Home Gratitude Zentenced to Gratitude

Zentenced to Gratitude

by Vidya Sury August 31, 2017 21 comments
Zentenced to Gratitude Vidya Sury

I just wondered, do you look forward to my monthly Gratitude Circle post on the last Thursday each month?

I certainly do! And by the way, someone asked me how I remember to list so many things. My secret is: I maintain a gratitude journal in which I write every day. So, picking up a few from that journal is easy. If you don’t have a one, I recommend it highly.

The month between my last Gratitude Circle post and this one has been eventful! In fact, I felt a distinct halo around my head when I wrote last month’s post and scheduled it to go live, since we were traveling from 26-31 July.

And that is why I feel Zen-tenced! Because, no matter what happens, it is always possible to focus on the good stuff!

From My August Gratitude Journal

After much confusion over choosing our destination, what with the monsoons in that area and the imminent danger of landslides, we finally decided to keep it simple and visit Kasauli, a lovely little hill-station in Himachal Pradesh, close to Chandigarh. I have a series of travel posts planned around the trip—still sorting out the photos. So thankful that during our trip, we had fairly good weather and returned safely.

The hotel we stayed in—The Ros Common—was enchanting. The staff was kind and friendly and it made a big difference to our stay. And yes, the food was good!


My son’s back in college, and of course I miss him. He’s in his third year and now a math major—with challenging times ahead. Grateful that he got to do his summer project at home, and that he’s in a great institution and enjoys his course.

I am thankful for the cozy evenings at home during my son’s trip when we would watch shows and movies together. I am filled with love when I think of the walks on campus, during our trip, and of course, at home, on our terrace. All these go right through to my AEIOU process.

When we left the guest house on his campus on 31 July to return home, I was touched when the cook packed rotis for our “journey” because airline food, ya know. He’s a wonderful person who loves his job and treats guests as if they were special family—each and every one of them. My gratitude goes out to him for remembering I am diabetic.

While on campus, I also met my little friend who is now five years old! How fast they grow! We became friends when she was two and a half! Thrilling to see that she remembers me and is so affectionate.

And when we got home, my sister messaged me to ask what about our dinner. I told her we’d manage since I had dosa batter in the fridge. No sooner than we arrived, our doorbell rang and there she was, with a hot-pack, filled with delicious millet-tomato-veg one-dish meal. I love her and am grateful for her presence in my life. Truly, friends are the family we choose for ourselves.

Oh, just before the trip, I decided to get some camera accessories and Googled, and found one store. I remember how, when I visited the zoo with my son, the card malfunctioned and we freaked out. I thought, better have a spare, no? Grateful to the store for home-delivering the battery and memory card.

I am grateful that the energetic lady who collects the garbage in our apartment has a new bin with wheels to make her life easier. You should see her—stylish, cheerful, dressed as though she’s off to a wedding—wheeling her drum with her gloved hands. I must cajole her to pose for a pic one of these days.

Something exciting happened. Some weeks ago, I came across this book titled “Why is the Dalai Lama always smiling?” by Lama Tsomo. I wished for the book. Imagine my delight when, a few days later, the author contacted me to ask if I’d like a copy. Whaaaaat? Of course I said yes!! Do look out for the book review. You know I am a huuuuge fan of the Dalai Lama. In fact, I also have a stash of other books about him and can’t wait to share them with you!

Grateful to Amazon—for making it easy to order online and get emergency stuff delivered. When my son needed things urgently, we were able to find the exact things he needed and reach it to him the next day! Normally, we would run to the market, shop, then stress over packing it and hand it over at the post office, which would then take 10 days at least to deliver it. Even now, if I had to send something from home, they are the ones I’d trust. But Amazon made life so much easier for us during a stressful time.

Two weeks ago, we were shocked to see the news about floods in Mohali. Followed by this, the tricity (Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali) were under curfew thanks to the trial and verdict of one prominent personality. Thankful that my son was safe on campus through the week. Mobile internet was banned. Phone calls were iffy during that week, but email worked and we’re grateful for that. Trying times, though, when we saw news of the violence and mayhem there.

The Sunday before that, there was an Indiblogger meet and it was so nice to meet friends and spend a pleasant afternoon. Indiblogger meets are always enjoyable. In fact, they are the ones organizing the Indiblogger Awards 2017. I have such fond memories of the IBA2013, when my blog Coffee With Mi won in the Memoirs category. This year also, I have five blogs nominated. If you enjoy my writing, perhaps you’ll leave a comment at my nomination link here: Vidya’s nomination page. Thank you so much!

Then, last Thursday, I attended the #WomenWritersFest organized by SheThePeopleTV, where I was on the blogging and social media panel. A thoroughly enjoyable morning listening to writers, bloggers and storytelling experts, and of course, meeting people I knew.

