By Jawahar Malhotra
CANCUN, MEXICO: It was the stuff that Bollywood weddings are made of: 320 guests flew in from across the globe – North America, Europe, Asia, Africa – all descending on the Planet Hollywood hotel on the peninsula in the tourist playground city of Cancun. They came for a 3-day, 4-event extravaganza and royal treatment spread
out with the Sangeet on the beach, with the traditional Punjabi wedding and reception for Rish Oberoi and Alysha Alibhai.
The groom’s parents, Ricki and Dr. Asra Oberoi and his mom Nisha Smith had made impeccable arrangements that went over the top like using 20,000 roses and fresh flowers for the event; Indian food by a Taj trained chef Sanjeev Rana; live music by Bollywood violinist and singer Tabriz; Houston DJ Yogi flown in for the music and a live Bhaji band to lead the barat. And of course, the groom came on a white stallion.
The Oberois have become well known name in the Bayou City ever since Mahesh and Rupa Oberoi opened up their first restaurant – Natraj in Highland Village and later Shiva in Rice Village back in the 80s. Since then, their son Ricki has picked up the mantle with a chain of Wendy’s franchises across Texas.
The groom Rish, was born and raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Houston. He ventured into politics running unsuccessfully for State Rep and now works as Director of Development for MOVE Texas. The bride, Alysha Alibhai, was born in Vancouver, Canada but raised in Seattle where her parents Nash and Nina Alibhai own a tire and wheel business. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Law School and works at the White and Case law firm.
But though both studied at the same university, they didn’t actually meet till 2017 through a mutual friend in Austin. Two years later, while on a trip to New York in October 2019, Rish popped the question and Alysha accepted.
After getting back from the exhilarating but exhausting wedding, Rish and Alysha will make their home in the Montrose area in Houston.