I have never been a people's person. In fact, I am quite the opposite.
I don't like going to parties and find my way out of every social gathering because anything more than 1 hour starts driving me crazy.
So, I obviously thought I don't need people like others do.
And while that is true in many ways, I certainly did underestimate how important human connections are.
The pandemic taught me that.
Easy access to my friends and family over the years had made me delusional.
I thought I didn't necessarily need it because it was always available. There was no perspective.
However, months of being away from my loved ones has changed my opinions completely.
Yes, the parties, if they were happening, would still be a no-no.
But I now call my parents 3 times a day, I text my friends frequently and I am no longer terrified of the idea of reconnecting with old contacts.
I believe that's the case with many people.
After months of isolation and reading, watching, scrolling, strolling and posting - I think one thing is pretty clear to all of us.
You need someone to ask you 'how are you doing?'.
Because even though that question is redundant at this point, it holds a lot of value and brings comfort.
And the person asking this doesn't have to be your partner. It could be anyone. Anyone who can remind you that you are important.
In connection with all this, here's an anecdote: The other day I was standing on my balcony and the sky was beautiful.
It had just rained and June sun was doing its thing with the clouds. Everything looked heavenly.
But a few minutes after staring at it, I turned my gaze towards the road.
I wanted to.
I wanted to see what the sabzi waale bhaiya was doing. I wanted to see my neighbour taking dry clothes inside. I wanted to look at kids playing cricket on their small terrace and then searching for the ball as it flew down to their gate.
I wanted to see movement.
It's tough to explain the sanity it brings.
And that's just our nature as the most intelligent species on the planet.
If the mind sometimes makes us too rational, or even selfish, the heart compensates with the desire to see someone smiling from their window.
In the old normal, we often forgot about that. Complained even.
We were too busy with other things.