All the fun and frolic meant I had to burn the candle at both ends, sometimes literally because of the power cuts we’ve been having. I am grateful to my husband for his support, because when I walk into the kitchen fretting over the washing up, I meet an empty sink. And a big bowl of peeled pomegranate on the counter for my snack. Yes, so grateful.


Today, I want to leave you with this. When I saw this photo, I felt small. And doubly appreciated my life, just as it is.

Does it make you think, reflect?

What are you grateful for this month?

Do join me for the August Gratitude Circle blog hop.

Add the link to your post below.

Share this post ❤

You may also like


Asha August 31, 2017 at 10:03 pm

That photo in the end is so touching. I felt all choked. Pray for the day when we can afford good medical help you all children like this.

Vidya Sury August 31, 2017 at 10:07 pm

I sobbed, Asha. Suddenly so many things became insignificant. Life is so much about perspective. Hugs! Thank you.
Vidya Sury recently posted…Zentenced to Gratitude

Mayuri Nidigallu September 1, 2017 at 8:02 am

As always i have a huge smile on my face when I reach the end of your post, Vidya.
So much to learn , so much to takeaway from it.
I wish the glitzy garbage lady poses for you soon, would love to see her , wheeled bin et al! The last pic touched me too, and reminded me that we always have more than we think we do. Great post, as always!:)

Rachna Parmar September 1, 2017 at 10:51 am

I love reading your gratitude posts but then you already know that. Was so happy to read about the lovely time you had with your son on campus and your trip to Kasauli. The tiny things like a friend bringing hot, home-cooked food is just the stuff that brightens up our day. And your husband making your work easier is just so gratifying. The last pic was very touching. Always a reiteration of how much really we should be grateful for.

Shilpa Gupte September 1, 2017 at 11:59 am

Your Gratitude posts teach me a lot about gratitude for the things we take for granted. Little things that add up to big things, which, actually make our life so much easier and pleasant! Loved the first picture of the sunlight streaming through the canopy and the last picture brought a lump to my throat.
I enjoyed ‘hearing’ you on the video, too! So, now I know how you sound! It is so easy to know a person through the net these days; a person you know so much about, but haven’t met face to face!

Sanch @ Sanch Writes September 1, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Lovely things to be grateful for…I’m glad there was so much joy and gratitude in August for you.
Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…Ephemeral happiness #FridayReflections

upasna September 1, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Tears in my eyes when I reached the end. Glad that everything in our City came back to normal. Yes you are right Vidya. Its so easy to pick up these moments when your write daily gratitude journal.

Sulekha September 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Vidya, your gratitude posts always make me feel so good. It is important to give thanks for every little thing in life and you do that with so much love and grace. I can’t imagine a more sensitive and gentle person than you, thank you for inspiring me. I look forward to reading your gratitude posts and love participating in this circle. P.S. I smiled while posting my comment 🙂

G Angela September 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Beautiful post vidya, enjoyed reading your post, feel so empowered being here. The ending brought tears to my eyes, and touched my heart. I look forward for your gratitude post: Thanks for sharing.

Obsessivemom September 1, 2017 at 4:30 pm

I cannot think beyond that last picture. It brings home the fact that we have so much to be grateful for. Each time I read your post I find myself thinking – oh I have that too – and that makes me aware of how we continue to dwell on what we don’t have.

Soumya September 1, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Oh, how happy your posts make me feel, Vidya! I was following your travel stories on Instagram and was feeling so happy for you. You deserve the best and you will get it, my dear 🙂

Had we met this month after your #WomenWritersFest, it would have been the icing on the cake.

SHALINI BAISIWALA September 1, 2017 at 7:32 pm

I was loving the feeling of reading through you chatty and warm post when that pic in the end happened. I think I just died!! I have been oscilating between thoughts about a situation and everyday the negative ones come up first and then I cajole myself to look at the bright side! Its so damn tough but now I have this pic in my mind to remind me!

Pls do share the review of the Dalai Lama book – should be interesting one; and yes the universe answers everyday- we just need to ask the right thing!

I have been keeping a gratitude journal tho I dont pen down in it everyday! I also haave my very own wish jar; something I must talk about one of these days in a post.

Will be joining in the circle by monday I think!!

