“We are moving to Dubai”, said my husband when he came home in the evening. And the first words that popped out of my mouth were, “You are kidding, right?”. He was not. We moved to Dubai in 2005, three years after of our marriage, having lived in a New Mumbai building. His company organized his international relocation through E-Movers and though we did not carry much furniture, some of my beloved possessions arrived in Dubai in one-piece.
We stayed in a hotel provided by his company till he found a place to live and to my dismay I realized that it was a rented apartment. Having lived in our own flat in India, I had assumed that we too would have our own flat in Dubai. Sadly, I learned that almost everyone lived in a rented house. The walls of the house were barren because you don’t hammer a nail in a rented place, lest they forfeit your security deposit (or so I was told). When I visited friends, they seemed to live as if they were just passing through Dubai. Back home we built furniture and here they fitted the furniture.
A furnished apartment meant that most furniture decisions were already taken by our landlord. The cooking range, refrigerator, cabinets, lights, and cupboards were common for all in the building. This was hard to accept, and I wanted to return back to my own home. My husband calmed me down with an assurance that we would buy a house of our own if planned to settle in Dubai.
Then 2008 happened and any hopes that I had of owning a house were blown away in the economic crisis that seemed to threaten the very job he had. We stayed put in our one-bedroom till his company offered us a larger two-bedroom apartment in a modern building with a swimming pool. This time I came across E-Movers again and was surprised and delighted at the way they moved us to our new place. I had never heard of a service like this in India and it was a new learning, to see the way they unpacked and assembled my furniture again. I thought only I could take care of my clothes and cutlery, but they were equally careful.
We had moved to a better place, but it was still a rented place. The need for a house of my own kept my heart yearning and I continued to exhort my husband at every opportunity. I thought the economic crisis would mean lower prices, but the risk of losing a job made the decision difficult.
A senior manager quit the post in Saudi Arabia and my husband was suddenly drafted to take over. I feared that we would have to move again. I loved Dubai and the thought of living in Riyadh gave me sleepless nights. The silver lining was that the post came with a higher salary, more allowances and a longer tenure which meant we could put a down payment on a new house. So, while we prepared to move to Saudi, I started hunting for a house in Dubai because deep inside I believed we would return soon. Strange I thought, to look for a house in Dubai, when we would be living in Saudi.
We found a two-bedroom apartment in a complex of high-rise buildings in the Dubai Marina area. It was closer to my husband’s office and I would be able to find high-heeled customers for my Yoga classes. A nice view of the ocean and a glimpse of the setting sun sealed the deal. We arranged for the down payment and took a bank loan that did not strain our finances too much. And this time when we moved, I surely called E-Movers again. The move was done without any work from our end. We could have almost given the keys to our old and new home and gone away for the day.
Destiny had a surprise up its sleeve. While packing for Saudi Arabia in my own home, we received news that a junior manager had been recruited for Saudi and my husband was required only to make regular visits, but no longer required to station himself there.
I believe that my decision to buy a house made the Gods change my destiny and today I can nail any wall and change any faucet of my very own house.
Disclaimer: The stories are a work of fiction based on facts. Identies and details may have been altered to suit the narrative.