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It has taken the husband and me more than a year of seeing each other every single day to realise that his Before-Corona business trips and our summer breaks were the secret to our happy marriage.

Over the last year, we have also realised that we each possessed extraordinary abilities that could put debating champions to shame, for we could keep up a strong argument going for anything as insignificant as placement of water bottles in the refrigerator, a problem that we strangely overlooked in the last decade of our marriage.

So, when we picked up one of our favourite debating topics — the possibilities and the risks of travelling home, from where we last left off, the discussion was still amiable, like a friendly match, where keeping the pace of game steadily going and not really aiming for the title of the winner was important. Over the next few days, as the friendly match picked pace and was steadily turning into a tournament, two billionaires rocketed off to space.

For some time after that, our thoughts took off space wards, and I could only be fascinated by the ease of travelling light — as light as without a mask! But with not enough to mull (read debate) about space travel, we decided to leave the Space Race in the able hands of the billionaires and fuelled with updates of the monsoons from home, we went back to discussing earthly travels that we don’t intend to actually make.

These times that are fraught with misinformation, stung with the disappointment of losses and setbacks, our thoughts constantly fixated on the barrage of tragedies near and far have got us to look forward to the little joys that life throws our way, those beautiful moments that we, at another time, lost in the vicious cycle of life, took for granted.

My cousin and his family chose to stop over at Dubai before they continued their onward journey. Their stopover here was not out of the ordinary, but it must have been these times that made little joys, like an unexpected opportunity to meet up with family, very special.

When they first reached out to us, it was a customary call to catch up and meet. The children, all of whom have been schooling from the safe confines of home, reached out to one another too. It must have been their need for companionship that by the end of the day, even when our plans of meeting up were yet to be made, they had created a group where grand plans were taking shape, most of which, they knew, were beyond safety limits, but that did not thwart their imagination from soaring.

When we all finally did meet, it was a reunion like none before, for we were all hungry for the company of those with whom we shared blood, bond and childhood memories. The children, who had never had enough time or an opportunity to bond, were a riot.

In the long weekend that followed, there was lots of catching up, food and chaos, all in the safe confines of home. This unexpected opportunity was a sweet place to cherish relationships, the joys of chaos and the simplicity of doing nothing exotic but just getting together and reminiscing the people and times we cherished.

A friend who is enjoying the monsoons back at home explains that the gathering of dark, angry clouds that jostle with one another with a thunderous clap is intimidating. And yet it is those very angry, intimidating dark clouds eclipsing the sun that pour themselves out as rain that turns every leaf fresh and gleaming, the earth fragrant, the nights cool and resounding with the chirping orchestra of crickets — everything that I will never see this year.

For now, I will just be content with the little joys thrown my way.

— Pranitha Menon is a freelance writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @MenonPranitha