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The Most Important Iftar with My Family

It's 4 pm on a regular Ramadan day. Asma, a homemaker in her early 50s manages a household of six: her husband, both parent's in-laws, and two children in their teens. Finishing her Asr prayers, she rushed to the kitchen for preparing the Iftar. They are expecting some more family for Iftar dinner. She is fasting and her kitchen feels too hot amidst the clinking of ladles and whistles of the pressure cooker. She blasts the aircon, without relief.

On the contrary, she is sweating all over and feels suffocated. Feeling hot in the springs is unusual, so she just rests on the chair for a while. It's almost 6 pm, as she looks at the clock. The guests would be here soon. She fills up the juices and loads them with ice. She is ready to plate up the savories and make sure that the desserts are put to chill. She is famous for her sumptuous biryani which she is dishing out on a serving tray.

The suffocative spells are increasing, and she is not able to breathe. She lifts the Biryani tray with her trembling hand, from the kitchen sprinting towards the dining table. The next moment everyone in the house just hears a loud thud as the rice and masala fly all over the kitchen lobby. Asma doesn’t know what’s happening to her, she rushes out on the balcony to get some air as she keeps breaking into more sweat time and again. Her heart feels almost inside her throat. Tears roll down her cheek. Her husband Hassan follows to check on her and Grandma Fatma instructs the kids to go clean the mess in the kitchen.

The guests arrive amidst this chaos and Asma feels nothing but embarrassed to have been not herself. She has been adored for being the perfect Host. Hassan is confused while consoling her. The guests are no strangers, her co-sister, Sara can easily gauge the situation. She eases Asma to a chilled room and gives her some cold towels to help her hot flush. Sara being a few years older had been there, done that. After a short conversation with Asma, Sara quickly understood that Asma was experiencing symptoms of Menopause. She takes the charge of remaining iftar meal. After breaking the fast and performing the maghrib prayers, all enjoyed the delicious food on the table.

Once the dessert was served, Sara thought it was important for the family to know the current situation Asma is in and prepare them for what was coming next.

Asma was reluctant and nervous. But Sara comforted her. While the whole family sat together enjoying the chilled desserts, Sara informed the family that Asma is going through a transition in her life. There are a lot of hormonal and physical changes that she would go through. All women go through it- some find it easy, but many find it challenging to cope with. So as a family, you may see her suddenly wanting open air, taking cold showers or even breaking a sweat in the middle of the night. There could be some strange changes in behavior, attitude, and loads of mood swings. She may put on weight in the coming years or develop bone weakness. She educated them to help her in their own possible ways. Be there for her, hold her hand, be a gym buddy, and observe if she takes care of her nutrition. To Asma’s surprise, there were many curious questions and no judgmental statements. Grandma Fatma directed the men of the house to be more helpful and less demanding. Hassan, who had sat in front of the fan, quickly realized his folly as he immediately offered his seat to Asma.

The whole family laughed and enjoyed the happy meal.

Did that ring a bell? Could this be your iftar story? Maybe?

Or would you want to create a dialogue and adapt a similar narrative for your family?

Ramadan Kareem.

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About the blogger:

Dr. Tabassum Inamdar is a dynamic Homeopath, a passionate artist, and an adventurer in life. From Medical corporate to Academics, she has balanced her left brain and right brain with equal passion for Art. She writes a series of blogs “No Pause at Menopause” in collaboration with A sketch artist since childhood, she is enchanted by theatre and writing. She is a regular theater

performer in Dubai. She continues life’s adventure by trekking, Sky diving, or Marshalling at Formula 1 tracks. You may stalk her @doctabu (IG) or say hello @tabu.inamdar (FB)


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