Home Gratitude Gratitude Unlocks Happiness

Gratitude Unlocks Happiness

by Vidya Sury July 28, 2016 11 comments
Gratitude unlocks happiness vidya sury

I started writing my Gratitude Circle blog post during our visit to my son’s music teacher’s house last week. The glorious sound of their voices singing enveloped me. I couldn’t help marvelling as I mulled over the ten years we’ve known this music teacher, my son’s guru.

Let me tell you about her. She is just over 80 years old and is dedicated to her profession, teaching music. Strict, yet loving. Kind, but firm. Cares deeply about her students, and Vidur, who has been learning from her for a decade, is very lucky to be one of them.

In July last year, when we knew he was going to study on campus for the next five years, his first concern was: what about my music class? Fair enough, since he adores his music. Sadly he had to resign himself to practising on his own whenever he could and meeting her only when he came home for the holidays.

However, as Universe would have it, his teacher developed health issues and she had to take a long hiatus from the music school. What irony! Each time Vidur visited, he would talk to her on the phone. When he came home in May he was naturally eager to meet her.

This came about only this week and what a coincidence it was also Guru Poornima, which their music school celebrates each year with great pomp and a delicious lunch.

She was ready to come home and teach him, but she lives so far off that we wouldn’t hear of it.

A lesson in gratitude

So, we went over to her place. She was delighted to welcome him home and quickly set about teaching him the new raag, mentioning that he’d better learn the songs in 2 days, since the celebration was on 25th.  After their music practice session, as we caught up with news from each other, I asked her about her health. She has been going through a pretty bad time with a skin rash that spread and wouldn’t heal thanks to high blood sugar and other health issues that have developed as a result of the reduced immunity from various medications.

The amazing thing was how she related it all to us. The gist of it is this: she said, “I can think, ‘oh, I am over 80, I have these problems’ and brood and feel worse. Or I can simply go about my daily routine as usual, keep myself active, take my medication on time and actually help myself heal. I prefer to be positive”.

So inspiring! Such strength!

I felt slightly guilty over feeling somewhat overwhelmed over the past few days about some things that haven’t been moving at all. So yes, I’ve tried my best to be positive but must admit to secretly wallowing in a little self-pity.  I did write in my gratitude journal with increased enthusiasm and of course it helped, but hey! You know what I mean!

So, listening to the music teacher speak and her cheerful attitude was really what I needed.  She has reopened the music school and travels the distance, switching two buses and also walking part of the way quite happily. “Not at all a problem!,” she says, “I just walk a little slower, that’s all!”.

Very humbling, eh?

Even when in class, if she needs something, she simply gets up and does it rather than ask one of the students who will readily do it for her.

The best thing was, she listed all the things that were good in her life. It was so refreshing.

gratitude vidya sury

And so, let me share a few from my own gratitude journal with you.

I connected with a classmate from school after 30 years

We’v e been trying to find each other online for quite some time, but apparently the moment hadn’t come. Then a couple of weeks ago, I posted an old photo with an ex-colleague/friend and somehow, this classmate happened to see it. I swear I burst out crying when I saw her message on Facebook, and she had thoughtfully attached her photo. Ya know how we women change our second names after we marry, making it so much harder to find us. I am so grateful to reconnect with her!

A delightful marathon call with my BFF

She’s my mental spa. No censoring thoughts or words because hey, as she says, “You’re my parents’ daughter and I am your parents’ daughter” Truth.

The Huffington Post

I am now a contributor to The Huffington Post blog via my lovely BeOne community, a social wellness network and a beautiful community of women helping each other flourish in our health, our hearts and our lives. I squealed with delight when I opened my email on Wednesday morning last week and saw Jennifer Taormina’s message with a link to my post. What a fabulous surprise. And here I was, lazily thinking I should pitch to HuffPo. Believe me, my loves, Universe is always listening. Here is the post.


I may possibly be free from pigeon poop, remember my balcony’s poop carpet courtesy my feathered friends? I had the balcony covered with a net last week. really owe this a separate post! For now, time spent on Sunday mornings scraping poop can be dedicated to a coffee or a million other things! Yay me!