Parul Thakur September 1, 2017 at 8:06 pm

You know I wait for your Gratitude Posts every month for the last two years. You are the one who inspired me to write. Like you, I jot down things that make me happy throughout the month and then I pick up things I want to share from that jar of happiness. I should make a journal 🙂
I missed your travel stories but I am glad you had a lovely time. I think those of us who are given food – whether, by a cook or family member, it is a blessing. It shows someone cares. Happy that Vidur was safe during all that drama. Wishing you a fabulous September. Hugs and love!
Parul Thakur recently posted…Thanking my stars – August 2017

Shailaja Vishwanath September 2, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Your posts ALWAYS make me feel glad, Vidya 🙂 It’s like a little window into your life- the snippets of joy, the pieces of wisdom and the moments of happiness mixed with the sadness that all add up to make us feel grateful!

So thrilled about the Dalai Lama book! Look forward to the review and how wonderful of your sister to keep the meal ready. Such little gestures but they mean everything no? Love and look forward to your gratitude circle every single month 🙂

Birgit September 3, 2017 at 7:25 am

I cherish my mom, who was in the hospital with pneumonia but came back and is ok. This post came out on Thursday and I am reading it now and wished I would have read it that day. There is a reason for this…..I cherish you Vidya, even though, I have not visited every time and I have never met you but you are important. I am sick right now but your last picture puts that right into perspective. I have not been able to visit my mom and, this past Thursday, I was on speaker phone while my brother met with mom’s doctor and others from her home. My mom is dying. She has permanent pneumonia since their is a spot on her lower right lung. It could even be a tumor but she is 89 and it would not be right to subject her to tests etc… Her lungs are disintegrating and have become smaller. Her heart has an arethemia, she is eating less, sleeping more..she could live weeks or months. We made the decision to have her no longer go to the hospital as it is no true use. If they worked on her chest, they would break all her ribs plus she would come back having to be on a machine to breathe and a feeding tube. This is no life for a great woman. She will get all the medicine needed and the doctors mentioned how surprised she already was at how fast my mom has bounced back. I am grateful to have a beautiful mom who has still the strength of spirit to keep going. Who says she loves me and I can still make laugh. Your post I just read, made me think of how blessed I am to have her as my mom.

Nabanita Dhar September 6, 2017 at 11:28 am

Every time your gratitude post teaches me to be more mindful of my blessings. And yes, I do look forward to your gratitude posts. Of all the wonderful things here I love how the cook packed food for you for your journey. It reminds me of the cooks and helpers in the bungalows that we would often visit with Dad when he was working and we were still kids, we would get so much love and care, all straight from the heart. They still remember us and shower us with the same attention if not more. So thank you for taking me back through your window of gratitude, Vidya 🙂

Renu Jinturkar September 7, 2017 at 8:38 pm

I quit my full time job at amazon, got married and moved to the USA three years ago on a dependent visa. Since I was on a dependent visa, I could not have a social security number, work permit or even an independent bank account. It was a major identity crisis for me. I had done two post graduations in India and I had no interest in going back to school. I used feel miserable sitting at home and doing dishes and laundry. I had no friends, family or good neighbors. Nobody knew who I am and what I do. Like I did not matter. I had lost confidence in me and I used to feel oppressive sitting at home and doing nothing. During that period, I did finish my next level of German language certification but that was not enough. But thanks to former President Obama. He passed a rule that allowed the H1 visa holders’ spouses to work. (If their i-140 (second step of green card) is approved) I received my work permit last year in March and started working part time at a start-up company and then in last October got an opportunity to work full time with Google. I could not be more happier. Today, I am grateful to my husband for fighting with the lawyers to expedite the process of my work permit, my parents and lastly the former president Mr Obama. Life is good now and I enjoy every bit of it! 🙂
@Vidya thanks for starting this initiative. I will soon post more stuffs. Felt so much better after penning down the most difficult period of my life.

Vidya Sury September 7, 2017 at 8:44 pm

I applaud you for your persistence and patience, and kudos to your husband for his constant support, Renu! What a great example. Truly something to feel grateful for. And me, I am so happy we’re connected. I think you are amazing! Thank you for your comment!
Vidya Sury recently posted…At Menri Monastery, Dolanji, Solan, Himachal Pradesh

Vasantha Vivek September 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm

As always felt heart warming to read your gratitude list, Vidya. True, little things make us more happy than anything. Really it’s nice that your cute little friend remembered you. You look great on the women fest photo. Keep sharing your delights with us and make us also happy.
Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Gratitude Turned What I Have Into Enough ….. #GratitudeCircleBlogHop #MyFriendAlexa

Mahati ramya adivishnu September 12, 2017 at 10:34 am

Wow ! Great list. Indiblogger meet, awards nominations, interview and Kasauli trip. Iam grateful to have attended a paint class last month. It was fun.

shilpa September 13, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Your gratitude post makes me smile whenever I read it. Loved to see how well you write those little joys in your life.
The last photograph has touched my heart. Hugs to that person.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge