Sanjay Sharma, Maggie Budzien Tie the Knot

Sanjay Sharma and Maggie Budzien after their Hindu wedding on September 22, with their parents Jay and Mary Budzein on right and Sunil and Rashmi Sharma on left.

Sanjay Sharma and Maggie Budzien after their Hindu wedding on September 22, with their parents Jay and Mary Budzein on right and Sunil and Rashmi Sharma on left.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: The summer of 2016 had been brutal as he trained for the Ironman competition and after all the workouts, one evening he was introduced through mutual friends to an attractive woman. They soon discovered that they had a common interest in the outdoors; she into baseball and photography and he into strength and endurance training. That casual meeting in June led to Maggie Budzien encouraging Sanjay Sharma on as he made it across the finish line of the Half Ironman competition in Conroe in November.

They also found out that family togetherness was deeply important to both of them and this only made the bond stronger. Maggie showed her concern and tenderness for Sanjay’s 92 year-old grandmother Shanta Sharma and he met with her parents in their home in Scottsdale, just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Though they both live in Houston, they were enchanted by the desert setting where Maggie grew up, and visited often.

Sanjay realized that the natural beauty of the rugged West was the perfect place to pop the question, but he made it even more dramatic. “We went up 6,000 ft in a hot air balloon and I got down on one knee to propose at sunrise on Christmas Eve 2017,” he recalled. Surprised, Maggie of course accepted.

Nine months later, on September 21, the two were married in Houston first in a Christian ceremony at Brenner’s on the Bayou, followed a day later by an elaborate Hindu wedding at the Hare Krishna Temple and a reception at the St. Regis Hotel.

Maggie Budzien, 32, was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona where she finished high school, before going to Arizona State University to get a degree in 2009 in Sociology, with a focus on International Business. She moved to Houston in 2011 and works as a Branch Manager for Wells Fargo Bank. Her father Jay retired from Wells Fargo as a Technical adviser after 25 years and her mother Mary is a certified financial planner. She has an older sister.

Sanjay Sharma, 38, was born and raised in Houston and went to Baylor University in Waco to get a degree in Health Science in 2003. He went to medical school at Xavier University in Aruba, then trained in Atlanta before returning to Houston to work for 5 years with Dr. Randeep Suneja, a well-known cardiologist. He later went to work with pharmaceutical companies, and has recently joined Taiho Oncology as their Medical Science Liaison expert. Sanjay’s father Sunil Sharma, who is from Jaipur, Rajasthan, owns Sunbelt Medical Corp. and his mother Rashmi (from Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh) operates a non-profit organization. He has two younger brothers.

After a honeymoon in Hawaii, the newlyweds live in Katy and Maggie has taken a keen interest in making the Indian dishes that Sanjay likes. Meanwhile, after having completed 22 half marathons, one full marathon and 2 half Ironmans, Sanjay has already started to train in earnest for the Full Marathon in November 2019 in Cozumel.