Celebration of relationships

Our apartment condominium’s Youth Club celebrated 30 years of existence. We had a grand celebration of this epic moment with residents, old and new, attending. There was song and dance, a slideshow of past event photos, much reminiscing and banter and loads of fun. And of course, dinner. It wasn’t just a great time, but a testimony that community and relationships are everything!


I enjoyed an impromptu date with nature.

Today, my son returned to campus for the new academic year. My heart is a little heavy. I’ll miss him. But I am also filled with gratitude for the time he spent at home, the wonderful time we had and the hugs. I am grateful for my life.

Gratitude vidya sury (2)

What are you grateful for today? This month? What moved you? What made you smile?

Do share in the comments.

If you’re writing a post about it, join me in the July Gratitude Circle bloghop. Here is your badge:

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Parul July 28, 2016 at 6:43 am

Positivity inspires. It shows how much there is to think of when we choose to sulk over things. The story of Vidur’s music teacher is beautiful.
I’m so glad you spoke to your BFF 😉 friends are life saviors. Recently over whatsapp, my school friends got very active and those funny quirks of the past are showing up again on those message. It’s life coming a full circle. Oh, I want to know that pigeon story and see a pic of your space 🙂 hugs Vidya! I’ve learnt being grateful from you and I’ll soon see you around again with my post.
Parul recently posted…A hectic day and my kitchen window

Rachna July 28, 2016 at 10:00 am

I loved to read about your son’s music teacher and her zest for life. Connecting with a classmate after 30 years is truly precious. I guess the good always balances out the bad. Enjoyed the post. Always difficult when your child goes away. Bittersweet. Hugs! I will be putting up the gratitude post in some time.
Rachna recently posted…The Welcome Mondays

Bhavya July 28, 2016 at 11:15 am

Hi Vidya,

It is amazing how everyone around us has a lesson to teach, what is more amazing is that you have this eye for detail and you catch the lesson behind every small word ever spoken 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath July 28, 2016 at 9:31 pm

Your gratitude posts are always heartwarming and full of positivity. So thrilled for the HuffPo contributor status. Yay, we both got it together 🙂 Your son’s music teacher sounds very delightful!
Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Battle of the bulge shouldn’t be a war

Obsessivemom July 29, 2016 at 5:35 am

Your gratitude list always uplifts me Vidya. It reminds me all the things I should be grateful for too. And you manage to find people who renew your enthusiasm for life – like Vidur’s teacher this time. Glad you met your friends. Talking to them is like reclaiming a bit of our childhood.
Obsessivemom recently posted…Three films and a weekend

Geets July 29, 2016 at 1:39 pm

The music teacher of Vidhur sounds one heck of a lady! And it truly must be a delight to be around her and know her in person. Writing in a gratitude journal always soothes our soul and I’m glad to hear about your reunion with your friend. My mom once met her school friend, when she accidently bumped into her handlooms shop and now they’re in touch forever, needless to mention how happy they are 🙂

Geets recently posted…Reflections~ July

Shilpa Garg July 29, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Very humbling and inspiring story of V’s music teacher! Congratulations for being on The Huffington Post. That’s so cool! I will be joining you for the Gratitude Circle bloghop shortly!

Rajlakshmi July 30, 2016 at 6:12 pm

I am so inspired by the music teacher. I don’t even know if I will move when I am 80 🙂
It’s amazing to connect with an old friend… 30years is a long time. congrats on being a contributor to Huffingpost 🙂
So many things to be grateful about. Lovely post
Rajlakshmi recently posted…My Hacks to Healthy Lifestyle

Vishal Bheeroo July 30, 2016 at 10:25 pm

The music teacher is not only inspiring but very cool. Congrats for Huffington Post. Love your gratitude post.
Vishal Bheeroo recently posted…Pune Memoirs (10): A year of love

C. Lee McKenzie July 31, 2016 at 2:19 am

A lovely tale of gratitude. And how exciting to be on The Huffington Post! I know a celebrity! Did you get extra coffee to celebrate?

upasna August 12, 2016 at 2:03 pm

I agree to what Bhavya said-Yo see detail in everything and that is what make you special. Congrats on The Huffington Post Mam.
upasna recently posted…I wish you become independent: Art of Cooking with Kids


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