In other words, why I haven’t been around to reply to your comments, publish a new post, stop by your blogs, respond to your e-mails, or greet you on Facebook.
2 days before Eid:
We were at the Dragon Mart shopping for curtains, sheets, and carpet. Yes, we waited that late in Ramadan to shop. But because there’s office work during the day, Taraweeh prayers at night, followed by an hour or two of online meeting at midnight (timezone issues between colleagues, hence the crazy timings), we couldn’t find time for shopping. Did I mention the pile of laundry that I’d been trying to ignore, hoping it’ll disappear on its own? A week before Eid, my MIL arrived in Dubai to spend the holidays with us. With her came the discipline and organization that was clearly lacking in my household. So we finally went shopping for new curtains. We broke fast in the mall with dates, water, pizza, and chicken shawarma. After Ish’a prayers, we met my family for dinner at Lal Qila restaurant.
Launched in February this year, LalQila, is a Mughlai theme restaurant in Jumeirah area in Dubai with a touch of royalty and offers authentic Mughlai, Tandoori, Live Bar-B-Que and Traditional Indo-Pakistani cuisine. Apologies for not posting photographs taken by myself; I was exhausted and famished, and couldn’t think of anything else but food (although towards the end of the dinner, I ended up taking photographs of my sister which all came out blurry).
Anyway, food was great! I highly recommend their tandoori/BBQ items. And their kheer too. And their chocolate chip kulfi. All the staff were dressed like they just came out of a Mughal emperor’s court, specially Prince Saleem, who went from table to table reciting poetry in Urdu, a sword dangling from his side.
1 day before Eid:
It was the 29th day of Ramadan, and by early evening we’d know whether the next day is Eid or not, depending on whether the new moon has been sighted of not. It was another busy day, and
we I postponed cleaning the house and putting up the curtains for later in the evening. MIL complained that she feels “pain in her stomach”, so I gave her an anti-spasmodic and told her to rest. Later during the day, the pain subsided in general but her right lower area remained tender. And although she wasn’t fasting, she said she didn’t have appetite to eat. She refused to go to a clinic and remained in bed, hoping the pain will subside on its own.
Up until 8 PM, there has been no news about Eid. So Masood and I got dressed to attend Taraweeh prayers. But when we checked on Masood’s mom and urged her to let us bring her to the clinic, she finally agreed. An ultrasound was taken at the clinic and blood was drawn. Eid was declared officially by this time. The gastroenterologist and I agreed that it was very likely a case of acute appendicitis. He referred us to Dubai Hospital, where MIL was admitted in the E.R. at midnight. More tests were done (X-Ray, urine analysis, blood tests), a gynecology consultation, and IV medications. A surgeon finally arrived at 6 AM, and confirmed appendicitis. He said the cost of the surgical procedure alone would be AED 12,000 (USD 3,200). The E.R. and everything done in Dubai Hospital within the E.R. was free of charge—we didn’t pay a single dirham. We didn’t know this fact, and were genuinely surprised and grateful! But beyond the E.R., everything was expensive. We decided to send MIL back to Hyderabad.
On Eid day:
From the hospital, we drove straight to the nearest place where the Eid prayer was being conducted and reached just in time. Then we went for breakfast, booked plane tickets, then slept until 2 PM.
4 PM, we all cleaned the house, put up the curtains and carpet, changed the sheets, showered and dressed. Then my family plus another couple of guests arrived in the evening for tea and snacks.
8 PM, we drove my MIL and BIL to the airport.
The second day of Eid:
Laparoscopic appendectomy went through successfully and MIL is recovering well, alhumdulillah. Total cost came around Rs. 43,000 (AED 3,400 or USD 935) in a private hospital!
My Eid gift this year from Masood:
He saved up for this for quite sometime now so that he could buy it in cash and avoid paying interest, sacrificing on a few things that he’d wanted to buy for himself. He didn’t say that, of course, but I know. It’s a really nice, comfortable, and economical car, mashaAllah. Then we (Masood, my mom, two of my sisters, and myself) went for a long drive to Dibba, that’s located in the emirate called Fujairah.
The third day of Eid:
MIL is back home from the hospital. We’ve asked her to visit us as soon as she thinks she’s able to travel. Meanwhile, we’re back to work.
So yeah, it has been a chaotic Eid. But everything turned out OK in the end. How did you spend your Eid?
*First two pictures taken from LalQila’s website.