran, I’ve read the Shahnameh and I have laughed myself to tears with Dai Jan. I know hundreds of Farsi words and phrases, most of which I can pronounce correctly, and I’m looking forward to the day that I visit Iran to see its wonders firsthand. For this education, and for your spirit and exuberance for life and for everything that you have given to me, thank you so much.

Meet Iranian Singles

Iranian Singles

Recipient Of The Serena Shim Award

Serena Shim Award
Meet your Persian Love Today!
Meet your Persian Love Today!