Okay, so this was a busy weekday. Monday, to be precise. I rushed back home from work, cooked dinner for my girl, instructed her for the following morning, checked my mail, set out my clothes for next day and hopped into the car for a night-out. My man drove me for some most treasured moments…It was a perfect setting. The sun-kissed heritage site that nestled the Orient Guest House was at its serene best as I hugged my partner. The gleaming sandy low-rise was the only witness to our emotions.
Even as I felt the busy Bur Dubai road, where stressed-out motorists were wearing out their patience on respecting bumper distance, and heard the brakes screeching, children screaming, vendors ranting, a wave of solitude billowed our senses, the moment we felt the coarse tiles beneath.
We have passed this place a hundred times since we moved to Dubai, but never realised the wealth it beheld.
The stillness the courtyard held nudged awake memories of our childhood. The narrow alleys led to spacious courtyards that had benches beneath trees, similar to the ones we rushed to grab with our tiffin boxes in school during recess. We clicked. One for the album.
We walked past another alley when I saw a limb jutting out from the roof of an open door. Eerie. I instantly leaned for support. But after spotting two security guards on the bench at the far-end, courage seeped in my cells and I took another look at the roof. Now, I saw a palm protruding from the ceiling, as well. Eeks! I let them hang and hurried behind, when I saw the board in bold – it was an Art Hotel within the premises.
With a renewed spring in our steps, we now decided to check out the Bastakiya area, before appeasing our tummies.
We experienced a bygone era as the sikkas led us through tall wind towers and window less walls and hanging lamps on the beautifully restored almost-century old architecture.
A little away, across the street, the Arabian Courtyard was another world unto itself. Amid cafés, galleries and antique shops, we wandered soaking in the experience.
I even picked up a unique hand-made set of seed jewellery as a token of our visit.
Dinner was yum…
By 11pm we decided to retire for the night… the courtyard that took us to our room had neatly arranged antique tables and chairs, with yet another tree and, in this one was, a beverage counter.
The small-framed carved wooden door opened into an aesthetically done room that sang Arabic. Right from the décor and colours to the smell and the feel, it was old-world Arabia wrapped in modernity.
We spoke into the wee hours until our eyelids slurred our vocals…
… I was jolted awake when my phone rang.
I turned back to sleep, when it buzzed again.
“Umm”, I said dropping the gadget on my ears.
“Good morning. I’m waiting for you.”
I sneaked out carefully so as not to wake my partner up and wobbled toward the waiting car.
The husband tucked me beside him and I slept on his shoulders as he drove me back home.
Breakfast, lunch, work…My day unfolded just like another!